Written by Shawndra Russell
Seven Partners in Life and Business Share the Lessons They’ve Learned Along the Way
We know that Western North Carolina is a special slice of this country. People flock here for the area’s staggering outdoor beauty and activities, reputation as an arts destination, and for its talented chefs and creative entrepreneurs. But locals (or transplants) like to warn that “you better bring a job” to Asheville, as podcasting couple Sarah and Tony Ubertaccio of Making It in Asheville emphasized in our August 2020 Local Industry piece, “Of Sound Mind.” For many Asheville entrepreneurs, like the Ubertaccios themselves, bringing that job with you means starting your own business—together.
The website Livability named Asheville as a top 50 hotspot for entrepreneurs in 2016 and 2017, and WalletHub, a personal finance website, gave the city its 63rd spot for best small cities for starting a business in 2018. The city is home to a slew of entrepreneurial meetups, events, startup competitions, makerspaces, incubators, accelerators, and venture capitalists that all make this area a small business haven.
Even with all of this support, diving into entrepreneurial life is certainly not for the faint of heart—especially when you add in the challenges of going into business with your life partner. The tech company Thrive Global reported in March 2020 that “two in three entrepreneurs suffer from mental health illnesses” and “three out of four venture-backed startups fail.” Now, amplify the stressful, chaotic, and uncertain lifestyle that comes with being an entrepreneur with, of all things, love, which brings with it its own rollercoaster of emotions, and you can start to see how challenging being a couple in business together can be.
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