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Liza Graves, Jay Graves

Surviving the Business and Marriage Trenches – Liza and Jay Graves

Liza GravesLiza Graves is the Founder and co-CEO of Blueprint.Inc, a multi-platform marketing company, and the Co-founder of StyleBlueprint, a Southern lifestyle digital magazine. As a serial entrepreneur, she launched a lunch cafe when she was 24 before opening a retail business out of her home. In 2015, Liza was named one of the 75 Most Stylish People in the South and has been named a Woman of Influence and the Most Admired CEO by Nashville Business Journal.




Jay GravesJay Graves is the co-CEO of Blueprint.Inc, where he leads operations and technology for the StyleBlueprint platform. With over 25 years of experience in data-driven businesses, he co-founded and sold SmartDM and SSB, which focused on data warehousing, digital marketing, and technology operations. With these companies, Jay generated value for clients, including the NBA, the NFL, and NASCAR.




Here's a Glimpse of What You'll Learn

  • [3:12] Blueprint.Inc’s inception and its mission to promote local businesses
  • [8:48] How husband and wife duo Liza and Jay Graves divided company roles and expectations
  • [13:37] The Graves share how they strategically adapted their business model during the pandemic
  • [19:27] Fostering a strong business culture through strategic coaching and accountability systems
  • [27:40] Advice for balancing work and personal life as an entrepreneurial couple
  • [34:27] How to set clear expectations and boundaries with your team
  • [43:24] Liza and Jay’s experiences at the Global Speaker’s Academy (GSA)

In This Episode

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, so having someone along for the ride may make the daily obstacles less stressful. Yet business partnerships have unique struggles, especially when the relationship is also a marriage. How did an entrepreneurial power couple navigate individual and shared adversities?

While Jay Graves was scaling success in data operations, Liza Graves was struggling with an incompatible business partnership. After joining EO, she recognized her issue with holding others accountable. With the help of Jay and her EO forum, Liza leveraged the pandemic to restructure her business model and developed a culture of accountability and transparency. Now business partners, Jay and Liza credit EO’s Global Speaker’s Academy for improving their communication styles and recommend that entrepreneurial spouses establish boundaries with each other to balance work and life effectively.

Join Robert Hartline and Eric Jackson in this week’s episode of EO Nashville’s The Decision as they invite Jay and Liza Graves of Blueprint.Inc to talk about their intertwined entrepreneurial journey. Together, they discuss practicing what you preach to your team, how they divide company roles and expectations equally, and how strategic coaching helped restructure the business.

Quotable Moments:

  • “Supporting our advertisers means supporting our own business survival.”
  • “Accountability isn’t a bad word; it’s about removing the hurdles to achieve our goals.”
  • “The best decisions are made walking together.”
  • “I had to work on my business this year, not just in my business.”
  • “EO’s Global Speaker’s Academy was about more than public speaking; it improved our entire communication process.”

Action Steps:

  1. Regularly schedule a no-business time to maintain personal relationships: This allows couples working together to switch off mentally from work-related tasks, keeping personal time sacred and reducing stress.
  2. Embrace nature and outdoor activities for clarity in decision-making: It’s proven that being in nature can clear the mind, allowing more creative and strategic thinking.
  3. Recalibrate goals and establish new strategies during crisis periods: This step ensures business survival by being adaptive and proactive in the face of unforeseen challenges.
  4. Invest in communication and public speaking training: Effective communication is crucial for leadership and business growth, and training can significantly improve this skill set.
  5. Engage in EO forums for support and peer accountability: Active participation in EO forums can provide valuable insights, shared experiences, and diverse perspectives to help navigate business challenges.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Sponsored by:

This episode is brought to you by EO Nashville.

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a high-quality support network of nearly 15,000 like-minded leaders from over 60 countries.

EO helps transform entrepreneurs’ lives through life-enhancing connections, shared experiences, and collaborative learning.

EO Nashville is the largest EO chapter in the US, third in the world, and has the most female members of any US chapter.

To learn more about how EO Nashville can benefit you, visit eonashville.com.

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