One aspect of the entrepreneurial journey that is rarely discussed is the role of our partners -- the individuals who love and support dreamers and doers. Brad Feld recently wrote a whole book on the topic, exploring love and relationships in startup land.
Children and husbands are often viewed as a burden to startup life -- distractions that prevent entrepreneurs from focusing 110% of their time and effort on the business. Rarely do we give credence to the benefits of having a strong, supportive partner and how in some ways that can be a competitive advantage. So, I'd like to take a moment to recognize and thank all the men who love and support entrepreneurial women.
Like Sheryl Sandberg, I am fortunate enough to have married an amazing man who sees me as an equal. Who values my career as much as his own. A man who, in all honesty, is a better cook than I am, and who does his share in caring for our home. My husband was raised with three older sisters (a doctor, a dentist and a lawyer) and a mother who are all amazingly accomplished in their own right. So, loving, appreciating and supporting strong women is par for the course.
It is impossible for me to itemize the myriad of ways that my life is consistently enriched by my husband. With him in my life I feel unstoppable. I have a sense of security (both financial and emotional) that allows me to take even greater risks than I probably would have taken if I were on my own.
My husband realizes how fragile the ego of an entrepreneur is and never tears me down, but also is always brutally honest with me when things aren't right. He is my sounding board, letting me know when I am taking things too personally or making decisions based on emotion versus fact. He encourages me to negotiate harder for myself and to dream bigger when moments of doubt creep into my mind. He was my first angel investor. He is also my best friend.
I am better because of him.
To all the men and other respective partners who love, support and nurture ambitious entrepreneurial women -- I say thank you. It takes a special breed to be able to love and support a woman who is a dynamo in her own right. Thank you for loving us -- truly and deeply. Thank you for being confident enough in your own self, not to be blinded by our light.
We are all better because of you.
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