Guest Post:: If you’re an entrepreneur working hard, you probably already know it’s critical to have a great product or service for which customers are willing to pay a high enough price that lets you build your business. This is a given.
Aside from a great product, the most important thing for a married working hard entrepreneur, is a supportive spouse.
Better get yourself a woman (or man) of the desert
Last year, I finally read the book, The Alchemist, and found it inspiring and life changing.
In the book, the main character has a relationship with a woman described as being of the desert; she accepts life as it comes, and she waits for her man who has gone out into the desert to pursue his dream.
The book says she knows that her man must realize his dream, or else he will come to resent her for not allowing him to do so. Once her man completes his sacred purpose, she trusts he will return to her and she will wait for him no matter how long it takes.
This idea of a woman of the desert is a metaphor for a spouse (male or female) who will be supportive of you, as you pursue your dreams and work hard to fulfill your life’s purpose.
I somehow married a woman of the desert
My wife and I have been married for nine years and I had no idea of the extent to which she would be supportive of me once I realized my purpose in life and decided to fulfill it.
My purpose is to be an entrepreneur and to inspire would-be entrepreneurs.
I understood how supportive my wife was of me when our twins, Thaddeus and Zoe, were born three months prematurely. We had to have an emergency C-section because my son was having blood flow issues. At birth, the twins weighed only two pounds each, and it was a traumatic experience.
A few weeks before the birth of the twins, I was accepted into a three-month-long tech startup accelerator, which I knew would give me the credibility to raise enough capital and launch my business. Great news, right?!
The bad news was the accelerator was in Madison, WI, a two-hour drive from our home, and the program started two days after the twins were born.
I had already spent my last $35,000 and maxed out my credit cards trying to get the business off the ground, but was struggling mightily to get things going. Without the accelerator, I believed my business was doomed.
Despite this belief, I wasn’t prepared to leave my wife and babies in the hospital, with my son fighting for his life. I told my wife I wasn’t going to the accelerator; she told me to get my butt down to Madison and rock out the accelerator because the family needed WeMontage to be successful.
I’ve told this story to friends a million times and I’m still amazed she made that choice, under those circumstances. I question how many other spouses would have done the same.
I am forever in my wife’s debt and am working hard every day to be a shining example to my kids of what’s possible when you choose to live an authentic, purpose driven life, and eschew “safe” choices. After all, I believe it’s risky playing it safe in life.
Thankfully, the twins are doing great now. Here’s a recent pic of the kiddos, the wife, and me.
How do you find a woman (or man) of the desert?
Other than being a working hard entrepreneur and already in a relationship with your would-be spouse, I have no idea how you know if the woman or man you marry will be supportive of you as an entrepreneur.
I got lucky. I mean, I knew my wife-who works in marketing at a large corporation-had some entrepreneurial tendencies and was not completely risk averse. But I had no idea she would be so supportive.
Without a supportive spouse, I can’t imagine how an entrepreneur can effectively navigate the choppy waters upon which she/he sails daily. And to be an entrepreneur and in a marriage with a non-supportive spouse-I won’t say it’s impossible to do-but I don’t see how it works. And I suspect in most cases, things will end badly, either for the business, or the marriage.
James Oliver, Jr. is Co-Founder of the world’s cutest twins, and founder of WeMontage.com, the world’s only website that lets you turn photos into a custom collage on removable wallpaper. James is also a parent-entrepreneur advocate via his blog at www.trepLifeDad.com, a parenting and entrepreneur contributor for SheKnows.com, and a BlogHer Voice of The Year honoree. Follow James on Twitter at @jamesoliverjr.