|Portrait of a good team - #TeamBarreto established 2000|
Over dinner this past weekend, the entire Barreto clan was reduced to tears of laughter several times simply because my husband and I feigned like we were smearing hot fudge on our bodies in the middle of a Red Robin restaurant. It was down right hilarious and even as I write about it now, I cannot stop smiling. I also cannot stop thinking about the fact that it's been fourteen years since we formed #TeamBarreto and I am so excited we are still going strong.
Fourteen years of marriage is a coup for both me and my husband. I did not see many successful marriages in my life as I grew up. There are a few in my family but those couples lived far from us and so I did not see the "ins and outs" of how they did it. On my husband's side, there were none. He always tells me he never saw or even knew anyone with a decent marriage as he grew up or in adulthood. We have come to know that our union is a blessing and there are few key drivers that make #TeamBarreto work.
One of the most important attributes of #TeamBarreto is our ability to laugh. We laugh a lot; as a couple, as a family and individually. We are all very light-hearted and goofy by nature and I believe it is one of the most valuable traits that keeps our team going. Even during the most difficult times over these past 14 years, this clan ALWAYS finds a reason to laugh. Laughing is an Olympic event in our house. We compete to see who can make the others laugh more. And when one of us in down, we get down with them and find a way to bring a smile through tears. There are inside jokes and goofy nicknames for bodily functions. We have eye contact codes and even our own language. Laughing is our medicine and we keep the cabinet stocked.
#TeamBarreto Lives Within Their Means
To an outsider, it may seem like we Barretos "live it up." Hotel stays in the city, memberships to city museums and the many travel adventures would lead someone to think we spend lots and lots of money. We do but we also sacrifice and forgo many, many other things. If you've ever been fortunate enough to be invited in our house, you've seen our hodgepodge of garage sale and second-hand store furniture. If you've ever complimented me on something I'm wearing, you've heard how I got the $399 BCBG brand new sequin skirt for $24 from the second hand store in Wicker Park or how I scoured the clearance rack at Nordstrom Rack to get the yoga outfit for under $10. We Barretos live within our means. We shop clearance. We Netflix more than we see 1st run movies. We eat out every two weeks versus every week. We have a budget and every one knows how it works and what priorities are on it. In the time since I started my business, we've even lived below our means, just to be safe.
#TeamBarreto Honors Their Values
Our team works well because we have aligned ourselves around our values. Be it "kindness rules," "find the fun," "travel always" or "try something new", #TeamBarreto honors its values in our daily lives. For example, we love to travel. We have always loved to travel and even in the transition from my large corporate salary to building my company, we kept our travel desires alive. We had to make sacrifices to ensure that our value of "travel always" remained even as it was slightly more difficult to execute. Day-to-day, we take deep breaths as we interact keeping in mind our "kindness rules" value. Rarely, do you hear screaming in our house and you certainly don't hear disparaging name calling or negative talk spewing at one another. We all agreed that we want to honor our differences another way - no negative talk toward each other. We also make it a point to find the fun in all situations. Recently, we were faced with an extremely trying few weeks and it was awesome to see every member of the family "finding the fun" in our hardship.
While there are no guarantees in life and I cannot say for certain that nothing will happen to our team, I do know this - we are a solid team because of the aforementioned attributes. We have made it this far by holding on to those traits and buoying each other through the storms that life has pushed our way. We will surely have a shot at 14 more years and beyond because we know and honor what got us to this point.
What holds your team together?