If you know anything about Shawn and me, it’s that we are both very headstrong, opinionated first-borns.  We are both naturally wired to want to be King of the Mountain.  So, to have built a successful business from the ground up while going through our first years of marriage together and not killing each other in the process is a modern miracle.

At PicFlips, we work with a lot of brides and grooms, so I thought it would be appropriate to share a couple of pieces of golden advice I have gathered along the way.

#1 – It’s okay if you both want to be King of the Mountain – just rule in your own domain.  Shawn is much better at tech support than I am, but I excel at design.  Instead of second guessing the details of the other person’s job, we focus on our own projects and let the other person deal with theirs.  However, when there is a big decision, we both have to be in agreement or we don’t do the deal.

#2 – Build each other up.  We’ve been through some crazy stuff together.  There are surprisingly a fair amount of people out in the business world who don’t have integrity or a moral compass.  If they crush others to get to the top, it doesn’t phase them at all.  I’m saying it way too nicely…there are evil people out in the world.  There. I said it.  In order to thrive in your marriage (and in business), you need to have a united front – a strong fortress to protect each other – a safe place to grow and be yourself.

#3 – Common Ground.  It has made such a difference in our marriage to be “equally yoked.”  Basically, this term comes from Biblical times where if you were plowing your field, you wanted 2 oxen that were equal in strength to work together.  If one is much stronger or larger than the other, you are not as productive and the rows of crops won’t be straight.  In current times, you could use the example of a bicycle-built-for-two.  Both going the same direction, for the same purpose.  Our faith in Christ has made all the difference in the world.  We are so thankful for the deeper connection we share through our beliefs.  Jesus has been our rock, and we give Him full credit for crossing our paths (Shawn is from Michigan, I’m from Texas and we met in Florida!), guiding us on our business decisions, and helping us to grow closer to each other.  There is no way we would be where we are today without His help.  When you are in the lovey-dovey dating phase, having common religious beliefs might not be a big deal, but let me tell you, if you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone, it’s very important!

So, I’m just going to leave you with a comment from Shawn on our way to dinner last night.  As we were reflecting on the past 5 years of marriage, he turned to me and said, “Babe, when you run a marathon, if you can get through the first 5 miles, you can do the whole thing.”  Here’s to 50 more years, Shawn!  I Love You!