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Old 03-20-2013, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,632 posts, read 6,043,836 times
Reputation: 8702

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Background: I've been an at-home spouse raising kids and trying to decide what I *really* want to do with my life while my husband went to graduate school. He got his PhD, became faculty at a big research university, then quit to become a director at an even larger high tech company. He has vast professional networks and is constantly toying the idea of starting his company. He's somewhat involved in a former coworker's (ex-video game executive producer) budding start-up... mostly as a favor, but also because he's expecting to go down the road with a different product idea in the future.

So my issue is that I've been working towards a nursing degree for the past year or so, still in the pre-reqs, and it's a very comfortable occupation choice. However my husband has made it very clear that he would need my help if he started a company. I believe this to be true. He's obviously the visionary and the brain of the operation but I'm definitely more suited to be the operational manager (I'm the one who manages our budget, has the correct information about what's affordable or when something will be affordable, etc..). So now I"m trying to figure out if I should just give up the idea of nursing (which is okay) and look at some sort of business degree, but I'm not sure what kind??? Or if something like accounting would be better.

I feel like this is a risk, but knowing that he's dead set on starting something, I feel like it's an even bigger risk if I'm not a part of it. We work really well together, it's just that sometimes he misses the trees for the forest and I'm the missing the forest for the trees kinda person.

Any advice???
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:16 AM
 
4,398 posts, read 9,545,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
Background: I've been an at-home spouse raising kids and trying to decide what I *really* want to do with my life while my husband went to graduate school. He got his PhD, became faculty at a big research university, then quit to become a director at an even larger high tech company. He has vast professional networks and is constantly toying the idea of starting his company. He's somewhat involved in a former coworker's (ex-video game executive producer) budding start-up... mostly as a favor, but also because he's expecting to go down the road with a different product idea in the future.

So my issue is that I've been working towards a nursing degree for the past year or so, still in the pre-reqs, and it's a very comfortable occupation choice. However my husband has made it very clear that he would need my help if he started a company. I believe this to be true. He's obviously the visionary and the brain of the operation but I'm definitely more suited to be the operational manager (I'm the one who manages our budget, has the correct information about what's affordable or when something will be affordable, etc..). So now I"m trying to figure out if I should just give up the idea of nursing (which is okay) and look at some sort of business degree, but I'm not sure what kind??? Or if something like accounting would be better.

I feel like this is a risk, but knowing that he's dead set on starting something, I feel like it's an even bigger risk if I'm not a part of it. We work really well together, it's just that sometimes he misses the trees for the forest and I'm the missing the forest for the trees kinda person.

Any advice???
I think it's risky to get a degree for the sole purpose of working on a company that isn't even in existance yet. You may find your "help" to this business is bringing in income for your family while your husband is working on the business full time but doesn't have any income. I might get ripped for this but you do not need a business degree to be an operations manager or do budgets. You can learn what you need to learn once your husband has decided what he wants to do and what your skill shortages are. Then decide if you need more education or not.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:00 AM
 
355 posts, read 788,520 times
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Absent, an outside party- This is very similar to what my husband and I did.

I was the marketing, HR operations and financial backbone of our company. I had no accounting or business background (other than running our home's budget, and raising 3 kids etc). Quickbooks is a VERY easy program to learn to keep your books and you will need to find a good accountant. An accountanting degree won't help you as much as sweat labor. Business school will teach you to think inside the box and good entrepreneurs don't do that.

Be the Ying to your husband's Yang.

What kind of role with this ex-colleague play? Will you be in the way? Will he be in the way? Make sure you have some very distinct lines and roles drawn up and agreed to before doing anything.

Good luck to you both!
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:08 AM
 
28,461 posts, read 75,102,257 times
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Sounds really odd. One spouse has a PhD, served on the faculty of a major research University, left that to be a "director" at a high tech firm meanwhile other spouse has been been away from school and is started on a nursing program.

In my experience certain kinds of business ventures are better NOT being the equivalent of having "all your eggs in one basket" ...

I see lots of potential for things to go really badly.
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,632 posts, read 6,043,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Sounds really odd. One spouse has a PhD, served on the faculty of a major research University, left that to be a "director" at a high tech firm meanwhile other spouse has been been away from school and is started on a nursing program.

In my experience certain kinds of business ventures are better NOT being the equivalent of having "all your eggs in one basket" ...

I see lots of potential for things to go really badly.
First of all, it's not "director" as if I were making it up... he became director of educational design for xbox. He left his job at Michigan State because Microsoft more than doubled his salary. Everyone in his field thought it was the opportunity of a lifetime. He also always wanted to live in Seattle and now unlike academia, he just has one job for good money instead of three jobs for little money (teaching, grant writing, research and publication).

