You’re a Boss, He’s Your Husband. Doing it together

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omen continue to reach new heights in corporate settings, in business, and around the world. There is still much work ahead to see full equality and it’s great to see organizations designed to help women thrive; Grit & Virtue being one of them. However, you hear very little about the benefits of doing it together as husband and wife. Without a healthy perspective the feminist movement, which is noble, could mislead people to believe that women should do it alone. Men play a significant role in helping bring down barriers and in propelling women forward. She shouldn’t do it alone. We were designed to do it together.

At the end of every year my wife and I try to get away for a few days to reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming one. We reflect on all areas whether it be career, life, ministry, or business. This past December we spent a week in beautiful Lake Tahoe, and the theme of our conversations seem to always circle back to Grit & Virtue. We knew that 2015 would be a year of risk, learning, and being obedient to the mission ahead. But I also knew that that it would be a year that would challenge my role as a leader and as husband in a different way.

Since I can remember, Charlena has supported me in everything I’ve decided to pursue. From getting my license at 16 to helping me explain to her father why the tail light of his brand new car was busted after we took it for a spin. She’s helped me in my business endeavors, career transitions, moving across the country, and working through our faith journey. Over the last couple of years I’ve seen her heart bloom for what is now Grit & Virtue, and I’ve decided to be there with her every step of the way. I’ve learn so much about marriage, about the true meaning of becoming “one”, and about doing life together in all aspects of it. To co-labor.

5 Lessons I’ve learned from working with my wife

 

The WHY has to be mutual

We’re two different people. We have different gifts and talents. She’s a woman, I’m a man. She likes to cuddle, and well I admit it’s not too bad. But our hearts share similar burdens. It breaks for the same things. And when the WHY of what you’re building aligns with your hearts, whether it be in business or in ministry, then it naturally becomes a shared vision. A shared vision keeps us both moving full speed ahead.

 

Her weaknesses are my weaknesses

For a period of time in our relationship I didn’t realize that my wife was actually a reflection of me. That if she struggled in a certain area, then it was my struggle as well. That if she was was afraid of getting on stage to give a presentation, that it was my responsibility to help her overcome that. It also works the other way around. This simple lesson has become so significant in our marriage. Shawn Carter puts it another way, “What ever she lacks, I’m right over her shoulder. When I’m off track mami is keeping me focused.”

 

Be real and sprinkle some grace

When starting a business or ministry there are going to be many areas for growth and there will definitely be new territories you’ll have to cross together. I have also become her default sounding board. So yes, that means that I really have to listen. Put down my phone, which I still struggle with at times, and be able to give my undivided attention to then follow up with real honest feedback. I’ve learned that giving feedback with a little bit of grace goes a long way.

 

Know when & how to pull her back

Especially at the beginning of a new venture there are so many things to do. She’s busy from morning until night. It’s hard to not focus on “work” when your heart beats for it. However, it’s also easy to burn out. I have to know when it’s time to pull her back from work to prevent burnout. Setting up healthy boundaries around “work time” helps make the journey a good one. We have to continually remind ourselves that we’re in a marathon, not a sprint.

 

Find and fill in the gaps

At times there are going to be certain areas that I can’t and shouldn’t be helping with. However, I’ve learned to help find and fill in the gaps with the skills and experience I do have. I may not be able to help in every area, and that’s okay, because I can execute better when I’m working in areas that are naturally fitting to me. The important part is to be authentically invested in her and in the vision.

I know most of the readers of Grit & Virtue are women, however for the fellas out there I hope some of these are relevant and helpful. Ladies, be sure to invite your husbands on the journey. Working together as husband and wife can and should be very rewarding. Make sure the vision is a mutual one and that the WHY behind what you do rings true for the both of you. We were created to create together.

What are some lessons you’ve learned working with your spouse? What are some challenges you foresee when women step into leadership roles? Do you think husbands and wives should work together?

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  • Sophia

    Gosh what a great post! Your lessons are definitely applicable to me and my marriage. It’s great to hear from a man’s perspective. I believe that marriages, by nature, calls us to work together in all areas. In our current culture women are now working and leading in many areas, however at home we still need our husbands to lead us. Thanks for posting!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      @disqus_0JDHqa7Kmj:disqus Thanks for reading! I went out on a limb for this post, but I’m glad it’s relevant.

  • Randryia Houston

    Robert Ortiz you are such a King!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Ahh shucks 🙂

  • Grass and Flower

    Loved it! My husband and I are in ministry together, singing, writing, traveling etc and it’s not always easy to work together! This year God has also been showing us how to lead together, while still understand our roles as husband and wife. It gets very challenging at times because of our strong personalities and differences. But we’ve learned that with respecting and with helping one another, each day gets better and a new victory is won. Thank you for your knowledgeable words! Love what this company is doing ❤

    -Monyque

    • Roberto Ortiz

      @grassandflower:disqus Thanks for reading! It’s definitely not easy. We’ve found that we have to be very intentional about what we do. It’s so easy for “work” to be so much of a focus, that we forget to do life. For instance, dinner time is off limits to discussions about “work”. Keep on pressing!

