Couples can have very diverse interests as well as personalities. Their business and personal life has a distinct separation, others merge and blend seamlessly. Alex and Marina are one of those “blended” couples who are partners in life as well as business. During a recent question and answer interview they provided background information and insight into their success.
Names of Couple:
Marina Berkovich and Alexander Goldstein
State or Country of Origin:
Both born in USSR – one country then, two countries now
Marina Berkovich in Ukraine
Alexander Goldstein in Russia
Alexander Goldstein holds Masters of Music Degree from the prestigious Gnessin Russian State Academy of Music, where he studied from the age of 6 for 16 years. In USA, he studied computer video, audio and graphics at various certified institutions.
Marina earned her Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Information Systems from Queens College, CUNY. She graduated from New York University School of Continuing Education as Computer Programmer and received her CPA licensure from The State of New York.
Length of time in Naples:
What drew you to Naples:
We were looking for a safe tropical community with good infrastructure, sandy beaches, existing cultural life, and overall atmosphere that would be conducive to productivity of our creative business as well as year-round health(ier) than NYC Metro area lifestyle.
Name of Business:
ABG World Video and Audio Production
Type of business and an overview of what you do:
ABG World is a Video and Audio Production Company. We are a full production company with capabilities to take a project from idea to premiere. We make broadcast quality video production, like documentary films, TV shows andpromotional reels. As an audio production we make film music and music compositions for figure skating, gymnastics, artistic swimming, etc.
Services ABG World provides to general public:
DocuMemory is our trademark service to capture family oral/visual history to film formats with background music and client’s photos and videos. We made films from 5 minutes long to mini-series for people interested in preservation of their family archives, collections and stories for their future generations.
We perform data transfers from tapes, films, vinyl records or from any other analog media to digital formats on CD/DVD/Blu-ray, flash or hard drives.
What fuels your passion for what you do:
We are a family of workaholics, happy to take on a variety of creative challenges in our business setting. The more challenging the assignment, the more satisfaction we receive from its completion. We constantly reinvent ourselves through our creative pursuits, Alex through music composing and cinematography, Marina through writing books and scripts.
Joys and challenges of living and working together:
To the question “how long you’ve been married?” Alex usually responds “One Day.” We love being together, sharing the same pursuits, playing off each other’s ideas and are always in discussion and contemplation, sometimes calling each other on the phone to the next room or more often, shouting “Eureka” from our adjacent business offices or from our adjacent home offices. We only have two challenges of working together – Marina cannot play any music when she writes, because it interferes with Alex’s music composing, and Alex cannot blast the music he’s editing, because it interferes with Marina’s writing. Ok, there’s a third challenge, scheduling time away from work…
Advise for married couples who are considering going into business together:
Set clear business vision, goals and expectations and define business roles.
Marina is a non-practicing CPA. As she advised her many clients starting a partnership, make sure you have worked out a clear agreement about business participation, assets, liabilities and income/loss distribution. It does not have to be a huge expensive legalese document. One page of who’s responsible for what and how will do to start with. Sign and date it. Don’t forget to periodically update it when business goals and priorities change. As the business grows, or when it’s complicated at inception, a more formal or substantial document may be needed.
In very trying times, like that we experience now with COVID and economic standstill, even the strongest of marriages may cave under the emotional and financial trauma of diminishing business income and assets or the loss of business itself. Couples should remember that marriage takes priority to business, so always reassess, re-strategize and do not blame each other.
Never stop participating in education circle – learn from a more experienced person, teach a newbie, pass new knowledge to your partner.
Also, as cliche as it seems, a very practical advice is to never put all your eggs in one basket. Develop some side income streams when times are good, so you can always restart with plan B.
How can you be contacted:
239-566-1771 ABG World