Balancing Between Work And Some Quality Time Together
There is always a question mark when it comes to couples who work together. Some think that relationship and business should be separated, some believe that couples should do everything together. Well, as for us, it's a little bit of both.
From the beginning we established some ground rules tho, in order for this thing to work:
- We separated responsibilities and tasks. Since we came from different creative fields it's not that hard to do.
- We do our own thing and then turn to each other for the “fresh eye look” when we need some advice or guidance.
- It's very important not to transfer work-related disputes and complaints to the everyday life. We often might disagree on some element of design, or composition, or color choice etc., but it's important to discuss those issues during work hours. We communicate, evaluate and come up with a solution that will work for both of us. There is always compromise and valuable lesson in every shaky situation.
- Give your partner time and space to flourish and to be alone with his/her thoughts. Don't be pushy and don't interrupt during precious concentration time. (This is actually the one I'm still working on. I often just have to ask “oh so important” question about dinner or whatever when Max is in the design process. But life is a learning curve and after a certain amount of “don't bother me” comments you start to get there).
Our relationship got 6 years of a test drive, during which we lived together and traveled a lot before we decided to combine our expertise. I think that you need to really know the person, his weaknesses, strengths, how he thinks and acts in stressful situations before you can commit to creating a business together. We have a similar but not identical vision, so It's easy for us to complement and complete each other.
I think that in a way our projects win from the fact that we can honestly tell what's on our minds. There are some underwater stones with this one tho, because it's hard sometimes to accept criticism, being a creative person. It takes a lot of effort to not take it personally, because at the end of the day everything you create, everything you spent hours on becomes personal.
Happiness is a critical factor for work, and work is a critical factor for happiness. That's where traveling steps in. We are happy when we are on the move, when we change our surroundings, meet people, see new places. This became a huge part of our life and it brings enormous impact on our work and creative thinking altogether. Challenge and novelty are key elements to happiness as well. In order to be happy and successful, you need to put yourself in the atmosphere of growth. That's what we are constantly trying to do in LikeOne. Max always pushes me to do more, he teaches me how to be more efficient, how to plan my work. In regards to the creative aspect, I absolutely love to try out new things, such as calligraphy, drawing with different materials, making vector stickers, etc. I adore the feeling of novelty and when you accomplished small steps — the feeling of growth.
We found our perfect work/relationship balance while traveling. Cozy sofa in a coffee shop, hot Flat White, and laptop on the table. Basically, we spend 24/7 together, 5-6 hours while sitting side by side working, often in silence. At the lunch breaks, we can discuss what we have made so far, ask for advice and plan our next moves. As for me, it's a perfect combination: the loving husband and business partner in one.