If you think business is tough, try working with your husband. I see many couples who work together quite successfully. They have a kind of shorthand of how they get work done. They work out the details behind closed doors on how to manage their professional relationship for public viewing. At least, that is what I hope they do. I recently saw a couple that needs to.
I just went to a presentation of a business woman who built a $60 million company. She’s received numerous business awards that recognized her success. It was her strategy, her hard work and her vision that grew the company. A couple of years into the business, she convinced her husband, a management consultant, to join her company.
She told the story of how she decided to create her company. She started in her living room and built this company single-handedly. Early on, business conditions changed and she recreated her business strategy. Her visionary skills paid off. Her company grew and became even more successful. In between the stress and challenges of building a company, she managed to have 4 kids. So here she is running a company that in its first few years exceeds $10 million in sales and she’s managing babies, diapers and no sleep. I am in awe of this woman. I’m thinking she’s superwoman right there. The only thing missing is that she left her cape at home.
What I didn’t know was that her husband was in the audience. She mentioned him during her presentation. She said, “The third year, I met this hot guy and we started dating.” Later on, she mentions that she married him. She talks about her other interests which include participating in a triathlon. Four kids, a business and a triathlon? I’m stunned. If you are unfamiliar with triathlons, these are not your regular 10K marathons. A triathlon is three consecutive grueling events of swimming, bicycling, and distance running. These nutty participants swim 2.4 miles, then take a 112 mile bicycle ride and finish with a 26.2 mile run. Are you impressed? I was. Unfortunately, her husband wasn’t.
She tells us that after she completed her first triathlon, she mentioned to her husband that she’s now a triathlete. He disagreed. “One triathlon doesn’t make you a triathlete.” Oh really? In whose book is that? I nearly fell off my chair. Here’s this accomplished woman in business and her husband is minimizing her personal achievement. I’m thinking he is jealous of her accomplishments. Then I wondered, why is she telling us this story about him? Is that her subtle way of getting him back? I’m no psychologist, but the ego battles in this boardroom must be incredible.
There were questions from the audience. A woman sarcastically asked, “So how many triathlons has your husband run?” The husband runs to the microphone to defend himself. That was a waste of energy. No matter what he said, it would not change the fact that he came across as an insensitive idiot and his wife provided the description. Do you think they should have figured that out before? I do.