Running a company is tough. Running a company with your spouse is tougher. Running it while also parenting twins? Daunting.
But Needham’s Marissa Goldstein and her husband, Adam, are an inspiration to all hopeful business owners and parents. Together, they run Timroon. The Boston-based global sourcing and manufacturing firm helps companies link up with manufacturers worldwide. The duo often travels oversees. Just one complication: They found out they were expecting twins, Eyva and Noa, right after launching their business in 2014.
The balance is challenging for the couple, who met at Alexander Muss High School in Israel and later got engaged atop Masada. But they’ve found a way to make it work, and they’re even planning a two-month business trip to Southeast Asia with both kids in the fall.
“I believe in traveling and meeting people from other cultures and making the world [my kids’] sandbox,” Goldstein says.
She paused to share her tips for growing a business (or even just boarding a plane!) while retaining your parental sanity.
- Don’t overpack. Having too much stuff will be more annoying.
- Figure out what you can buy at your next destination, like diapers and food.
- Bring a carrier and stroller, and wear your children in a carrier, if possible.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Most people are actually kind and want to help (snarly tales of disgruntled passengers aside).
- When you get on a plane, set up everything around you before you take off. Wipe down all tray tables and have your essentials in arms’ reach.
- Bring hand sanitizer, swaddle blankets for each seat (so your kids don’t make direct contact with it—germy!), a water bottle, a mat for the airport (for diaper changes and tummy time), and do a diaper change right before the flight.
When working with a spouse:
- Understand your partner’s strengths and weaknesses and work toward a common goal.
- Take ownership of different areas of the business so you aren’t always working on the same thing. (She handles sales and marketing, and Adam handles operations.)
- It’s really easy to get mad at each other and yell. They try and remind each other, “Is this how you would speak to a co-worker?” The answer is usually no.
- Take time to yourself. Just say, “I’ve seen enough of you today; I need to be alone.” (Liberating!)
When just trying to get out the door:
- Make it a priority! Don’t sweat the small stuff. No matter how much you prepare and pack, you will forget stuff. (“I can now get out in five minutes with my twins!” she says.)
- Pack your diaper bag the night before. Know what you truly need and don’t bring too much. Her essentials are diapers, wipes, sun hats, sunscreen, puffed snacks, Mum-Mum rice snacks, fruit pouches, two spoons, disposal bibs, disposable place mats, a credit card, hand sanitizer, a breast-feeding scarf and/or formula and bottles.
- Stock your car with extra wipes and diapers, sweaters, a play mat, booster seats (for restaurants), carriers and an umbrella stroller.
Most of all, she says: “Try to hide your anxiety and just get out of the house! The world is yours to explore!”
But hand sanitizer definitely helps.