Unless you found the fortunate niche market where you just have to grow a load of flowers and drop off to a buyer, then go back to the field and do what you like to do, you have to either possess or learn marketing expertise. And unless you’re the rare individual with the capability to both grow and sell, you’ll need a partner or employee to do the thing you don’t do well. And there the clash begins…
If you’re already in a relationship with your partner, any fracture or rough spot that already exists between you will just be accentuated. If she’s methodical and you cut corners, there’s a fight; if he’s precise and slow and you’re a just-get-it-done person, there’s an argument; on and on it goes. Spouse or friend, another person’s bound to generate friction at the workplace—we’re not machines, there’s just one model of each of us that never fits everything or anyone perfectly, and the likelihood of every action moving in tandem rather than at least occasionally ending in conflict is infinitesimal. All you can do is limit the damage by A) avoiding contact, B) capitulating to the other, or C) overwhelming the other. Oh, and there’s one other way: both of you adjusting.
You can avoid contact by limiting the sphere of your influence. You be the grower, he can be the marketer, or vice versa. Don’t get in his business and he won’t get in yours—make sure it works that way for both of you. There’s still going to be contact points where product flows from the field to sales, but he won’t be telling you how to grow and you won’t be telling him how to sell. This works primarily because the grower knows what’s going on in the field and the marketer knows what’s going on with the clients, and while either may know better how to do specific things in the other’s realm, the everyday aspects of your work on the farm evade the other’s direct knowledge (and vice versa).
There’s going to be building going on, and you’re probably going to disagree on how things should be built since you have different styles. The one doing the work gets to decide how it’s done since he/she’s spending the time, but the other can set ground rules, the limits on how sloppy the infrastructure in question can be, how aesthetically unpleasant, how quickly it must be done. The do-er needs to know these things upfront and agree to them, and the other needs to back out of the program while the work’s being done. Learn to keep your comments to yourself—it’s a virtue, you’ll find.
Telling someone else how to do things without suffering the risk from doing them just breeds resentment. That’s why nuclear engineers, farmers and ranchers hate environmentalists, why business owners hate bureaucrats and why teachers despise meddling parents, administrators and legislators—the “others” might indeed have a broad knowledge of how things “should” work, may have legitimate requests, but they don’t have any risk in the day to day activities of making things happen so their micromanaging seems like interference. They’re being passive-aggressive back-seat drivers, telling the other where to go, how fast to get there, and how to operate the vehicle without any of the responsibility of doing those things. Limit your influence and keep your mouth shut in regards to how the other takes care of things, stepping in only when the operation is threatened by problems, and be clear when the other is overstepping his/her bounds, too—the overstep may be unconscious rather than intentional, so make it conscious, then nip it in the bud.
To bypass the inevitable friction, should you not wish to limit contact, establish clear hierarchies of action. If you get to be the boss, then be it, take responsibility without blaming others, and if you get voted as underling, don’t grumble. Let the person who has the risk in an endeavor also have the responsibility—Jeriann puts the orders together except in situations she’s not around (always have an emergency protocol), because she meets the clients and has to suffer their wrath if botched deliveries occur. This limits the finger-pointing that would happen if one person did the selling, another put the orders together.
Delineations needn’t be totally black and white. Some people have skill sets that can be utilized in multiple arenas. Though I’m the grower, I ask for thumbs up or thumbs down regarding colors of species to plant, since Jeriann’s trained in art and knows trends—she’s the one who won’t let me plant anything the color of Erigeron Purple, and rightly so. She’s quick to pick up, too, when a species I might want to grow has a bloom so similar to one we already have in the field that having both would just work against us—do we really need coreopsis AND blackeyed susans? She convinced me to grow Frosted Explosion, despite it’s noxious omnipresence as a weed on our first farm, and I finally capitulated after a few years, happily so. And she gave in to my suggestion of a larger van (after fighting for several years) for the route, and loved that Mercedes Sprinter once she was in it. Disagreements are inevitable, pick your battles carefully.
She puts a check on my impulses, and I put a check on hers—when she wanted to plant roses, I said sure, but you harvest them, not minding the extra farmwork (the more the merrier, plantwise) knowing how much slower cutting would be. Same for hellebores and tall clematis—I want to harvest quickly, without thought, whereas she works more slowly, is more patient, has the proper mindset to tackle tedious, intricate cutting. I still take care of irrigating, planting, watering and such, but she gets to harvest the end product.
You might think of work on the farm as, in its ideal form, a musical interaction, and if you’ve been taught the Pythagorean myth that music is mathematical, the notes blending harmoniously, you might believe the workplace capable of being the same. Unless your music and workplace is simple, though, you’re likely out of luck, because while a string twice as long as another harmonizes with it (because of wavelengths meeting), the strings lengthened for certain octaves don’t harmonize at all—1, 2, 4, and 8 do, just like in math, but when you throw in a 5 or a 7 at the wrong time you get what was termed “wolf notes” for their dissonance. (There’ll be lots of 5’s and 7’s on the farm).
Western musical authorities kept the truth hidden for fifteen hundred years, until musical pieces became more complex with many different parts (the motet, I believe, was the turning point) and the piano, with its extended range, was invented—suddenly, they couldn’t hide the truth. To get around the newly evident problem, “equal temperament” was developed. All the octaves were made just a little out of tune so all of them would harmonize and none need be avoided. Few Westerners have heard a “true” music without equal temperament, but luckily the shaved octaves we do hear don’t sound disharmonious or out of tune at all. It’s the same on the farm—you can all change just a little, make things work out so things go smoothly and harmoniously, out of tune but imperceptibly so.