Love and Business; 10 Reasons I Adore Working With My Wife

Today is mine and  Ev’Yan‘s fourth anniversary, and it’s got me thinking a lot about love and business.

A lot of people don’t tie these two things together, but over the last two years of running my business with my wife, I’ve been wondering how things would be different if I didn’t.

I can’t imagine what operating Illuminated Mind would be like if it wasn’t completely and utterly injected with love, and given everything I have to give. The reason I’m able to give myself completely to this pursuit is because of the support of my wife, her devotion and inspiration.

On this blog I talk a lot about how balance is overrated and why you should decompartmentalize your life. For the past 2 + years I have been living that philosophy with Illuminated Mind. My wife is deeply involved in the nuts and bolts and sweat and tears of this business. For most people, that would be something taboo. Like oil and water, they want to keep their work and life as separate as possible; business and pleasure undeniably distinguishable. Fuck that.

I’m deeply grateful to have love and business be totally indiscernable.

As a celebration and acknowledgment of that, these are the reasons I love working with my wife:

  1. She inspires me to be more bold and ruthlessly authentic on this blog and in life.
  2. She keeps this place from falling apart (and me looking like a total dumbass).
  3. She pushes me to be a better, more eloquent writer (she is an incredibly beautiful writer herself, and the reason I started writing in the first place).
  4. Her vegan chocolate chip cookies after a long day are life changing.
  5. She’s an incredible editor, even though I hate how much she bitches at me for my (blundering) use of commas.
  6. She gives me permission to be lazy when I’m feeling uninspired.
  7. She’s the most beautiful business partner to wake up to in the morning. :)
  8. She balances the checkbook (enough said).
  9. She is my best friend; there is no one I would rather hang out with more.
  10. She helps me embrace the gifts that I have to offer the world, and gives me the courage to release them. She is unwaveringly supportive in everything I do.

While I could easily list more, these are the biggest reasons I love working with my wife. I regularly tell people that I wake up excited about the work that I get to do, and Ev’Yan has a lot to do with that.

All right, Ev’Yan and I are off to sip wine (root beer for her) and have a relaxing day together. If you ever get a chance to work with your partner, I highly recommend it.

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Pace Smith November 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I second that recommendation!

Happy anniversary to the two of you!


Michele Smith aka Isis of sophia November 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Jonathan, I think you are one of the most important leaders today. I HAVE already bought an hour but not used it yet (moved and much more) but would like to request that we have my paid hour soon followed by another session and I will barter with you a marital therapy session of the most cutting edge type out there.
First, no one tells you of the most profound dynamics of intimacy
and how to deal with them and 2nd the CLEARING of stuck issues is so do-able and i can show you easily.
If you think it is worth a 3rd consult, i place that challenge to you.
(Challenge because I am standing my work up to a hero and (in a playful but serious way) requesting a value judgement.
my websites are not in shape for the SEO’s but
I have been working for 2 years on an extensive plan, and putting my pages up this week.
and www.
are my sites and enough to give you feel for my perspective and how much i need you.
I wait expectantly to help each other
in the


Michele Smith aka Isis of sophia November 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

This follows my initial request for a request for coaching as I was writing in a small space and could not see what I had written and thought I was bit allowed more room. My computer??? Anyway,
the most important reason I am requesting your coaching is because my idea with your guidance has turned into
a revolution of the “Resolutionaries”, and I want to start a worldwide movement of “Guerrilla Compassionistas”,
sabotaging negativity and zapping it with compassion.
Compassion is the revolution. I want to use the angst of 12/22/12 to motivate as many as possible to address things that are keeping them from their magnificence.
I think what I can bring to the table of profound change in this world at this time is THE missing piece. That is, addiction and mental health issues, seen in the light of being anywhere from a heart ache to heart broken. (All addicts are heartbroken, before they pick up their drug of choice) But the family illness is not discussed formally in the counseling field yet addiction/alcoholism affects 4 people from 1 alcoholic. I have all the science, philosophy, theology, psychiatry, and arts and humanities to present to those who are interested, that the real deal is ourselves and the enemy is us. We can change no one but ourselves, usually only our attitudes.
This is absolutely global. In Africa, the alcoholism rate is off the charts, as in Latin America and on and on. It is the secret of the secrets. Incest (usually related ) is more outed than the effects of addiction
on all. If mental health and substance abuse was understood for what it is; a biological response to consistent or excessive stress = trauma, the ability to get assistance is any way one would like, (there are countless)there would be more sane people, and
the stigma that kills would be and could be irradicated. If not on just one Indian Reservation, and see how the poverty levels change, wow. The missing piece that could be brought to the table to change homo sapiens to homo empathics, I believe is that broken hearts, if not seen for what they are,
and those around them understand that everyone has limits, themselves included, this upside down world, can be a world of challenges but not of suffering.
We are in a time of no other and we can evolve a notch up. I want your help because I can’t do it alone.
energy work, eastern


Bryant Keefe November 8, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Happy Anniversary! We are in San Diego right now celebrating my parents 50th Anniversary. Sweet! I would like to do the 4 coaching sessions. My offer is $450.00 and in 3 payments of $150.00 each. I hope I get to work with you.


