Being an Entrepreneur’s Wife

Being an Entrepreneur's wifeThe word entrepreneur evokes all kinds of responses. Depending on people’s mood and life experiences, reactions to “My husband quit his job to set up his own business” range from awe to alarm. I dabbled with being an entrepreneur, have worked for one, and am the wife of one. I understand the nuances of taking the decision to be an entrepreneur.

My husband was doing very well for himself in his job. He was an expert in his field and his passion and energy and curiosity would leave an impression everywhere he went while at work. Somewhere down the line, a few years later, he decided he wanted to pursue an idea he was not only passionate about, but convinced that it would work. The idea germinated for two years and finally he quit his job at the age of 38. By then, we were in the financial vortex of EMIs. And we had two very young children.

The backlash for him came first from friends and family obviously. Why would someone at this stage in their life not only quit an exciting job and a “doing very well in his field” to risk it all to start afresh. It is not easy to stand alone while everyone else thinks you are an idiot, and are making the biggest professional, and therefore, personal mistake. It brings you down intentionally or unintentionally. By then, I was convinced that he believed in his idea and was prepared for the backlash. And it helped him, and me, face all the negativity. At the end of the day, it was about his dream, his passion and what he believed in. As his wife, friend and mother to our children, it may have been my call to question it, but I couldn’t stand in the way of a dream. So, I stood by him, patiently answered the questions  about why over and over and over again. I still do occasionally. Unfortunately, that is all I could do – stand by him and defend his – no, our decision. There is enough stress in figuring things out to get your business going, but we were in this together. I believed in his belief. That’s all that mattered then and matters today. 

There is plenty that can go wrong on a personal front when you are pursuing your dream. For Ram, his dream consumed him. It affected us and it affected our children. They see him a few days in a month. All the things we did as a couple, we stopped doing. The only conversations we had were about work. It created a wedge, and I was getting bitter, and at times irrational. We fought. At some point, I’m sure he questioned the decision as well a few times. The girls miss their father. Yet, they learned to deal with his absence, physically, emotionally and intellectually. Children are far more resilient than adults about these things. Fortunately, I saw that and learned from them…eventually. But it didn’t occur to me to question our decision to take this path, and hope to never do. We still believe in the dream – both of us.

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20 thoughts on “Being an Entrepreneur’s Wife

  1. Very inspiring post! I’ve now been an entrepreneur and running my own business for two years. I’ve had nothing but the fullest support from my husband – who is also an entrepreneur (in the non-profit world). It’s not always easy, but it allows us a unique relationships and flexible schedule. I think people who aren’t entrepreneurs certainly wonder what this is like for our relationship – but we support each other and it works for us!

    1. Thank you Stephanie! Very kind words. It never is easy being an entrepreneur and I salute you for taking the plunge. But the support system is what keeps us going strong. Wish you all the best and all the success!

  2. Wonderfully written. Could feel the emotion in every line. Lucky you, for being an entrepreneur’s wife, and lucky Ram to get your full support 🙂

  3. nothing ventured nothing gained…and as always two heads are better than one…to stress …or …stay together …and grow…u r on the right path…all the best always..

  4. Ram Badrinathan / Shobhana, I was face with exactly similar situation when I left my job at Surat Municipal Corporation to become and entrepreneur. I too had to answer questions again and again. Even on this day, I have to sometime answer that question of my friends.

    My In-laws were shocked to hear my decision at that time, I know that my wife had also the same questions but she never did ask once and always stood by me and trusted my decision and ability.

    My father and mother never had any doubts about my decision and always stood by me. My Brother also provided full support.

    I had taken the plunge without any planning for future. I don’t know how successful I would have been in that endeavor without the support of my family.

    I do respect their unconditional support and love they had offered to that cause. Without family support/sacrifice no entrepreneur can succeed, that is for sure.

  5. Shobhana, how well you have expressed yourself. Ram was able to follow his dream because he knew that he had your unconditional
    support and love. It is what you think that matters and not what the others think. All the best.

  6. I fully understand what you are talking about Shobhana..:)! Let me assure you that you are doing the right thing to believe in a dream!

  7. Hi, Shobhana.

    I know you mostly through knowing Ram … so it’s s pleasure to undersand you better now by sharing the ups and downs in your entrepreneurs’ partnership (a.k.a. marriage).

    As Ram and I have discussed more than once, life is a river … not a destination. I, too, am on my first true entrepreneur’s journey with a company I co-founded three years ago with partners (including my spouse, soulmate and best friend, Susan).

    It’s been a privilege to know Ram and you. Even with those ups and down, it sounds like with those daughters and your commitment to family, both you and Ram are “living the dream.”

    Cheers!

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