The 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.