Many entrepreneurial types will recommend going for broke on one project or will go after projects that require going all-out on just one thing. Not me. The business models I endorse take family into consideration and never recommend going for broke on just one thing. I have tried going about business the all-or-nothing way and it just requires too much selfishness for a family man.
You might ask, “What if you had started your business earlier, before you were married/engaged? Then you could have focused on it to the exclusion of all other things, right?”
The only problem is that if you start out this way then it is very difficult (read impossible) for you to switch gears. And by the time you have reached the level of success in whatever you are pursuing to feel like you have time for things like marriage or family then, face it, you’re old!
Now, when I was starting my first business I was holding down a day job. The operative phrase here is “holding down” as in barely staying hired. It was a commission sales job and because I was staying up all night with my business start-up and new baby, I never got paid the kind of bonuses you need to support a family. My business wasn’t making any revenue yet (of course) so I wasn’t just going-for-broke, I was broke.
I put my family through a lot of unnecessary stress back then. If I had just put some energy into finding an office job with an internet connection and some reasonable control over how I manage my time (i.e. not dealing with customers) I could have done so much more for my family and my business. I had a kind of disdain for day jobs. I saw them as a necessary evil and had no respect for myself for working one and this was evident in my paycheck.
Then I moved and everything changed. I decided to go the other way, I began working at a computer company in commission sales. This company required 60 hours a week in phone sales and was 30 minutes away from my house. I let EmployeeInsider fall into a state of neglect and I never saw my family. And guess what, I didn’t get the bonuses at this job either. At least not the kind that you should get for working 60+ hours a week. The bonuses went up and down subject to the whim of “the company“. Once I figured in all of the hours I worked and took out for commission tax (which is exhorbitant) I was averaging about $10/hour. Have you ever tried to support a family on $10 an hour? I wouldn’t recommend it!
And after 2 years the second chapter in my business education mercifully ended. My wife was offered a fulltime job at the exact same time so I spent 6 months as a WAHD (Work At Home Dad). I got reacquainted with my family and myself during this time. I only worked when my 2 year old daughter was napping or down for the night. I spent those glorious months investing in my daughter and my future.
Now one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog is to share these mistakes with you so you don’t make them too. Right now I have a career that I absolutely love, a blog I can’t wait to work on each day, a successful business, some contract work on the side, and my wife doesn’t have to work anymore. And, most importantly, I get to spend a lot of time with my family.
I want to share these lessons with my readers in the hopes that you’ll share with me as well. I want us to draw on each other’s strengths and experiences in the pursuit of the perfect life.