Our disagreements are different as married colleagues. Most couples fight about keeping the seat down or letting the dog out. We bicker about weird work things like putting too much rice on a roll or forgetting to order a box of cucumbers. In many ways, these spats offer new opportunities to strengthen our marriage. We now share in a profound passion for our food, our guests and our business. My coworker is my most trusted confidant.
It’s a delicate dance working as husband and wife. The restaurant is full of sharp knives and slippery floors, so symbiotic teamwork is not only helpful, it’s also safer. But it takes practice. We’re constantly finding ways to leverage our marriage to improve MiSo and also vice-versa. Here are a few of the things we’ve found that strengthen both:
Specialties: Our rare spats occur in areas where we share overlapping responsibilities. So we’ve built our own little work fiefdoms. Each person has a particular expertise – be it accounting, cooking, or marketing. We typically do not second-guess or look over shoulders in these areas. This provides a little breathing room to develop our passions and minimizes bossiness.
Address and Progress: Criticism can be a tough pill to swallow and even harder when it’s from a spouse. We address deficiencies in MiSo and our work habits quickly and professionally so that they don’t linger back home. Needed improvements at MiSo stay in the restaurant, while work talk at home focuses mostly on the positives. This enables us to go home happy, but also helps keep improving the restaurant.
Celebrate: Part of the joy of working together is sharing in success. We take time to laugh and appreciate MiSo’s small successes. We routinely dance behind the kitchen, out of view of customers, to celebrate a good day’s work.
Think Big: Like a marriage, a business is often founded with the intention of lasting forever. Focusing on the long-term helps minimize the early stumbles. We always try to remember why we started MiSo: i) to serve healthy Korean food, ii) develop a trustworthy business and iii) to spend as much time together as a couple and as colleagues.
While MiSo means a profound deal to us, it will never come before our marriage. Focusing on these things ensures that we healthily maintain both.