17 August 2011

Run Entrepreneur, Run

With the exclusion of the Olympics and various Championship races, the Boston Marathon is the only marathon in the USA that maintains qualifying times and requirements. This Entrepreneurs spouse has definitely qualified, not for the Boston Marathon...although I'm sure she could do that as well, but not only did they work through the initial mud of the entrepreneurial start up life, they were also able to attain the ultimate goal of being bought out, {they sold the company her Entrepreneur co-founded for 1.8 Billion...yes with a B}.

We met for brunch on a Saturday morning which was very refreshing because we actually both got to enjoy a meal and conversation minus kids {although we love our children dearly :) } She is darling, down-to-earth and just a beautiful person inside and out. I felt like I was talking to a big sister. We are both runners and after a few good laughs over the life of Entrepreneurship I knew we'd make great friends.

Favorite Interview Moment: When she told me that they used their wedding money to purchase a computer for his first company... You might be married to an Entrepreneur if!

Mrs. Qualified Entrepreneur
Married: 15 years
Kids: Three
Phase: Established
Entrepreneurs Company: Co-Founder of Omniture {bought by Adobe}
First Business: While they were dating

MTE: Did you know he was an Entrepreneur when you married him?
He’s always had ideas of doing his own business or projects. When I first met him he was working on websites for people. So I understood that would be a part of him.
MTE: What are the most challenging aspects of being Married to an Entrepreneur?
Time. He was gone all of the time. He would get up at 7-7:30 and he wouldn’t get home until 1-2 in the morning. Which was fine and we could do that when it was just the two of us, I would go down and sleep at the office so I could just be with him and then once we had our oldest that got hard because she didn’t really even know who he was.
Hard for me because I felt like a single mom most of the time, at least for me I was fortunate in that I didn’t have to work. I don’t want that to come across as woe is me, because I wasn’t actually feeling that, but at the same time it was hard when my friends had husbands who came home at 6:00 for dinner as a family. We didn’t have family dinner. We still don’t really have family dinner. I mean we have family dinner with who is home which is usually me and the kids…that’s just the way it is and that’s the sacrifice.
While other people were putting their kids to bed at 7 or 8 at night, I kept my kids up as late as possible so that they can see him. Sometimes 10 or 11. And I guess sometimes I felt unsupported in my role as a mom because I had to do it all alone. But at the same time I had to be independent and I had to also be realistic. If he was going to succeed in this company then I wasn't going to add more to his workload...he had enough to work on.
MTE: How long did it take you to realize this was part of the deal?
I’m really independent and the day our first child was born, they wanted to induce me and I called my Entrepreneur and told him they were planning to induce me and he said, "OK, well let me know how it goes." and I was seriously OK with that. I knew he had to work and I wasn't sure how long it was going to take and... {Laughing} His business partner was like, “Dude, was that your wife? Get your butt down to the hospital!”  {Laughing}, but after our daughter came then then that took some adjusting. I had to come to terms with the fact that it was going to just be me and the kids for a little bit. I decided I would be OK with that, so I was. Other spouses may say, "No, I need you home and we need to do this and this and this,” but I know he is happy doing what he is doing and I am ok with that. Communication is important, you can't figure those things out if you don't communicate and it doesn't mean that it's easy everyday. There are hard days.

MTE: What has Entrepreneurship taught you?
To be optimistic, hopeful and to trust. I remember having our credit cards maxed, a 2nd mortgage, and you just cross your fingers and it’s scary and you just hope for the best and for us it has always worked out somehow, there have been so many times when it just seemed doubtful. I’ve always trusted my Entrepreneur though, he is very smart and very analytical and I just kept thinking he can do this and we will keep pushing through and we weren’t going to go down without a fight. 
We were fortunate I guess because there are lot of great entrepreneurs whose timing is off or something and it just doesn’t take and it’s not because it isn’t a great idea or a great company or they aren't a great entrepreneur, sometimes things just don't work out like you plan. Sometimes they work out better. :)
MTE: What has been your involvement in the companies/ventures?
When he comes home he wants to unwind and I used to want to ask how things are going and hear the details, but I realized that he was exhausted and wanted to occupy his mind with other things or with nothing. I could tell when things were hard or when there were struggles, even though he wouldn’t tell me everything I think it was his way of trying to protect me from some of that, but I could tell and that’s a hard thing to bear when you know your husband is carrying that. So I wasn’t really connected to the company on that level, but I was connected to my husband and so I was involved.
MTE: You seem to have a really optimistic view on the journey.
Yes, it’s definitely a roller coaster, but all of life is and if it wasn't Entrepreneurship it might have been something else. When you are married you are committed. Not everyone thinks that, but I do.
MTE: Is it worth it?
Yes, yes and yes.

She was very insightful about understanding the expectations of Entrepreneurship and sharing her feelings about why it is okay if their marriage was different than other marriages. After almost 2 hours of discussion over oatmeal and waffles I left the interview feeling grateful for my life with my Entrepreneur {which doesn't always come naturally}. She reminded me that all experiences can teach us something valuable.