Being partners in The Game of Life

War, Sorry, Trouble, Boggle & Monopoly. These are all board games I have in my cabinet that could be used to describe some marriages, but not mine.    We play Partners (it’s a real game…Google it) and we will be celebrating 19 years of marriage this year.  Yep, we’re partners in life, partners in parenting three kids, but also partners our business, Gigglicious.  When people find out we are partners, the inevitable first statement is, “I could NEVER work with my husband/wife.”  To which I privately think, “You’re probably right.”  Most people wouldn’t even want to if given the chance.

We didn’t set out to be business partners, it became an obvious next step for us when the time was right.  But, the parameters and boundaries between work and home had been working themselves out in other small ventures years before we officially started Gigglicious.  The natural extension of our partnership is that our kids are part of the business too.  It has been very empowering for them to work with us and also is teaching them about being an entrepreneur.  Ideas and invention are woven into the thread of every day life in our whole family.  It fills dinner conversations or stops us in the middle of a aisle in a store.  It’s conversation in the car or on the slopes of a mountain.  It’s one common denominator, among many, in our family equation.

We used to hide the fact that we were a husband and wife team from colleagues as best we could.  We thought that is lessened our credibility or professionalism somehow.  We’ve since gotten over that.  We realized that people in our business generally seem to like the idea that we are married and work together and that our kids are involved too.  We don’t make it a point to tell them, but will gladly talk about it if they ask.  It’s funny to watch people putting two and two together when they meet us.  They see the way we interact and then usually will ask if we are married.   During a meeting at Toy Fair last week, a gentleman we were meeting with for the first time figured it out quickly. He said he saw us have a conversation by just looking at each other.  At a different meeting, another guy said that he could “see that we work well together”.  I think he spent a fair amount of the meeting trying to figure out how we run an invention business together.  However, the line between marriage and business can get blurry occasionally.  Between appointments last week, Ryan said that he had to stop himself from calling me “Hun” during our presentations. It just kinda happens.

In the same way that our business spills over to our personal life, it also crosses the other way, too.  We go on a lot of dates during lunch while the kids are in school.  It saves on babysitting expenses and we get time alone without taking any time away from the kids.  We’ve been known to see a movie or two in the middle of the afternoon with the senior citizen populous before the buses come home.  We go to Toy Fair and spend the day working hard, but get the evening out and about in New York together, like we’re on vacation.  Great job perks, right?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always Candy Land.  Yes, there are days of Battleship.  But more often than not we truly enjoy The Game of Life.