Startup marriages are a lesson in entrepreneurship and love
I have been married for over 3 years now. Our work lives are very different. I am a full-time freelancer media professional while my husband is an engineering hotshot in the IT industry. You can call me an entrepreneur because technically I am master of my own domain, my own boss and I cut my own pay cheque. Except here, the product is me and I have no team – all in the power of one. My husband on the other hand worked for a large MNC for the first half of our marriage and for the last one year has been working in a startup and IT IS TIRING. Both on and off the job. It has completely changed our life and has taught me many lessons in entrepreneurship from afar. And it’s not as easy as it thought out to be.
You can call me an entrepreneur because technically I am master of my own domain, my own boss and I cut my own pay cheque. Except here, the product is me and I have no team
1. Burnouts are inevitable.
As a freelancer, I work 24/7 too courtesy infinite deadlines, but I can choose to switch it off over the weekend and grab the proverbial work-life balance rope and pull. As I make my own schedule, my load of work and the hours- I can control the burnout. As the company is in it’s growth phase, he is putting in more hours than ever and has a burnout almost every other month. This is inevitable. Since you are in fighting mode all the time, the high reaches a breaking point and you close down.
Vanita Singh, a mom who’s married to a startup employee says, “Entrepreneurship while exciting for the employee, can also be very exhausting for the family. No schedule, constant fight mode, distracted presence – there but not. On some level I feel humans just want to be associated with something bigger, something they can call their own. And in recent times this something has shifted from family, love, passion, to designations and career success.”
I honestly don’t remember the last time we had a straight talk for 10 minutes without his email box going off. Movies take over 4 hours to finish and phones get charged more than minds. The corporate culture of emailing and documenting every single conversation will take the life out of you. 9 out of 10 times in the day- they are just pleasantries and suck up time. But also important. So get good at emailing efficiently.
I honestly don’t remember the last time we had a straight talk for 10 minutes without his email box going off.
3. If you want loyal and hard working employees, give them enough vacation time.
The hubby has around 20 young minds working under him who are raring to go at any given time. They do not hesitate to work on the weekends, pull all nighters or crank up the pressure and meet deadlines. How do you reward them enough to ensure their talent is appreciated? Give them enough vacation days! If he wants 2 weeks off to go drink beer off in Croatia, give it to them. They have earned it. Flexible vacation time leads to happier employees.
4. Amp up the remote working.
Travelling in today’s world is a pain. With traffic playing havoc everyday and transportation a serious nightmare, enough time is wasted in getting to work. That time could well be utilised towards the daily task load without any need for increased infrastructure. His company has a flexible “work from home” policy which has seen great results- over 30% increase in productivity.
5. Leadership is 60% ego management.
It’s absolutely true. What is leadership other than ego management at its core? If you are leading a team, you have go to ensure all ideas are heard and considered, and then making the appropriate decision. If a quarrel between two employees has to be solved, you have to appeal to both their egos and make them see the light. While negotiating with clients for business, you are managing their ego which leads to managing their relationship with you and the company.