Balancing Business and Family

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Trying to make it in this tech world is not easy.  It’s a grind.  Operating 2 startups and working at a mature business is insane work at times and it’s no coincidence that this leads to complications at my home sometimes.  I often ask myself: what it is that I am working towards?  Sure, money is a motivator but is it a legacy that I want to leave behind?  Is it that I want to show my friends and family that I am successful?  I love what I do and I absolutely have a passion for the software space.  There is nothing like solving a complicated problem by hacking some code together to make something work.  The best part is that you are in full control.  Whatever you tell this piece of code to do it will do it.  I love that 🙂

 

Clearly, I enjoy the technology industry.  I can tell you I have been through many highs and lows during this business journey but it has been very fulfilling.  I have rubbed elbows with some of the finest businessmen in the tech industry and I have worked with Google’s development team in Cambridge, MA.  I have also felt demoralized after failed ventures and I have lost money due to poor decisions.  However, the inner personal growth experienced during this quest is invaluable and the lessons learned unforgettable.  The issue with this type of reflection sometimes is, it is private.  Trying to capture and communicate these experiences with family and friends is a difficult task and that is why balance is so important.  That is why I am committed to implementing more of a balance in my professional and personal life moving forward.

 

I have laid out a plan to provide more of this balance mentioned above.  I have started to institute 5 strategies on a weekly basis to help balance my life more effectively.  They are the following:

 

  1. I plan out my week on paper every Sunday night.  This helps me organize my week better and it helps me start thinking about objectives for the week ahead.  The more organized I am the more discretionary time I have because I am not in a reactionary type of state.  Nothing really hits me by surprise when I following a strict schedule.
  2. I only stay up late ONCE a week.  I used to stay up late multiple days a week and my sleep suffered.  I have learned that a good night’s rest is very important and it helps make better decisions the following day.  Plus, if I am staying up late often, I am not spending time with family as a result.
  3. I exercise twice a week at a minimum.  This is by far the most important change I would like to make for 2016.  Health is really important when it relates to business.  In my opinion, you not only feel better and are in a better mood but your mind is clearer as well.  It also has a downstream effect because you also feel more inclined to eating well.
  4. I’m trying to be more present.  I wrote an article about this the other day, which you can find here.  I am making an effort to give people more of myself when I am with them.  This is especially true with my kids!  I am trying to give my wife, children and friends all of my attention.  I am trying to be more intentional with my time; if I make a decision to have lunch with someone then my intent is too be there 100% and to listen and communicate with 100% focus.
  5. Checking up on one friend per week.  I have to admit that I have fallen out of touch with a lot of friends over the years.  I have been so consumed with business and having a family that it’s difficult to make time for friends.  When you are trying to make it out there it is difficult to put these issues into perspective.  At the end of the day, your connections with friends and family are very important and should be part of a balanced life.

 

There are a list of other strategies that I would like to implement in my life in 2016 but I think this is okay for now.  I have to take incremental steps to create good habits moving forward.  I am definitely feeling a little more zen after writing this article, lol.  If you have some strategies that you think can help me or someone else please share by leaving a comment below.  You can always email me at: rene@onlinerene.com

 

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My personal thoughts and strategies for tech startup companies

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Being Present

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“Be where you need to be, when you need to be there”

Are you always present when you’re somewhere with someone?  In this mobile era, it is easy to get lost or distracted by continuously checking your email or social media accounts.  Just the other day my family and I were at a restaurant and everyone was on a device.  My wife on her phone and my 2 daughters on tablets.   I personally was checking my email on a Friday night like if it was that important.  It is amazing how many people are the same when getting together to share quality time together.

 

As of today, I am making a commitment to be more aware of being present when I am with family, friends and professional peers.  When I meet with someone I will try to give them my undivided attention and really be PRESENT.  When working on a particular project or task, I will make it an effort to give it my full attention.  The key here is to be intentional and giving people more of YOU.

 

I think if we institute being more present at our meetings, lunches and family outings we will benefit in our relationships.  We will also be better listeners and that is something that is very noticeable and a rare quality we find in people these days.  I am interested in what other people think about this notion of being present and please contact me if you have any suggestions or recommendations at rene@onlinerene.com