An entrepreneur’s life is a hectic one – between our business lives and personal dramas, we constantly managing countless little things. Over the years, some well-meaning (if slightly benighted) souls have asked me how I manage to “do it all” and make it look so easy. Simple questions deserve simple answers: ‘Well, there are 24 hours in a day, you know.’ This ambiguous little quip keeps them guessing, but what exactly do I mean, anyway? The real answer is, of course, that I could never do what I do without the help and support of great friends (bet you didn’t see that coming).
Three people come to mind as my piu grande consiglieri. They keep me sane...or, as some say, insane? I have never openly shared what these three men mean to me; just recently I saw one of them at a dinner party and realized, not for the first time, how lucky I am to have him as a trusted friend; I also realized that I have two other such friends who mean the same to me. All three could not be any more different, in terms of age, looks, background, and knowledge, and yet they are equally important to me in the significance of the roles they play in my life.
Marc: AKA ‘My Charlie’ (as in ‘Charlie’s Angels’…no one sees him, yet he calls all the shots by phone). Yes, very few of my friends have met Marc, but they all know what an influence he has had on me. He is my business adviser. I speak to him at least three or four times a week, and each phone session lasts an hour or more. On days when the world of business slams me to the point where I start doubting myself, I only have to call Marc, who has a natural knack at turning my seemingly epic tribulations into mere irritations, and at turning the mountains preventing me from moving forward into mere molehills. After every phone call, I feel recharged - calmer, and ready to take on the fashion world. His advice has meant so much to me that when the MSNBC producers heard about him, they also interviewed him for the segment. So, when the piece finally aired on Feb 14th, I was delighted to see that Marc’s footage did not end up on the cutting room floor!
Pierre: As his name implies, he is a Frenchman, and as all things French, he is big on Love! At least, that’s my take on the French, and I’ve known a Frenchman or two over the years (let’s leave names out - after all, my blog is read by many :)...). As we all learn, sooner or later, love is hard to come by...but not impossible. Of course, when you have a work life that takes up all your time, as I (and most entrepreneurs) do, love is even harder to come by. I’m not worried, though, as I have a loveable Frenchman by my side! You could say that Pierre has voluntarily taken on the responsibility of being my personal cupid, as he scouts out and screens my potential suitors. My past few serious relationships all have been carefully vetted and choreographed by this darling man, and it amazes me how he sometimes knows what I want and need even before I do! Plus, he’s an instant ego boost, because he’s my biggest fan.
Joe: When money and love have been sorted out, every woman needs a cultural attaché; for me, that’s Joe. I have known him for over 15 years, and he has taken on the responsibility of bringing culture into my life, whether it be American or foreign. He is a walking encyclopedia (or, in current parlance, a human Google) who is only a phone call or an e-mail away. Joe’s breadth of knowledge ranges from classical music and opera, to Renaissance and modern art, from architecture to foreign languages, literature, and politics...the list goes on and on. So, before I see any play I may not be familiar with, or before I attend any art opening or any other important cultural event, I give Joe a call to get my 15 minute briefing; that way I am prepared. He is an amazing asset to have, and a great friend.
Calling myself lucky to have these three in my life is an understatement. My only regret, due to my crazy schedule, is that I don’t get to spend enough time with them. Most of our conversations are via phone or e-mail.
Did I say that all three have very little in common, aside from their being my friend? I really mean very little. They are generations apart, ranging from 40 to 74 years-old, come from different socio-economic, educational, and business backgrounds, and yet they do have one common thread: a vibrant sense of humor. So, when I am in their company, not only am I sorting out my business, love, and cultural lives, but I am also laughing the entire time.
So, do I dare call them MY Three Stooges? Sure, why not.
Ladies, my advice for staying sane: if you can, find YOUR Three Stooges. You will never feel lonely again.
Remember, every woman deserves three men.