Wow, these are some nutty times. On the spectrum of “things we don’t plan for,” COVID-19 goes to 11. For a business owner, the questions range from, “How do we adjust to these times?” to, “Can we even survive this?” And, occasionally, “When will we be able to buy toilet paper again?” We understand. Being in marketing, Mr. Parker and I have recently been offering business advice and doing interviews on the smart strategies for odd times.
Unknowns abound, particularly when you’re responsible for your family as well as your business. Yet, here’s where we can have a leg up. (CUE: SAPPY MUSIC.) Every night, after Mr. Parker and I have done all we think we can do, and after we’ve rethought everything probably more than we should, and we’ve gotten to the point of crispy around the edges, I look over at my business partner cum teammate cum husband and think, This is a rugged time—but also a special time. Team Parker is getting tighter and stronger. We’re working at least as hard. But we’re hiking together, biking together, eating together, watching too many documentaries and stand-up specials together, and hugging a lot more.
On social media, we’ve seen our CoupleCos posting their own team time. The Fitlows, Pavitts, McMillens, Tituses, Owens and others—all sharing the together time. And yes, many folks are dealing with business changes and uncertainties. But just as many are sharing moments of quiet joy, silly togetherness and team strength. As Team Parker often says, we are each other’s foxhole buddy. And when we emerge from all this weirdness (because yes, we will), foxhole buddies emerge stronger than before.
So, the mayhem is running its course. Meanwhile, we remind ourselves that we are The Lucky Ones. And as The Lucky Ones, do we have a responsibility to look over the top of the foxhole, and help others that are going it alone? That question can only be answered individually.
For now (as you may have noticed), Team Parker is suspending regular interview episodes to offer a series of Mayhem Marketing Minutes. These are bite-size episodes are highlighting simple marketing and evolutionary strategies for navigating the social weirdness. If you’ve met us, you know that we’ve been in marketing since the womb. It felt like this is one small way we can help. They're on our shows page as well as our YouTube Channel. We’re bringing on guests with expertise in marketing, psychology, real estate—who knows, we may even reach out to you to share your intel. And if you’d like to reach out to us, go for it. We’d love to hear from you.
The best to you and your foxhole buddy. And remember: Lucky us. Lucky you.
Hope that helps,
Is it a fine way to lose friends & family?
When a small business is looking for help, it’s so easy to turn to the people closest to us. A friend, a sibling, an old college roommate. But…are we talking about the best person for the job? That question doesn’t get asked nearly enough. What people do tend to focus on is, “Who’s close by?” Or, “I know So-And-So isn’t working right now.” Hey, your cousin may be the perfect person to do your books, but did you look around? Yes, it can work. Dale & Mark Shaw of Ultratech in Jacksonville Florida (episode #64) hired their son to do the company’s marketing. And as people who’ve spent our careers in advertising, we think he’s doing an outstanding job.
Sadly, that seems to be an exception and not the rule.
Not only might your family member not do the job to the level you require, there’s every chance they’re going to dredge up old family issues and drama. If so, you’re going to face the unenviable task of figuring out how to let them go without causing a family feud. When it was time to take their business to the next level, Alicia & Oscar Gonzalez of The Media Relations Group in Miami (episode #62) were faced with having to let family go. Unpleasant indeed. And it makes for a challenging Thanksgiving. Joseph & LeAnn Jackson of LeAnn’s Cheesecakes (episode #73) learned the hard way after hiring a friend. They went through a tight financial patch, and hard feelings came into play. It was the end of a long friendship.
Bottom line, it’s like we all learned by watching The Godfather: “This is business. It’s not personal.” The problem is, as soon as you hire friends and family, it’s personal.
Hope that helps.
Are Blaine & Honey Parker Relationship Experts?
Hardly. And does the world really need more of those? Instead, we are a couple who have worked together for over 20 years. We've learned a few things along the way. And now, we're traveling the nation interviewing other couples in business together. Join us for the ups, downs, ins, outs, laughs, tears (even though Honey believes Blaine has no tear ducts), and the inevitable, practical insights into being a better couple--in life, business and everything.