That has allowed them to expand their business. The couple started an animal health magazine called fetch! in 2008, and believe there are more ways to profit from their love of animals.
"Our main debates now are about strategy and where to allocate our resources," Chris says.
Pam and Mark Fisher started their Boston-area construction business in 1991 after losing their jobs. Pam had worked for a small bank shut down by the government. The construction company where Mark worked also closed. The country was in recession and the job market was tough, so they launched Construction Coordinators, a contracting business that primarily handles renovations for restaurants, stores and offices.
The couple had the added stress of raising two young children. Mark landed one client right away through his former employer. After that, it took lots of cold calls to grow the business. Along the way, they had to learn how to reconcile their different approaches to a challenge.
"I tend to focus on the technical aspects and Pam focuses on the people aspect of it," Mark says. "She's really quick to understand what might be motivator behind what happened, and I'm quick to figure out, how do we fix it?"
The Fishers say having their own interests is important. Pam belongs to organizations including a women's real estate organization and a women's networking group. Mark belongs to professional and trade groups focusing on architecture and entrepreneurship. Time apart provides perspective, Mark says.
"Having outside activities helps us remember why we're here. It helps make it easier for me to step back and see where Pam's coming from."
They also made a point to celebrate the business within their family. After completing projects they brought the kids to see what mom and dad had been up to and took pictures at the sites. The outings resulted in an album that shows their business achievements and their children's growth.