Nellie and Phil Akalp of CorpNet

What I Love About Having My Business Partner as My Valentine

One thing that makes CorpNet.com unique is that it’s run by husband/wife team, Phil and Nellie Akalp. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Phil answers a few questions about working with the one he loves.

What’s the best thing about working with your spouse?

Well…we have A LOT more to talk about at dinner and on date night.  Although it’s important to separate the stressful part of our work lives from our personal lives, I find it very beneficial to our relationship to share and discuss the exciting and/or creative parts of our business…even during “personal time.”  We really “connect” when we are excited about something at work.  Thus it’s always a good idea to discuss a new project or idea…but we NEVER discuss accounting, taxes, or legal matters on date night.

What’s the worst thing?

She knows EXACTLY where I am almost every minute of the day.  I’ll often get a “small” guilt trip when I sneak out for a massage or if I leave early and she remains behind putting out fires or addressing those “not-so-fun” tasks that every business must address.

Also, when one of us has had a stressful day due to a stressful event at work, we don’t really have each other to “vent” to.  I can’t just dump my work stress on her as she is under the same load as I am.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned the hard way on your journey together?

“TRUST HER INSTINCTS!”  My wife/partner has only our best interests at heart.  Often, she’ll see something, potentially harmful, in a situation or in a person that I fail to see.  Nine times out of ten, she was right!  I have learned to defer to Nellie’s judgment whenever she says “No…let’s avoid this person or situation.”

What are your rules for keeping work and life balanced?

I take care of “ME” first.  That doesn’t mean that I behave in a selfish or self-serving manner.  However, I have personal challenges that I face on a daily basis.  Unless I take the time, each day, to prioritize, plan, and execute, nothing will get done and I’ll end up in a tailspin by the end of the week.  For example, for me, its important that I  eat healthy, exercise daily, spend quality time with at least one of our four kids daily…even if it’s only a few minutes,

Also, I am a creative and passionate entrepreneur; I must continually work toward maintaining focus or else I am all over the place.  One of the worst feelings for me is having a million ideas and executing on none of them.  I have found that “singleness of purpose” is often very helpful during my day.  Multi-tasking is my enemy.  On the other hand, Nellie is THE BEST multi-tasker I have ever met.

How do you make Nellie happy in the office?

I’ll buy her flowers once per month…randomly…for no special occasion.  I “try” to stay out of her way when she is managing her team…I have a tendency to take over and drive whenever the subject matter falls within my expertise…and once I’m on a roll, it’s hard to stop me.  Thus, I “TRY” to sit there and just look pretty while she’s speaking to the team.

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