It is very odd, isn't it? You don't find this level of inequality between spouses too frequently. I got a liberal arts degree but didn't work professionally (as a teacher) before starting a family. Staying at home was supposed to be a "five year plan" but multiple moves and a child born with disabilities made it more like ten. In this time I considered many fields.. urban planning, yoga instructor, student affairs administration and for a couple years it was either going to be nursing or a graduate degree in evolutionary psychology (specifically understanding the enculturation patterns of parenting). Having watched my husband work his way up, I realized I'm way too pragmatic and blunt for academia. The real truth though is that certainty of success would be far greater as a nurse than a graduate degree studying motherhood. Besides I truly enjoy the work. I became a CNA to test out the field and I am very comfortable with bedside care.

That said, I already know what it's like to get a degree and not use it. My parents paid for my first degree but I'm paying for this one. My husband's income makes this easy but it doesn't mean I feel like messing around. I also want my husband to be successful (which is why we've always focused on his career) and I want to minimize those "potential for things to go really badly". I know what many of those pit falls would be. He doesn't think about money. He'll go into a store without a budget, buy what interests him and not think twice about it. He has very simplified tastes so it's not a problem in "real life". On the job he has handled multimillion dollar projects but as a designer, he doesn't do the actual business. Someone needs to be mindful of this. His ex-coworker would be fine for the role, but he's probably going to venture down a different path (he wants to make a product, whereas my husband wants to create a service).

I don't know. I have about 10 days before the start of a new quarter... more nursing classes... but it's not too late (it's never too late!) for me to register for the next level of math, business 101 and take a paraprofessional accounting course instead. I live in an area full of start-ups. I could probably do just as well with some sort of accounting/business degree as I would nursing. You guys are probably thinking I'm nuts though.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:36 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
25,169 posts, read 33,106,369 times
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Get your nursing degree. You don't have to work as a nurse, you can still work in your husband's new company.

But after you get the degree, you have a fall back in case you lose your husband or he runs off with his secretary.

Seriously. You've done nothing but run a household. How are you going to support yourself if your husband dies in a car crash? (fingers crossed that it never happens)
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:57 AM
 
355 posts, read 788,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Get your nursing degree. You don't have to work as a nurse, you can still work in your husband's new company.

But after you get the degree, you have a fall back in case you lose your husband or he runs off with his secretary.

Seriously. You've done nothing but run a household. How are you going to support yourself if your husband dies in a car crash? (fingers crossed that it never happens)
Depending on your involvement in the new company it will be awfully hard to hang your rear-end on two toilet sets.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,632 posts, read 6,043,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
Seriously. You've done nothing but run a household. How are you going to support yourself if your husband dies in a car crash? (fingers crossed that it never happens)
Exactly right. That's what prompted going for the nursing degree in the first place. I read a book about 7 years ago called The Price of Motherhood and it completely horrified me. Such grave statistics for mothers, especially those in my position who either never worked, or quit after 2-5 years to raise a family. I know so many wives of high-functioning professionals that have wonderful academic backgrounds (Smith, MIT, Stanford) with insanely impressive occupational experience (a NASA rocket scientist. Seriously.) that QUIT and became "mommies". I understand the pressures of raising "well-rounded" and "high-quality" kids but at what cost to the mother??? This is why I thought pursuing a graduate degree in evolutionary psychology (with a healthy dose of labor economics) sounded so appealing. I truly want to understand the risks and benefits of various parenting situations: I believe there is a pervasive (but maybe false) idea that at-home moms are "better". And if so, which ways and why and for whom is it better? Maybe in a parallel universe...

Nursing is the fastest track I can think of for being financially independent. It will NOT pay anything close to what my husband generates, but it would be sufficient to keep us afloat for many years without his income. I don't want to discount being able to do something else though... in fact my nutrition instructor just returned a paper back I wrote about the operational pit falls of multinational NGO involved in ending global hunger with some interesting feedback. She told me that I have a "gift" of seeing situations in their entirety and would make a "CEO rockstar" or be excellent on a board of directors. Maybe that information got into my head these past couple of days and I'm thinking I should be striving for something a little greater than a geriatric nurse.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:05 PM
 
48,508 posts, read 87,615,651 times
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there are lots of business courses you can take without goig for a degree and takigalot of the general course necessary. Also a intern at small business would help wjile doing so;eve if it doesn'tay. its likely to later and even college course doesn't beat actually excperiencing it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
6,632 posts, read 6,043,836 times
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There will be 3-4 quarters in which I'm only taking one course (major science courses) and probably an additional quarter when I'm waiting to see which programs I've been admitted to... I could easily add on a general business or accounting to any of them. Problem solved
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