Conquering Chaos

Ep 10: Working with your Spouse with Brandon Hooley

June 04, 2019 Season 1 Episode 10
Conquering Chaos
Ep 10: Working with your Spouse with Brandon Hooley
Chapters
Conquering Chaos
Ep 10: Working with your Spouse with Brandon Hooley
Jun 04, 2019 Season 1 Episode 10
Erin E Hooley
Working with your spouse can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.
Show Notes Transcript

"I could never work with my spouse!" We hear it time and time again. Working with your spouse can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. In this episode, I am joined with my husband of 15 years as we discuss how the principles of respect, boundaries and service among others play into a successful working relationship.

Speaker 1:
0:01
Welcome to the conquering chaos podcast. I'm your host, Aaron [inaudible], president and founder of multimillion dollar ecommerce children's clothing line, Bailey's blossoms. So it turns out I'm pretty good at business, but what really lights my soul on fire? It's providing other entrepreneurs and mompreneurs with the tools they need to truly succeed. So if you have a business or have one on your heart, you're in good company. Pull up a chair or dropping some ear buds and let's conquer some chaos today.
Speaker 2:
0:29
Guys, I am super excited about today's episode. My husband, I are celebrating our 15 year wedding anniversary on June 5th so in celebration of this, I have invited him to come on the show with me so we can talk about what it looks like to work with your spouse. Now it's not all butterflies and rainbows, I'll tell you right away, but we're going to dig into respect and boundaries and trust among other things. And I am so excited to have him on the show. Now before we get started, I want to do a quick listener highlight review. And this review was coming from Oceana duty and she says, I loved hearing Aaron's story as a stay at home mom. It gave me a little hope for being able to figure out this business stuff and she has six kids. Super Inspirational and useful information. Thank you so much.
Speaker 2:
1:17
Oh Shani for taking the time to leave a review. I know it might sound like such a small thing but it really does help me to know that my work is valuable and making a difference. So if you're enjoying the content I'm creating, please take a moment, write a quick review and leave me some feedback so that I can give you a shout out as well. And if you have a specific request for a topic you would like to hear more on, please email me and my team at hello at Aaron, he hooli.com and we would love to hear from you to better understand how we can help you along your journey to success in entrepreneurship. And with that, I am so excited to introduce you guys to Brandon. He is my husband of 15 years. We have six crazy children together. He's still going strong by my side and he is here in the studio with me.
Speaker 2:
2:00
So Hello Brandon. Hey, how are you sweetie? I'm good for Sharon and microphones. So we're getting all nice and cozy in here and I'll be honest, it is late in the evening because he's been helping me kind of man down the fort taking care of the kids night and we just put them to bed on summer time zone. So it's, you know, 11:30 PM and we're trying to knock this out, but we're doing this because we thought what a special way to be able to kind of come memory. Our 15 year anniversary, we've been through a lot together, especially over the past two years since he had quit his job in April. Of what year of 20 1617 2017 April of 2017 he left his corporate career of how many years with Mercedes Benz financial services? Nine years in two different states and one or two different countries. Yeah, it was. It's been a a long journey and we've had some incredible experiences, some really big growth experiences together.
Speaker 2:
2:59
Well we've learned a lot from one another and even about ourselves as individuals through this process. So first and foremost, we get this question a lot and we hear a lot from a lot of people saying, Oh my word, I can never work with my spouse. And it kind of makes us a little bit sad to consider because honestly I think that anybody could work with their styles as long as you have a proper communication and boundaries in place. So we're going to talk a little bit about what that looks like today. So first I want to delve into respect. And Brandon, I know that you made some, some major sacrifices to give up your corporate career. Very, a very promising corporate career with Mercedes Benz financial services to be able to come on board with me, to be able to really just allow me the space to fly within my own dream and then adopt it to be able to allow it to be part of your dream and your story as well. So what was that process like for you and was that an easy sacrifice for you to make?
