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DyerWolf
2007-Nov-23, 04:46 PM
Ever had that moment where you hate your office job and dreamed about doing something completely different? This is that moment...

Need some advice here:

I have a (recently acquired) professional degree and am three years into my new professional career. I am also bored to tears.

I am having fairly serious ideations of chucking it all in and starting / buying into a landscaping business. My wife and I also had a kid two months ago, and these ideations are annoying my wife to no end.

Here's the parameters of my problem/situation:

I live in a midsized US city. Until a few years ago, I was a full time US Marine Officer. I left because I wanted to have a stable family life and raise kids. I went back to school, obtained a professional degree, got a good job and work with some good people.

I like the fact that my (present professional) job is (often) intellectually challenging / stimulating. I hate the fact that this job keeps me behind a computer @ 8-10 hours a day - and is not physical at all. (I went from VERY fit, to looking like an NFL lineman starting to go to seed).

Despite being a former combat-arms Marine, I have skills beyond the usual yelling "ooh rah!", blowing things up and implementing regime change in third world countries. :D I ran Marine Corps recruiting for one US state for two years (job involved sales, sales management, marketing, vehicle / asset maintenance and managing a $600k annual budget) - effectively running a sales business. I know well how to manage teams of people, work hard and negotiate. I understand the need to have a business plan, insurance, and not get over extended. I also have experience in landscaping (working summers in HS / College @ 15-20 years ago) and have the artistic skills necessary to do basic landscape design. I am handy. I also have no student loans to worry about. We can live (if necessary) on my wife's salary, but that will mean curtailing much of what we've come to enjoy in the last three years (since I started my present position) with dual incomes.

If I continue in my present profession, I can make a lot of money working for other people. If I go "Office Space" and start my own business I have all of the usual risks of new businesses. I probably cannot make anywhere near the money I can in my present profession, but I would be outside, physical, and be my own boss - and (I think) intellectually stimulated by running my own business. I know that many new businesses fail. I also risk seriously annoying my wife. -- and probably losing credibility within my present professional community - especially if I fail and have to try to get a job using my professional degree again.

Anyway - I know this is HUGELY OTB - but thought I'd seek the advice of some seriously smart folks...

Advice? --especially from anyone who has their own business!

HenrikOlsen
2007-Nov-23, 06:06 PM
I'm self-employed so have a bit of insight.
I'd have to say that now would probably be the worst possible time you could pick for starting your own.

To be successful as a startup you have to work very long days, 6-7 days a week, with no end in sight, which is going to be a major strain on your relationship with your wife who would be left holding the child with you split between helping at home or succeeding in the business.

Sorry to rain on your dreams, but I really think it's the wrong time for you.
Planning and preparing a startup wouldn't be a bad idea, but don't actually do it unless you have full support from your wife.

Neverfly
2007-Nov-23, 06:42 PM
I'm going to jump in next to HenrikOlsen here also as a self employed Own Boss...

Now isn't the best time.

Having a dream is fine-and going for a dream is fine... But there is a certain wisdom in knowing how and when to do it. A risk-taker knows when to take a risk and when a risk is probably foolish.
Not to mention one of the most important factors in any start up- Luck.

With the economy like it is- Luck will not be on your side.

I got very lucky in starting up mine. The upfront costs were mostly covered- leaving me about $25,000 to cover on my own.

The economy was on my side and I had good rapport. Even so- the first two years I spent literally working night and day. In a given week, I averaged over 100 hours. I didn't sleep. I cat-napped. My house was just the place where I kept my stuff. Most of my time was spent on the road- I barely saw my son at all... At that time my sons mom and I were still together and the tensions between us grew astronomically high because I was 'never around.'
At first she tried to be understanding but- over time there was limits.

Even today- I must cut work back because I have my son with me. With the economy like it is- I'm seriously contemplating going to work for someone else or a comapny while I'm in school and pursuing a career change.

ETA: To add to what HenrikOlsen said; Even if the economy was in your favor- you would still need to plan, make back up plans and back ups for the back ups. Fill a savings account to ridiculous proportions that you think you won't even need. And would be a really good idea for your wife to take a job too. Start-ups can be rough unless you get really lucky.

The Supreme Canuck
2007-Nov-23, 06:51 PM
I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with the above sentiments. You said you have a child. Your current job is a good one, and secure. Leaving and starting your own business is a big risk. If it were just you, or just you and your wife, I'd say go for it if you want to. But with a child...

Stability of income wins out here. At least until you can be absolutely sure that your child will not suffer in any way. Education costs, I'm afraid.

DyerWolf
2007-Nov-23, 06:53 PM
Good points. Having her support is going to be a key to my success whether I stay in my current job or do something different. I agree that with us just having had a kid recently, now is probably not the best time.

