Episode 227: Show Notes
Today on the show we welcome Brooke Genn. Brooke is a writer, a photographer, podcast host and one part of a power couple together with her husband, Wilhelm. Brooke has had a really interesting and eclectic past and today works full-time with her spouse, building a business together as well as building a tiny home on wheels. In this episode, we are talking about what it takes to be a power couple. We get into the steps Brooke and her husband took to get her husband to come home and work with her full-time and how they are able to travel the world together and do exactly what they’ve always wanted.
We find out what Brooke has learned from working with her husband and how they have navigated this transition, having their own independence what it takes to run a business when you and your partner are so emotionally tied. A lot of us have thought on and off about working with our spouses but Brooke and her husband are successfully doing it! There is a lot to be learned from this episode about business and about relationships… even if you aren’t working together.
How Brooke and Her Husband Made The Decision To Start Working Together
A lot of us have thought on and off about working with our partners, right? But few of us actually take the plunge and do it. About a year ago, her husband was working in retail as a bakery supervisor and dealt with a lot of people. He is the nicest person ever but just didn’t enjoy working with so many people in that context. He became grumpier and grumpier with his job and finally, Brooke sat him down and he confessed to hating his job. He said he didn’t know what else to do...so they made a plan. Brooke was doing photography at the time and they started plotting out how she could amp up her business to match his income in order for him to leave his job. At first, Brooke and Wilhelm were nervous to tell their families that they would be working together - and it was a major transition for them! After a few hurdles and adjustments, they decided to add another element to their business, which was copywriting and it’s taken a long time for them to figure out roles and to see where they need to outsource. But doing the tasks that light one another up is when things seem to work smoothly. But it’s a work in progress!
Managing Personal Space and Independence When You Work With Your Spouse
Initially, Brooke thought that because she and her husband get along so well, she wanted to spend every minute of every day with him. She loves spending time with him more than anyone but in hindsight, she definitely does not want to be spending every second of every day together! And that’s okay. So, quite recently they’ve been consciously managing their time apart for at least two solid afternoons a week, where they are off doing their own thing. Wilhelm will head off and play golf, while Brooke chills at home and watches a movie – or something along those lines. Despite the challenges of working with your spouse, working together and going through this process has allowed Brooke and her husband to start The Power Couples Podcast, and they’re also writing a book to help people leave their nine to fives. The book centers around several different case studies of people who have left their nine to fives, how they did it and where they are now. Because it has been such a life-changer for them. Taking on these two extra projects have allowed them to really interrogate their own relationship dynamics and husband and wife and as business partners.
Why The Secret To A Successful Power Couple Is Being Proactive
Initially, Brooke believed that the secret to a successful power couple was communication. Although communication is extremely important, Brooke believes that what is even more powerful is being proactive. That is the key and it can be applied to almost any situation. It is looking forward together rather than being reactive to the situations of life. That is Brooke’s jam right now and what helped them to realize this was going on a couple’s retreat together. Here, they focused on dialoguing, which is more than communication, but really writing down feelings. This gave each of them a far greater insight into one another and they try to do it once a day. Another small thing they now do is ask each other, when they feel it’s necessary, “On a scale of one to ten how important is this to you?” This can be applied to so many situations. Whether it’s running an errand together or discussing a particular topic or going to a specific event. If you know how important something is to someone else, it can help you to act more appropriately, selflessly and to be more proactive and empathetic in that situation.
Healthy Masculinity and Allowing Yourself To Be Impacted By Your Partner
Abbie asked Brooke about the power couples that inspire her, and she said she was really inspired by a talk she went to by Lori and Chris Harder. She also has a few other “low-key” power couple friends that inspire her too. You might have noticed this too, but for Abbie, she noticed that a lot of the men that she has seen in power couples tend to be not as dominant as other more “traditional,” heterosexual, or patriarchal relationships. She noticed that the women in these couples seem to have more of a dominant role in the public space and online. Does this have anything to do with these couples’ success, we wonder? From Brooke’s perspective, she does come across this trait a lot and from her side, she believes that another key to being a successful power couple is having the ability to let your spouse impact you. Women, particularly, are programmed to do that. We have been conditioned to do that. Even to a point where it becomes negative. Men, at least in North American culture, have not been conditioned by society in the same way. So, when you get an open-minded man who is willing to be affected by his partner’s thoughts and ideas, that’s crazy powerful.
- How Brooke and Her Husband Made The Decision To Start Working Together. [0:02:22.1]
- Managing Personal Space and Independence When You Work With Your Spouse. [0:09:32.1]
- Why The Secret To A Successful Power Couple Is Being Pro-Active. [0:11:52.1]
- Healthy Masculinity and Allowing Yourself To Be Impacted By Your Partner. [0:27:25.1]
- Zoom out — open up the conversation to discuss what you actually want out of your job.
- Have small, daily discussions about your dreams, goals, and desires.
- Work backward from what you want to achieve, and reverse engineer it.