We thought this might be something that would be of interest and a fit for
the startup community. I'm not exactly sure of the process to post these?
Thank you for your help!
So your Spouse is a Founder...
Guest Blog by Philip Juetten on Monday, May 13, 2013
I was sitting in the company bullpen “working” away while our CEO and
Director of Client Engagement were discussing strategy on a lead they were
pursuing, when all of a sudden I was interrupted and asked point blank if
my blog was completed because it was due today! My only defense was to act
as if I knew nothing about it and quickly the response from my CEO (Mary
Juetten BCOM, CA, CPA, JD, and who knows what else!) was that the email
directive could be resent to me. I asked if she really wanted me to write a
Blog about being married to an Entrepreneur and Start-Up founder! I wanted
to finish the sentence with “you can’t handle the truth” but I thought I
had pushed it far enough.
My name is Philip Juetten, so here I go. I will share with you my Top 8
Topics you should think about during your daily routine all while your
significant other is in the midst of their start-up adventure - no specific
order as some may rank higher for some and lower for others.
Topic 1 – They need your approval and moral support. You must be their
biggest fan and provide unending reassurance. You must be the cheerleader.
Remember that they love you and want your approval and even the smallest
bit of perceived negativity can cause them to question their efforts
followed by a potential tornado which won’t end well for either of you.
Topic 2 - Listen, Listen, Listen and do not solve! Suggestions are better.
Allow them to completely drain their brain of their thoughts about an issue
and then provide advice. Remember they likely know the business better than
you so being a “know it all” is not good either, so no problem asking
questions as you provide advice and weaving your way through it.
Objectivity is key because if you are not honest you are doing them a
disservice; remember Topic 1 above and frame your thoughts.
Topic 3 – Remember that as with everything in life, timing is everything.
Their schedule is grueling and unending and even the most trivial
question/issue may come at the wrong time and derail a valuable train of
thought creating ramp down and ramp up time they cannot afford. If you see
they are busy, let them know that you would like to discuss something at
the next convenient time. Do not get upset about being put off, simply do
something constructive and let them know it is all ok and can wait.
Topic 4 - Unless you are already independently wealthy, they likely will be
bootstrapping the start-up and you definitely will have competing agendas
for you’re your personal finances. Talk about personal finance, reference
Topic 3 above, and be open and honest and come to an agreed level of
personal funding and stick to it – remember things are dynamic and things
change so be ready. Stay one step ahead of things - the best thing you can
do for them is to have a handle on your personal finances so they do not
need to worry about it, they have enough to worry about. And be realistic!
Topic 5 – Remember that they are the boss of the start-up and you are a
supporter. This may be hard depending on the mix of your professional role
in your job and your personality. In our case we both are MEGA Type A
personalities and I need to actively turn off my work (boss) personality
when working on company projects, Mary is the CEO.
Topic 6 – Do not forget that you are married and need to spend special time
together – yes, date. Refer to Topic 3 above and schedule special time to
go have some fun times.
Topic 7 – Laptops, Ipads, IPhones, and BlackBerrys. Get used to them, no
holds barred when it comes to networking and communication. The bottom line
is networking and communication with business associates is essential to
the start-up life. Find other things to do when that important phone call
comes in or that important email must be responded to. With that said, you
own the time in Topic 6 so set an agreed time and make them go off the
grid, no rebuttal. They will thank you for it.
Topic 8 – The start-up arena has no room for jealously in any manner,
professional or otherwise. Remember you are a team and they are doing it
for one single reason – to make a better life for your family together.
Regardless of your history as a couple, you must operate on blind faith and
I could probably sit and come up with more but these are some of the
biggies that pop to mind while sitting down and pounding out my assigned
project to meet my Friday deadline! My only advice is that being the
significant other of a start-up entrepreneur or founder is not the easiest
role but can definitely be rewarding if you embrace the challenge together.
Come on it is fun, and so is bungee jumping off the Stratosphere in Las
Note from Mary: This was done on Friday when I got home but it was too late
to post because I had pushed back coming home 5 times but then Daniel Tyre
from Hubspot dropped in and that was too much fun to leave...
firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> *I* 602.803.0566 *I* 275
N. Gateway Drive, Ste 120 Phoenix, AZ 85034
Identify. Protect. Succeed. Traklight.com