It’s been a long time since I’ve written about what it’s like to be married to an Entrepreneur. Specifically one who has a team of people under him. When you marry the founder, the boss, the big cheese.
It used to be me grinding my teeth and begging for someone to recognize that the sacrifice at home was just as real as the hours he was putting in to make his dream a reality. I single-parented our kids for years. It was hard, really hard. It was lonely and I was mad and felt pretty duped in the whole experience. But then this really weird thing happened: I let go of a few expectations and images (of what I thought life should look like based on what everyone else was doing) and I got interested in the life we actually had.
It was revolutionary to our survival as a married couple, I’d say. I developed interests and championed causes. He championed my curiosity and promoted my talents. I let myself out of the bag and we had a blast getting to know the quirks, the dreams, the vision we shared for this life we were both loving.
It happened slowly, not overnight, this new normal. But it’s still hard. I’ve learned I’m a huge fan of personal growth. Boy, do I want to create experiences where we all hold hands and sing songs together. Where you enter this space of safety to be truly who you are. Where it’s ok to take the mask off.
I live for those moments, for inviting others into them with me. For creating them and curating them and being all over that space; intellectually, spiritually, personally.
Which simply means: I’m all about relationship, I love community. I get hives when this space mirrors speed-dating or technologically based interactions. I want to see your face. I want to hear your story.
Thing is, when you marry the boss and you’re all about relationship it’s difficult to be who you really are, transparent and vulnerable, for a group of people who (crudely, but essentially) your husband pays to be there. When these teams change, people leave, or new folks sign on for the experience it’s an incredibly emotionally charged situation for me.
It has become such for both of us.
Our lively-hood is based on production … of a healthy team. Of an ecosystem of people who love to wake up in the morning and choose to be part of the story we’re telling. I would dare say it’s easier to live in the fight or flight era of a start-up because you all agree on what you’re fighting for. When sustainability enters the picture, or growth models, or scaling-up is part of the conversation, dynamics inevitably change.
Survival is no longer the end game, now what matters is the impact.
Success is the real vulnerability in Entrepreneurism – because once you prove you can, you have to keep proving you should.