15 December 2010

Architect Gone Self-Employed
"Mrs. Architect Entrepreneur"
Married: 11 years
Phase: Growing
Children: Three
Entrepreneur Type: Professional
Started first business: 1st year of their marriage

This entrepreneur's spouse is a family friend. We have known one another for a little over three years and attended events and enjoyed dinner and birthday parties together. When I went to her home I saw boxes ready to ship and paperwork on the table...it was obviously the home/office of an entrepreneur. I must admit that I am a little intimidated by her as she is an incredibly beautiful and extremely talented woman. She exudes so many of the qualities that I hope to achieve so I was more than excited to hear about her journey in the life of entrepreneurship.

Here are a few things she had to say:

MTE: So, did you know your husband was an entrepreneur, or was going to be one, when you married him?
No, because he was going into architecture and that seemed safe, and plain. He went to work all day and was done at 5:00 pm, but I knew I was in trouble about the first month after we got married. While he was still in school I actually attended a seminar that said there was a high divorce rate in architecture and we realized that unless he was going to own his own firm that it was not really very lucrative for a long time... and that is when he said he wanted to start his own design firm. He was always designing things and always creating and coming up with ideas to patent and things so I knew that he always had that in him, I just didn't know he was actually going to go there {laughing}.

MTE: Were you raised in an entrepreneurial family?
Yeah I would say that. My dad wasn't quite the same type of entrepreneur that my husband is. We had a family business and implemented new and progressive ideas, so yeah.

MTE: What attracted you to your husband?
Well, a lot of things. I really liked that he was high energy, outgoing and ambitious. I also noticed that he was a leader of his peers. They all kind of did whatever he said, they kind of all looked to him.

MTE: Explain what your involvement has been with your entrepreneur's businesses?
Initially, very little, but as it grew I helped with marketing as that is my background. I would do a lot of the managerial/administrative type work, all the extra work.

MTE: Have you ever had to get a job to support the family and/or your entrepreneur.
Yes. Yes. Um there was a time when we hit a rough spot and I waited tables at night. We've been fortunate that I haven't had to go back full-time. We've always been creative about extra sources of income (selling things online, flipping things for a profit) those types of things just to get a little income. I have a business background and I sometimes miss that element of work and I was okay going back to help out. There was definitely a feeling of I hope that we make it through and that I wouldn't have to be doing this for the next few years.

MTE: How have you handled or dealt with the instability of being married to an entrepreneur?
Thank goodness for credit cards! I think that you learn more because you have to pay attention to every penny. We get really creative when things look like they are going to be tight we try to cut costs any way that we can. He works all the time which is hard, up until two AM and working on vacations can get annoying {laughing}, that's the one thing that I think is really hard is putting it down, shutting your mind off. 

MTE: Can you talk about some of the hardships you face being the spouse of an entrepreneur?
I play the role of his reality check sometimes and I think he sees it as an anchor, but I'll just say, "I know you want to start this company..." and his initial reaction is let's get a 1-800 number and office space and I'm gonna get all these people in place and I think let's start from home, use our cell phones and I know he feels sometimes hindered by that. He has actually credited me with making sure we take baby steps.

MTE: What are some of the joys you have experienced being married to an entrepreneur?
Having access to him because his schedule is flexible. With children I can volunteer at their class or if someone is sick I don't have to worry about getting time off.

MTE: How has the entrepreneur work/home balance affected your family life?
In our situation I think it has really bonded our marriage and it's been the best thing because we are both working so hard on our goal. We both know it's kind of do or die all the time and we are both dreaming and planning together, so I think its been really bonding.

MTE: If you had to define your entrepreneur in three words what would they be? 
Intense, restless and passionate.

MTE: Name three attributes you have gained from being married to an entrepreneur?
Thick skin {laughing}, open-minded and more understanding.

MTE: What would you tell other women/men who are about to marry an entrepreneur?
Be there to be their reality. By saying that I mean they can get so lofty in their dreams and ideas and it's wonderful, but there needs to be a balance and if you can then be their balance. Behind every married entrepreneur is, you know, the wife who got them there! Because they absolutely will not make it on their own.

MTE: What being Married to an Entrepreneur taught you?
He has taught me to dream, I think that is a really endearing quality. He is the type of guy that will jump into a pool without checking the temperature, that is not me at all!

MTE: So how would you answer the following question: Is being married to an entrepreneur worth it?

As always she was so poised and on her game. I could sense an underlying confidence of where things are at, in regards to the company, and it makes me happy. They are a great couple and great team. I really appreciated her honesty and her depth and understanding. Since she has been down the road a few more years than I have it was good to see that you can still end up loving each other. :)