Right away your probably wondering what the $%&# does this guy mean with this wacky title?? Well let me try and explain here…. there are other things in your life that are more important than earning income, but it is indeed necessary and takes up a significant amount of a man’s mindshare, so let’s talk about it….
Growing up in a middle class home in a family of 5 with a nurse as a mother and engineer as a father we really didn’t discuss business or finances that much… It’s not like we were hard done but in fact quite the opposite, we were blessed with hard working parents that were college educated (First Generation) and did a great job providing for us. Losing my mother this year to cancer (Love and miss you MOM) was a catalyst to think of ways to learn and grow from what they worked so hard to provide, as I felt like perhaps I was experiencing a little complacency perhaps. Coming out of high school, I did what was suggested to me and most natural and that was…. Get a Good education, find a good company, and work for them until you retire, so guess what I did??? After “Finding” myself for a couple years… and by “Finding” myself I mean finding myself broke and unable to make ends meet and knowing in my heart that I wanted a family, it looked like it was time to go back to school since I knew that raising a family meant that I needed resources = $$$. So it was time to go back to school…..
The reason for telling you this is that I feel as though most young men are exposed to very little opportunity to think and discover potential entrepreneurial ideas and basic fundamentals of being a “well rounded” Father, Husband, Business Person/Provider, with a strong purpose and so we are left to sort through these things the hard way through trial and error which takes TIME. So the title of the article represents where I’m at in the journey and realizing that I’ve fallen short in a couple of VERY important categories. Don’t get me wrong though, I did the “Best that I could” with the information and tools I had, but what if I had those insights earlier on?? Could I have been more effective? The answer is YES…..
Coming out of engineering school, thinking that my MAIN purpose was to provide for my family over the past 15 years was a completely fabricated story that I was telling myself which is the reason I’m writing this article in the hopes that others who may be in a similar situation may absorb some insights to bypass some difficult lessons and change the story. Reflecting back we certainly had our challenges, both financial and relational, and learned a great deal…but the level of intention that was spent at WORK was far greater than the effort and time spent connecting and spending time with my family, the exact REASON for spending so much energy at work? Interesting looking back now and come to find out that many men get stuck in this one-dimensional life until they realize that when the kids are gone, the phone is not ringing? The conversations are not Real and Relevant? So the Time to make those strong connections is now and this BLOG is a means for me to attempt to document the learnings and challenges along the way of my journey. The thought here is that this is neither right or wrong, but most men that I speak to take the responsibility of providing for their family extremely seriously and hold onto that burden and spend the necessary effort and time to succeed here (We don’t give ourselves a choice) and simply suggesting that if this same level of effort in applied in the other key areas of life, could we have an impact?
Questions that I began to ask myself…. Is the connection with my wonderful and loyal wife strong? Is it at the depth I dreamt? How often am I investing in the relationship? How about the relationship with my children? Do they feel comfortable speaking to me about anything? Are my friendships at a level of caring and openness that we know each others deepest Pains and most difficult stories and have I even inquired? Am I being my authentic self and listening to the real voice inside or is the surrounding noise too loud so that I purposefully drown it out? Is my Business and level of income allowing me to live the lifestyle my family deserves? Are my business endeavors congruent with my beliefs and purpose during my time here? These are tough questions for sure and trust me I don’t have the answers, but it sure made me begin to think about things a little differently. And one really key revelation reminder and eye opener for me was the fact that I am where I am currently in Body, Being, Balance, & Business because this is what I’m currently equipped for and what I currently know, so if I’m committed to expanding in these areas I’m going to need additional insights, tools, strategies, & revelations so that I can implement and improve the RESULTS in ALL areas.
These questions have brought me to a point of committing to getting better in these areas and I need to try and remind myself that it’s not about perfection but about progress….and my hope is that for those men reading this, they too begin to take the necessary steps forward.
I’ve always thought about, but really needed to know that you could “Have it all” in the case of financial wealth, Physical health, Strong connection to God or spirituality, and Amazing relationships with the People in your life…. but I would always look around for examples and see the CEO or business owner who is twice divorced and hasn’t talked to his kids for 2 years due to his complete immersion in business, or the personal trainer that is shredded and mastered the physical but living paycheck to paycheck since they again focused all of the energy on the Physical?? But where are the men that can prove that they can have it all???? I’ve found that this is a tough mission…..but they are out there, and the road has been cleared so it’s possible! And by “Having it all” I don’t mean perfection in any way, but I simply define it as the following;
Body/Health: They have a strong and healthy physical side and continue to push forward and SWEAT and work towards keeping it that way and it gets DONE
Balance: They have deep caring open conversations with their Wife, and Children and extended family and friends…. Intentionally keep those connections tight
Being: They spend time in prayer or meditation or whatever you want to call it but they KNOW their purpose here and the winds of change have NO impact on these people
Business: They have and continue to accumulate wealth not for the sake of the money but to contribute and learn and they get to CHOOSE daily what they want to spend time doing, but are not being told what to do and when….this is my definition of financial freedom.
Now don’t get me wrong, you are indeed 100% responsible for providing for your family as a man whether it be Real Estate or some other income producing activities, but that does not mean that you can check that box off and call it a day….job done! It is however very important to remember that in order to “have it all”, you NEED to take care of the finances and own it or else the distractions caused by constantly battling in this area will suck the life from the other areas of your life. These types of changes can be viewed as transformations and for these types of changes to take place after years of patterns, it will take hard work and commitment, so I grabbed a couple photos from a recent Flip we completed of before and after the kitchen project…..never took down a chimney before but was committed to making this happen so the kitchen would be functional. (Lost like 10lb of sweat that day)
In the engineering consulting world we would suggest to clients that in order to improve profitability you had to take a real hard look at where they currently were compared to “Best-in-class” companies. So we would determine from a scale of 1-10, where did they stand in the areas of Training, Manpower, Management, Processes etc., which would then give us a good feel for where the GAPS were. Although I have to be honest, it would be complete BS if we left all this data gathering to them, so because of this we had to do the research ourselves and ask the RIGHT questions to uncover the truth. It is impossible to make solid improvement plans from crappy data or input, you can spend a lot of time and money going down the wrong path just because people weren’t being honest.
So where is the best place to start if you are a man that wants to have it all?? Ask the tough questions and be REAL… No more Bullshit to make your EGO feel good… FACTS, So I challenge you to do this exercise with full engagement and love to hear comments. NO BS is the only rule….
Where am I as it relates to my health and fitness? Let me write down the FACTS…. Height? Weight? Food Habits? Workout Frequency? Ranking 1-10
Where am I as it relates to my Balance? FACTS again.. Does Date night Happen weekly? Do I have 1-1 outings and engagements with my children? Ranking 1-10
Where am I as it relates to my Being? FACTS …. Do I feel aligned with my purpose? Do I meditate or provide myself time to hear myself? Do I Journal weekly? Ranking 1-10
Where am I as it relates to my Business? FACTS… What does my bank account look like? Retirement? Net worth? Income vs. Expenses? Numbers don’t LIE 🙂 Ranking 1-10
It is irrelevant where you are today as long as you are committed to moving things forward, so good luck on the journey and until next time…