The Other Co-Founder - Your Family
It's Valentines Day. Time to step back from working 24/7 and make sure your loved ones are still in love with you. That's a joke, but there's some truth in there too.
I spent some time with a founder/CEO yesterday who is doing a remarkable job building a really important company that is growing as fast as any company I've worked with. We talked about the sacrifices an entrepreneur makes and its toll. He said that his wife and kids are hugely supportive but not particularly engaged in his work. I think that's pretty typical of what I see out there.
But just because your spouse (wife or husband) and your kids are not that engaged in your startup doesn't mean that they aren't also making a huge investment in it. They see less of you than they would like and when they are with you, its likely that you are at least somewhat distracted by your current obsession. I don't start companies but I'm guilty of this behavior too. I can only imagine what it is like when you are "all in" on one thing and one thing only.
There are benefits a family gets from a parent who is an entrepreneur other than the wealth that he or she may be accumulating. They also get a role model. A parent who is doing what they love, who is creating value, employing people, making a difference in the world. All of that is very good.
But it is only good if you make the time to have a meaningful relationship with your spouse and your kids. This work life balance is super hard to achieve. I have struggled with it since my kids were young. I think I've done an OK job and have The Gotham Gal to thank for always letting me know when the balance is off.
On this day when love is front and central, I encourage all of you to do what I intend to do which is to pay special attention to those I love and make sure all is well on the home front. The Gotham Gal and I are especially blessed because our son arrived on Valentines day sixteen years ago. So our romantic dinner tonight will be a threesome.