01 September 2011

Entrepreneur Grad

I am starting to love blind interview meetups. They used to make me nervous. I'm an outgoing person, but the idea of meeting someone you've only talked to on the phone or emailed a few times live and in person can be...well... stressful. I would worry if we would be compatible, if they would show up, if we would enjoy good conversation, if I would learn something new...but I guess after you do 40+ interviews in a matter of weeks then you get over some of that. :) Now I look forward to the anticipation of a fresh perspective, an interesting story and meeting a new friend and I must say I have found that in every interview to date!

Mrs. Graduate Entrepreneur was no exception. I met her at a quaint little dessert cafe on a Tuesday afternoon. She was my third interview for the day and my amazing white chocolate cake the perfect afternoon delight! Mrs. Graduate Entrepreneur was fun, ambitious and bright, both in personality and intellect. She has a lot to offer.

Favorite interview quote: "The most stressful part of being Married to an Entrepreneur is having every hobby that I love turned into a business idea!"
{I could not stop laughing}

Mrs. Graduate Entrepreneur
Married: 4 years
Kids: 2 kids
Phase: Startup
Company: Dental Consulting Business- Platinum Recall

MTE: So how did all this, "I want to be an Entrepreneur" stuff start?
He didn't really know he was an Entrepreneur in the beginning, it was mostly side jobs with his skills, which helped make money on the side and helped paid for rent. The decision to become an Entrepreneur came later. He decided if he was going to spend the rest of his life working he wasn't going to do it the way someone else wanted him to.
MTE: How were you with that decision?
It made me nervous. I have a much lower risk tolerance than he does. He loves the adrenaline rush of motor biking and sky diving and I would rather be strapped in safely with a nice helmet and have fun the safe way {laughing}, but I knew that when he made up his mind to do it, that we were going to do it. I didn't want him to look back at his life 40 years down the road and be disappointed. Long term I figured he was allowing me to do what I loved... being a housewife so I felt like I at least owed him the same shot to do what he loved.
MTE: Were you raised in an Entrepreneurial Family?
Kind of half and half. My dad had a steady job growing up, but later he did venture out on his own later in life and did quite well.
MTE: What is your involvement in your Entrepreneur's Ventures?
I do everything! {laughing} We invested every last penny right into this latest business venture and if we want to see that back then I've got to be the receptionist, billing, everything so he has time to sell the business and make it go.  We don't want to work together long term in that capacity, but for right now we are just going to bootstrap it. Right now I call and set up appointments. We've gotten big enough that we have 1 employee so I now manage her. The biggest thing right now is organizing this to a point where we can actually grow so getting everything down on hard copy exactly what each position is. I have to get all of the formalities down of what each role is and what each position is and pioneer things for each phase of development. So right now, I do the hiring, I do the interviews, I help with the sales... I worked in a medical office for 2 1/5 years so I know what they are looking for.
MTE: Now your husband actually went through a specialized MBA program for Entrepreneurs, correct?

Yes, very unique program that is directly built around being an Entreprenuer. It is supposed to be the real life experience of what it is like to be an Entrepreneur. It had me shaking in my boots! It was a really unique experience. It took me about a year to recover! {laughing} After grad school we were Unemployed for about a year.
MTE: Did grad school prepare you for that?
No. We realized it was time for Plan B. He pounded the streets and pounded his network everyday and we came to a point where it was either start this business or move in with the in-laws. So that's when we decided to go for it. No offense to my in-laws. lol.
MTE: What are some things that grad school taught you?
That a lot of the same principles that run a good business, run a good family. You have to be transparent and have clear boundaries. You have to have the processes in place of who is going to do what when. We have contracts. Some of them are about the nitty gritty things and it works for us. So instead of stressing about it we realize if something isn't working then we add addendum's. We cover finances, responsibilities, preschool. So we live by that system and it seems to keep a lot of the stress at bay and when the crap does hit the fan at least it's in a more organized fashion.
We can address it systematically and logically which is more effective. The contract covers the boundaries like at 9:00 PM we shut the computers off. It's the rule. Some nights they are broken, but then you have to make up for that somehow. It's a tradeoff. When we decided we were going to invest $100,000 for him to go to grad school to invest in his mind then I would get a trip to Hawaii out of it. I didn't just sacrifice like a little lamb. I got something out of it too.
MTE: That's a unique way to work on things. So if you agreed that this is part of the deal, he's going to grad school, you are supporting that, but you also get a trip to Hawaii out of it, then you both understand that you are getting something of value out of it and that probably helps keep perspective and helps to keep your eye on the goal.
Yeah, we have something to work for. So we did the accelerated program and on the hard days I just had to say: "10 days in Hawaii!"
MTE: I think I might implement this. {laughing} How would you describe him...Your Entrepreneur?
MTE: What is stressful about being married to an Entrepreneur?
The most stressful part is having every hobby that I love turned into a business idea. Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in the air. Why do I have to make money from my hobby? You can't have a normal conversation without them starting a business idea.
MTE: I can't stop laughing because I know EXACTLY how you feel! Sometimes it's exhausting right!?!

MTE: What's cool about being Married to an Entrepreneur?
Everyday is a new opportunity for something great to happen. He dares to dream and dares to sacrifice and around every turn there is something new to discover and something new to be found and we are willing to try it.
MTE: So it is worth it?

Yes. Of course it is. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Me neither!

Hottest geek that ever lived. He is funny and nothing gets him down.