So many people in the world have jobs that are undervalued: teachers, nurses, stay-at-home moms and dads.
But not until recently did I really appreciate how undervalued is the entrepreneur's spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or partner. Entrepreneurship is absolutely impossible without help, love and support.
I've met hundreds, maybe thousands of amazing business owners, leaders and sales professionals. What's amazing about each one of them is their support network. It's not just the administrative assistants, employees, nannies or day-care staffers they hire but also the backing they receive at home.
Entrepreneurship is a team sport. So here's a thank-you to my own spouse for providing me the motivation, determination and support that lets me give 110 percent to the game I love daily.
Here are four reasons why I love my spouse for granting me the ability to grow, achieve and build empires:
1. Alleviating the guilt.
I believe that if you have a family and a burning desire to build a business, guilt is always part of the equation. Time spent building the empire usually means something isn't getting done at home. And time spent with the family means less time is devoted to business.
There's always guilt that someone is being let down. Thanks to you, dear spouse, I can find consolation in the fact that my family is always in good hands, even if it's not my hands.
If I'm out networking, traveling on business or in my home office with the door shut, I have peace in my heart because my kid is happy and fulfilled since she's playing, cooking or running around with you.
I can't be at all our daughter's school programs and class parties. This hurts me incredibly, but I smile to myself knowing that you're there, making her laugh and her classmates smile. Our family is always well represented at the important times because of you.
2. Being a role model.
I am thankful that you're a wonderful role model for our kid. She's only 5 years old but she already understands that family is a tag-team sport.
Mom and Dad are responsible for working at times so she's learned to have fun with me when you're not available and have fun with you when I can't be there.
Thanks to you, our kid will never think it's the man's or the women's role to make a living or a household. It's a family job.
3. Rolling with the punches.
I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to do what I love: build a real estate empire. It's certainly not a 9-to-5 job. I wake up extraordinarily early and often return home very late.
I do my best to stick to some semblance of a schedule yet end up being thankful for having someone who rolls with the punches when a last-minute recruiting opportunity, networking event or client appointment arises.
So many people must choose between doing what's best for their business and what's best for their family. Because I have you, I almost always can have both.
4. Reinventing our way.
I grew up in a household where my dad worked and my mom stayed home to take care of the kids.
Mom cooked, cleaned and raised me, my sister and my brother. My dad brought home the bacon. I grew up like that and perhaps many Entrepreneur.com readers did, too. It's remarkable that today most people's lives are so unlike that.
Thank you, dear spouse, for reinventing "our way" with me. Not only is entrepreneurship a team sport that I couldn't do without you. But so is cooking, cleaning and child care. We certainly are less than perfect when it comes to household matters. But I can live with our dirty floors, unmowed lawn and piles of laundry if it means having the opportunity to make a mark in the world through entrepreneurship.
My competitive advantage in business is not my work ethic, ability to take rejection or my 20 years of experience. It's the support I have at home.
Just imagine the awesome businesses that never got built because an entrepreneur had to choose between what she loved and whom she loved. I have such tremendous freedom because I can enjoy both because of a partner who supports my dream.
Many business leaders in the trenches of entrepreneurship know their work is impossible without the ones they love picturing their dreams and holding the door open throughout the journey.
Thank you, all spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends and partners of entrepreneurs. Their dreams are made possible because of all of you.