I got an email this afternoon around 3:00pm wishing me and 9 other AWESOME women “Happy Mother’s Day! The email went on to say, “the post is live and I hope you love it and will share it” cheers, Donna :
What a AWESOME Start to this Startup Mama’s Mother’s Day weekend! BNET is one FAVORITES. I have been a fan since business school (that’s been awhile…LOL) This is like a big deal to me :-)
Happy Mother’s Day!
“How are you and the other co-founder related?” “Is ‘HE’ your husband?” “How is it to work with your husband?” These are the new questions I am always asked when I attend business-related functions with my husband and business partner.
At the Launch Conference, I was approached by a well known serial entrepreneur (whose name I will keep secret) and he said to me: So, did I hear right that you and the other co-founder are married? I replied “Yes, Sterling is my husband”. He says “Wow, that is AWESOME, and you guys seem to have really good chemistry together.” I was feeling a sense of pride to have received that compliment from such an accomplished guy.
But then, before I knew it, he blindsided me with “my ex-wife and I were business partners in my first business.” Wait..did he just say ex-wife!! Me—a look of “whoa”. Him—a look of “awwwwkwaaard”. Guess we were both caught off guard by that. LOL! Mr. Serial Entrepreneur assured me that their business dealings together had absolutely nothing to do with why “she’s is my ex-wife now”. With lots of laughter, I learned a lot from him that day.
This conversation, as amusing as it turned out to be, was filed away till later. Today must be my “later”, as I ponder on my feelings about being a business partner—an equal, if you will—with my dear hubby. Will the good times last? Can the person you sleep, and with whom you’ve shared your most intimate moments, take you seriously in a business setting? Will I someday share my “why he is my ex” story with another husband & wife startup team?
This is why I like meeting new people, especially entrepreneurs who have “been there and done that.” There is a wealth of knowledge and life experiences out there and we all have a story to share. And my ears are wide open.
Finding the Perfect Partner Isn’t Something That Just Happens
Like finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with, finding the right business partner requires identifying some of the same ingredients—CHEMISTRY being the biggest, in my opinion. There needs to be a strong mutual desire toward accomplishing the same goals. For Sterling and I, this a perfect fit. Not only because we have the same business goals, we have very similar life goals. For me that is where the “being married” part comes in handy. Being co-founders is not weird for us. We co-parent, we co-chore, we co-sleep, we co-habitate. Ok, I know those aren’t your most widely used “co” words but they do exist in our world, as they do in many of yours :-)
Running a household and raising a family is a full-time job—a business within itself. But it is something we’ve always handled together. So, when it came to running StorkBrokers, working together was not a difficult transition. It’s not always a walk in the park. We have our clashes from time to time. I want my way, he often sees things better his way. Yet as stressful as these moment can be, it is in these moments that I grow as a business partner, a woman, a wife. Why? Because new challenges that force us out of our comfort zones expand our abilities and understanding . And as a husband and wife team, these lessons learned don’t really get left at the office. Instead they permeate through all aspects of our lives. This is why adjustment is important in my world.
A spirited debate amongst a non-husband & wife team can go like this: disagreement, debate, leaving, talk to you tomorrow.
However, for a husband & wife team, disagreement leads to debate. But since we’re in the same house, we have to resolve or table the issue in order to jointly care for the kids, discuss family budgeting, split household chores, etc. And, at the end of the day, no one wants to cuddle with a grudge-holder. LOL.
So, there is no escape. Thus, you quickly learn to “suck it up” and just let things go. Too much to do, too little time to do it all. That’s just life.
Creating success begins with improving oneself
So I’m no superwoman or special person who just says “yeah, I have it all under control and I know what I’m doing”. Nope. I have a life coach, I read books, and I work at being better. Like marriage, “you” have to be worked on in order to work well and stay strong. You make mistakes, you learn from them and you re-adjust for the next time.
One of these lessons is:
Once your subconscious mind is programmed, you attract experiences and people into your life in accordance with the beliefs you hold. You actually subconsciously draw into your experience that which you hold to be true. And this can be positive or negative and can be directly in opposition to what you believe consciously. So, by changing unwanted and limiting beliefs subconsciously you can create a much fuller life.
The exercise: Create the ending you would like to have happen. If you want a peaceful ending, tell yourself that and follow through on it.
Daily chants are also very helpful. My daily chant before going into a work day with the hubby is:
I am safe to feel joy today and I will be happy in all I do. I am confident. My words will be soft and loving today. My thoughts will be creative, joyful and positive. We rock as a team!
This is me programing my subconscious. Ok, yeah, sometimes I fall down on this and a bad day or two slides in. But all in all I really enjoy being not only life partners with my husband, but business partners as well. There have been days, I want to strangle him, but there are days that I wouldn’t trade him for the world. Our relationship has grown so much just from working side by side daily, and it just keep getting better.
I know my strong and weak points, and he knows his. And, fortunately, we are opposites in this many of these areas. Thus, like Yin & Yang, we complete one another, like partners should. Reminds me what a very wise woman told me in San Francisco just a few months ago…”It takes a very smart woman to know what she’s good at, and what she’s not.” She said, she admired that in me. Thank you, Holly!
Of course, there are some happenings that only slide when your business partner is your spouse. For instance, having your business partner come to a late night status meeting (or two) in boxer shorts, no shirt, biceps glistening, and filling the room with the aroma of aftershave! I know this sounds like something to out of a bad adult flick and has sexual harassment written all over it….LOL!
I did a short stint in corporate America. But not EVER do I remember any male co-workers attending a meeting like this! But I have been out of that scene for a while. Maybe things have changed a bit. :) However, late night meetings with the hubby end on a pretty nice note ;-) Working with your spouse does have its benefits. Business partners with benefits. No blackmail, no fear of being found out, no rumors, no lawsuits and pretty darn convenient to meet. Yep, I’m really liking this partnership