Speaker 3:
3:57
Yeah, it was a, it was an interesting process for sure. You know, I know we had started up lots of different little businesses through the years and this one Bailey's blossoms just really caught on and it really flourished. And I know you started it when we were in Michigan and you had sacrificed a lot of your time and efforts to help me go back to graduate school. And so there were a lot of sacrifices that you provided as well through this whole journey. And then, you know, a couple of years in Michigan and all the way to the other side of the world to Brazil. And anyways, you always did that with a willingness and a collaborative spirit, uh, that we were in this together. And so for me, as this continued to transpire, it just made sense that we were given this great opportunity that you had built and that I could come on board and really assist and help with. And it just made sense. This was a dream that we wanted to accomplish together. And so yeah, there were sacrifices, but I think we've both made sacrifices in our marriage and that's really what makes it work.
Speaker 2:
5:05
No, I think that you bring up a really good point there because we really do, we both have made quite a bit of sacrifices throughout the past 15 years of our marriage to be able to make this work. And sometimes it's me and sometimes it's you. But the biggest thing is that we're not keeping a score card as to whose turn it is or who's doing the bulk of the worker who, who deserves what. And I think that that, uh, has really created a sense of cohesiveness between us where we communicate in a way that, uh, we're not bartering for position with one another.
Speaker 3:
5:39
Yeah. I think it's really comes down to mutual respect, right? We, we respect one another and what we're able to, if you will, from a business perspective, right. Bring to the table and the strengths that we each hold both business and also as husband and wife and also his father and mother. And I think a, that's just key. We always have to have that mutual respect for one another.
Speaker 2:
6:03
Yeah, absolutely. In one of the things that I think has been one of the biggest, uh, one of the biggest challenges, at least for me is when you did leave your corporate career, one of my biggest fears was that would you lose a sense of identity in this journey, this journey that I had an essence started in that you are now adopting? Um, I, I talk a lot about leading a life full of passion and I've always wanted to make sure that you had a degree of passion as well and that you didn't lose your individuality. I think that as mothers and as parents, we can give so much to our kids that we start to kind of muddy and fuzzy the lines of who we are as individuals and sometimes in working in tandem, although we do do that really well, there is always going to be that degree of that, that possibility that you could lose a degree of yourself through that partnership. And so keeping ourselves in unison together, but also keeping ourselves aware enough as individuals that we don't lose sight of who we are as individuals is also really important.
Speaker 3:
7:07
Yeah, I'd agree. I would say, uh, to answer that at the, at the beginning it took a little bit of time to kind of figure all that out really. I came in and I think helped firm up the foundation and some of those things aren't as sexy, right. It's, it's really making sure that you've got a solid business foundation moving forward and, uh, you know,
Speaker 2:
7:28
taxes. Yeah. Can the HR and
Speaker 3:
7:31
books and all those things that have to happen to make a business successful, um, and to keep it sustainable. And so I think it took a little bit of time as I was kind of feeling my way around and, uh, finding my purpose. And it doesn't happen overnight by any means, but I think it's having patience with one another and also, you know, knowing that you wanted me to be passionate about this as well. Yeah. That goes a long ways.
Speaker 2:
7:59
Yeah. And I think that that really just comes down again to that mutual respect. It's we need to be keenly aware of what our needs are, but we also need to be very service oriented to just to have our sights set on the other person. If I'm constantly inward focused, then then you would never feel fulfilled or never feel loved or appreciated. So that that constant awareness both as an individual but then also as a couple goes a long ways.
Speaker 3:
8:25
Yeah, it's key. It's key for sure. And also the willingness to kind of a step in a and whether that's being at home right and hey, I, I'm going to do the dishes tonight because Erin's got to do a podcast and that's fine, right? No, no issues there. Right, right. And kind of fill any filling in each other's gaps
Speaker 2:
8:46
and both sides, real process either because there was a big degree of adjustment there. I think it's really natural for, for us to get with within our own roles and kind of determine where we think that our time is most valuable. But to understand, you know what, because we're equally yoked in this, one of us is not a better homesteader than the other. One of us is not a better worker than the other, but we do have different strengths and we have to play off of what our strengths are and allow the other one of us to fill in on those weaknesses. And that's really what helps us to balance one another so much. But we have to really strip ourselves of a lot of pride in order to do that.