Bryant Keefe


Dan November 8, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I need your help, but I trust your guidance. Check out my website. Tell me what you think I need to “get the ball rolling” (start making some money). I have almost no money (I teach English in China – minimum wage), but I’ll scrape together what you feel is fair, in light of your spirit of generosity and giving.

Please put me on as easy a payment plan as you can so I can spread out the payments over at least a few months. You can trust me I would never break our contract. I have great ability but need someone to help unleash it. One day I will be your greatest student, and I hope, apprentice.

Let me know what you think – if you can help. Blessings.


Vidya Sury November 8, 2010 at 9:38 pm

beautiful! As a regular reader of your site/newsletter, I have to say I am really inspired by what you write.

Happy anniversary to you both!


Alex Blackwell November 9, 2010 at 4:14 am


Keep working to build your business, more important, keep working to build a love that will last a lifetime!

Best wishes always,



Paul Strobl November 9, 2010 at 6:08 am


It’s great to see a couple with such a deep understanding of one another, and a recognition of how valuable that is.

My wife and I are working on 8 years ourselves, and our careers are such that we are able to spend more time together during the workday. I’m happy to say that the honeymoon continues…

Though we don’t work together, per se, I share 8 of the 10 reasons you listed. Though if you could pass me that cookie recipe, we could make it 9.




Chase Night November 9, 2010 at 8:39 am

Happy day after your anniversary! I really appreciate it when other guys are forthright about how important their wife/girlfriend is to them. It reminds me to do the same not just to her face but in front of others as well.

I found you through Daily Brainstorm and I’m loving your stuff. Also, found out about the IDProject and was so excited to find out they have a location here in Austin. I had no idea such a thing existed, but I’ve been wanting to learn more about meditation and Buddhist practices. So thanks for leading me to a resource in my own backyard.


Matt November 9, 2010 at 9:30 am

What a beautiful post.

Thank you for leading the way in terms of what’s possible when a couple comes together and supports one another in business as well as in life.

It’d be great to learn more about the nuts and bolts of how you two actually handle the challenges and details of running a business together.


Nadine Gressett November 9, 2010 at 11:51 am

Awesome post…it’s nice to see in writing what my husband has been saying about and to me for years…hopefully that doesn’t sound conceited ;) I wish all people could experience such an intensely alive relationship!


Usama November 10, 2010 at 11:49 am

Nothing can beat love. Glad to see that you two are making that happen. Wish you to all the best.


Sven November 10, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I remember Napoleon Hill writing about Love being one of the main motivators to succeed (think T.Roosevelt),
but I’m still wondering, doesn’t working with a loved one create a lot of tension in the relationship? (At least that’s my experience)


Graham Phoenix November 11, 2010 at 4:27 am

Jonathan, thank you so much for this fabulous post. It speaks so strongly to one of the major issues in my life.

I was married for many years and we both believed that balance was created by having a separation between work and home life. I operated this well and did the male thing of grunting when asked about work by my wife. We grew apart and the marriage crashed.

I have a new partner and life is so different. It’s different because I am different. We travel the world together and work together. Our life and our work are totally intermingled. Life is relaxed and so wonderful. We write about our life and we live our writing.

Thank you for loving your wife so openly and being so open as a man.



JC November 11, 2010 at 4:55 pm

What a beautiful couple. Keep working, keep building, keep loving.

Peace + Respect,



JC November 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm

…or either you pissed her off this week and had to publicly make up for it… :)


Andre November 12, 2010 at 9:34 am

Congrats guys!

I find it admirable (for lack of a better word) how you two have managed to build this inseparable working and loving relationship. It is truly inspirational.

Here’s hoping you’ll keep on doing this until long after you have grown old together ;)


Steven November 13, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Hey Jonathan, wise words. I am noticing that my lack of a love life is eating into my productivity a bit. Sometimes at the end of the day I just wish I had someone to share my dreams and concerns with. You are very fortunate to have a wife who is so supportive. I guess it explains a lot of the success behind Illuminated Mind. :)


beds November 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Wowwee! You got an amazing life there buddy. It inspires me even more. Having a great wife and being an entrepeneur at the same time, you got it good :)


Create My Mind Movie November 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Wow Jonathan. This is a great post and I loved reading the 10 things you love about working with your wife.

