Last night Joe and Dawn Taylor came over to share pizza. Breaking bread with them is a usual thing to do. We hang out. We are there for each other. There was the usual chit chat about what was going on in our lives. We always talk of Taylor Studios. Maybe, unfortunately, a bit of political debate. We played with the dog. However, this time when they drove away I started crying. I woke up in the middle of night with tears. This time was different. This time when they drove away I knew I would not see them for months. They were driving off to their new permanent home far, far away.
People are very curious how a divorced couple could run a business together and then continue to stay friends after a buy-out. That’s what Success Magazine wanted to know in a recent article. It was the thing Inc. Magazine wrote about back in 2000 when we won the Inc. 500 and Inc. mentioned it again in a later article.
Joe and I have been friends since I was 19 years old. Over ten years ago I got another best friend when he married Dawn. Obviously, it is a pretty solid and loyal friendship. Naturally, we don’t agree on everything. However, we have always been there for each other through thick and thin. They are my sounding board, my dog sitter, my shoulders to lean on, my laughter generators and my advisors. They are more family than my family has been. Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water.
After I bought Joe out of Taylor Studios. He built a vineyard. Yeah, Joe is the kind of guy that will tackle anything. He didn’t know anything about it and made it work. We had owned land together too. I also bought him out of that and he got a new piece of land. Yet, my place is where he preferred to hike. Joe and Dawn ran a successful vineyard for over a decade. This year they sold the vineyard, their home and bought a new home near Lake Chapala, Mexico. Today they loaded up their two dogs and as much as they could fit in one vehicle and are off to their new life.
How did we do it? I don’t have a magic formula. What is true for us is this:
- We valued our friendship.
- We respected each other.
- We shrugged off disagreements.
- We kept in touch and spent time together.
- We were there when either needed it.
- We are loyal.
Maybe that’s it. That’s the magic formula.
I’m losing nearby friends. I’m gaining a bedroom in Mexico. Travel safe you two.
Here’s some start up stories if you want to know where it all began.