After 3 years at a job that was, for lack of a better phrase, eating his soul, my husband’s birthday present to himself this year was to finally put in his notice and begin his own web design business. His idea is for us to create the business together as a husband and wife team with him doing the majority of the work while my artistic abilities (which for the last 10 plus years I’ve primarily used to entertain the children) will be my main contribution.
Since putting in his notice at his current job, I’m starting to see the old Chris coming back. The fun loving, less annoyed looking, more involved, family man that I fell in love with. Sure he’s still cynical and unimpressed but that too is the man that I love. It’s nice to not only hear him say that a weight has been lifted from his shoulders but to actually see it as well.
Meanwhile, I seem to be coming more unglued. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified at the idea of him quitting his job. Obviously my main concern is stability. In an economy where everyone is lucky just to have a job, he’s quitting his and we’re starting a whole new business…together. I know NOTHING about running a business, unless you count this household and believe me, I’m sure there are days that if my family were actually my employess they’d have quit without notice a long time ago!
Years ago I’d come to the conclusion that I will probably never be “wealthy”, and that’s fine. I’m fine with the idea of working for someone else, knowing that there’s a steady pay check coming, benefits, insurance, paid holidays, and set days off. As long as the bills are paid, we live in a modest house with plenty of food in the fridge, and a car (or van in our case) that’s running (and at least born in this century) in the garage then I’m good to go. Add a little extra cash to buy wine, the kids a new toy once in a while, and go out to dinner on occasion, you could even call me “happy”. So yes, the idea that those things are no longer “guaranteed”, is causing me to panic a little bit.
The end of the job he quit means the end of our health insurance, life insurance, and paid holidays. It means knowing that those steady paychecks WON’T be desposited in our account every other week. That means paying for private insurance which is expensive, and tightening our belts financially (something we’ve never been really good at).
It also means no more 2am phone calls because his company’s over seas affiliates can’t seem to comprehend time zones! It also means, no more business trips (that always seemed to come up on or around my birthday and our anniversary), no more work calls on family outings, or pulling all nighters to meet ridiculous deadlines or “urgent” last minute changes. There were no defined days off, “vacations” were more of a legal term than what it actually implied. Seriously, the man worked the morning of our wedding! He was also pulling 70 hour work weeks for the 3 months right before our son was born, building a web site from the ground up. A job usually completed by a team of people, he was doing alone while also expected to complete his daily tasks as well. Do you think he was financially compensated for that? The answer is no.
Since then he’d threatened to quit nearly every day. He has a computer file of at least 8 different resignation letters he swore he was going to send to his boss one day or another. Of course, something would always happen, be it familial obligation, his boss’s appeasement, or my obvious reluctance, and ultimately he’d just file it away for a later date. Until at last he’d finally had enough.
For the record, I have complete confidence in my husband. He is great at what he does, and when he’s good at something he gives it his all. Do I believe he can run a successful business and provide for his family? Yes. Am I 100% confident that he possess all the necessary characteristics to do so? No. I want to be, believe me. I’m trying. It’s not his ability I worry about, it’s just the salesman aspect of it. Give Chris a task and you’ll be more than pleased with the results. However, make him ask you to give him the task….ehhh, not so much. So in an economy where people want everything for nothing and want to spend as much to get it, I worry he won’t be convincing or confident enough to sell himself for what he’s worth (a habit he’s possessed for years), and I know I am definitely NO salesman!
Still, I could never ask him to stay at a job he obviously hates just for the sake of security. I also can’t tell him not to pursue something he’s so sure he can make successful because I question his qualifications, who am I to say what he can or can’t do? He would resent me in the long run which would ultimately ruin “us”, and for me, I’d rather weather a rough patch financially than damage the relationship with the man I adore.
Pessimism aside, I see how confident he is in the whole endeavor and I can’t help but get excited too. I got my Photoshop for Dummies book (because it seems to be the only technical language I speak) in the mail today, and am anxious to dive in, learn all the ins and outs, and become more of an asset to the team and the business. He ordered business cards the other day and when I had an opinion about the slogan he chose he actually considered what I said instead of treating me like a subordinate, and that meant a lot to me.
The truth is, I hope this business is all we’ve dreamed of. Him being his own boss, having time for the family where his mind is there WITH his body, and isn’t frazzled and annoyed. I’m excited to have my husband around, doing something he enjoys, while also able to support our family at the same time. Wish us luck friends. We may see some rough seas ahead (we may not), but we agree we’ve always been the luckiest when it comes to timing, so at the end of the day, I KNOW this will work out no matter what happens.