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.

<a href="https://www.corpnet.com/blog/author/pakalp/" target="_self">Phil Akalp</a>

Phil Akalp

Philip Akalp is a successful entrepreneur, attorney, and the founder and CMO of CorpNet. Phil and his wife Nellie have been building companies for more than 18 years. They sold their first company to Intuit in 2008 for $20 million, then decided to get right back into the game. Having weathered the ups and downs of entrepreneurship over the past two decades, Nellie and Phil are the undisputed experts on what it takes to start a successful business and follow your dreams.

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