Something amazing happened to me two weeks ago on Easter Sunday at 4:47PM. I became a dad to a beautiful little girl. It’s amazing how much of an impact such a tiny human can have on one’s life – both personally and professionally. Almost immediately after my daughter was born I began thinking of where I was in life and where I planned to go. Here’s what I realized.
Getting work done.
Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a hard worker. For that, I credit my family.
My grandfather was a blue collar machinist from Pittsburgh. He didn’t make a lot of money but worked his ass off to make the little that he did. He came home sweaty and greasy (or as they’d say in Pittsburgh, “greezy”) – just in time for a home-cooked meal my grandmother had prepared.
My dad followed in his footsteps, albeit of a white collar variety, and my mom worked around-the-clock to make sure my sister and I had everything we needed.
There’s nothing wrong with hard work. In fact, I’d argue that we need MORE of it these days. Hard work is a great thing! BALANCED hard work is even better.
That work/life balance.
Launching and growing a company like Forge3 (or any other) requires perseverance, loooooong hours, and burning the candle at both ends. Personally, I love the heck out of it. However, what I don’t like is when the business consistently leaks over into my personal life.
If you own a business, you know what I mean. Checking email on vacation. Booting up at 8PM on the sofa. Sitting in your office on a beautiful weekend. I’m as guilty as the next guy. But, having a newborn as inspiration, I’m realizing that this needs to change a bit.
Is it possible?
Of course! My neighbor has a high-up position at a huge global corporation and still manages to come home every day for lunch and spends every non-work minute with his family. You’d think that this would mean that he’s not serious about work, right? Think again. He just got a huge promotion and now manages half the world. So, at least from the outside looking in, he’s found the balance.
It’s a choice.
Some say that it’s impossible to “close the door behind you” when you leave work for the day. That’s even more true today with our always-connected laptops, smartphones and iPads.
But, it’s important to realize that each of us have a choice. We can choose to be a slave to the business or choose to find a better balance. I choose the latter. Life is too short and precious not to.
This doesn’t mean that we’ll get less done, though. In fact, I’m more ambitious now than ever before and expect to get MORE done with laser-guided focus and a solid schedule with fewer interruptions. I actually think that having a balance, both for me and our Forge3 crew, is critical to our longterm success as a company.