Five Tips To Keep Your Relationship Strong While Building A Business Together
Planes are many times witnesses of the most extraordinary stories. When once in 1998 Samer Hamadeh and Alison Harmelin started fighting on a flight from Los Angeles to New York over who was ticketed for the aisle seat with the extra legroom, they didn't expect that love would also take off. Several years of marriage blessed with two running kids and a third one on the way were the perfect ground for the launch of Zeel, an online marketplace covering the unmet need for same-day, on demand and in-home massages that has shifted and is now reshaping the entire wellness industry. Currently, and after seven years of Zeel open 24/7, 365 days a year when all spas are closed or fully booked, the company has gone from $0 to nearly $50 mil annual business. Customers have direct, immediate and personalized access to wellbeing. Therapists enjoy of this new huge opportunity offered by the gig economy. By the end of 2019, Zeel will have paid out over $100 million to therapists in the form of massage base pay and tips. Quite a feat for a couple that has become stronger both professionally and personally by overcoming many of the common challenges and worries experienced by front-runners. These are Samer and Alison's five top tips for standing out and make it grow! 1. Take time out for family and friends It is not just enough to grant our loved ones with quality time. For quality to appear within relationships quantity is also a critical factor. We need to invest time if we want bounds to grow stable and healthy. "Running a start-up is all-consuming and can permeate your entire day. It becomes quite easy that everything you do tends to revolve around the business. So consciously investing time for people is crucial" explains Samer. "We make sure to separate from our “business spouse roles” by spending time with our children, attending their sports games, concerts, and sharing in things that separate us from work and connecting us to our family and friends." Limits are a must. "Entrepreneurship just isn’t a part-time job. The work is all-consuming, so setting boundaries is important for your family, friends, and your marriage" explains Alison. "When you are at work give your 100% to work. When you are at home, give your 100% to husband and children." YOU MAY ALSO LIKE 2. Stay active There is no right formula for self-care but keeping healthy is vital for finding the balance, especially when life is fast and busy. "We both stay active and keep moving" clarifies Samer. "It’s crucial to take care of your body and mind. I run the stairs in our apartment building and use a standing desk most of the day. I also use a Peloton bike and lift weights with a trainer. All of that exercise helps me keep my head in the game. Of course, I also get regular Zeel massages." For Alison, there is even no need for formal training. "I chase three kids around seven days a week. That activity is more than enough to keep me in fighting form. I eat well and love cooking". Find your own flexible way to stay active. Not only will you feel more energetic and positive around employees, but also benefit your marriage and family. 3. Be supportive Just like marriage, running a business takes constant communication and transparency. "Stay consistent. Check in with one another. Treat each other as equals" highlights Samer. "When we first launched the company- Alison explains- I was a TV journalist anchoring a newscast and had one foot in each world. I had a decision to make and decided to fully commit to Zeel. Those early days at the tech meetups were intimidating and intense, and it took some time for me to find my footing. But knowing I’d have my husband as my partner made it easier to embrace the change." 4. Be attentive Not all couples thrive from working together. For some people, it is naturally more straightforward than for others. However, there is no way to make it through without building it up as a team. "This means - points out Samer- paying attention to each other’s personalities and playing on each other’s strengths. Alison’s background in journalism coupled with her creativity provides her with a unique perspective to business. I’m more analytical, and we both have an excellent understanding of who can excel in any specific situation." "Growing a business requires clear communication, passion for the business, and love for each other."- reassures Alison- "We talk and frequently text throughout the day and somehow we still need another hour to catch up once we’re home." 5. Appreciate the highlights Making things grow is never easy. For each successful achievement, there is a full range of variables that didn't go the straight way. Keeping positive is part of the road. Celebrating every single step fundamental to make it through. "I love it when customers write in to say that our service is magical," says Alison. "Therapists also tell us that we’ve changed their lives by allowing them to make money, feel pride, and take care of their families. I do feel a reward when changing someone’s life for the better. That inspires me to get to work every day.