Couples In Business an Ongoing Series Looking at How Life is For Couples Who Work and Live Together.
Despite its sleazy reputation for casual hook ups, a swipe of the finger on Tinder has also led some couples into finding true love which sometimes results in happy matrimony. Taking the possibilities of dating by app to further heights are Efe Jerome and Imriel Morgan, who met via Tinder, in addition to finding each other, the dynamic duo are also behind the ShoutOut Network – a burgeoning media platform dedicated to the broadcast and promotion of podcasts.
This August sees the launch of ShoutOut Live: The Festival, a podcast festival (the first of its kind) which celebrates the power of diversity and how new media has allowed people of colour in the UK to reclaim their voices. Taking time out from their hectic schedules, Efe and Imriel were happy to discuss the realities of running a business as a couple.
1. What did you both do prior to setting up your business?
Imriel: I was the Head of Content at a small start-up company. I was heavily involved in marketing and HR before meeting Efe.
Efe: I handled the work experience for young adults at another media company.
2. What was the key motivation for going into business together?
Efe: I actually started the process with someone else but they didn’t see the vision. As I continued going it alone Imriel came along, and I saw some really good leadership qualities that she was shying away from. I asked her and eventually she got behind what I was doing.
Imriel: Basically what Efe said. It was never part of my plan I was happy where I was and didn’t see myself as a leader. I had some pretty basic business and startup knowledge that Efe didn’t so he asked me to take over and I went with it.
3. Do you have clearly defined roles in the business? If so, what are they?
Imriel: I’m the CEO, but it’s a tiny team. I make a lot of the hard decisions about what direction we go in as a business and basically finding the money for Efe’s new productions and ideas. Efe dreams big and I have to find a way to make it a reality; for example I thought ShoutOut Live! The Festival was a joke at first.
Efe: I’m the Content Producer, I deal with the production of all the podcasts and handle the logistics of distributing the shows. I handle all the new podcast pitches and talent.
4. How do you separate your working life from your personal life?
Imriel: I think it’s tough, we haven’t completely figured it out yet. We’re both so passionate so it’s hard not to bring work up in every area of our lives. We have tried to create more boundaries.
Efe: That’s a hard question to answer. I enjoy being a podcast producer and because I enjoy it it’s hard for me to separate.
5. How do you manage any conflict?
Imriel: Mostly through space and long in-depth conversations.
Efe: Always talk to each other. I believe in having open conversations.
6. How has your business relationship impacted on your relationship?
Imriel: Massively, I don’t think I’d recommend it to be honest. We’re really lucky that we can both talk to each other so our communication styles match in many ways but it is tough. If we disagree about something in the business it’s hard not to take it personally and carry that anger into other parts of the relationship.
Efe: A lot and I’d probably wouldn’t do it again. I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s very very hard. It comes down to being professional, if you recognise that your partner has talent then respect that. Maturity also plays a huge role.
7. Are you stronger working as a team as opposed to separately?
Efe: Stronger working as a team.
Imriel: It really depends. I definitely get more done by myself however for something big – like SO Live Festival, we are 100% stronger as a team.
8. What are the pros and cons of working with your other half?
Imriel: Pros: our triumphs and victories are the same. We have the same goals and losses so there’s always someone that understands what you’re going through. Cons: issues have a way of spilling into your personal life even with the best boundaries in place.
Efe: I can’t answer that question; it’s not something I think about.
9. Do you agree when it comes to household chores and business decisions?
Imriel: I have a system of organised chaos and Efe has a different system that I can’t deal with so I end up not engaging in household activities. I typically consult him with all decisions and we discuss things, but I have the final say.
Efe: Well I do most of the chores. I respect Imriel’s decisions as the CEO even if I disagree with them.
10. What advice would you give to couples thinking of going into business together?
Imriel: I would say be cautious and be aware that it will really push the limits of your relationship. The highs and lows of starting a business are tough for anyone add your relationship to the mix and it can be explosive. Make sure you set clear boundaries and define your roles early.
Efe: Don’t do it, it’s not worth it! I’m just kidding. Only do it if you have a strong relationship and you’re both mature, if not don’t go into business together.
11. If you could both work with any entrepreneur who would it be and why?
Efe: Charlamagne tha God because he taught me that your thoughts become things. I wish that was drummed into me when I was younger.
Imriel: Oh so many do I have to pick one? I’ll go with Tristan Walker – what he’s done with Bevel is incredible, he also saw that his target market was podcasts and he was one of the early sponsors on the Loud Speakers Network. Furthermore, I like that he valued the audience enough to invest and his business really took off.
12. How do you both relax?
Efe: I annoy Imriel.
Imriel: I use a combination of hypnotherapy, Netflix and sleep.
ShoutOut Live: The Festival, 5th August 2017, for tickets please visit: www.solivefestival.com
For further information please visit: shoutoutnetwork.co.uk