I thought that this Wednesday, I would report back about my partner and my first week working together. Was it bumpier than I expected, yes, but that's because I'm handing off a big part of something that I've built from the ground up and I have a lot of expectations. She's super organized and really into streamlining processes, so when I had to share how I'd been doing things and when she'd make her quizzical "Really, Sarah?" face, I'd get so annoyed. It is interested to see what habits (good, bad, or otherwise) we develop when we're doing things on our own. Breaking down how long I spend on email each day, how often I email clients back and forth, how long I spend editing photos vs. shooting and other interesting tidbits were all brought to light last week and I felt very exposed. But I am committed to working smarter and not harder, so I sucked it up and we made some changes. Things you can expect to see from Portraits To The People in the upcoming months - a fancy new intake form that is actually a Google Form that helps me collect all of the information I need from each client the first round of communications, a deposit system for larger gigs, more Tweets, my wedding website needs some revamping big time and will be ready to go for January and I'll have required lunch breaks and yoga classes throughout the week.
The most interesting thing that happened to us was a debate about job titles. We've gone back to figure out why the words we were going to use for her job description were so loaded - I liked the word assistant, but she hated it because it assumes what she's doing is less important than what I am doing and she thought that manager was appropriate, but I was against that because it assumes that I can't take care of my own life! Yes, we're both bringing a lot of emotions to the table to determine what she's actually doing for the business that was mine, but is now becoming ours, so yeah, it sucked. But what was at the heart of it was this idea of equality. We have it in our romantic relationship and we're both going to try really hard to keep equality in our professional working relationship too. Hard stuff, right? YES, but we're committed to making this work, so stay tuned. The things that working together really did that I loved was that we talked a lot, we had more meals together, mini-meetings on the couch and we even went to a coffee shop to work together for a few hours. This new together time is sweet because with our new schedules, it has felt like we were two ships passing in the night, but now, she's right in the other room and if I feel like sneaking out for an hour to grab ice cream, I have a hot date!