Speaker 3:
9:28
Yeah. You know, when you first, when I first got started, just the, the pure schedule, right? You leave at seven 30 in the morning, drop off the kids or whatever, and then go into the office and you don't get home till six 37 at night. And so there's all those things that take place every single day between, you know, say at seven 30 and seven 30 you're just not a part of, and then all of a sudden inserting yourself into that, oh, there's an adjustment there. And it's not, it's not to say that, uh, one's better than the other. It's just you, you just haven't, you haven't been involved in it. And so
Speaker 2:
10:04
kind of balanced too, because my goodness, having to manage your schedule amongst a bunch of other little people's schedules can be really frustrating at times.
Speaker 3:
10:14
Yeah. I'll tell Ya, you know, I don't believe in any of the business meetings that I've ever held or conferences that I've ever done. Every once in awhile you might have somebody act a little childish, but I'll tell you, a four year old can really stop you in your tracks and, uh, in many different ways, right? When you're concentrating on something and working from home and, and it's Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad, dad. Right. And, and, and so, you know, learning to say it's a stop to address, to help, you know, and, and to be patient through that takes a little bit of adjusting, but, uh, you know, I wouldn't trade it. Uh, there's also a great benefit of having that flexibility, although, right, we're doing this at 1130 at night and there have been, you've
Speaker 2:
10:58
got to work when you got to work two o'clock in the morning sometimes. Yeah. So one of the things when we're talking about respect, I think hand in hand with respect is also boundaries and that's been a major adjustment for us. I would say one of the biggest is when you work from home, especially when you work from home together, everything becomes work and you can't ever really clock in and clock out. You're always at your office because your office is at your house. And yes, we go into our, our our corporate offices as well at times, but oftentimes we're working from home and then what happens is we put the kids to bed, we're spending the evening maybe in the hot tub or just hanging out in the bedroom and we're talking about an employee issue or a team member who's struggling with something and it's all encompassing work and that can bring really hard. And then you start realizing as you're going out on dates all you're talking about his work, you're talking about work at home and in the kitchen and w at the dinner table and when you're supposed to be off duty and you never really allow yourself to be off duty because it's become your life. And so those boundaries are incredibly vital and important to maintaining that. Just to be able to keep your relationship fresh and allow yourself to turn things off and the opportune moments.
Speaker 3:
12:22
Yeah, I mean there's various different pieces of life that fulfill us. A part of that is you're working, you know, your passions, hobbies, your relationships, all those things. And when they kind of all mixed together and one of them gets the most attention, uh, it can be a little bit difficult for sure. I mean, some of the things that I think that we've done that have helped in that, and again, we're not perfect. We, we have our struggles, but we're working really hard and we do well together is a couple of things that I can think of. One Sundays we really try to put work away. I mean, that's really something, but we really try to not talk work at all on Sundays. That's one thing that's been, you know, beneficial kind of that
Speaker 2:
13:07
I'm very clear defining boundary for us.
