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My husband, the business owner.

2004-03-01 - 12:03 p.m.

Today is the first day my husband is running his new business. He called to give me the phone number and to tell me that itís been busy since he opened. While today was the day he took over operating it, it was an established franchise already so this isnít odd Ė heís not starting from scratch but, rather, hoping to build on an already existing customer base. Heís worked very hard to make this happen. After managing one for someone else for years, heís been ready to put that experience to work running his own.

When I told some former colleagues about Jís new enterprise, the response I got was that they werenít surprised that any husband I had chosen would be entrepreneurial. I had a built a bit of a reputation myself for that sort of thing with my own activities. I must admit though, I canít really relate to his slow-and-steady-wins-the-race style. I admire it; I just canít relate to it. You see, his business is one where results will be in small increments. Heís planning on putting in extra-long hours himself so that he can cut back on paid-staff time, he doesnít intend to take more vacation than the two weeks he got at his previous job, he doesnít intend to pay himself more salary than he earned at his last job, and will put any extra money back into the business. On top of this is the fact that heíll have way more responsibility and work to do outside of business hours in terms of bookkeeping, keeping the place stocked, payroll calculation, etc. On a purely shallow level Iím a bit mystified as to why anyone would take on more responsibility and way more work for no increase in any sort of benefits coming back to them. And from a totally selfish point of view Iím vaguely disquieted that Iím going to see my husband less, and there wonít even be the compensation of any more money coming into the household or even any extra vacation time with him (currently I get three weeks a year and he only gets two).

BUT

Iím not as shallow or as dumb as that. I do know on a deeper level that this business is a fabulous opportunity for him to build a solid platform of experience in being his own boss. The gains heíll realize from running his own business are more than monetary and will lead to more opportunity down the line for bigger and better things.

I know this. I do.

I just find it hard to relate to. You see, my style of business is that of the hare rather than the tortoise. I tackle big projects with a relatively short lifespan of a year or two. I work like heck and (hopefully) get some pretty good results, then itís over and I move on to the next thing. Even in leisure activities Iím sort of that way. As Iíve mentioned before I wouldnít see the fun of going hiking in the local hills all the time; I prefer the greater sense of accomplishment from scaling the odd mountain. And if it wasnít a rare thing, I wouldnít enjoy it so much.

The hareís style really isnít a bad one if itís only a short race after all. So between one tortoise and one hare in the family, Iím thinking we should do OK for ourselves.

Congratulations J. This is a huge deal and I am so proud of you.

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