It's so easy to be tempted by the notion that I am in fact so crucial and important to the business at hand that I have to attend. Flaunting the notion of my own importance was even bizarrely empowering. It's of course completely hollow and meaningless, and ultimately self-defeating.
With this second boom and it's Hackathons and 2-week-challenges I find myself saying "No" quite often. "No, this is my daughter's soccer practice.", "No, I have a dinner date with my wife." and so on.
I stil work on startup ideas and I tend to take on more than I can chew. But now if I've got to make a choice between finishing a product or being a good parent/husband I'll take the latter.
And that's why most successful startups are founded by childless, unmarried, under 30s.
Being young correlates to being energetic and not risk averse, and having no family commitments correlates to choosing the product over going to soccer practice.
Do you have a citation for that? It does not match the research I'm aware of. For instance:
> Founders tended to be middle-aged—40 years old on average—when they started their first companies. Nearly 70 percent were married when they became entrepreneurs, and nearly 60 percent had at least one child, challenging the stereotype of the entrepreneurial workaholic with no time for a family.
And even if it was a 2x increase in output, I'm not sure that that's an enabling variable in a startup's success.
80% Fixing some stupid emergency drop everything issue that was somewhere between the user's keyboard and the oracle database.
19.99% Implementing some feature that got lost in the shuffle when clients are showing up tomorrow morning for a demo
0.01% Actually bringing the product forward and beating out the competition.
Honestly, over fifteen years I can only think of a few days where I ended at 10pm and said "yeah, that was a good day, we really got ourselves ahead", more often than not it was "shit, at least we are barely above water."
Of course YMMV
For any future father's here, my ex was there to hold my hand during the births of our two sons. It was one of the better things he did. I didn't care if he forgot my birthday, especially once I realized he couldn't remember his own. He had a demanding career and he was a challenging person to deal with. But it meant a lot to me that he was there when our sons were born.
It meant even more to me when I found out 2.5 years later that I apparently clawed him bloody during the very difficult birth of our first child and he never complained. He brought that detail up exactly once in all the years we were married. He mentioned it while shooing away some nurse who thought I was being a bitch during the birth of our second child. He waved her off and said "You are doing fine. You haven't drawn blood this time." I both respected and appreciated that.
Rather than question that, he simply accepted it. And therein lies the trap. You let people tell you what your priorities are rather than setting them yourself. And yes setting your own priorities will get you fired some times (been there, done that) but it will also keep you balanced.
Time runs only one way, and then it stops. If you accumulate regrets life gets less and less enjoyable.
I tend to not understand the complaints of people who have had cushier lives than I have had. I am okay with that. I think most people are wusses and whiners and I wouldn't want to live like they live.
I will no doubt regret replying to this. I seem to have misplaced my PC filter.
Without getting into a debate about what the correct choice was-the author of the article made a decision that was out of line with his values, due to social pressures and habits. He didn't choose to go to the client call because he truly believed that it was more important. In my opinion, that's a terrible way to live.
And no joining the military long enough to get a collage degree does not qualify as a 'hard' life compared to say living in as a super max prisoner, a hunter gatherer, or 95% of humanity before the 1500's.
Please excuse me while I go have a good cry. I no longer know how to cope.
Social Security includes disability benefits which you may or may not qualify for. But, you are probably eligible for some government assistance of some kind. ED: http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/conditions-page-2-38.html vs http://www.disabilitysecrets.com/resources/social-security-d...
Trying to make significant amounts of money from websites is far closer to playing the lottery than most people here want to think about. Still, there are ways to make money working from home or even just a library, but most of them don't pay vary much. Look at https://www.elance.com/ to get and idea what your competition is.
PS: I wish you the best of luck.
Have a good evening.
Enjoy your pc filter coming back online soon
But I might need to bow out of this discussion as I get the impression my pov is neither understood nor appreciated. I was always there for my kids. They are 22 and 25 and I have their undying loyalty. We are currently homeless together. They have other options. They could stay with their father (where I am unwelcome) or try to get into a shelter without me. I could also try to get into a shelter without them (or take some guy up on offers to go home with him). No one will take us as a group. We won't split up. Most people do not understand our loyalty to each other. A public forum is probably not the place to try to express what that grows out of. Suffice it to say we all know we can count on each other in ways we cannot count on anyone or anything else.
Have a good day.
I think I do understand your point of view, could be wrong, but in summary it sounds like "hey things could be way worse, get over it."
The challenge I have is that while it is true that this particular problem for the OP was less 'problem' than say 'losing your hands in a freak wood chipper accident', the author was still trying to glean some life lessons from it. The particular lesson they were focused on was the need to have priorities come from inside rather than outside.