Speaker 3:
13:10
Yeah. You know, another one that has been great in, in kind of growing the relationship is, you know, we started that food box program where, you know, we would buy the pre packaged meals that we would cook together. And that was fun. You know, it's funny, I've heard it said food is a great unifier and it really is. Whether it's, you know, thanksgiving meal with the whole family type of thing, or even just, you know, yeah. A family meal or just the two of us. Right? Well we'll make the kids something and then you and I will, you know, make something a little bit different than we'll all eat together and it really becomes a unifier, which I really appreciate. The other other big one that at first I had a little bit of difficulty with was this whole Facebook live thing. You know, that was something just real natural for you and you're a great within. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
13:57
I don't know if I would say natural for me. Well I've, I've forced myself into it for sure, but,
Speaker 3:
14:02
and I think that's yet right. I think that's really it. Yeah. Everybody's or worst critic and I've been in front of, you know, hundreds of people on stage with previous jobs and things and to, to sit there live on Facebook. At first it was a little bit intimidating and now actually enjoy it. I enjoy, you know, spending the time with Ya and uh, honestly it's going to turn out to be a great, um, if you will journal for our children one day, look back at mom and dad and you know, all the things that they did together and what they were going through. So
Speaker 2:
14:38
it's true. You know, one of the things that I, that we recently had a really good conversation about, as you know, when we share this office space here in our home office where our desks are adjacent to another, and I'm both a creative and analytical person, which is great in some areas, but can be very challenging and others. So, for example, if I'm working on a creative project and you're working on something analytical and you turned to me and asked me a question and there would be this hard adjustment for me to pull myself out of creativity mode and over into analytical mode and I would get super frustrated and we had this great conversation about how really we take advantage of the opportunity that we have to be able to be so close in proximity to each other and oftentimes when you're with a spouse and when you are working together in such close knit, uh, circumstances that you treat each other with a degree of casualness that you would never treat your other team members with.
Speaker 2:
15:36
And so what we discussed was how we needed to create boundaries and they were really grounded in respect to say, you know what, it's not appropriate or respectful of me to undervalue what your currently working on, to interrupt you mid process just because I can just because I'm comfortable just because you're here. Because the reality is if you were anybody else, I would schedule a meeting. I would set aside some specific time to be able to have that conversation. And what we realized we were doing was we were in essence really making one another very ineffective and inefficient because we were constantly interrupting one another's work flows because it was comfortable and that degree of comfort only resided within our relationship because of our marriage and because of the long history that we have together. But it can create a great degree of tension and frustration when you're not mindful of those boundaries and not providing one another with the same respect that you give to everybody else within your organization.
Speaker 3:
16:42
Yeah, that's definitely a good point. Uh, we did have a great conversation about that and, and it can be a little bit frustrating when a right, the ease of being able to just swinging the chair around and get an answer really quickly so we can move on sometimes is the quickest, quickest approach. Yeah. And you know, you do and I think understanding that there are times where productivity is most efficient if left alone. And that's a joint productivity because my productivity would be much more efficient for me if I interject and if I say, Hey, uh, what w what do you think about this appointment? Or, or is it okay if we meet at this time with the builder or whatever? Right? Cause I want to be able to then respond to the builder and continue on with my efficiency, my productivity. But taking a step back and understanding that it's our productivity as a joint effort here, that if you're doing a creative, a design or getting something ready for, you know, a Facebook launch of, uh, whatever, you know, whatever happens to be, that's just as important as the builder wants to meet us and do a walkthrough of the warehouse.
Speaker 3:
17:58
Right?
Speaker 2:
17:59
They easy to feel like our things are the most urgent things too. And so that, that just comes down to that and mutual respect thing. Again, understanding that I don't always know all of the different various weeds that you're into at any given moment, but I need to trust that you are using your time effectively and, and efficiently to enough. So to the degree that my interrupting would not be respectful of your time without proper notice.
Speaker 3:
18:27
Yeah. And I think understanding that each of us plays an important role in this is key. And then also carving out the time. I mean cause you do have to do, whether you're in a corporate world or otherwise, there are decisions that have to be made in tandem. Right. And you know, you do need to carve out that space and when that time is to step away, you've got to be open to, okay, let's knock out a couple of things here so that we both can. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
18:52
And I think that's one of my biggest struggles too, is that I get so focused on where I'm at. It's really hard for me to come out of it. And that's probably been a big struggle for you. I know that there had been times where you've just been like, what in the world? Because our, our work flows and our processes are so different from one another and really trying to to communicate through that, to really understand what it is that makes us tick, what it is that makes us work really well. What are, what are genius zones are, and to be able to respect one another's boundaries, to be able to get in those genius zones even if we don't understand them. Because oftentimes we don't. We are completely different people and, and I think most of the things that we do in most of the ways that we think are quite opposite as well, it's really easy.
