Cate is the Founder of Lightbulb Training Solutions (LTS), a specialist customer service workplace training…
The Day My Husband Left Me and Our 18 Month Old ‘baby’
We fell pregnant accidentally and we gave birth prematurely. We were totally unprepared for what was ahead of us but we were excited and lived in the hope that if other people could do it and do it well, why couldn’t we?
From the very beginning my husband wasn’t as completely in love with our baby as I was. He was supportive and understanding and highly skilled, but he just didn’t feel the same level of excitement and dedication as I did.
The baby I am talking about is our business – Lightbulb Training Solutions. Like many husband and wife teams who find themselves pregnant with a business idea, we got excited and we gave it our best shot. We had no idea what to expect but we went for it.
We loved working together and we allocated tasks that suited our different business strengths. It didn’t take too long to work out we had similar strengths which also meant, we had similar weaknesses. Because I was passionate from the toes up about the business, I was inspired to learn how to overcome the weaknesses but for my husband, he wasn’t as fired up and who can blame him. It wasn’t his passion.
For our marriage to remain strong and for our business to go to the next level, my husband had to follow his own career passion but he didn’t leave completely. He still cheered me on and helped when and where he could but I soon realised I couldn’t do it all, on my own. I needed support so I found a village of people who had also raised healthy and thriving business babies.
During our times of working together we did learn a few things that helped us to stay sane so I share these with you in the hope it might assist you too;
1. You must celebrate your wins, even the little ones
The day we worked out (on our own) what the Cloud was and how to use it was a massive triumph. We did a little jig and we high fived our brilliance. Every day you do something well or have a win, record the date, some short details and how the event made you both feel.
Keep those notes somewhere where you can easily refer to them ie: butchers paper, whiteboard, Word Doc or spreadsheet. Inevitably the challenging, tough or downright difficult days will come and this little record of your business brilliance will help to remind you both that you can and have kicked some awesome business goals.
2. Schedule regular meetings and stick to an agenda
I loathe meetings that don’t have an agenda and fortunately my husband is the same. It can feel odd to have a meeting, let alone and agenda based meeting, with your life partner.
But trust that as with any business, regular meetings with a well-structured agenda will save you time both during and after the meeting.
3. Don’t mix meetings with celebrations
We remember one Friday afternoon that we thought we would down tools in the early afternoon and have our usual weekly meeting in the backyard, with a nice bottle of vino. With the warmth of the sun on our shoulders and the tweeting of birds in the trees, we started with our regular agenda and then went a bit off course.
We plotted and planned and we patted ourselves on the back for creating a business that was so incredible. As the sun went down I vaguely remember strategising how to contact Richard Branson because we were sure he would want some of our wisdom.
We now know, it’s best not to have a business meeting with wine. We didn’t stick to the agenda, we can’t remember what any of our ideas were, we woke up with headaches and as you can imagine, no-one took any minutes.
It’s been just over 5 years of laughter, triumphs, tears, challenges and changes but we are proud to say that Lightbulb Training Solutions is well out of nappies and has recently been given a total make over with a new logo, new website and lots of new programs and we have also added a new member to our family.
We are proud to announce the arrival of a book “The A – Z of Service Excellence”. Writing a book was certainly a labour of love and shhh, don’t tell hubby but I think I may be pregnant with another little book baby.
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