My husband started building his company, Walden Hyde, oh, probably since birth. But, I have been along for the ride for a few years now. Being the spouse of someone starting their own business is amazingly challenging. Like, one of the hardest things I have ever done.
But I believe in what they are doing, and if I didn’t believe in IT…well, it would make this whole thing a lot freaking harder than it already is.
Walden Hyde is funny and brilliant….
And they are changing the world….
And they make hilarious stuff happen….
I have come up with some survival tips for anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation. I’m part of this story, I know. And a lead character in many parts. But, a lot of what happens in my life depends on factors that I have absolutely no control of. It’s freaky. And sort of exciting. But definitely freaky.
1. Don’t ever actually say “entrepreneur”. It’s lame and you probably aren’t French enough.
2. Forget about your Be-Prepared-For-The-Future German genes, or your childhood with a father who worked a stable government job, or any other vision of life that doesn’t involve clinging like a desperate lover to the present moment.
3. Try to love the business your spouse is birthing as much as they do. Or at least enough to hear about it in all of its minutiae for at least a couple of hours each night. Invest in wine.
4. Understand that your spouse and their business are like a brand-new mother duckling with her offspring. The business’s successes are their successes, and the business’s failures are their failures. That’s just the way it is. The shed you want built-it can’t even begin to compete.
5. Let go of any preconceived notions of control. Try telling yourself this; “I love not knowing what life will be like in one year! Or one month. Or shit, lets just say 5 minutes from now.” You don’t have control, you never did, and you never will. Float on the wind of letting go, grasshopper.
6. And when you simply can’t hear about it, or don’t need to hear about, encourage them to see a business coach who isn’t emotionally invested and can help them see the different paths they might take. You will want to end up naming your second child after that person…well, except for the unfortunate fact that the business coach might have the same name as one of your spouse’s ex’s. But, if not that, totally go for it.
7. Try not to freak out about money. Your kids probably won’t go hungry. Most likely.
8. Try to come up with a two sentence synopsis that you can say to people when they ask what your spouse does for a living. People’s eyes will start to glaze over no matter what you say, so don’t be insulted. I confess I haven’t mastered this.
9. Start to believe in any premonition that you might have that involves their business being successful. And then tell them these positive, path-affirming premonitions when they are really stressed out. They like it.
10. Try your best to roll with the waves of their emotions. Again, they are like a new mother and you are like the, what-the-frack-do-I-do new dad. Whatever stress or excitement or fear you might be feeling…they are feeling these things ten-fold. Owning your own business is a wonderful, frightening, freeing, exciting, cluster-f*%#, shit-storm. It will feel like this most of the time. Okay, all of the time. Did I already say invest in wine?
11. Get over the idea that one day you will magically be able to breathe out and say…”That was crazy! Now we can relax!” Every time we do this…the shit starts to hit the fan. Starting your own business is the ultimate living in the moment exercise. Just ask Eckhart Tolle.
12. Enjoy it when it’s fun…because it can be really really fun.