Saturday, December 19, 2009



I can honestly say the Joe was a person who left his work at the door. We talked about his business when I brought it up, and I did ask him questions about it pretty often, but he was always optimistic and did not worry about the ups and downs. He was unbelievably great at that.

A week after our son was born, Joe left the company he had been with for years. This was a huge risk for us, new parents, shelling out some pretty big dollars to start this thing up, along with his friend and partner, Derek. I was not working at the time and Joe was leaving a company that paid him very well. We talked about this in advance. We weighed out the options and we had an escape plan if it didn't work. We knew we would have no paycheck for months. We had a set amount of time in mind to see if Joe and Derek could be successful with the venture.

The decision to be self-employed was not made based on money. The decision was based on the fact that Joe's spirit was one that wanted truly to soar, to be his own boss, to not deal with all the bs that you have to deal with sometimes when you are an employee at a company. The truth is that it was hard for me to accept him leaving his job, it felt scary for the reasons I stated above, and due to the fact that I am a planner, that does not always jive will with risk. But my worry about the business venture ended one day because of one conversation that lasted about 5 minutes.

Joe had been at work where he had just had something happen that sent him through the roof, and he left the office. He called me on the phone from his car and I kept yelling at him "Joe, pull over! Pull over!". I knew from his voice and the way he was screaming into the phone as he tried to tell me what happened that he was seeing red and I feared for his safety when he was like that. Not many people saw Joe when he was like that, but if you have, you know what I mean. He was such an even tempered, easy going kind of guy, but when he had enough, he could skyrocket to a place where his temper rivaled the worst tempers you know. When he finally was able to clearly tell me what the problem was, and this was one of a long recent string in which he felt he was being disrespected at work, I was 100% over my reservations and worries about him leaving his job to start up on his own. All the of worry and going back and forth and weighing the pros and cons didn't matter anymore and in that instant it was all CRYSTAL clear. What a gift those moments are. They honestly don't come every day. At least in my life they don't.

I knew and felt at that moment that my husband's integrity and happiness on a daily level were more important than a safe financial future. I knew that even if he "failed" in the sense that his business didn't fly, it would not be a failure. I knew that we could end up with no money, no job and a newborn to take care of.

However I also knew that we had options.I could go back to work and not stay home with Luke, and I could provide for our family if Joe was unable to. My income did not have the limitless short-term potential that Joe's did due to the nature of the two different industries we were in, but still, I would be able to make a respectable salary and get the bills paid. This would go against our chosen plan, but was a solution.

In the end, we never needed to employ a back-up plan.

Joe and Derek successfully started and grew their business with a main goal of making it a place where they wanted to go everyday. There were ups and downs for sure but generally speaking when things were not going right the two of them would reconvene and get things back on track. They worked hard. Joe provided very well for a family of 4 and generally speaking we lived a pretty great financial life. But more importantly, we lived and even greater life in terms of the man that walked through the door every night at 5- rarely late, always happy, not spending long hours at the office because he wanted to be home with us. Every night for years when he walked through the door, he yelled "Daddy's home!" and the kids came running. Every night.

1 comment:

Kelli said...

I enjoy your stories about Joe, just like I enjoy listening to Katie & Derek's stories. I only met Joe at a couple of family gatherings~you guys certainly are family to K&D. I know how great he was through these stories. By telling them, he'll live on even through people who never got the chance to really know him.
I wish you peace and happiness through the holidays. I think about you and the kids every single day.