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Entrepreneurship from a Partner's Perspective

Written by: Lorraine Twombly
Published: May 2012

Being married to a natural entrepreneur has been very interesting, educational, exciting, stressful and prosperous. I actually come from a family of entrepreneurs, so owning a business wasn't a stretch for me. Since Ralph's been writing about entrepreneurship in his last articles, I thought it may be a good idea to talk about the partner's perspective of owning your own business.

There are many words to describe owning your own business and I think the most important one is Passion! Without passion, in my opinion, there's no reason to grow and prosper in the working world. This is the world that helps our quality of life, because most of us are in that world more than we are with our families, friends, or at the place we call home. If we are happy in our work, usually, our "home" life is richer and more rewarding.

In 1990 when we started doing our own thing, Ralph and I thought of how we would start. We decided to use our strengths and knowledge to develop a service business that would help people to grow and learn about themselves as well as others. We thought that if we offered programs, processes, and training modules (from our various certifications and experiences in training and development) they would not be too difficult to design (as we had a library of great resources). Our overhead at the time was light as we started in our home office and we were able to find some reasonable places to conduct workshops.  The few clients we had when we started also helped us by asking us to facilitate in their conference rooms. We didn't have to borrow money to start our own business, only use what we had for resources, experiences, and education. We lucked out because we had so many people who wanted to see us succeed. It didn't take long for us to acquire our own offices and in the last five years we've had a great place to conduct business.

Here are some words to describe entrepreneurship:

Interesting: The business of leadership and building relationships is fascinating to me because people are complex and there're many personalities that will keep our interest. There are always new challenges to tackle and find solutions to.

Educational: There’s not a day that goes by that I do not learn something from my interactions with our clients. People are great sources of education and when we ask the right questions, we can learn so much and understand what makes them do what they do or say what they say or be who they are. There's never a dull moment in this line of work!

Exciting: For me, being excited is showing my passion. Sometimes it's misunderstood, but for the most part, people can see it in my body language and the fast-paced way I'm expressing myself. I try to not to go over the top with my passion, but I love what I do and I wouldn't change a thing in my job as general manager, business and relationship coach, and marketer/sales person/co-designer of our programs. I get to do a lot and it keeps me on top of everything related to our business, which I’m so passionate about!

Stressful: I'd be lying to you if I said, "There's no stress, everything’s roses." Far from it on some days, but the stressfulness of some aspects of this work is very normal and I've learned to let go of things out of my control. We rely on getting the work and waiting for the checks to arrive. Sometimes, our bills come before those checks, which can cause the most stress in any business. After many years of doing business however, we learned to plan ahead and most of all to keep marketing and selling our services with the same passion we've always had. We need to keep the materials fresh and up-to-date so our clients can continue to learn with us and that causes a certain amount of stress to be the best we can be.

Prosperous: Our quality of life has never been this good. I'm not saying we are rich and extremely successful, making millions of dollars. I'm saying that life is very good, even in this bad economic stretch we are in. We have everything we need to live, do great work, and we share our successes with family and friends. What can be more prosperous than that?

Thanks for reading and I hope I've inspired one or two of you to go after your passion! We are here to help if you do!!

Lorraine Twombly

Lorraine Twombly