50/50: My wife is so much more than a “silent” business partner
My wife and I recently borrowed a large sum of money to buy a highly illiquid asset. To secure the loan, we disclosed more of our financial behavior to the bank than we’ve admitted to anyone else, including God. And rightfully so—again we were borrowing a large sum of money, and they wanted to make sure we’d pay it back.
In addition to scouring our personal finances, the lender took a fine tooth comb to our business finances. I’m self-employed. But my wife owns 50% of “the company.” I generate and service all the income. She gets half. Many would call her—as my lender often did—a “silent partner.” But she is anything but.
I accepted Lindsey as my equal domestic partner upon marrying her in 2003. I accepted her as my equal business partner a few years later, after my first two partners headed for greener pastures (Hi, Robert! Hi, Dave!).
More than a decade later, I’m fortunate to still be solvent. And although my wife doesn’t dabble in day-to-day operations of the company, she has been my closest advisor, my professional bumper pad, and even early seed investor.
In its first year, Griffio LLC didn’t make much money. While most kids graduating from business school were making $3-4k a month at the time, I could only afford to pay myself a measly grande post graduation—certainly not enough to support our lifestyle. My wife was the real bread-winner, raking in more than double my “salary.” It remained that way for more than a year until the company could finally pay me a livable wage.
Through it all, Lindsey supported me—morally and financially. Without her,
my our business would have shuttered long ago.
In addition to biding time until I found my sales groove, Lindsey has continued to support me while raising well-mannered children (another dream I couldn’t have realized without her). In terms of selling myself, her undeviating love has given me more confidence than 1,000 self-help books combined. She has shepherded me through a decade of growth, good fortune, and professional self worth.
In a technical sense, yes—Lindsey is my silent business partner. But she’s more than earned her equal equity stake. She’s evidence that 51/49 is a disgusting, self-centered, and distrusting lie. She’s proof that 50/50 is the best partnership there is, in love as well as in business.