James and Emma Jensen of the Australian Nutrition Centre have combined their knowledge of pharmaceutical and natural medicines to focus on treating the root cause of health issues, rather than just the symptoms. The parents of two have experienced significant success thanks to their commitment to tailoring health solutions that help people regain their health and wellbeing. We talked to the couple to see how they work together in their business landscape.
- You are both trained pharmacists who are very passionate about treating the root cause, rather than the symptoms. What were some factors you both had to weigh up before deciding to go into business together?
JAMES: We knew the things we loved about being a pharmacist and wanted to take that with us into our new journey. We have always tried to design our business around our lives, and not the other way around.
EMMA: The risk is blurring the lines between work and home. We didn’t want to live and breathe our work. We wanted to ensure we had the right balance and that our goals aligned with each other.
- Congratulations on the recent birth of your second child! How have you found trying to balance the business with two young children?
EMMA: Being self-employed allows some great flexibility, but it can go both ways. The flexibility means we can bring the new addition to work with us. I didn’t really have the chance to have a traditional maternity leave as I was still helping out with lots of things, but it’s been more of ‘doing what I can, when I can’.
JAMES: We’re also very fortunate that our second child is a very good baby, so he has fit into our lives easily. We’re doing more ‘tag-team’ parenting too, to allow one of us to get stuck in to doing the necessary stuff.
- Does working together as business partners ever impact your personal relationship, or have you both managed to find the ‘middle ground?’
EMMA: I would say in many ways it has strengthened our relationship. We work really well together as a team, and working together feels like a natural extension of our personal relationship.
JAMES: Emma is really good at the things I’m not good at doing, and vice versa. It also helps that we have different roles within the business. Most of my day is spent with clients so despite working together we don’t often see much of each other.
- What something that has surprised you both about working together?
EMMA: Despite the fact we’re both really laid back, we thought we would surely have a few disagreements. Luckily and surprisingly we haven’t yet.
JAMES: It’s also been nice to see each other excel in different areas and see a side to the other person we wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
- What advice would you give to other husband and wife teams who are considering going into business together or collaborating in some form?
EMMA: I think having clear roles and expectations of each other from the outset is important. I think these should be reviewed regularly too as they may change with time. Like with anything, communication is key.
JAMES: Always talk to each other, listen to each other and be honest. Having an independent ‘third-party’ like a business coach has also been extremely helpful. For us, it means that any problems or discussions can be had with them as a referee, it can help to understand where the other person may be coming from.