Last year when I was heavily pregnant, my husband took me to a gala dinner his company was throwing at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. I could not have been more excited.
You see, for the past two years, Shayan and his partners had worked tirelessly trying to get their startup company, a service which tracked teens' digital activities and sent concerned parents alerts, off the ground.
My growing belly and I had watched my husband and their team rename their company twice, rebuild their website three times, raise money four times and change their logo I do not know how many times, all amidst one of the greatest global economic recessions in recent history.
As I stood in my Pea in the Pod size 200 (okay, really it was a size 14) maternity gown, my iced glass of water in hand, the other wives and I were talking about how proud we were of our spouses. I observed what a stressful few months it had been, but how happy I was that everything had worked out.
"I am so relieved all the hectic days of starting a business are behind us!" I exclaimed, much to the surprise of the other wives, who all glanced at each other with confusion. That is when one of the wives, Caroline, turned and said something to me that changed the outlook of my marriage forever.
"This is not the end, Anushay," Caroline informed me. "It is just the beginning."
I had no idea what she was talking about. The beginning of the business? Or the beginning of the night? All the other spouses were much older than me, but our age difference had never been tangible to me until that moment. What did they know that I did not?
Caroline and the the other wives laughed at my innocence. They started telling me stories of the first startup Jim invested in. Amy, another "Startup Wife", countered with an anecdote of how they sold their first house and lived off of Ramen noodles for Tom's first business venture. Half way through all the ladies' stories, I stopped listening. I was so stressed, my belly and I started devouring the dessert tray.
When I said 'I Do' to marrying my entrepreneur, I had the idea that the business he was trying to get off the ground at the time, the one whose success we were all celebrating that night, was the business he was going to work at his whole life. But the more I listened to the other wives, the more I realized that being an entrepreneur is more than a profession. It is a lifestyle.
"Welcome to the Startup Wives Club, Anushay!" Caroline exclaimed as all the women burst out into laughter. "You have a long ride ahead of you."
I think back to this night often. Actually, I think back to it every time my husband comes to me with a new idea. I think back to my initial panic, the nervous, fluttering butterflies in my stomach. However, now I see the reality of being married to an entrepreneur is quite an adventure.
Entrepreneurs are amongst some of the most proactive and inspirational people I have ever met. Yes, I am biased, but it is true. They are not only always trying to solves problems, but always trying to identify a need in society, and then figure out how to meet it.
The birth of our first child last year coincided with the birth of my husband's current startup company, CrimePush. The more pregnant I became, the more ambitious my husband became. It was not enough that the venture he had been working so hard on was taking off. Shayan wanted to do more.
He searched for ideas in everything we did, from prenatal yoga classes to Target runs. But it was after being held at gunpoint on the streets of Washington, DC that Shayan thought of a way to help report and prevent crimes for the 21st century. CrimePush was born.
CrimePush is a crime-reporting and public safety application. With a few clicks, you can push along GPS embedded crime tips and distress messages that include text, photo, video, and audio to the nearest authorities. Its simplicity encourages bystanders to report things they might otherwise ignore. The recorded video can be used to broadcast suspects and incidents, to give dispatchers a sense of how serious a situation is or even to save a panicked 911 caller from having to describe a traumatic event.
After many a depleted bank account, it is now, finally, available free on iTunes and Google Play, and over 100 police departments and universities have contacted CrimePush to be integrated into the app. Who knew that this germ of an idea Shayan thought of would be gaining traction across the country?
Being married to an entrepreneur may mean endless nights, constantly searching for potential investors and months without a paycheck. But at the end of the day there is no other club I would rather belong to than the "Startup Wives Club."