This reminds me of what Napoleon Hill was talking about in “Think and Grow Rich” where he was talking about your intimate partner being your best mastermind partner too.

Truly, what an inspiration =P


Nea | Self Improvement Saga November 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Happy Anniversary. Working with a spouse isn’t something a lot of people enjoy, so I was truly moved while reading this. Such appreciation! Your wife is a lucky lady.


Hodan November 16, 2010 at 4:31 pm

beautiful post, thanks for being an inspiration for us youngster in their 20s. Congrats on your anniversary and many more happy and strong experiences to come for both of you.


Peter November 17, 2010 at 5:30 am

Having that kind of support must be fantastic, I could also list a fair number of qualities of working with my partner but they would be about why not and not how brilliant it is. You have only been together 4 years and that’s great and I hope you are still together after 40 years. But just take time out to think how many changes are likely to take place during that time. We have been together for 34 years and obviously there were not even home PC’s then. I have been working with tech stuff for twenty years and I am completely familiar with all aspects of computing, IT, the web, the difference between hardware and software etc on the other hand my partner has difficulty even logging on to her email (I usually end up doing it for her) and when I say that I am fed up with working for the company and would like to make a living from my music playing, teaching and website using a blog she thinks that I must have lost my mind!
I don’t think you necessarily need any of the things you have listed above to live your dreams, myself I am making fair progress with the help of a one on one coach and there are probably hundreds of other people born in the same era, in similar situations that could do the same. I appreciate that this relationship works well for you but not for me.


Kyle November 17, 2010 at 10:15 am

Happy anniversary, it’s cool that you work with your wife!

I work with my husband full time too, and at times it’s a challenge, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world. We help each other.


Ken November 19, 2010 at 12:00 am

You’ve got a really good thing going with the combination of your marriage and business.
I know how much difference finding the right person in can make in your life becoming a success story or a sob story.
I know I’ve found the right one for me!


Mikko Kemppe November 19, 2010 at 11:08 am

Awesome post Jonathan! I agree, it is time that we start doing what we feel right in our hearts, start questioning old assumptions, and start living the life we feel is right for us. I remember reading your site like two years ago, and I am glad I re-found it from Karol’s latest blog post! Keep rocking and Happy Anniversary to you and to your beautiful wife!


Dave November 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Enjoyed thatpost. Partners do bring a balance to our lives


Zayna Daze November 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

I’ve been reading both your blogs for a short while now. You’ve both given me the motivation to do better and live harder. I’m always inspired by what you both share, thanks so much for letting us in.

Happy anniversary


Karl Staib - Work Happy Now November 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I know I missed out on the free coaching, but really just wanted to leave a comment. I love the positive energy behind this post. You have developed a beautiful relationship with your wife, that is an inspiration to me.

I hope to provide this same thing for my wife and I. I have a little work to get to that point, but every day I get a little happier and closer.


Kelly November 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Dear, this sounds all too sweet. But you’ve only been married for two years. Bless your innocent souls. Hopefully, you keep this positivity for the next 10 years. That is when the real test begins.


mish November 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm

@Kelly: it’s 4 years. 2+ working on Illuminated Mind.

@Jonathan: beautiful. You two keep shining.


Nina Yau December 1, 2010 at 4:26 pm

How beautiful, Jonathan! Love and business CAN work hand-in-hand, as you have so obviously live and breathe it. Happy anniversary!


Nico December 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I follow both of your blogs and just realized you all were connected. I never put 2 and 2 together. Awesome post.


MidlifePassion December 25, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Beautiful, Jonathan! How fortunate you are to have a partner you can work with and who challenges you to be better in so many ways. Congratulations to both of you!


Life_Starts January 7, 2012 at 3:54 pm

What a wonderful post!


Andi Roo April 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm

My husband & I are coming up on our 4th anniversary, so this was a great post to read at this moment in my life. I always thought I could never work with my husband, because we are both so stubborn & we each have issues with authority. About two months ago, though, he started me blogging, & suddenly we realized that our talents, knowledge, & enthusiasm exactly compliment each other. What a wonderful discovery — to be able to work with your partner & best friend is simply the most awesome thing in the world. Although my blog is not monetized, & likely won’t be for several years (if ever), we are both working hard together to keep it going, & enjoying every hour we spend putting things together. It’s so nice to know there are others who found the same joy we have. Congrats to you both, & thanks for sharing such a sweet, personal story. :)
Andi-Roo /// @theworld4realz


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