Couple in Business: Megan & Travis Baird
1. First, can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
We’re Megan & Travis Baird, co-founders of Visualized Copy. We are freelance email copywriters for coaches, service providers, and ecommerce brands. We live in San Antonio, TX with our four cats.
2. How did you decide to go into business together?
Travis: We have both run businesses from home since 2016. I worked as a mindfulness and productivity coach for entrepreneurs and Megan worked as a freelance writer. So there’s always been a lot of business talk at home. We were both comfortable with giving each other feedback and brainstorming ideas together.
Megan: I had thought about working with Travis, but I was never really sure how that would look. If anything, I thought that I might wind up running the marketing and copywriting sides of Travis’s coaching business. But that’s not how it ended up working out!
In the fall of 2019, I was taking a course called Brain Camp all about the psychology of copywriting. The first module was about conducting better interviews and I thought that Travis might find it interesting for his coaching business.
Well, turns out it was enough to get him interested in copywriting! We briefly entertained the idea that he might set up shop as a copywriter and target a different niche. But after a few long conversations, we decided that it made more sense for us to team up and work together.
3. What is your favorite thing about working together?
There have been a lot of positives, but the best has been learning and embracing each other’s strengths. It’s kind of amazing how quickly things get done because we’re working together. And because we’re each honest about our strengths and weaknesses, no one has to do the work that they find really tedious.
It allows each of us to spend more time in our Zone of Genius and there’s this sense that a lot of the marketing work is magically happening behind the scenes. So not only is the work getting done faster, but the result is higher quality than if we were each running our businesses separately.
This might sound like any supportive business partnership. But we’ve found something unique about having your life partner as your business partner which is that it feels safe to be vulnerable. We can talk about anything and we truly have a “there are no bad ideas or stupid questions” approach to conversation.
4. What is the biggest challenge about working together?
There are definitely times when neither one of us wants to be The Boss. This can lead to us tiptoeing around topics like estimated timelines, deadlines, or any status updates.
We’ve only been in business together for about nine months, so this part is still a work in progress. It boils down to working on our communication. Logically, we each know that it’s ok to ask something like, “When do you think the copy for our quiz will be done?” without it sounding like a micromanaging boss.
It’s just harder to pull that off when it’s two people-pleasers who don’t want to be the bad guy ;)
5. What miscommunications/obstacles/difficulties/evolutions have you overcome to get where you are today as a couple in business?
The big one has been developing an understanding of what “work-life balance” looks like when you’re married to your business partner. In the early stages of planning this business, we were both really excited to talk about our marketing plans or web copy ideas. That meant that there wasn’t much distinction between work time and “couple time.”
We were breaking all the rules that say that you have to leave your work at the office.
Honestly, we’re ok with breaking that rule. We do have some pretty strong work boundaries that help us. We end our work days by 6:00 pm in time to cook dinner. And we both feel strongly about not working on weekends.
But no one is in trouble for bringing up marketing ideas while cooking dinner or talking about some cool new email software on a date night. We’re married and we work together, so it doesn’t feel right to try to force these parts of our life into separate boxes.
That being said, if one of us has had a stressful day, it’s totally cool to say, “Hey. I need a break from work talk tonight.”
In that case, it’s Netflix and kitty cuddles to the rescue!
6. Productivity: How have you set up your life to stay productive while working together?
We haven’t systematized our internal work communications yet. We each have our own preferences for productivity systems and tools. In the beginning, we tried to get everything organized on Trello for our business. It worked for startup tasks like getting our website up and creating a lead magnet, but we both stopped using it when we took on client work together.
Our main collaborative resource is a shared Google Drive. We keep all of our internal resources there (contract templates, social media drafts, newsletter copy, cold pitches) as well as our client work. We’re both in there constantly and we leave a lot of comments on Google Docs to communicate!
We typically start our day with a lowkey verbal check-in. It’s just a way to get a reminder of “What’s on your calendar?” or “What are a couple of things you’re working on?” After that, we’re pretty independent and tend to get our work done. Of course, if one of us is ever stuck or needs a consult, we can just send a message on Google Hangouts (technically we could walk into each other’s office, but a message is so much faster!).
7. Division of labor: How do you divide the labor in your business & household?
We’ve really split our tasks up a lot!
For work, Travis takes the lead on social media content, client outreach, sales calls, client and VOC interviews, and keeping our SOPs up to date. Megan takes the lead on email marketing, drafting copy, bookkeeping/finances, and developing new offers.
Those assignments all feel really natural because they relate to our strengths. Megan is happiest dreaming up big ideas and Travis excels at creating the systems that bring ideas to life.
We’ve been splitting household tasks for a long time, too. This is a little bit less about strengths and more about stuff that has to get done. Travis handles yard work, trash duty, loading/unloading the dishes, and (most importantly!) making coffee every morning. Megan meal plans, goes to the grocery store, and feeds the cats.
We always cook dinner together, we deep clean the house together on weekends, and we do a 50/50 split on scooping litter boxes (4 cats = lots of scooping!).
8. Any parting words or recommendations for other couples thinking about designing a lifestyle combining work + love?
We avoided going into business together for a while because there’s that cliche of “don’t do business with family.” Even now, some people respond like, “Oh, I’d get a divorce if I tried to do what y’all are doing!”
We know that it’s not for everyone. A lot of our business works because we have complementary skill sets and personality types. If we were too similar or too different, we might not be working together. But if you’re both on board and you’re interested in exploring the idea of working together, give it a shot!
You can talk honestly about your initial concerns. Because there are some big ones!
Will the business fail?
Will the marriage fail?
Will we discover after eight years of marriage that we’re actually incompatible?
Talking through that in the beginning will be good practice for many other business conversations to come! But don’t avoid it just because of fear or because some old article in Forbes says it’s a bad idea.
You know your relationship better than anyone else.
9. Where can folks find you online?
Are you a couple in business?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram @alexandsarabeth for a chance to be featured! We'd love to learn more about your story of balancing entrepreneurship... and love.