Ariana and Tom here (with Elena of course). We are a young couple from Rochester, NY. We have started multiple businesses, all while graduating college, getting married, buying a house and having a daughter. It has not been easy, but we would not trade it for the world.
WHAT THE HECK IS AN ENTREPRENEWLYWED?
a couple who starts and/or operates one or more businesses while cultivating their relationship and living amazing lives
We followed the path that many people follow. We graduated high school, received 4 year degrees (including the large burden of student loans), graduated and got jobs, bought a house and had a baby. In this regard, we have followed the pack. What isn’t normal, though, is that we have also been able to start and run multiple businesses during this time.
WHY WE STARTED THIS SITE
Anyone that has started a business is aware of how difficult it can be, from the physical challenges of long hours, to the mental challenges of fear and and working through failure, to the financial challenges of initial investment and potentially not getting a paycheck right away. Now just picture that you are sharing these challenges with your partner, while also sharing a bed with them. Your office is the kitchen table, which also doubles as the cafeteria. Your daughter can be heard playing in the background while making business calls. You forgo the “luxuries” that your friends have, such as eating out or gifts on the holidays.
We are here, and we understand. Being in business with your loved one (or just being there for encouragement and support if your loved one is the entrepreneur) can be difficult. We have had some tough times, like when Tom put $7,500 on a credit card for real estate training (don’t miss Ariana’s response). We created this website as a community to share our experiences, provide information and hopefully inspire all of the “entreprenewlyweds” out there together. If you wish to stay connected as we share our knowledge and experiences, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
I am the practical half of this working relationship. I like to pose all the “what-ifs” and the “how much would this cost” and “what is your plan”. This is why we work. Tom comes up with ideas, and I support him, and sometimes give constructive criticism. I also give claim to a lot of our businesses creative brainstorming. I have a very extensive history of multiple jobs, a collection of different hobbies and a knack for random trivia!
I began this journey my freshman year of college. Tom lived down the hall from me, we both played soccer; one week later we were dating. Our teammates joked that first year that we were already a married couple. We graduated 4 years later and moved into our first apartment. Before the 1 year lease was up, Tom had already proposed and we bought our first home. He is not a very patient man.
My degree in zoology was not my best choice when looking for a career. After working in several offices in different fields over the years I picked up quite a bit of random knowledge. This has actually been quite beneficial in all of our business ventures, as I am skilled in many diverse computer applications, office organization methods, phone operation, and general business knowledge. Tom and I have different ways of thinking, which sometimes leads to disagreements, but most often leads to creative problem solving.
Starting our family has really brought a new level to our relationship. I am lucky enough to be a work-from-home-mom, but believe me it’s not easy. Running our businesses from home while taking care of our daughter can sometimes be overwhelming. Tom is the rock. His motivation to get things moving and be his own boss is unmatched. Anytime I am wavering on a new idea, we sit down and talk it out, and he always makes sure I’m comfortable with a new venture before we start. So here we are, once again, starting a new business project. But this time we’re bringing you all along for the ride!
I’m the “crazy entrepreneur” that Ariana is always talking about. I prefer the term serial entrepreneur, but as they say “happy wife, happy life”. It all started when I was 6 years old and had the awesome idea to “open” a candy store in my bedroom. I would save my allowance, buy in bulk at the store, then sell them individually to the unlucky people who came to visit us. A few years later I started collecting cans to return them for the 5 cent deposit. I later realized that I could pay my sister 2 cents to collect the cans for me and I would still make 3 cents. In high school I became interested in paintball and recruited all of my friends to play. I figured out that rather than having each of us buy a small quantity of paintballs, I could order them in bulk and sell them in smaller quantities to my friends. They saved money and I profited each time we played paintball. In college, I finally started to enjoy reading. After having a friend mention the cheap used books that were available at goodwill stores, I decided to start buying used books locally and selling them on Amazon. This used book business paid my bills while in college.
After college I went the traditional route and took a 9-5 job (and even went back to college), but I still had the entrepreneurial itch that needed scratching. After realizing that I was not smart enough to beat the stock market, I started investing in real estate. We now have 2 real estate investment companies that focus on buy and hold properties (aka rentals). I then followed in my father’s footsteps and opened a wine and liquor store in 2012. I started my personal blog in 2012 which led to a weekly blogging gig at BiggerPockets, which is the nation’s largest and most active real estate investing social network. While being interviewed for a real estate podcast on BiggerPockets, the question came up of how my wife felt about real estate investing. After the show, I received a ton of questions related to working with your spouse. After a quick Google search, I realized that there were not very many resources to help couples as they become entrepreneurs and still maintained their relationship. And the rest, as they say, is history.