Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Togetherness

In olden times men and women hunted and gathered together. We know this from fossil records of human females whose skeletons reveal injuries sustained in fighting big game. 
When mankind invented farming, men and women worked side by side tilling the soil and harvesting the crops. Men may have done the heavy lifting. But families survived by working together. 
My man grew up on a farm in the 1950s. He glows when he talks about how his entire family took part in creating the food they needed to survive. In the fall everyone picked vegetables and stored them in the cellar. In winter the women and children beat on pans to drive wild animals into firing range so the men would fill the smokehouse with meat. 
The Industrial Age changed all that. As machines improved, men became laborers and leaders while women became housewives, secretaries and school teachers. Modern nations created separate career paths for males and females. 
Today we live in a knowledge economy in which men and women have equal complementary skills. But somehow the pendulum has not swung back. Togetherness remains a thing of the past. 
Now we stand on the threshold of a new reality. Smart machines are replacing knowledge workers. The emerging entrepreneur era is making it possible for couples and families to function as teams again. 
Often I find myself coaching women entrepreneurs. They rarely start businesses. Instead they create a series of pilot projects that require little money and great cooperation. Increasingly, they engage their husbands as project partners. By earning money together they also earn each others’ respect and admiration. 
I met my husband through my mother who was attending courses at Sage University. When cancer cut his career short, I volunteered for a couple of months to help him wind down his business. I was surprised to discover that I had a knack for management. I realized how much I enjoyed working together with him. Now I own and operate the business. He is retired. But he volunteers his vast knowledge and experience to help me master the skills of entrepreneurship. 
Together everything is possible.