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  • Melissa Bode

The truths about being in a partnership



This topic is a tough one for me to write about. In 2019 my business partner and sister Alicia moved to Melbourne part time. This meant that we had to work out how to run a business while we both remained in different states. At first it wasn’t too bad, she was coming back and forth quite a bit and working on the floor 2 weeks on and 4 weeks off, sometimes 3. It was working and we were finding our feet with it all. About 3 months into this arrangement, if you read one of my previous blogs, I ended up delving into depression. I was always one of those people who believed that depression was a mindset and you can get yourself out of it you just have to think positive, blah blah blah. After this actually happening to me I thought about it on a whole other level. I like to think of myself as someone with a strong mindset and quite positive but this one knocked me for 6.


Although she wasn’t completely gone, I felt like I had lost a piece of me. I felt like my sister, my business partner and my best friend were gone all at once. She was still my sister, my best friend and my business partner, but in a different capacity, which is something we’ve had to learn and manage along the way.


I had a lot of external opinions and agendas placed on me by those around me and I started to resent the fact that she had left me here on my own. To those of you reading, me and Alicia are like twins. We know each other’s thoughts by a single look and we can sense when the other person just isn’t quite right. To be honest, we actually didn’t know what to do to deal with the situation placed before us.


We tried and tested multiple avenues but it always came back to the struggles I was feeling internally about the whole situation. It was different, which felt like it was wrong, but as I look at it, it was a perfect opportunity for me to break away and find my own. I was on a journey of self-discovery and had been for about 6 months prior. It is a never-ending journey and I believe we all find our place eventually.


During this time, one roadblock we encountered was reinventing Alicia’s role in the business. I had people say to me ‘so it’s just you, all alone, running the business?’ Although it looked that way, we were still a partnership, an equal split just with two different roles. It was hard to wrap my head around and took me a long time to come to terms with. Sometimes I go through waves of being in a negative mindset about missing what we once had, which doesn’t serve the business, or me. Reflecting back, we’ve found that sometimes the things that make us feel the most uncomfortable are the things we need the most.


At the time our teams’ culture was diminishing and I had to step back into the business full time all over again. I felt like we took 2 steps forward and then had to take 2 steps back. I went and got external help for my mental health and worked through as best I could at the time. I almost felt ashamed when I had to do this but I thought to myself, you have to do something different to get a different result. Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is absolutely ridiculous. For those of you who are business owners you would know the feeling of getting caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running the business, keeping a team happy, keeping the clients happy and then going home and figuring out your next steps for tomorrow. In the middle of it all you try and have a life, plan a holiday and make time for your own family and relationships . You think about it 24/7, and there’s no break or escape. Sometimes you will be trying to doze off at night and you will think about the 100 things you have to do the next day that may have slipped your mind. It’s taxing on the body and the mind BUT that’s also what I enjoy about it in a weird and twisted way.


Now don’t get me wrong, as I talk about what I went through I don’t want to disregard the sacrifices Alicia had to make along the way too. Having just had a baby 5 weeks prior, she was back on the floor working, travelling back and forth from Melbourne to Adelaide with her newborn and sometimes missing the most precious moments a mother can have with their child. On both ends we have both sacrificed a lot. To be able to be in a successful partnership you have to know when to serve one another and when each person needs support. We lost this for about 2 years as we tried and tested what needed to be done.

Isolation has taught me that in any successful relationship, no matter what, there has to be a level of understanding, care and respect that is reciprocated. I don’t know how many people reading this read our first EBook ‘Sister Act, two minds are better than one.’ It discussed how to be successful in a family based business partnership. It was our bible that has worked for us for many years and something we still live by.


This will be our 9th year operating together and things change all the time, it’s just a test to see how adaptable you are to situations. A lot of lessons will get thrown at you along the way, but just remember that you have to stick together-this goes for any partnership, romantic, business or family.


It wasn’t until having the space and time think we realised that the universe had given us an opportunity for a fresh start. We completely understood where we wanted to head again and the brand came back to the forefront. We found each other and we found ourselves. We create something with so much value it would be impossible to pass up.

We found we were back on track with our purpose; to educate, empower and inspire. We are moving forward in hope to not only serve our clients, but also women around the globe. We are so excited to share it with you and we can’t wait for you to be on your healthy hair journey…..stay tuned

www.bodehairlounge.com.au

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