Speaker 2:
19:41
I think if you really take a step back, you'll notice that oftentimes what you're giving to your spouse is what you wish you could receive, not necessarily what they want to receive. So we need to constantly do checks and balances. Am I treating you the way that you want to be treating, treated, or am I treating you the way that I want you to treat me? Because if we're both treating each other the way that we want to be treated, we're both going to be really frustrated with one another. So we have to constantly keep that line of communication open and be honest with you with one another when those moments arise.
Speaker 3:
20:13
Yeah, and I may be off here, but I think in our experience we've really seen that, you know, when people say, oh, I'd be so rough working with a spouse. Well in that life where I'm gone from seven to seven, you kind of have these two separate, uh, I wouldn't say lives, but you're doing two separate things and then you come together and you talk a little bit about it, but then you kind of have this third process that right, that you're joined, that that's separate. And then you engage with that and you engage with your family and such. And, and when you, when you strip all that away and it's all mixed together, you really do, you really do strip it all away. And yeah, as you strip things away, you get to the core of things. And as you get to the core of things that really, uh, I think you said it right, pride needs to be also stripped away, right.
Speaker 3:
21:03
As you work together and, and jointly, uh, become one in that purpose. Bringing two sets of experiences, skills, um, all of those things. Mindsets. Yeah. Says all of it. But as you become one in that, that's when success happens. And again, it's not easy. Yeah. I mean there've been plenty of times where, you know, we've, I wouldn't say we would, we don't really argue, but we've had some pretty strong beliefs in one way or another. And yeah, it's been, we've had to work through those things. Right. You know, oftentimes, uh, w you're working late into the night and so sleep deprivation and helps kids and all those different things, all the different complexities Kinda, sometimes you could feel like it piles on and you just have to always take a step back and keep it in perspective. That's right. And kind of re rethink, okay, what's going on here and what's really the ultimate goal.
Speaker 2:
22:04
Right. And again, I think it really comes down to, as we've touched on respect and trust and communication and those three components really help to be able to facilitate that healthy relationship regardless of the struggles and the challenges that are bound to come your way. And we've, we've been through quite a hefty past year were stress, has really a bounded, lots of changes, lots of pivoting, lots of big obstacles that we never could have foreseen. And yet we've had many conversations where we stepped back and we say, man, this has been a really tough go. And yet we're still strong together. We're still making it together. And that keeping that in perspective, let's you know that, you know what, there's always something to celebrate even in the struggle in the hard times.
Speaker 3:
22:57
Yeah. And I think it's really, again, it gets to pride, right? So when you're in the struggles and the hard times, it's like, well, this isn't fair. You know, we're working hard. Why is this happening? You know, what, what's going on here? And we have to balance each other. I mean, there's turns, there are times where, sure. Where I've been like, Callie, how in the world are we going to do this? Right? And you've said, hey, you know what? We really don't have it that bad. And I think there's been other times where you're like, wow, this is really, really a lot getting me. And the same thing, we really each other up.
Speaker 2:
23:32
Well, and even tonight, right? I think I heard Peyton say, I'm, I was in the bedroom and I hear paint and go, dad, when are we eating dinner? Mom said that she was going to cook dinner two hours ago and I'm like, Oh, snap. And he goes, it's okay, I'll make dinner, I'll help mom out. And, and then I was just able to just kind of relax and take it easy because I knew that we were balancing each other in that moment. And that's, those are the moments where I just go, man, I couldn't do this by myself.
