The lights are flashing. The sound is booming. The crowd is so loud it’s hard to even hear your own thoughts. Everyone around you is waiting in a baited anticipation for the Red Wings to make their big debut in the new arena. Everyone is watching that entrance on the ice. But you have your eyes on just one person in particular.
You have your eyes on the person who had a big hand in the coordination and design of the structure everyone is standing in. You have your eyes on the person who, for over a year, knew more about the details of this arena than he would even tell his own wife. You have your eyes on the person who you are so unbelievably proud to call your own, it makes your heart pound an extra beat.
You see, while everyone else cheers as the Red Wings take the ice in the new Little Caesars Arena, I will be cheering on my husband. He and his two business partners have built a company from the ground up. Intentio Innovations literally started in a basement with just the three of them. They are now a reputable company, with employees, coordinating the design of buildings, one in particular being the Little Caesars Arena.
The Little Caesars Arena is just one of many amazing projects that my husband and his business partners have been responsible for the development. These three men have built a company off an idea. It was magical to see it come to life firsthand.
I distinctly remember the day my husband came home from work. He had gotten lunch with his former coworkers and friends just like any other day. But, this day, they discussed potential. Potential to take an idea and make it into a profitable business.
After so much hard work and determination, the company was finally starting to gain more clients and projects. It was time for my husband to make the company his priority. Because timing is always a jokester for us, we had just found out I was pregnant with our first child.
We had a very long discussion about what his future would look like with Intentio. We also discussed what his future would look like without it. As nervous as I was to lose a dependable biweekly paycheck from my husband, I knew my answer. You see, even though this was his company and his career, we are partners in life. We look to each other for help, guidance, and support. I could see in his eyes this was something he truly wanted but didn’t want to take the plunge if it would harm our family. I just needed him to answer one question.
“If you decide to leave Intentio, and they end up being successful without you, how much regret and resentment would you harbor?”
He looked at me a second but then answered almost instantly.
“I would be disappointed but I would know that the decision was the best one for our family.”
I smiled. It became very clear to me what he should do. He needed to do this. We would figure out difficulties later, if necessary. I put my trust in him and his business partners. I was lucky enough to have known these men for a long time. Yes, they were his former coworkers, but they had also become good friends.
After a year or so passed, all three business partners had been working full-time for Intentio and they were booming. Booming in the perfect way a small, new business should. It was time to get more official and get an office space. Office space came and with it many more employees. It was quite remarkable to see this idea develop into a real, working office space with real, working employees.
Everyday, I hear about the impressive new projects and ideas that they are developing. Obviously, I hear about the trials and tribulations of owning a business too that neither one of us ever anticipated. But, nothing great ever comes without at least a little struggle and learning curve.
My husband’s business partners have become like family. My husband’s phone will ring at home and my kids can guess if it is “Mr. Larry” or “Mr. Phil”. When we all get together, it is effortless. I look at his employees like an extension of our family and feel the need to nurture and care for them. When my husband and his business partners created Intentio, there were many things we looked forward to about owning his own business. But, I never imagined I would gain an extended family.
So, when we drive in downtown Detroit, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, or other various other cities, I can look at my children and say, “Daddy help build that.” The look in their eyes of wonder and awe is familiar to me. It is the same look in my eyes when I look at my husband and let it all soak in. The hard work, the dedication, and the innovation all shine through his daily efforts for his business and for his family.
You see, in my head, my husband is out there scoring the winning goal. I am his partner cheering him on and glowing with happiness and pride.