THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE FEELING OF BEING 2ND FIDDLE
Every article on “Working with your significant other” will tell you a few of the following:
- Communication is key
- Set time aside to NOT talk about work
- Make a point to throw in a few “Good jobs!”
This post isn’t about any of that. This is for the person who needs a little pat on the back.
An “I get what you do.” A silent nod of acknowledgement. Because partnering with an artist can make you feel like there is only one spotlight, and you’re not in it.
Every once in awhile I feel frustrated, because I get the feeling people think Chris is the creative, talented genius, and I am his personal assistant, just there to answer emails and help him carry out a coffee table. And in some aspects of what we do, that is true. I order the supplies he needs, make sure he has the right materials and measurements, then let him loose in his workshop, making sure to swoop in at the end to post an instagram.
What seems to get lost in translation is that I do a lot of the not so fun stuff that doesn’t seem to have perceived value, unless you have personally attempted them yourself.
If you have a business, you need a website. And it should be awesome. Because if it isn’t then you look like a fraud. So I researched the best website builder for my lack of skill level/lack of interest in ever learning to code. Squarespace fit the bill. Its easy to use, it looks modern and professional and they keep track of your billing, domain renewal and bonus email set up.
This was of course after I fumbled with Godaddy, Hostmonster, Wordpress, etc. for a year or two. I swear my 6-year-old niece is already learning to code, and she could have done a better job right out the gate. Similar to how my father freaked out over remembering a 6-digit passcode to his iPhone, I didn’t grow up with building websites. I remember a brief project in college and saying to myself “Thank god that class is over…” One of the many life lessons I would tell my 20-year-old self.
DEALING WITH CLIENTS
A 10 ft. farm table doesn’t just miraculous appear. In between the request and delivery are sketches, material approvals, client meetings, price quotes, visiting suppliers and countless emails and phone calls. Once the table is planted firmly on the rug, Chris gets a handshake and the “Great job!” while I fold up the packing supplies and beam in agreement.
And again, Chris does things I can’t and wouldn’t ever want to do. I can’t sand a table for hours, switching sanding discs from heavy to fine… I won’t research new techniques or watch YouTube videos to solve a construction problem. But he does thankfully or else we wouldn’t have a business.
Need a new tool? All out of epoxy?
It is imperative to have one person manage the money. I always know what events we have coming up, what deposits we are waiting for and what bills need to be paid. That way Chris isn’t spending the money I already have allocated. Also, I can say, “Do you need that tool immediately to complete this project?” Usually not….
I have probably said it over 100 times. I need a teenager to manage our social media.
Unfortunately social media isn’t just posting a good looking photo with a sly caption and hoping for the best. You first need content, and lots of it. Then it’s a matter of figuring out the best time to post, engaging with your current followers on each platform, trying to make new followers…and staying on top of the newest features.
Oh wait now Instagram Stories is what everyone looks at because we are all literally too lazy to scroll? (Myself included)
After 9 months of managing our 1st Pop Up and trying to improve our social media presence I was so burnt out that I didn’t touch Facebook or Instagram for a whole month. Like complete social media silence. I needed a break. I felt forced. Everything I posted or was going to post didn’t feel genuine. Just a “Look at me, look at me!”
So once I was ready to get back on the saddle I made the conscious decision to not post every day like everyone tells you to do. But instead post once or twice a week. That was manageable for me. And I wouldn’t get sick of myself.
I am still trying to post different content to Facebook but I just can’t get on that train right now. Our Facebook presence is pathetic at best. But I know I need something up there because there is still the random person that doesn’t use instagram…
-Yes, we all know how awesome and fun taxes are. But let’s face it. In order to do your taxes correctly and actually try to get money back you have to always have that dirty word in the back of your mind. There is nothing worse than having no idea what receipts are for what in mid March… So updating QuickBooks, having a filing system (or “organized piles” as I do), keeping track of those donations are all part of the goal not to cry come April 15th. Sorry, not April 15th … when you have a business where you paid artists or vendors, you need to get them their W9s in January, so that they can do their taxes on time. So crying time would be right after New Year’s…
MORAL OF THE STORY...
The main take away from all this, (it’s not to pity me, trust me), is that working with your partner is challenging if you are both super competitive and feel that you aren’t recognized for your work, or opposite that you aren’t pulling your own weight. Unlike a corporate job where you leave the office and can go home and bitch about your job or your coworker… you can’t do that at home. Because in this case, your coworker is husband.
Just do what I just did… make a list of the things you do, that your partner doesn’t/can’t/or won’t. And realize, they couldn’t exist without you either…