So, I’ve been thinking about for a while the idea of writing a “day in the life” type of blog from the perspective of a guy who is trying (operative word here is “trying”) to be as good of a dad, husband, uncle, son, brother, friend as he can be while starting a new venture, with all of the pressures and time demands that brings with it. Just writing about the ups, downs, struggles, successes, errors, etc. that are regularly occurring in that life because I have no idea how this is going to play out. And, for full disclosure, this is my 2nd startup, and I didn’t do a very good job of the whole “balance” thing the first time (just ask my wife)… Coincidentally enough, this new venture just happens to be focused on building interactive products that try to help people live a more balanced life - one that they really love. So, no pressure (certainly don’t want to be called out as being hypocritical; but, I also want to see this venture be as successful as it can be)!
The biggest reason I haven’t done a blog in the past is that I’ve felt a little narcissistic about doing something like that. I love my life, but I don’t necessarily think it’s so interesting that someone else might want to read about it.
The thing that has me thinking about actually doing it now though is that I talk to so many other entrepreneurs and just people in general, and many of us seem to be going through a lot of the same issues in life - how do I be the parent I want to be and the all-star at work I want to be? How do I do all of the things I want to do when I don’t have an ounce of free time or energy? How do I balance all of the things I have to do and want to do? So, perhaps this can be just one way to facilitate more conversations about this whole issue of living a life you love vs. letting life just happen to you because you’re so freakin’ busy.
To that end, and one of the things I’d love to dig into as this blog series unfolds is, “Can any of us really be as good as we possibly can be in any one of those relationships/aspects in life (e.g., parent, spouse, professional) if we’re trying to be as good as we possibly can be at all of them?” Make sense?
My mind immediately goes to a sports analogy where a lot of thinking goes that if you try to be good at football, basketball and baseball, you’ll never be as good at any one of those as you would be if you just concentrated on one of them and bagged the other ones?
So, back to the question - can we be as good of a BLANK (fill in what you want - Dad, Mom, Spouse, etc.) as we possibly can be if we’re also trying to be as good of a BLANK (again, fill in what you want - entrepreneur, employee, etc.) as we can possibly be? Again I’d like to think that the answer to that question is “yes” because of a whole litany of reasons (can get into that later), but I’m not sure quite honestly.
Perhaps, though, the context from which I’m thinking about this needs to be shifted to the following. What do I need to do in order to be a guy who is a great Dad AND a great entrepreneur (as an example)? So, then the question is not one of being the best Dad possible in isolation of being who I want to be in those other areas. And, similarly, I can’t want to be the best entrepreneur in isolation of being who I want to be in those other areas and relationships. And being ok with the fact that sometimes one of those areas is going to “suffer” in favor of one of those other areas - in that particular instance at least.
Will prioritization come into play? Absolutely - I think (how’s that for definitive??)… There are going to be times when I have to make a time investment decision between doing things as a Dad or in my role as an entrepreneur. I can’t always have an AND in every situation (go be a mystery reader at my 3 year old son’s school or stay at work and crank on a deck for a presentation the next day). But, I can look at the whole as an AND. And, my thinking is to try and take each particular instance within that context. And, within the prioritization context that Family is more important to me than being an entrepreneur. Friends are more important to me than being an entrepreneur. Other areas are as well.
However, that’s super easy to write. It’s a whole other thing trying to live it (as we all know).
I love being an entrepreneur, and I really, really, really want to see it be successful. My wife and I are investing a lot of our money into it. And, others have started to as well. So, the initial stakes have been laid. This has to be a success in my mind. And, starting a business takes dedication. It takes a ton of energy. And, it certainly takes a ton of time.
Did I mention that my wife and I have 3 kids under the age of 8? And, that my 17 year old awesome nephew is living with us? That adds to the mix. In an awesome way. But, still it definitely adds to the mix.
So, here we go. I’m excited to start to write about this adventure and the daily issues and decisions it presents. I love to journal because it helps me think. Perhaps this will be journaling on steroids. I hope that makes my thinking be on steroids. It could use some juice.
We’ll see how this goes…