Balancing family and the Drive to Succeed?

So I started my company at 23. I was full of energy and worked harder rather than smarter.

Flash forward to today. I’m now 33, happily married with two kids. I’m more focused on what our services are and how we are delivering them. My life is more comfortable and I’m now working smarter but feel conflicted as to whether I’m actually working harder?

I constantly struggle with the fact that my family takes away time for me to focus on growing the business. I feel bad that I feel this way, but my gut feeling is that sometimes they are interrupting my ability to work harder to keep up with competitors.

Again I don’t like the fact that I feel this way. I cannot get out of the house any earlier than 730am and my day regularly has to stop at 5pm. By 9pm after family time, dinner, and putting the kids to bed I sometimes just do not have the energy or mental capacity to work though I used to work till 1-2am before I was married.

Does anyone else struggle with this?? Am I looking at this the wrong way? Or is this just the crappy struggle of running a business?

  • 100% yes. Struggle with this constantly. It’s a really tough balance sometimes.

    What I think I’ve realized though is that if I sacrifice the time with the family now, without question, I’ll regret it 10 years from now. On the other hand, if I sacrifice the time with the business now, I can’t definitively answer whether I’ll regret it or not. I tend to go towards the sure thing.

    Having said all of that, it still drives me crazy to have to end at 5.

      • You’re not alone. Far from it. I feel this way often.

        However, these decisions are not yours alone to make.

        If you haven’t done so, also discuss this with your SO. Since you and SO are a team-for-life, working on projects: Kids and Marriage. Those projects need 100% of the team’s focus and energy. And every percent that you cannot contribute will end up on the plate of your SO. Every minute you do not contribute to the family is a minute that your SO has to compensate for.

        Not realizing this is where divorce often can start to become the end-point. Or burnout. Possibly both.

  • It is all about working smart. They way I do it is by planning my day to spent enough time on both sides:

    This is my schedule:
    * Work from 5:00 to 5:00
    * Have dinner with the family and spent time from 5:00 up to 10:00 p.m.
    * Plan next day from 10:00 to 11:00.

    This works for me. Since my work is my passion, I am basically dedicating 12 hours to me. 5 for family time and 1 for planning. If you learn to use your time effectively in those 12 hours you can make them worth a lot more.

    Additionally, the hour of planning is really important since you don’t have the 20+ hours most 22 y/o startups put into a company, you have to spend time on what matter for your business according to your metrics. If that is users, then focus on that, if it is money then focus on that.

    I struggle sometimes, because I want to keep going, but my struggle is out of passion for my company, it is not because competitors are advancing faster. If I can’t compete with 12 hours a day of work, then honestly there is something wrong with the company.

      • No problem. I am also in the struggle 😀 Family is not a speed bump… it is a ride-along kind of thing. 😀 It does improve your life and your startup. It forces you to value what matters.

  • I’m in almost exactly the same situation: 34, married, 2 kids. I also love what I do and would love to spend every waking hour learning, working and building.

    My advice to you? Cherish this time you have, you’ll never regret it. Time passes quickly when you’re busy and all too soon those kids who are begging you to play Lego or read them a story will be teenagers with better things to do than play with their Dad. Then they’ll be adults, then they’ll be gone.

    You’re still young, there will be plenty more opportunities to do business and make money.

  • I feel and I’ve felt the same way.

    But in all honesty, If I knew I would day within 2 days, I would not spend a minute of them working. I would spend them with my family.

    It’s hard to accept the fact that what makes me the happiest is not necessarily what I love the most.

  • That seems about right, running a startup vs family, the eternal struggle. No easy solutions, you just have to continue working smarter than harder.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    You may also like