1/8/08

On Being Supportive

My husband is an entrepreneur, a business man...as far as I'm concerned he rocks the world. He works hard...sometimes too hard (GET OFF THAT CRACKBERRY FOR A MINUTE!), but he always gets the job done. He is a partner as well as President & COO of a Real Estate Development Company and an Asset Management Company - Chief Cook & Bottle Washer - my man hustles. And I'm always there, standing just off to his rear right, one step behind "being supportive".

What does that mean - "being supportive?" My friend, CreoleInDC, posed that question about a month back and I've been mulling over it ever since. I've heard it a lot during my marriage to Ron. I've always been slightly amused by that statement - what else would I be? I knew back when I was dating Ron, that he was a man of vision and purpose. Now I could either join the team or politely move on. I knew then, as I know now that I had a MAN, a WINNER and I wasn't about to "move on" to something less. I saw potential and I was going to work with it.

I (and my mother) recently received this email from my husband after he successfully finalized a Joint Venture agreement with a Caribbean Island (it will remain nameless until that government releases the press agreement) to build a resort and recording studio there:

"Lisa and Sandy,

This contgrats and thanks is specific to you. (he was referencing a congratulations note that when out to all the partners).

Thank you both for your support and love over the years, but in particular over the past 3 years. It was December 2004 when the journey began for the Federal Owens team to develop a world class resort in the Caribbean. There have been many ups and downs on this journey and I truly appreciate you both for allowing me the freedom and latitude to work as I have.

The majority of the day to day negotiations and operations on the Federal Owens resorts rest on my shoulders during the pre-development phase. The team has several million dollars invested in our Caribbean model; thus the high risk - high reward. Again, I know at times I can be quirky about being on the phone, computer, and blackberry. Many will never know the sacrifice of time you made supporting me. However, your sacrifice will be a blessing to so many lives in the future. the finalization of the _________ project with the attached documents validates Federal Owens efforts and capacity.

Again, I thank God, you, and the children for all that you do and being the perfect family for me. I love you."

Wow! But his note got me back to thinking about CreoleInDC's question...What does it mean to be supportive...to be a supportive spouse? Well, I went to the source - I asked Ron what his thoughts where. What does he consider "being supportive". Of course, Ron looked at me and said "You, and everything you do to make it possible for us to be a success." Scrunching my eyebrows together, I asked him to give me more.

I could tell he wanted to just eat his spaghetti in peace while reading his Crackberry, but he exhaled and humored me with, "Well, I'll tell you what it ain't".

It is not:
1. Always saying what I (Ron) can't do, shouldn't do. You (Lisa) might ask me valid, intelligent, reasonable questions about my ideas but I've never heard you tell me that I can't do it. You may have great suggestions for improvement or tweaking but never just downright discouragement.
2. Killing my dreams or the vision for our family. You wanna destroy your spouses confidence, destroy his/her dream.

Then he got into the swing of it, moving his Crackberry off to the side...
"Lisa, I can't give you a list, I just know what it is when I see it. You have been a living example." So here is a list of some of the things I did over the years that he considers "supportive." (I'm quoting him as fast as I could take notes in shorthand)
1. When I decided to build a Network Marking business, you weren't really into it and never really were, but you didn't fight me (too much). You let me go to meetings, you let me show the plan to God knows how many people, you processed orders, you drove miles to pick up products, you were mother, business partner & friend to every distributor I brought in the house. You did all of our books and kept us financially solvent - AND when it came time for me to see the light - that we needed to move on, you figured out a way to explain the necessity of it in terms that would hit home for me - WHERE IS THE MONEY?

2. When I branched into residential real estate, you went to the seminars with me, read the same books that I was reading and after I lost my mind and bought 9 properties within 2 years and the numbers weren't gonna work to have a separate property manager - who stepped up and volunteered to do the property management. You did. Do I need to say more?

3. When WE decided that both of us couldn't work a full time job and nail this development project down, you were the one who said it had to be me even though you are an partner with me in all of our companies (no other wife on the team is a partner - let me remind you). You would keep working for a while till everything was in place. I know you are tired, I know you hate it, but just hold on baby, we are almost there. And I have enough confidence in you to know that you will.....

4. You always say that Love is an action verb...well, I also believe that "Being Supportive" is an action verb. As a team, you gotta be in it to win it.

"Lisa, when I come home, I don't have to fight you on every decision I make. I don't have to brace myself for an argument over a bill, a tenant, whatever. I come home (or come out of my office - laughing at the irony of the fact that he works out of a home office) because I know you got my back. I have no worries. And I guarantee you are going to have and do all the things you ever dreamed of for that support."

Ron: "Does that answer your question? "Can I go watch CNN now?"

Lisa: "Yes, dear"

And with that, the matter was closed. I am a supportive wife and I love it.

8 comments:

  1. Lisa that was beautiful, thank you for sharing I'm so happy for you. Best wishes to you and Ron for your continued business success and prosperity, and more importantly, your wonderful marriage.

    You're such a good egg!

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  2. That is an AWESOME post. Lisa!

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  3. You did alright marrying that guy!

    Love,
    Terri

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  4. Ohh... I think I'll print this one out and review from time to time.

    Looks like your hub did alright marrying you too. ;-)

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  5. That was a great post! I wish you and your family continued blessings!

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  6. Ginger10:18 PM

    Great post!! I have a few things to learn! I may need to print this out and reflect on my own situation. I am supportive but I have issues LOL! Im learning a thing or two from you here :-)

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