How to Run a Creative Shop When Your Partner Is Also Your Spouse

After years of debate around whether or not you need it, one of our recent blog posts confirmed the press release to is dead – for good. In 2013, the PR Newswire came out with the Top 10 Reasons to Distribute a Release, most of which have now been debunked.

Yet, there are still great things that come from a press release that are effective – just not always in press release form.

How you met:

Robin: At a dinner party in Paris in 1990. Benoit proceeded to leave me little notes on the door of my seventh floor walk-up. Our first date was a thrilling motorcycle ride through Montmartre and lovely dinner at a little (French, of course) bistro. Who could resist that?

Advice to couples thinking of starting an agency:

Benoit: Complementary skills between partners are critical. Don’t try to cover the same responsibilities.

Funnily, Robin echoes the same sentiment: If you start an agency together, then carve out specific roles, communicate and stick to them. It doesn’t mean you can’t mull over ideas that concern other territory, just be mindful of who is doing what. Also, you can avoid the two-headed monster scenario by having one person who is the boss and final authority.

Benoit: Don’t bring agency matters back home. Easy to say, almost impossible to execute.

The good:

Benoit: We can be flexible with our schedules. This is essential when you have kids.

Robin: We always have something to talk about, too.

The bad:

Robin: We always have the same thing to talk about. How many times have our kids implored, ‘Can we please talk about something besides Amélie Company?’

Benoit shares Robin’s thoughts (not surprisingly): Entrepreneurs think that they breathe and live their business 24/7. Double that when your business partner is your spouse.

Any last words of wisdom?

Benoit: Avoid sharing the same passion outside of business and family lives. You need to have your own private world.

Robin: Our agency has been successful and that alone has made a huge difference in our appreciation for one another and general happiness at the agency and at home. If our business were not going well, that could potentially cause tremendous stress. Couples would do well to consider the risks of a joint venture of any kind. But it’s worth it.