It is no secret that working with your family, whether that is a partner, friend, spouse, or children can be complicated. Mixing both pleasure and work can allow for many positive experiences, and help you to work through the odd sprinkling of negatives. The past months have given me the opportunity to cement my working relationship with my fiancé, George Todica. Together we form a musical duo, specialising in the performance of Art Songs, (poetry set to music, in a variety of languages from different cultures).
If you do not already know, George and I have been working together since 2013, when we were selected to participate in the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Competition and won the Audience Prize. Since then we have performed together all across the UK and on international stages in Belgium, Italy, Norway, and Romania. As an Art-Song Duo, we have released three albums “Canzoni D’amore (2015), Down the Rabbit Hole (2017), and Haugtussa (2016). Alongside our professional journey, we fell in love, live together and we hope to be married next year (after putting it off twice this year due to Covid-19 ).
We both have high aspirations for our careers, I continue to study and perform operatic roles and George delights in preparing works for solo piano and in a string trio. We have brainstormed several times possible names for our collaboration, but we seem to always return to “Charlotte & George”. There is a simplicity in this branding and immediately you are reminded of the people behind the duo. I am a strong believer that this human connection is important.
As Maya Angelou said:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I hope that the music that we have created and continue to aspire to produce, touch people, and opens their hearts to memories, ignites their imaginations, and releases a variety of emotions.
Normally we are engaged in performances and rehearsals that can often take our concentration away from exploring new repertoire, curating new recital programs, and preparing for possible competitions. Now we have had the perfect opportunity to throw ourselves into learning new material, new programs, and put our ideas into action.
I have taken my inspiration from a variety of successful business partnerships, including my parents who have run a small family business together for the last 37 years, they met on the 14th of November 1981 at work. Here are my parent’s top three tips for working with a loved one:
- Find out each other’s strengths and use them to define your roles within the business, there are programs you can do online to facilitate this such as Gallup Strengthfinder.
- Total Trust. You always have to trust that you each have the other’s interests at heart be honest and transparent. Directly address any issues and conflicts immediately.
- When you first start out together don’t assume you both want the same things from your business, you must talk openly together and agree on common goals for the future of your business. Deliver on your promises and respect each other’s time.
As we strive to build up the work that we do as a duo it is important that we share out the none performing tasks to suit what we are best at. Currently, we have to act as our own Agent, Marketeer, Logistics Supervisor, Finance manager, and much more. By sharing the workload between us we will ensure we stay organised and remain on target to achieve the exciting goals that we have imagined (and will strive to achieve) for 2021 and beyond.
Do you work with your partner, a family member, or a close friend? If you do what are your top tips?