Maintain Good Communication
Williamson and Horst aren’t just close by blood; they work daily in close proximity to each other, setting up at one or the other’s home together when they’re not out in the field. What’s their secret to keeping the peace?
“I think the communication piece is number one — when you have things that are out in the open, and you’re honest and transparent about how you’re feeling and what you are expecting, versus what you are assuming the other person is expecting,” Horst says. “I think that communication, not just in families but in any business, is really key.”
“This is a little bit where there’s a blur, but I don’t see it as a burden,” Williamson says, adding that “you should not ever forget why you felt that partner was going to be good for the business.”
Working together in one home with other family members around can even be a boon. “Sometimes we ask our other family members who own businesses to weigh in some [project or business components] as well,” Horst says. And, she adds, “I think we’re both pretty good at knowing when it’s family time and when it’s work time.”
But family time doesn’t always have to mean no work discussions at all. “Because the nature of the business is creative, creativity doesn’t necessarily have hard boundaries,” Williamson says. So if her daughter, for example, saw something interesting for a project that day, it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss it at dinner, even with the kids and husbands around. “I don’t feel like that’s crossing a line during family time,” she says. “I just think creativity needs to flow, and it flows.”