To close out our Power Couples Week, today’s power couple is Joshua & Kenya Mercer. Representing Chicago very well, this couple has planted its entrepreneur seeds around the city. They are the owners of Mercer’s Insurance Agency, Inc., Swish Dreams, the Conversation, and Move Makers. Check out how the comical, newly weds manage to keep the balance between business and pleasure.
How did you meet.
KM: We kind of knew each other for a while, and just by passing, kind of. We have a mutual friend, and then one summer we exchanged phone numbers, because I was involved, and I‘m sure he was involved; and then we just started hanging out, just like homies. Then, one thing led to another. Josh actually sent me a text saying, I’m falling for you. (Josh interjects, saying it was a mass text..lol) I didn’t respond…and his feelings were hurt.
…how long have you been married.
We have been married for two months.
What is it like working with your spouse.
KM: Hard. It’s interesting, because you get to learn about the whole person. You find out their strengths and weaknesses.
JM:You find their tolerance levels. Sometimes you can use it as a crutch, because it’s hard running your own business, and always being the person in charge- everyone is looking to you for leadership. It’s good to have somebody that can spread the blame, or somebody that is going to love you regardless. I think it’s easier than what people say.
KM: With the different business ventures that are set into play, regardless if we admit it or not, they [are] not going to run without both of us having input in it. He’s the man, but I’m the boss!
How do you juggle the businesses and being a couple.
JM:I think one thing that is good, is that we have a lot of the same friends, so our outlets are the same. Another thing is, the businesses that we do have, we enjoy doing them. Even though sometimes it brings stress, sometimes it’s not like work all the time. Ultimately, knowing that we are in control. So, if we really don’t want to come in, we don’t have to, or if we really want to start late the next day, we can do that. [Also], our goals are aligned, so we have an understanding of what we are trying to get to.
KM: We’re learning how to balance. We’re fresh. We’re learning how to balance personal and business.
Did you ever think you would be working with the one you love.
KM: Um, it was a hope. I think I’ve always wanted to be the wife that kind of ran her husband’s businesses. I don’t come from an entrepreneur background, I come from an arts background. So, I knew I didn’t want to be with someone like that. I knew I always wanted the opposite. So, it kind of flourished naturally with Josh, in particular. I wouldn’t have thought it.
JM: My dream was, I would always work in sports, in charge of my own schedule- in a position to make some money. That [working with his spouse] was never my goal, but now its the only option that we have right now, because no one else is going to put in the type of work we want- we don’t have the money to pay somebody to do all that stuff. We’re always going to be working together in some way.
How do you encourage one another.
KM: I think I’m a little things person. I would hope that it encourages Josh. I remind Josh, that I love him and [vice versa]- that’s encouraging in itself. Him always putting his vision out there. Saying that out loud all the time is encouraging, because I’m not a visionary all the time. It makes me think, it’s something that I’m doing, that is going to take us to that point. I pray for Josh all the time, and I pray for what I should say.
JM: I’m in love with her, so, that’s all the motivation I need.
How did you know he/she was the one.
KM: I’ll admit, I didn’t like Josh at first, as a boyfriend, but as a friend. Then he started coming around a lot. I don’t know. I’m sure it was game, but I looked at it like, he’s trying [new] things [for me]. He would come to things, I invited him too.
JM: I chose her. She was what I was looking for in a woman. I wasn’t looking for a career first kind of woman. I was looking for a woman that came from a good family background. I was looking for someone who had [self] respect. So the timing worked out very well.
Shout out to that!!