You've had a harder time of it than the OP, but that doesn't change the lesson that they learned, or the significance of learning it.
But have an upvote for attempting to genuinely engage me in conversation in spite of your unfortunate impression that my attitude about this is somehow an ugly thing.
By going with the flow, as many of us are wont to do, we get caught up by those who decide that they are going to go their own way.
"There is only one success ... to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it."
“If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
~ Jim Rohn
As we are pulling into the hotel the system for one of our largest clients goes down. I'm the only developer on this particular system (we're a small company) and we end up cancelling dinner so that I can work all evening to get the system back up.
I still don't know if I made the right choice there. Yes it could have meant my job if I ignored the pager, but maybe I shouldn't be working for a place that has no respect for my other priorities.
You don't have to worry about being fired for that because 1) boundaries are healthy and 2) they obviously can't operate without you so they wouldn't dare fire you for having a personal life.
Even worse, the more of yourself you give 24/7 to the business, the more the boss expects that of you, and gets disappointed when you slack down to 23/7. Establish firmly that you can give 110% during business hours but also you have a personal life that doesn't belong to the business.
If the business can't operate continuously without you then the boss either needs to invest in more staff or prepare to suffer the consequences. It's not your fault and don't let anyone guilt you into working 24/7 because they're not investing in enough staff and infrastructure for true 24/7 coverage.
So customers be damned? Perhaps, but that was your boss's decision when they failed to hire a full staff, not your fault.
What if you are the boss and owner, is it still customers be damned? What's the point of having the freedom of being your own boss if you don't use that freedom? So sometimes you say "no" to customers and partners, they are adults, they will get over it.
Your job is not your life. Believe it and live it.
-- former military wife who spent many a birthday alone
It's probably different for me because I could likely find a new job easily enough, so the consequences are not as severe as if I was back in the military.
My whole point is that work is not sacrosanct. It has no special place. There is nothing in it by its very nature that makes it right to put it above all else. There are other activities one does throughout the day, or maybe every so often, that is more important or needs to be prioritized, IF one feels that way.
I know no one here is going to change my point of view. Maybe you could explain to me why people keep trying to do so while apparently making no effort to understand it when I have repeatedly indicated I would kind of like to bow out of what looks to me to be pointless contention.
This is what I suspected you meant by "importance". Something that you are forced to make important, not important by choice.
And regarding my work, there's no reason for me to look for other work. I love my job. And also love some other activities I do during my day. But my job is not more important.
I know its hard to change a point of view. I just wanted to know where you are coming from. And regarding bowing out, all you need to do is stop responding.
As far as I am concerned, I saw a comment, was curious about the why, and prodded a little. It was a good discussion. Thanks for that and good luck.
Have a great day.
But thank you for the gratuitous ad hominem which appears completely irrelevant to this discussion.
My point is that while you obviously feel strongly that you have chosen the correct path for your life, you are not an objective observer. I have come to realize that my thoughts on commitment and work--which were strongly like yours--were primarily a coping mechanism for a lifestyle that was not good for me.
Edit to add: This is the message of the "top 5 regrets" post linked in the HBR article: the decisions we make and defend during life might not look so great as greater perspective is gained.
I do not see the world in the black and white terms you are viewing my remarks through. That probably explains a lot.
You also said "I think if friends and family don't understand that your work is a priority, they should be cut loose." That seems like a pretty black-and-white position to me. But then you say that there are times that family should come first.
It also seems like you're conflating family and work, saying things like "my family was my work." When what most of us mean by "work" is an external employer. When you say "My work saved my life" are you talking about raising your family or working for an external employer?
So I guess I am just confused as to what you are trying to say. At first I thought you were trying to say that work should always come first. Now your devotion to your family is very clear to me, and you seem to be saying that people need to strike a proper balance. Which I agree with.
Just when I thought things were getting better... <wry smile>
At first it's hard, but people will learn to accept your "no"s and is a sign of respect when they stop questioning why you said "no". (assumption: no is backed up by reasonable and rational reasons)
Of course, this type of prioritization issue also applies to work within a startup. There's always more to do than you can possibly finish, and you need to pick between multiple urgent tasks...
The trick is knowing, in the moment, which alternative action will best serve which subset of priorities over which time frames.
It's not always so obvious as newborn vs client meeting. Sometime it's flying an airplane vs client meeting.
It's easy to say you wish you spent less time working and more time doing the things you love, because it's easy to forget how working hard enabled you to do the things you love.