Updated: Nov 25, 2019
A lot of people have been asking me, “What is it like running a business with your spouse?” I think back to when we were first married, and it wouldn’t have been possible to run a business together. We have been together for eight years now and communicating is a lot easier than it used to be. Also, being in the same space for long periods of time doesn’t make us want to murder each other anymore, either. Honestly, in response to the question, I usually say, “I couldn’t do it without him.” We each have our roles in the business and somehow our strengths and weaknesses balance each other out.
I tend to be in charge of all administrative duties such as website design, design of tangible or intangible promotional material, client communications and bookings, paying of sale and income taxes, maintaining quick books for accounting purposes, creating marketing and business plans and so on. We both film and photograph to ensure that all perspectives and candid angles are shot; however, Kayden is the video editor (which is a huge job!) and I am the photo editor. I have been trying to keep Facebook engaged and Kayden tries to keep Instagram engaged. Kayden is also in charge of preparing files for clients, camera storage and maintenance.
As a whole, I would say one of our strengths is caring about people. Providing the most value possible and treating people fairly is by far the most important thing to us. We would much rather have a positive review or word of mouth recommendation than walk away with gobs of money. Our second strength is being willing to evolve. We are constantly observing other successful businesses, experimenting with new ideas and coming up with better ways to serve clients. Lastly, we are flexible. We can adapt to people’s changing schedules and travel to various locations as needed.
Regarding weaknesses, we are recently established, and I know that it takes time building rapport and trust with people in the community. Our services are a specialty so it’s not every day that someone says, “I need a videographer for my hunt or my Xterra.” This past week I went to two business networking events. Many people that presented their business were lawyers, marketers, real estate agents, accountants, coaches, handy men, etc. that serve the usual everyday needs. When I stood up and said that I own a business called Wild Optix and I film hunting and other outdoor adventures, people’s eyebrows raised a little, some a lot. I think they imagined (because I am so cute… lol :P) that I would say I am a cake decorator or an eyelash lady. Instead, I told them about filming a bison archery hunt.
I wonder if Kayden had been there, would there have been less raised eyebrows? I think the only thing that can be frustrating is what other people assume our roles are. For example, we went camping one weekend with some of Kayden’s friends. One of the guys asked me, “Are you okay that Kayden started a business? And are you even okay being in the mountains?” Slightly surprised, all I said was, “Yup.” There was also another instance when Kayden and I were talking about our business with some friends. Someone mentioned that I had just graduated with my B.S. in Business Management. Someone else turned to me and asked, “So what are you planning on doing with your degree? Can you run a business now?” The funny thing is I am the one who started the business. And I like being in the mountains just as much as Kayden does, if not more. In fact, I am not one of those girls that is afraid to take a good ol’ nature poop or go without showering for days.
So, on a more serious note, running a business with Kayden has been a lot of fun and also challenging. There is balance and understanding and we encourage each other. The hardest part is shaking off what other people assume our roles are. I think that as our business grows, and we grow as people, our brand will be easier to recognize, and a lot of gender stereotypical assumptions will naturally subside. Hopefully.