Entrepreneurship is a team sport. This is our first interview with Mrs Woodworker, which may give you some insights and recommendations for dealing with your entrepreneur spouse. Entrepreneurship is a wild ride and both spouses need to be on board. Read on!
What is it like leading the crazy life of an entrepreneur’s spouse?
It is maybe not always crazy. I guess to balance out the entrepreneur’s craziness you have to be patient and you also have to ignore some of the craziness of the entrepreneur.
Like what kind of craziness?
Well, sometimes the entrepreneur wants to tell you all of their ideas and you just kind of nod and smile and you kind of ignore some of that unless it involves your time or space or things. Some of the other craziness you have to help harness and say that idea is maybe a little bit much, I don’t think we can do that right now. You might have to do that idea in the future
That all sounds pretty negative; is their anything positive about it?
Well, yes, there are a lot of positives. It’s nice to have someone who is so creative, and who wants to make things better. There are not that many people who want to do that. And not that many people who then take action to change things. With an entrepreneur’s spouse, you on the other end of it, would go ahead and do things that you never thought that you would do.
I suppose it’s a little bit like jumping off a cliff. In our case we have a salary so we don’t have to worry about starving, but still I suppose it could be a little bit scary. What do you think?
It’s very scary, and the bigger the risk or the bigger the cliff, the bigger the chance for success, but also the bigger the chance of failure. I think you have been very modest in what you are willing to spend before you see some results. I have read some things from about other entrepreneurs’ spouses where they have mortgaged their house twice. They were knee deep in debt right before they hit it big.
So you’re saying the Festool was a good investment?
(laughing) The Festool (see our post on that one) was a hard investment for me, but I guess I could live with it because you found the money for itwithin our budget. You found some extra money to pay for it. It didn’t affect our lifestyle.
The deployment bonus came in handy.
Yes. But at the same time, (laughing) I have to rein you in so you don’t go too crazy. It’s kind of like our old rule about how you were not allowed to shop at REI by yourself.
Alright, that’s pretty enlightening. What tips do you have for other spouses?
One, you have to be a bit of a parachute. You have to let your entrepreneur take some risks, but not go so crazy that he’s jumping off the cliff without a parachute. I think you have to remain calm and realize that an entrepreneur has to go through many ideas before they find one that strikes it rich. You have to be encouraging. I’ve found that I’m a sounding board even though I don’t know anything about woodworking. I’m often get asked questions sometimes more broad sometimes more specific about woodworking and somehow I can come up with some Yoda-type answer that seems to work (see our post on Mrs Woodworker’s Yoda-type wisdom).
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Yes, just as an entrepreneur’s spouse you should be encouraging. You have to be steadfast, and not get all crazy that this is going to take over your life. I think sometimes you can set limits, too. You’ll have projects or want to take on more things, even outside of woodworking. I’ll say you really need to think about that. We need time for this for our family or we need to schedule time for this house project. Not all entrepreneurs are good at balancing their family responsibilities with their entrepreneurial goals. I think as a spouse you have to rein that in, but you have to do that carefully so you don’t totally squelch the spirit.