If you're anything like me, then you're someone who craves stability. You find life much easier to handle when you have a solid group of friends, a steady job, and a devoted family. If you could have it your way, you wouldn't leave this stable life. And if something is going to change, you would like a kind heads-up, so you can figure out how to deal with it.
In entrepreneurship, the situation changes daily. There are the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You must learn that, whether good or bad, this too shall pass. You also must learn that yesterday's successes are in the past; and that today is a new day. Nothing stays the same, and finding the security in this can be challenging.
Change is always occurring whether we choose to notice or not. It's changes that brought us here today and made us who we are.
Without change, we would never evolve. Accept change for what it is and trust the process of life.
Here are a few lessons learned and tools acquired during the past 16 years with my husband.
Finding a new form of security:
Like I mentioned in the above comment, nothing remains the same. I had to find my footing, on shifting sands, and be okay with it as it moved underfoot. Security is a strong desire for a lot of women. When you're married to an entrepreneur, you must find a new kind of security. The steady paycheck doesn't exist a lot of times, especially in the beginning. With the lack of income and investments that need to happen, it can leave you grasping for anything that remotely feels like safety. I had to learn to stay strong, trust my husband, and know that together we are unstoppable - even when we were broke!
Get involved - Keeping it in the family:
I learned that I needed to participate in some way. This has varied for us over the years, but one thing I have learned is that not being involved can create division and it is not healthy for the entrepreneurial family. I'm not saying you must start taking actions in the daily activities of the business, but just that you should find how much involvement and interaction works for you and your spouse. Start there.
Lead from the back:
I learned that I played a vital role in the success of our family. I had to be encouraging, be the cheerleader and the sounding board, and be the confidant to my husband. I had to believe in him, even when he wanted to stop believing. Being behind the scenes, and wearing so many hats as a mother, wife, and business partner, also makes you outstanding. I learned that I'm leading even if I'm not in front of the pack because if I stop moving, the ship can start taking on water.
Be gracious, even with the bad decisions:
When you're married to an entrepreneur, there are some failed attempts at success. I had to learn to bite my tongue and to be gracious in those times. It is hard to invest your life into building a legacy for your family. When you fall short at times, the last thing you need is the person that is supposed to believe in you to say, "See? I told you this was a bad idea."
We are a team:
It's us against the world, if this ship goes down, then we go down together. I had to learn that we are not against one another and that our differences make us unique. We had to find the balance between what he needs and what I need, and communicate in a way that we are both heard by the other. At times, it has felt like we were fighting against each other; but we had to learn that 'together we are stronger and together we are better.' Being an entrepreneur is hard enough, without all the criticism and self-doubt. The battle is out in the world, but not in our home.
"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now." ~Martin Luther King Jr.
When you're focused on yourself, keeping score, and making sure you're being treated properly, you're not actually in the relationship with another person you're in the relationship with your thoughts about the other person.
Life is a balancing act:
There is a lot that goes on in our everyday lives. I had to learn at times that this does not always mean equal involvement. I've had to be okay with taking on more in our family life at times when my husband was in a launch, or working on a big project, or during the times when he just needed the space to create. Learning to be okay with the lack of equality is key sometimes.
Learn to swim:
The water is deep, and at times the waves are high, and the sands constantly shifting beneath our feet. I had to learn to be ready for any surf conditions and to be an Olympic swimmer. But when I finally reached dry land, I found myself to be stronger than ever.
Remember to keep treading water - land is just out of site.
Get to know Amy &The Entrepreneur's Wife
Amy Stefanik is a wife, mother, writer, and along with her husband Matt Stefanik, has been riding the entrepreneur roller coaster since 2002. Amy is the Creator of "The Entrepreneur's Wife™," who's aim is to help strengthen and encourage the entrepreneurial family. Through "The Entrepreneur's Wife™," Amy coaches the concept of "one shared vision" in regards to the entrepreneurial journey. Amy is the Co-founder of GYMRATED™, an ecommerce fitness apparel and accessories brand, and the Co-founder of Visentials, an innovative supplement company.