Juggling Lives: Father, Husband, CEO, Not Superman

The following is the first in a series of insights where I hope to share my personal experiences, successes and failures as an entrepreneur.

Juggling Lives: Father, Husband & CEO, Not Superman

Many have spoken candidly on the juggling act that so many working fathers and mothers must perform everyday to balance a personal life, be around for their family and get ahead professionally. Missing a catch is simply not an option.

Some say we must give each aspect equal focus and attention. Others profess that you can find a way to connect these disjointed lives by changing hats and putting on a smile. I find these notions to be somewhat unrealistic and in most cases, an impossible ideal. Building a good product and running a successful business requires immense focus and dedication as does raising children and nurturing a family. The human mind does not easily disconnect from love, passion, perseverance or the hunger for success. This is the stuff of life.

Can you manage it all together? Yes. If you are Superman.

My first daughter was born in 2010 and life changed overnight. It was (and is) a thrilling time. Her little sister was born in March this year and many more adjustments ensued. There are stressful days, sleep often becomes a precious and rare commodity and partners often struggle to maintain the romance and passion however it is accompanied by an incredible feeling of joy, pride and exhilaration, which eclipses everything else. A good partner catches the ball you missed while you were juggling everything with one hand and a great partner manages to have a laugh with you while doing it. Being an entrepreneur, spending impossibly long hours at work, taking risks and forging ahead is that much more manageable with the support of a loved one.

All said and done, I am a firm believer in putting your energy and focus into building things from the ground up with dedication and hard work. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth and from a very young age I worked hard to achieve what I have now. I don’t believe there is any other way to be successful.  I spend most of my nights at the office or at dinners with clients. When I come home my little girls are already tucked in and fast asleep. Sometimes it is truly hard because I miss them as much as they miss me but I always make it a point to spend my weekends with them sans interruptions or emails. When I am there, they have my unquestioned attention and the same goes for my company and employees. Building a great company and raising children are processes that share at least some commonalities. They both require care, devotion and commitment and while it is undeniably grueling at first, the fruit of one’s labor pays off in the long term.

With so much going on it’s a wonder I ever had any time for epiphanies. Nonetheless, I had a few and perhaps the most profound one was realizing that the core of who I was had not changed at all. My hopes, dreams and ambitions were the same even as new priorities and joys entered my world. While my heart swelled with excitement, my feet were firmly planted on the ground. Voltaire (not Spiderman) put it best, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. I have the weight of the world on my shoulders but I feel strong enough to carry it.

Getting to the kernel, how can you manage the work-life juggling act without disappointing your kids, losing tons of money or being told to sleep on the couch?

Young entrepreneurs need to understand that the ‘perfect’ family or the ‘perfect’ company does not exist. Even though popular culture and the media would have you believe yours could be, if you just bought this insurance, that sauce, this subscription or those clothes. Something being perfect implies that it needs no work and no input. Scrap that idea completely, roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. No book or article or blog can tell you how to manage it all and make it. If it does, stop reading. Nothing great ever came easy and this is the truth we want to pass on to our children. It is what you make of it. Full stop.

We work so our little ones have a chance at a better future, so that we live out our own potential and follow our dreams. We wait for the day they too realize that we weren’t Superman or Superwoman, but just Dad or Mom. We hope that they are proud of us anyway.

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2 Kommentare

  1. Erstellt am Oktober 22, 2013 um 9:15 pm | Permanent-Link

    Hey Christian,

    your post is one of the most honest, true and emotionally touching posts of a succesful entrepreneur I’ve read in a very long time. Brilliant!

    Looking fwd to the next episode and exchanging experiences, worries and fun while juggling growing children and businesses.

    Cheers,
    Christoph

  2. Ralf En
    Erstellt am Oktober 25, 2013 um 1:24 pm | Permanent-Link

    Hi Christian,
    so true, thanks for putting this online, actually you gave some great insights for not-yet parents on what might come their way without putting it negatively, just challenging and most of all, a fun and beautiful experience ;)

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