Editor’s Note: We have started www.marriedtoyourbusiness.com where we dive into all the behind the scenes of our online business and how we generated over $150k this year.
Hey Dustin here again 🙂
Lacey and I have been building this blog into a business together over the last almost 6 years. We thought it might be a good time to share what building a blog and running a business as a couple is like. Lacey’s regularly scheduled recipes will be back real soon – like tomorrow – I promise.
Well, way back when, I recommended to Lacey when she was trying to grow her personal chef business that she should start a blog so people could get to know her and the way she cooks. My hope was that it would lead to more business for her.
When Dustin first suggested I start a blog to let people get to know me, I really didn’t even know what a blog really was. Was it like a forum? What was a forum, really? I had A LOT to learn. But, I really wanted to make my business work so I went out of my comfort zone (something I would learn was necessary like ALL of the time) and learned so much. I have failed a lot but have learned even more along this journey and I’m so thankful for Dustin and his help to push me to start this whole thang from the very beginning as well as his support even today. – Lacey
She agreed and I set up a website for her and I thought that’s that. But there were style tweaks. Design tweaks. Special plugins we needed, etc. lol.
Then, we set up another site…and another.
The online stuff took off and the personal chef business never really did. And the rest is, well, history.
What Are Your Roles?
Over the years, this has changed a bunch. In the beginning, it was all Lacey doing content. She did all the images, recipes, posts, social media, everything. I did the tech stuff she needed and that was it. However, over the last 2 years, we have really developed a much better system which looks like this:
Currently, Lacey: 40-60 hours/week
- everything recipe related
- all photography
- video prep and being on camera
- most of the writing
- comments on the blog and social media and reader emails
- creating products like Take Back Your Health Academy and No-Fail Meals
Currently, Dustin: 20-30 hours/week (that’s just for A Sweet Pea Chef – there is also time for Married To Your Business)
- all advertising
- all affiliate marketing
- some content like this here post
- all tech stuff
- project manager (decides what to next woohoo)
How Do You Communicate About The Business?
With little kiddos in the house the entire time we have been working on A Sweet Pea Chef, we have had to work in separate rooms most of the time.
We all work from home. Sean (my brother and our team’s video producer) from his place and Lacey and I from our house.
I usually work from my office when I work my normal job or when I do ASPC stuff (in fact, I may or may not be in my office right now).
Lacey is either in our room next to the Hunter’s bed, used to be Savannah’s and used to be Jordan’s, or she is on the couch. Apparently she hates the chair I bought her in the office 🙂
For immediate communication we use Slack (hands down the best tool). I love it. For longer, more formal stuff, like plans for the month or year, we use email. For to-do lists and content planning, we use Evernote.
How Does This Affect Your Relationship?
The hardest part of running a business from home is juggling when to spend time with kids, family, etc… Sean and I have another brother, Chase, and my mom lives near us so, if we talk business all the time, then it isn’t really fair to the family time lol.
In the beginning, Lacey and I used to argue a lot more. I was working at a job that required a 1 hour commute, making less money, and she was at home with the kids and it was pretty stressful.
We would fight over workload and expectations. Over time, though, we have fought through that I have a better understanding of what can reasonably get done and so I don’t expect Lacey to juggle as many tasks. Lacey has a better understanding of what it really takes to build a business so her dedication and commitment has improved as well.
As a result, besides the occasional dumb stuff most married couples argue over, there isn’t much we fight about anymore lol. And usually it’s a direct result of being tired or stressed about juggling life and a business. Go figure.
We try to exercise together every morning so we have some time not kid or business related. But, in general, Lacey and I spend a ton of time together — more than most couples — and we are both pretty stoked that our lives have worked out in such a way that we can do that.
I absolutely LOVE my life, my job, my family, and all we have created for ourselves. I am so excited to have ASPC be a team now and to see al the progress we’ve made together and all that’s waiting for us. The fact that I get to work from home, along with Dustin, make it to the gym with him every morning, help people with providing healthy, easy recipes, and make my own schedule (for the most part!) is incredible and I wouldn’t give up any of the hard work I/we do every single day to keep it running (relatively) smoothly. While there have been times when it was hard to push forward, when it felt like the business would never take off, we kept going and it has paid off. – Lacey
The Best Thing About Working As A Couple
While working as a couple isn’t mandatory to create a successful business, it has been super awesome (if you want a FREE community for this, we created Married to Your Business).
It lets us push each other to learn new things outside our comfort zone as well as compliment each other well with our different skill sets.
I honestly never knew how much hard work I was capable of before working as a team with Dustin. I used to think I was a hard and dedicated worker when I was a social worker for child welfare. WRONG. Now, I understand how much time, thought, energy, and hours go into making a business and a blog successful. I also know, from all our trials and errors, from all our wasted time on projects that never got off the ground, from all the lessons we’ve learned, how to do it (mostly) right. It’s all about making that best choice you can, putting yourself out there, failing fast, and learning from those failures that makes you successful. – Lacey
What’s It Like Now That Sean Is A Part Of The Team?
Adding my brother to the team a couple years ago to assist with our new video channel definitely added some new dynamics. Sean adds a new skill set to the team we didn’t have before and has allowed us as a company to grow faster now that we can create videos. There are some interesting dynamics being a part of a three person team when you’re a couple.
We usually all get along great except sometimes Sean skips leg day so we have to make fun of him (insert obligatory pic of Sean’s tiny legs).
Editor’s Note: Lacey, here. I censored Sean’s tiny leg’s no one wants to see that. Instead, here’s a pic of Dustin and me at a local coffee shop. Mmm almond milk lattes…
So, what’s Sean’s role for ASPC?
Currently, Sean: 30-40 hours/week (that’s just for A Sweet Pea Chef )
- all video filming (we produce at least 7 videos a week)
- all video editing
- any creative design work we need (like the fancy new website layout)
Online Business Resources Mentioned:
Married To Your Business
You guys are so awesome! Lacey, Sean and I want to thank you for letting us help you on your journey to delicious, healthy food choices 🙂 Without you, this wouldn’t be possible.