People always ask how I met my husband. A small girl from the Philippines with a 6 foot ex-Special Forces white man- the stereotypes can be hilarious! The most common of which is that we probably met at the Naval Base, with me doing what? The truth is, Todd and I were set up as a blind date while he was visiting Manila for an international church conference (Nope, not one of those Korean ones where you all get mass married!). Singles mixer, everyone’s excited, his friends ask my friends to go out, and poor little me just watching it all happen. As if an afterthought, one of the guys said, “Don’t worry, we can set you up with Todd”. Todd? Who’s Todd? Todd was in the middle of the dance floor surrounded by more than a dozen starry eyed single ladies. So I casually parted the crowd and said, “Excuse me, you are my date tonight”. And the rest, as they say is history.
I left a very promising career in brand management working for global brands such as Levi’s and McDonalds to follow Todd and start a new life in the US. Before anyone can say “INS Work Permit”, I was offered a marketing job in a new product development company in San Francisco. Not a year later and our CEO offered me a position that would’ve involved more traveling to pitch our products to fortune 500 companies. See, said CEO was young, successful, and not very bad looking, so you can imagine my then new husband’s reaction to that. (FormerCEO, if you are reading this, now you know why I really left ha-ha). In all seriousness, Todd and I wanted to start a family and knew we needed a lifestyle that would make that easy. So we started brainstorming and opening our eyes to opportunities and before we knew it, the idea for a fully custom team sportswear company, Allen Sportswear was born.
Cut to 10 years later, and what seemed like a fairy tale has had it’s share of ups and downs. We have learned a lot about each other and from each other. Even though the experience has been incredibly rewarding, there have been a few occasions when I have threatened to resign and work at Disneyland if need be. I personally think that working with or for your husband is a calling that only a few can embrace! Date nights can turn into strategic planning sessions and bedtime cuddling can include random financial analysis discussions and even weekends can turn into family field trips to paint the new office. The line between family and work gets blurred and heated discussions become the norm. For anyone who has ever worked for us and been completely bewildered by our dynamics, I want to take this opportunity to say I am sorry. And you are welcome- for the endless entertainment! But what can you do when you are the complete opposite of each other in the workplace? Whereas he is the visionary, always dreaming of new products and spewing out new ideas, I am the analytical planner, SWOTing in my brain and spilling out a list of
why it won’t work critical success factors long before he can finish his sentence. Whereas he can close a deal with his ability to build rapport and articulate his ideas in 10 seconds, I tend to ramble and go off tangent in my obsession with details. (Check out the awesome logo and simple layout of this blog site..oh wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Todd is from Mars and I am Venus!) Yet in spite of this stark contrast in personalities and skill sets, we are both very driven and passionate about what we do, and so with much prayer, perseverance and the guidance of inspiring leaders we have in our lives, we have both learned to use our differences to shape us into something more powerful together. Proverbs 27:17 shares this wisdom, long before we figured it out! “As iron sharpens iron, so one man (or woman) sharpens another.”
So what is the secret to being married and staying married to your boss? I honestly haven’t figured it out. But what little I know, I hope to share through this blog (along with other random managerial and technical how to’s that I so terribly enjoy but do not have enough airtime during meetings to share). I am excited to share my experiences and learn from yours, to continually sharpen each other and together, we can band as one to become the most effective leaders in our respective organizations.
By: Tina Marinshaw