    • @grassandflower thanks for sharing what you do! I would love to hear more. Whenever I produce a show I’m directing and my husband does tech so I have to lead for the project and still balance that with being a wife. It’s interesting to say the least and it takes humility for both parties! Lol!

  • Pablo Ceron

    “And when the WHY of what you’re building aligns with your hearts, whether it be in business or in ministry, then it naturally becomes a shared vision.” So much wisdom here, Roberto. Loved reading your post. It’s humbling to see how God has planted the vision of G&V in both of your hearts, how you are responding together to His calling, and as a result, how you are growing closer to each other and closer to Him. I see there a lot of what God probably meant when He chose to invite us to become one. Keep it up guys!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      @pabloceron:disqus Thanks brother! It has honestly has been an amazing journey so far. But, again the underlying reason (the WHY), has been critical in keeping us both invested. When there’s a deeper and more purposeful focus, it changes everything. Thanks for all of your support.

  • Craig Murray

    Great stuff, Roberto! We WERE created to create together. It’s really awesome to see how you both are bringing strength to one another. Filling those gaps because you have the vision to align on. Onward and upwards!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Thanks Craig! Onward and upwards!

  • Carlos J Gallardo

    So much wisdom here.
    A foundational area of growth is knowing and being compassionate to the wounds we each carry. That tone or attitude or reaction that seems so casual, harmless and nonchalant, may be actually striking a painful nerve. It’s a challenge but so necessary that we remember to “be real and sprinkle some grace”, to be patient and loving even if not fully understanding, to see our partner as a gift, ripe for blossoming.
    Great post, guys!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Carlos, thanks for sharing! So true about the subtleties in our response or tone. They make a huge difference. Hearing good things about your

  • Jerry SHen

    Awesome post. Love the subtle Jay-Z reference! HOLLA! ITS UR BOY!!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Thanks Jerry! I knew you would catch that! Haha.

  • Kima Kashi

    Truly enjoyed reading your post. I’ve definitely been doing it all wrong and your knowledgable words have given me a whole new perspective on things. “Healthy boundaries around work time”-couldn’t agree with you more. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and I wish you guys all the best!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Hi Kima! I’m glad you found it relevant. Cheers to healthy boundaries!

  • Roberto Ortiz

    Thanks Tim! The struggle is real. But there is something pretty nice about working with your wife in business.

  • Toysha Darby

    This is really a great article. I had to read it a 2nd time. It is an awesome blessing that you guys have, and are, supporting each other which has brought on a new journey of blessings. And still at the end of the day,(and year)putting work aside, taking time to nurture your marriage is priceless. Continued blessings to you both!
    #TogetherNess!!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Hi @toyshadarby:disqus! Thanks for reading and for the kinds words. #togetherness

  • Shannon Henderson

    This is great! My husband and I lead worship together but worship leader is his given title at the church we attend. It’s so challenging sometimes to work together because we can get too focused on the how. We want to do the how our own ways. This post was a good reminder that the why is what unifies us! I really enjoyed this – thank you!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Hi @disqus_toMWNkdUJU:disqus! Glad it resonated with you. It’s very easy to get caught up with the how, and quite we usually have to operate in the how to get things done. But, calling a timeout and remembering the why puts everything back in perspective. BTW, thanks for helping lead worship, it’s such important role to play.

  • Portland Fresh

    What a beautiful post ; thanks for sharing! This is a great reminder of what to look for a in a future spouse; someone that will stand beside you and run with you in all aspects of life. Co laboring == beautiful and as it should be.

    • Roberto Ortiz

      It’s definitely something I didn’t realize until a few years into our marriage, but it’s been a beautiful thing being equality yolked and working on things together.

  • Lyn Johnson

    Great article Roberto. Thanks so much for sharing your heart. I love how you support Charlena!

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Thanks Lyn! We still have much to learn from you and Brett! 🙂

  • I really loved this post so much! My husband and I have been working on creative projects together for over a decade and it took a long time to find out how to work together especially when I was directing plays. But God gave me the perfect man for the job! God has shown me repeatedly that He is in control and put us together.

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Thanks Dija!

  • I really loved this post so much! My husband and I have been working on creative projects together for over a decade and it took a long time to find out how to work together especially when I was directing plays. But God gave me the perfect man for the job! God has shown me repeatedly that He is in control and put us together.

    • Roberto Ortiz

      Thanks Dija!

  • I came back to read this for a second time because I loved this article so much! When my husband and I were dating we talked about our dreams of working on films together but little did we know that God had to take us through so much to teach us how to work together in life so we could work together in business. This year will be 13 years of marriage and I love him more than ever.

  • I came back to read this for a second time because I loved this article so much! When my husband and I were dating we talked about our dreams of working on films together but little did we know that God had to take us through so much to teach us how to work together in life so we could work together in business. This year will be 13 years of marriage and I love him more than ever.