These things

a followable story

Balancing Act: Family, Entrepreneurship and Sanity

One can only imagine that in a state of happiness you may have found your balance in life.  But staying focused is tough.  If we”ve approached the asymptotic value of happiness, when can we stop and enjoy?  Each day we stop to look around and “be happy” our happiness digresses into a state of responsibility mis-management.  Not that we are less happy…just there is less time to enjoy.

I remember when I could lay on the couch, watch TV and soak up the afternoon.  Those days are not as important anymore.  The sheer thought of sitting on the couch for an afternoon scares me.  Isn”t there something that needs to be done?  A diaper needing to be changed, a roll on the floor with Gus, a moment to spare with my wife for dinner and movie or even a urgent email response for a client.

It”s like remembering when I was a kid.  Running, laughing, crying…  a lot like Entrepreneurship.

Recently, my life has gone full circle bringing many of those feelings back.

  • The birth of my son has given me the opportunity to re-live the moments of my childhood that were locked away in the back of my mind.  I get the sensation I”ve done this before only I was looking up at my parents, not looking down.  The smells, some good and some bad, spark a flood of memories from times merely forgotten.
  • Learning to run and manage a business is a lot like learning to communicate all over again.  I”m a tech guy…I know how things work but people are a different story.  I am learning everything from scratch while depending heavily on the circle of professionals I have in place to support me when I fail.  Because I do fail.  All the time.  I”m learning more now than I ever thought I would about finances, management, teamwork, growth and our region.

It”s interesting that now I see that the past couple of years with the marriage to my wife and the introduction of Gus that I now feel like I am living.   That means all the time before this I was a selfish kid who thought I knew everything and success was the title of my job or wage compensation for what ever job I was doing.  Call me crazy but I started a business so that I would have more time for my family.  When my son was born, my soul was lit on fire.   Something inside me wanted out.  Opportunity and timing in the market was right so I did it.  I did the last thing anyone should ever do with a newborn son and a stay at home mom.  Risk everything.

There is nothing in comparison to owning your own destiny.  The only walls around you are the ones you build with indecisiveness, fear and laziness.  No one else can build a wall around my life and expect me not to climb it. I have met some dark hours trying to balance all of the above.   Failure has never been an option I have chosen but it”s often occurrence has provided me with a very sharp learning curve.  But giving up is something I won”t do.  Not when my family depends on me.

I am proud to say that after many, many months of “balancing”,  my family, my business and sanity are starting to show signs of great health.  I”m being more proactive than reactive and I see the important people in my life more often.  I still fight for every part of my life but it”s a fight I can win and I don”t plan on changing that.




About the Author

I am a husband to a beautiful wife named Whitney and Dad to a wonderful baby boy. Yay! :) Damien Augustus Shaffer has come into this world on March 15th 2010. In my professional life, I have accumulated over 4 years utilizing a wide range of technologies to develop software solutions for my current employer. Most of this time was spent learning methodical approaches within different environments to broaden my programming knowledge and project planning abilities. These environments include both open source and Windows based development, mainly Web. I also dabble in Social Media and it applications in today's culture and marketplace. I consider it a hobby but some may say its an obsession. ;) I enjoy it immensely.

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