Calling All Student Entrepreneurs: Tell Us About Your Startup

I Am An Entrepreneur. Will You Please Marry Me?

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May 15, 2015

Well that’s not how I exactly proposed to my wife, probably because she was already in love with my dream of starting on my own. But over the past few years I have met several talented people who are afraid to take that leap, thinking that they will never get married being an entrepreneur in Bangladesh. For some the only purpose of doing a boring job is to get married!

So ladies, we need your help. We need your help to make us do things that we will love for the rest of our life (just the way we will love you). We need your help so that we are never embarrassed to tell your parents that we are entrepreneurs!

Here`s a situation from a Bangla comedy drama. The scene is set on the well trimmed and decorated lawn of a spacious garden owned by the rich father, whose ravishing daughter is going to introduce her ‘hero’ to the parents.

So ladies, we need your help. We need your help to make us do things that we will love for the rest of our life (just the way we will love you). We need your help so that we are never embarrassed to tell your parents that we are entrepreneurs!

The mother, father and the girl are dressed in the finest clothes and are exchanging random pleasantries with the boy. The boy with his unruly hair and faded jeans is sipping on a cup of tea. Finally, the girl’s father looks at the ‘boy’ with cloudy eyes and asks, “Son, I hope you earn a lot of money! My daughter has lived her entire life like a princess and now I hope you can make her live like a Queen!”

The ‘boy’ chuckles, smiles and tells his future father-in-law, “Daddy, Daddy … actually I am going to live off your dowry and your daughter’s bank accounts! I can even stay at your house, and be your son. I am an entrepreneur! I don’t earn money… And I don't know if I ever will…but I have some excellent ideas, one day I will make you proud!”

I will leave it to your imagination on what happens next!

So seriously, should you marry an entrepreneur? Of course you should. But before you do remember these speed breakers.

What will your favorite aunty say?

Aunty: What is our Son-in-law upto? (IN the past probably this is the moment most women wait for all their lives.
This is what they wanted to say: “Oh, he works as a hot manager of a XYZ bank, and he gets his own car too!”)
But this is what you will actually say

You: He is selling groceries online.

Aunty (shocked): What are you saying! Selling vegetables?

You (depressed): Yes.

Aunty: Is our son-in-law seriously a salesman, vegetable salesman?

You (almost going to cry): Something like that.

Imagine going to one of those insanely boring dinners that close relatives host for you. What happens when the “Aunty” asks your spouse, “Son, what do you do? I hear you are a vegetable salesman!”

Now, if I was the “Son”, I would say, “Aunty, even I don't know! I thought I would make money-selling groceries online, but my virtual consumers are not buying. Sniff… sniff… do you have any ideas?”

Aunty would probably spend the next 20 years making fun of me and telling everyone what an ass my wife has married.

What will the relatives say when you marry an entrepreneur? Well, even God doesn't know!

The good? You would have married someone who has no care for pretense and showmanship. He is someone who will be truthful, till death do you part.

Most entrepreneurs will speak the truth to persons they trust and that's a great qualification in itself.

Time and Timing?

He will not be home for dinner every night. He will miss out on a lot of dinner parties at your parents or relatives place. You might not even get him on weekends to watch a movie with you. But when he is home, he will make up for the lost time. He will feel ‘guilty’ for not giving you enough time,thus he will make sure he is a very engaged father and husband. His fine-tuned management and problem solving skills that make him a great entrepreneur, also make him a great family man.

Also because he is his own boss, he will never have to calculate how to manage only 20 odd days of leave if he was doing a job. So you will get to meet him at the hour of the day, when your friends or colleagues never expect their husbands to be. He will catch up with you on that movie you were waiting for, maybe on a weekday, because he can!
Bread, Butter... Nutella?

He will not be home for dinner every night. He will miss out on a lot of dinner parties at your parents or relatives place. You might not even get him on weekends to watch a movie with you. But when he is home, he will make up for the lost time. He will feel ‘guilty’ for not giving you enough time,thus he will make sure he is a very engaged father and husband.

So, you married an entrepreneur. Will he be capable of making sure that there is bread plus butter on the table every day? What about the Nutella that you love so much? Can your entrepreneur husband afford to feed you??

Don't just build your appetite on that promise.