Speaker 3:
24:01
Was funny. We were walking through, uh, the Dallas market center the other day where we have a show. And I remember setting up or late nights, I mean, two, three in the morning. And I mean multiple times trying to, you know, get things to go and at the, you know, you're just dog tired. And the other day we were there and I think it still was, it was probably nine or 10 10 o'clock at night was it was
Speaker 2:
24:26
you were like, oh wow. Remember when dot, dot. Dot. But, but you look back on those times, even those stressful times with a degree of fondness because you grew together in those times. And I think that that we've had a lot of growth in the past two years now. I think that we have learned to communicate to a degree that we never had before to where I think that there was a degree of, and there always is when you, when you only are with each other for a couple of hours a day, it's really easy to kind of put your best face on, so to speak. But when you're together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at some point you just can't hide it anymore. So, I mean, I think Brandon's seeing me, you know, he's like, Oh wow, you really, you really staying in those yoga pants again today, Hummer. You're not going to shower again.
Speaker 3:
25:16
Danny wonderful office where we have two guests and I swear, Oh God, I love my bed. I computer
Speaker 2:
25:25
do. I love it. And he comes up into the office a lot of times, but that's probably because my, my desk is such a disastrous mess and his is pristinely clean. Actually. It's not super clean right now, but it's way cleaner than mine is. But all that to say, you know, we really have, we really have learned and grown a lot together within the past two years since we've been working together. And through that process we've also grown as individuals. And so man, it's been, it's been a really, it's been a really great, crazy whirlwind. Stressful, chaotic, wonderful time.
Speaker 3:
26:01
Yeah. And I would say even before those two years, right. There are times, you know, living in Brazil, in this foreign place as a family really helped our family grow too because we were, I think, I think really what it gets down to is when you're taking out, taken out of your comfort zone, that's when you grow together the best. When you're out of the comfort zone, you're together, you're, you're, you're working through it together. Not only does it create memories, but it creates bonds and as you do it, yeah, communicate
Speaker 2:
26:35
with one another as long as you're willing to communicate. And the biggest piece of advice I have is we kind of wrap this up is while you are communicating, you have to do it with no filter. And that doesn't mean yelling and screaming and being crazy. That means respectfully saying everything that's on your mind holding nothing back. Because I'll be honest, every single time I've ever tried to drop a hint so that Brandon can pick it up and just figure it out, because if he loves me, he'll figure it out. It has been a disaster because it's, and to be honest, it's not fair. It's not fair to expect that the people in our lives, especially the people we love the most, are going to figure out the unsaid things that were not willing to say. We need to be willing to communicate 100% openly and honestly and respectfully. And that's a two way street. And as you do that, that's when those real relationships are forged.
Speaker 3:
27:32
I agree. And you know, one of the other things that you're really good at and all that, most of the time it's not even warranted, but you're really good at apologizing. Right? So the next morning after a really late night, a discussion he'll hate, you'll say, hey, I'm so sorry honey, I was really tired. Or you know, thanks for listening to me or whatever. And that really means that, that, that speaks volumes in a relationship when it, especially when maybe it's not so much warranted that your companion is willing to say, Hey, I'm sorry. You know what's most important is us. And what means most to me is you and I. It does, it does. And that's, that's key, right? Whether you're working together full time or whether you're, you know, even see each other a couple of hours, you know, during the day or, or whatever that is. Right. I think that's, uh, one of the building blocks to a, to what's been strong and successful for us.
Speaker 2:
28:34
Awesome. Well, thank you for being willing to come out of your comfort zone again and come onto the podcast with me is great. It's, it's fun to have you be a part of this, uh, in, in real time rather than just having to listen to it on the backside. So,
Speaker 3:
28:49
yeah. Well you do a great job, sweetie, and it's been a pleasure. Thanks. Thank you all for listening to us and listening to Aaron and all she's doing to try to help everyone and I really, yeah,
Speaker 4:
29:00
just to very proud of you. Thanks for having me.
Speaker 1:
29:05
Thank you for taking the time to connect with me here on the conquering chaos podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, will you please take a moment to leave a review? It's the fuel for my fire and lets me know that my efforts to enact change and broaden your perspective of what's possible matter. Thank you so much for your support. If you want more content like this, don't forget to subscribe and connect with me on social media@aaronaweekorataaronequally.com. Have a fantastic day. Get out there and congress and chaos.