One of the best lessons I learned during my tenure as a startup founder was the importance of family. In startup world, shit gets real. And it gets “real” really fast.
Two years ago when my company was on the fast path to implosion, I struggled to make sense of it all. I carried around enough stress to detonate a nuke. The self-imposed nervousness, anxiety, doubting, and crawling under the desk into fetal position is the worst part of company building.
What diffused that nuke-bomb stress was rolling in to the driveway, where my three little kids would charge, usually butt-naked, out the back door screaming “Daddy’s home!”. All that stress evaporated. My wife and parents also offered perspective, comfort, and understanding.
This lesson that family serves as a source of strength surfaced again last month. With my wife away on a 6 day vacation, and the children with the grandparents, the house was vacant. Work has been pretty demanding lately, and I acutely missed their presence. Their absence made work harder.
For the record – this was their second time away in 30 days. I partied like a 38 year old dad the first time. Up ’til 11:15pm!
My message is this: all you single startup founders should get married and have kids immediately. Nothing boosts your confidence like people that like you and who don’t know any better. Just kidding.
The truth is that I’ve found a way to help cope with difficult times. Family. Sounds obvious for most people. I learned it in my own way.
When you need help or a lift, ask your “family”: parents, spouse, children, close friends, pets.