Billable & Bloody – Part 1

At my old job, I was both in charge and I received a consistent salary. This is important because it means that my wife was once very happy and content. About 90% of the time, I had ultimate say over my calendar and I had 100% predictability regarding my take home pay.  

But all that has changed now.

I am now an entrepreneur. Which means that I start things. Many things. Too many things. It also remains to be seen, my wife reminds me, whether I’ll be paid for any of them. Unlike me, she’s not impressed by the word “entrepreneur” and thinks it’s code for “unemployed”. She’s seen The Full Monty and knows where this could lead.  

So each night we return from “work” and have the following interrogation I MEAN “conversation”:

How was your day, she asks. 

It was great, I say, and then tell her about this meeting and that phone call and that hot lead and the fact that I didn’t buy any $6 pour overs.

Uh huh, she says.

It’s a bit like this: I used to go to the grocery store for our food. Because at the grocery store, you see, there are shelves and carts of food. Every time! I took my wallet with me to said  grocery store because I had money to pay for it. Every time! The only risk involved in this arrangement was whether I would select the correct type of food per my wife’s clear instructions. 

But I no longer go to the grocery store, I now go to the jungle. To hunt and kill. 

That’s a very different thing, you see, and it leads to a different type of “conversation” at home.

How was your day, she asks. 

It was great, I say, and proceed to describe how I had to machete my way through this dense patch, level a road along that terrain, and douse myself in deer urine.

But your hands aren’t bloody, she says.

I know, I say, but I tracked some serious game for hours, honey. It was-

There’s no carcass in the pickup, she interrupts, now pouring it on. 

Right, I reply. Well, um, I didn’t actually get a shot off today but I did–

The Yeti Cooler is still…empty, she says blankly looking out the window, peeling potatoes.

It is, I say, then pull out my GPS device to show her all the miles I walked.

So. Let me get this straight, she concludes. You took food into the jungle for you. And brought none out for us.

Now, in fairness, the conversation doesn’t actually go like that. All that she actually asks is “How was your day?”  I just hear a lot more in my head.

In truth, Elise is being incredibly brave, supportive and encouraging WHILE also being incredibly freaked out by it all. She’ll question whether she’s cut out for the safari and at times announces her preference for Safeway. But, I remind her, she also once preferred a man that was a 6’3” doctor with hair but got me instead. Point is, she’s adaptable.

What we’re actually learning is how to turn towards one another in the midst of it all. How to hold each other’s excitement and fear together. I’m learning that her fear doesn’t mean that she distrusts me or my abilities and she’s learning that excitement doesn’t mean a disinterest in her needs. We’re learning how to trust God in deeper ways than ever before. 

So I will continue to show her my sales funnel, my activity tracker, sales projections, and we’ll celebrate the little wins together. In fact, when I received my first check I immediately emailed her a picture. She simply replied: “Very cool. Did you kill that with a fly swatter?” 

She didn’t say that either, but it’s what I heard.