03 December 2010

Interview with a Startup Wife

Interview with a Start Up Wife
"Mrs. Startup Entrepreneur"

Married: 4 years
Phase: Startup
Children: 3
Started first business: 1st year of their marriage

While this particular spouse wasn't really my first interview I wanted to start with someone who is right in the mix of the startup world. I was really only acquainted with her husband so this was one of those blind date/job interview type meet ups. Of course I did my homework (aka facebook stalking) so I had some insight into who she was and I felt confident that we were going to get along well. We decided to meet up at a local coffee shop. Luckily we parked our cars at the same time because we ended up being the only two customers in the shop :) And she was even more adorable than fb told me she would be! We ordered Peppermint Hot Chocolate and started to chat.

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?
Yes. I knew he was going to be before we married.

MTE: Were you raised in an entrepreneurial family?

MTE: What attracted you to your husband?
He made me feel like I was the most amazing person, that I could be anybody that I wanted to be, but that I was amazing just the way I was. He's so loving and giving. He is such a hard worker and I always knew that he would be a great provider and I knew that he would be a really, really good dad. And he always attracts people. He always has a lot of friends. And he's totally the opposite from me and I love that.

MTE: Explain what your involvement  has been with your entrepreneur's businesses?
 Ummmm, I try to be supportive, he bounces a lot of ideas off me, so like a sounding board. And  I try to help with design, a little bit here and there. I try to help write a little bit for his website as well. So I wish I could do more. I would enjoy being a part of the business, but it's hard with kids. If we could afford it, like a part time nanny, I would love to be more involved. 

MTE: How have you handled or dealt with the instability of being married to an entrepreneur?
{Laughs}  well this week is going well, so...it's definitely a process, this last year has been major growing pains for us. He works so hard and so much and he's always trying to do the right thing, but it's so hard to know exactly what the right thing is. One of the biggest issues we have is being so connected all the time, the company can't wait, the client can't wait. It's like a Dr. without the salary, available 24/7. He is checked in no matter where we are. We are still "dealing" with that.

MTE: Have you ever told your entrepreneur to get a "job"?
Honestly, we've had arguments when we would get worried, like should we have done this? But really I believe in him, I wouldn't want him to have to get a job. I believe in him. We could move into apartment to save money or whatever. This is what he wants to do.

MTE: Can you talk about some of the hardships you face being the spouse of an entrepreneur?
Insurance is huge, we have a child with health concerns so that's a big priority and can make things complicated. Not having a steady paycheck. Working more, that's hard and I think feeling like you can't say anything because he is really doing it all for you and your family. I never want him to feel unappreciated, but it's not easy... I wish he didn't worry so much and that I didn't worry so much.

MTE: What are some of the joys you have experienced being married to an entrepreneur?
Flexibility of being able to come to the hospital with our child. I think his confidence is higher, even though there is a lot of stress, he brings an energy and excitement to the house because that's how he feels about his work. He is learning a lot about himself. Obviously the  joys of the money and the potential and where we can go with it...I mean with a 9-5 job you kind of know where the cap it at if you know what I mean.

MTE: If you had to define your entrepreneur in three words what would they be?
Smart. Innovative. And no matter what he succeeds....he always succeeds and excels at everything he does.

MTE: Name three attributes you have gained from being married to an entrepreneur?
Patience. To dream bigger and to have faith, just to have faith & let go.

MTE: What would you tell other women/men who are about to marry an entrepreneur?
You just have to know that it is what it is. That sometimes you are going to feel like you come in last, but really, underneath it all, that it's really all for you. What most entrepreneurs have in common is that they really want what is best for their family. Also, you have to have realistic expectations, that's all you can do. You've got to laugh and have a sense of humor too.
MTE: What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned being married to an entrepreneur?
Ummmm. I think that no matter what as long as...ok...well, when we talked about it and decided that officially he was going to leave his 9-5 for sure, that the best thing that could happen was that we could make millions of dollars and that the worst was that we don't...but no matter what we have, or don't have, we always have each other and we have to hold onto that. No one, or thing, can take us away from each other.

MTE: So how would you answer the following question: Is being married to an entrepreneur worth it?
 Yes. It's hard, but yes.

Amen to that. This entrepreneur's spouse was both genuine and forthright. It was obvious that she loves her entrepreneur and believes in his abilities and I found myself relating to so much of what she said. Being in the thick of things (managing and balancing kids, husbands, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) with an entrepreneur who is in a start up is a difficult task. I was impressed with her drive and commitment to the cause. Keep it up! You guys are a great team and will no doubt make your mark on the world.