I’ve often joked that my first act as a responsible parent was leaving a stable income for a job at a startup. On the surface this might come across as a totally irresponsible statement and, even with context, some still find the decision borderline crazy. 

The reality is, when my wife and I made the decision for me to leave behind all of the comforts and security of a corporate career to join startup InGamer Sports, we did so knowing full well that we would be relying on one income for an extended period of time. We also knew that in eight months’ time our household would be increasing by one tiny person.

In the last year and half, I’ve learned a couple of non-business-related things in my attempt at becoming a successful entrepreneur, things that are particularly key in light of the fact that I left a corporate structure and am not independently wealthy:

  1. You have to completely revise your existing spending habits (easier said than done).
  2. You must ensure that you have the complete support of your wife, husband, partner, girlfriend or boyfriend.

Spending sacrifices are relatively easy to make when you’re working seven days a week trying to move your business from concept to reality, especially when you’re encouraged by positive indicators such as consistent validation of your platform or idea by key business leaders, successful meetings or accomplishing milestones.

These indicators all reinforce why it’s easy to grab the $9 bottle of wine as opposed to the $45 option, or to forego the usual Friday night dinner out. While milestones and validation do not create an instant cash flow, they certainly indicate a significant light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Which leads me back to the support that I have personally received throughout the ride. My wife trusts InGamer’s direction based solely on my ‘state of the union’ recaps, selflessly foregoing many of the luxuries we enjoyed as a double-income household.

To my wife this year on Valentine’s Day, therefore, I offer a big thank you for your trust, drive, ambitions and talents (not to mention your understanding when sports dominate our lone television channels), all of which have afforded me the opportunity to chase my dream. I promise that next year’s gift will be something involving sand, sun and turquoise waters.

For more information on what entrepreneurs should consider at the start of their venture, what they need to do as the company grows, and what needs be done as the business matures and the owner contemplates an exit or retirement, check out this upcoming event: Startup Your Financial Future: Investing and personal finance for the entrepreneur.

Keesje Kort

Keesje Is the director of marketing and sales at Toronto-based startup InGamer Sports. See more…