Entrepreneurs honestly are risk takers. They bet on their hard work, with a bit of luck thrown in. Most of them don`t come up as winners, but manage to survive and make ends meet. But this gives you a chance to take over the finances and make sure if there is one bread on the table, you both share it with love. A lot of you might argue on this, but I have seen this happen in my own house, my mother probably understands financial matters better than any CFOs out there! This is the lowest and toughest aspect of being married to an entrepreneur. In today’s ‘l want and need everything’ lifestyle…. being married to a potentially bankrupt person is not a very hot idea.

But there is a flip side to it. Consider the real life stories of any successful entrepreneur. When their hard work clicks at the right time and place, then all the tables turn. But even then, they don't bring the bread and butter home – they just go and buy the factories that make them!

Entrepreneurs honestly are risk takers. They bet on their hard work, with a bit of luck thrown in. Most of them don`t come up as winners, but manage to survive and make ends meet. But this gives you a chance to take over the finances and make sure if there is one bread on the table, you both share it with love.

So when is the “good news”?

Let’s change sides for a bit. So, you are a promising women entrepreneur and married to a happy and hotshot banker. You have just launched your brand new e-commerce page on Facebook of delivering made-to-order clothing within the city. The going is tough and the startup is killing you. Now, in between all this mayhem, your husband’s grannies and aunties keep poking their elbows into you and asking, “So, bou, when is the good news?”

What they mean by ‘good news’ is NOT the good news you are looking forward to at the moment! You want to hear that orders are coming in, there is virality to the page, the payment gateway is working smoothly and the deliveries are being made on time. The last thing you want to think of is when you will be in the delivery room!!

As an entrepreneur wife, you will have to dodge off the silly and stupid social pressures imposed on young married couples. For guys, if you are married to a woman entrepreneur you will have to be prepared to let your wife give birth first to her enterprise, before she gives birth to your kids!

Congratulations! You are a partner in crime!

You married an entrepreneur. You married an unending source of ideas and passion. The eternal optimist. You may not have known it at the time, but you agreed to travel down an ever-changing path of life. Yes, there will be countless moments when your spouse appears unfocused, spread too thin, and/or distracted by impossible dreams. (In most cases, you’re probably right!)

You will try to reason with them, challenge them, and even periodically guilt them into taking a more stable route in life, but you know how that goes…You will find yourself rolling your eyes from time to time at their next “new big opportunity” and their inevitable “I’m so close” mantra.

Most marriages fail because couples at some point in life exhausts all their resources that they could share, the stories that they could tell to each other and they start lacking the companionship. But it’s not true if you marry an entrepreneur. Because there will be a life long source of new ideas to talk about, new problems to solve, new successes to celebrate. Plus, what fun would it would be if you were married to a person who just knew exactly what to do all of the time? Stability is overrated.

Embrace your spouse and enjoy the journey. Celebrate the ideas that are implemented and learn from those that don’t. Communicate often and honestly without becoming pessimistic. Refuse to give up the thought that we truly can live out our passions.

Most marriages fail because couples at some point in life exhausts all their resources that they could share, the stories that they could tell to each other and they start lacking the companionship. But it’s not true if you marry an entrepreneur. Because there will be a life long source of new ideas to talk about, new problems to solve, new successes to celebrate.

What will the kids learn?

My parents have two sons and a daughter. We all have grown up with a bizarre, ‘weird’ entrepreneur dad around us. How has this impacted us?

Well, I may not be able to match the ‘perks and cars and houses’ that my friends ‘banker dads’ possessed; but I can say that me and my siblings have grown up to be, street smart and bold when compared to a lot of other kids.

I think having a parent who never takes things at face value; who always examines how to create efficiency in every little thing; who demonstrates the ability to take calculated risks and measure its performance; and above all who always does something NEW all the time, creates a very positive impact on young minds.

Trust me when I tell you this from my own experience – kids with a live and kicking entrepreneur parent will learn just as much as at home (or probably more) than they will learn at school.

Most importantly – kids brought up by entrepreneur parents will be supremely independent and capable of surviving forever.

So you decided to say YES and already thinking of your honeymoon?

You might prefer going to the beaches, you might like the mountains or even prefer crowded, busy cities or maybe a euro trip. But if you ever wanted to spend your honeymoon on a roller coaster or you want your honeymoon to last forever, then marry an entrepreneur. They will keep giving you surprises. Forget the honeymoon – the marriage itself will be the ride of your life!

Credit: Image

Editor's Note: This piece was originally appeared on Linkdin pulse 


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Mohd Fahad Ifaz is a private sector development consultant and co-founder at EDGE Consulting ltd. and amarCV.com

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