Loving their jobs ... and each other

Monday, February 13, 2012

These sweethearts are building their relationships at the same time they're building their businesses. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, there are currently more than 1 million husband-wife partnerships that co-own businesses. Here's a look at some local valentines who are making working together work for them.

Jennifer and Rhett Hendrickson own Hendrickson Business Advisors, Faith Perceptions, Murphy Business of Cape Girardeau, and are partial owners of Rent Check Online. (Kristin Eberts)

Names: Rhett and Jennifer Hendrickson

Years married: 11 years

Years in business together: 5 years

Businesses: Hendrickson Business Advisors, Faith Perceptions, Murphy Business of Cape Girardeau and co-owners of RentCheckOnline.com

Q: What's the best part about being married and working together?

A: Our work schedule and family schedule can all be on the same calendar. Working together allows us to eliminate many things that would otherwise be outside of our control. This is helpful whether we need to pick up our daughter early from school, take a long weekend or work late into the evening.

Q: What's the most challenging thing about being married to your business partner?

A: We are together all day long. This can be challenging because when most couples are talking about their days around the dinner table -- we're just continuing our discussion about work. It can be difficult to separate the two.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering getting into business with their spouse?

A: Consider how you might divide up the daily tasks so that you're not always working on the same thing. Agree on a process for conflict resolution so you don't take problems home. Most importantly, if you don't have a healthy relationship at home -- don't even consider working together.

Kim and Robert Forester own Jackson Lanes in Jackson, Mo. (Kristin Eberts)

Names: Robert and Kim Forester

Years married: 4 years

Years in business together: 2 years

Business: Jackson Lanes

Q: What's the best part about being married and working together?

A: Working together has helped us to develop a stronger bond of trust, better communication skills and a big commitment to maintaining patience, which has allowed us as a couple to build a great support system for each other in both the business environment and our personal relationship.

Q: What's the most challenging thing about being married to your business partner?

A: Not letting the business consume all of our time! We try to coordinate our busy schedules to make sure that we have the quality time as a couple, as well as time for our family, that we need to maintain stability and sanity in all of our lives. Of course our kids love to bowl so that helps keep them involved in the business too.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering getting into business with their spouse?

A: Take a lot of time to consider and discuss all of the advantages and disadvantages of being in business together and commit to a plan to divide the work based on each other's strengths. Most important of all is to have faith in each other and deal with the toughest situations together.

Names: Barry and Kim Robinson

Years married: 31 years

Years in business together: 7 years

Barry and Kim Robinson own Cup 'N' Cork in downtown Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

Business: Cup ‘n' Cork

Q: What's the best part about being married and working together?

A: You never have to wonder what's going on with their day because you're right there with them. You really get to know your partner. Being married is one level, but working and being married is a whole other level.

Q: What's the most challenging thing about being married to your business partner?

A: When you own your own business you don't have a lot of time. The most challenging thing is finding personal time for each other and not be too tired to go to dinner, or go out. It's important to find time for just you. Not time you're sharing with your children or your friends or at work, because we work a lot.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering getting into business with their spouse?

A: My advice is not to be open more than 12 hours a day five days a week; that way you'd have a life. You've got to communicate daily. Don't keep score. You've got to give and take. Actually, you've just got to give and don't worry about taking. You take what you need, but you give and give and you keep giving. When both parties do that, which we do, there is no issue. You don't always have to agree on everything. You have to agree to disagree. We're not carbon copies of each other, but we complement each other.

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