I have a friend who bought a (well regarded) painting company a few years ago. She really enjoys being self-employed and building her business. She also has a new kid. Yet somehow, she is making it work. That appeals to me.

In addition - I admit I am bandying an idea - not a plan. I am also venting frustration with a job / career that is not satisfying me. One frustration is that whether I work 30 or 90 hours per week in this job - I'll make the same money (salary). But if I were self-employed... well, either way I reap the benefits of my performance. I know I need to build a plan, before I do anything. That's partly what I am doing now: reconnaisance.

Many people I mention this to think I'm nuts. I just can't kick the idea that I want to have my own business.




Folks that have their own business: can you tell me what the biggest challenges were the first couple of years?




Edit: My wife has a good income - and as I said, we can live on it if necessary. The thing my mother pointed out is that since my wife is still on maternity leave, we don't know how she'll respond to becoming a "working mother" as opposed to a "career professional" (which she was just before we had the kid...). Personally, I think she'll transition back to being a "career professional with a family," and not hate going back to work - we just don't know at this point.

Delvo
2007-Nov-23, 08:42 PM
How would you get customers to start with? At this moment, nobody who would hire landscapers has ever heard of you, and if they did, they wouldn't know of anything about you to compel them to pick you over the others they've used before. Most new landscaping businesses are started by people who've landscaped before under someone else's business, so they have contacts from that work experience. You don't. And landscaping is already one of the thinnest-margin industries in which to try to run your own business even if you're well established. From what I saw when I was employed in that field, even the most successful barely manage, because success just means continuing the struggle another week, not escaping from it.

DyerWolf
2007-Nov-23, 09:29 PM
I chose Landscaping because it fit a certain criteria:


Something I understand (I have experience building walls, fences, laying brick, planting trees / shrubs, setting up irrigation & other landscaping tasks);
Low start-up costs;
outdoor + physical;
I enjoy it.
Something totally different from what I am doing now...


I wasn't far enough into my reconnaissance to know what the margin is on the landscaping business (mind you, I'm not talking about a simple lawn-mowing /snow-removal operation - (but recognize that might be involved) - I'm thinking more along the lines of mid to large projects).

I figure if I can charge $30 - 50 /hr and get at least 1500 billable hours of work (per year) in the first couple of years (and keep at least half after expenses) I'd be off to a good start. It would be a huge cut in income - but with the potential of becoming something bigger and better as the years go by. I also have a lot of contacts throughout the county - even if they don't know me as a landscaper, I'm confident I'd at get at least some work through them.

Heck, this may be a pipe dream - which is one reason I'm speculating about it here - (and thanks for the criticism! - seriously, I need to delve into all the potential problems to know whether its worth taking the plunge...)

... For what it's worth, I also know someone who recently started up a landscaping business who might be looking for a partner to help expand the business. He is someone I think I can work with - but we're not good enough friends for a friendship to come in the way of a business relationship. (I haven't discussed the idea with him yet, either).

Doodler
2007-Nov-23, 11:19 PM
Landscaping?

1. Buy tools
2. Learn Spanish.
3. Get truck.
4. Cruise convenience stores for day labor
5. ???
6. Profit

Tinaa
2007-Nov-24, 01:02 AM
I'd totally freak if my husband had wanted to quit his job to start a new business after we'd just had a baby.

I owned a restaurant for five years and I was never so glad to sell anything in my whole life! Days were long and somebody else was raising my kids. Why don't you start a weekend business? That way you can build your business without your wife worrying about security.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Nov-24, 03:19 AM
I have a friend who bought a (well regarded) painting company a few years ago. She really enjoys being self-employed and building her business. She also has a new kid. Yet somehow, she is making it work. That appeals to me.
Two major differences that makes the situations incomparable, one is she didn't start a business, she bought one with an existing reputation and thus customer base, that is very different from starting up from scratch.
The other, and even though it shouldn't make a difference, it does, I think you're likely to get less friction when it's mom who decide on how to weight business time to childrearing time since increased business time won't be seen as abandonment.

Delvo
2007-Nov-24, 03:42 AM
BTW, nobody in "Office Space" started his/her own business. :D

Only one of them changed careers, while the rest kept doing what they were doing and one got a pile of cash and quit (but would have kept doing what he was doing before if not for the money and his employer "going out of business").

I gather that your reference is just to the characters' general mood about their jobs, but if the movie depicts the state you find yourself in so well, then maybe how they handled it can be informative too... and that was mostly by just accepting the fact that a lot of people aren't thrilled with their jobs but do them because they're good enough and complaining when life's actually pretty good can be considered whiney. (My father originally went to school for engineering, dropped out to get a job quickly due to marriage and children, ended up in a computer job in the early 1960s, spent decades as a programmer, finally got a degree in it in middle-age, retired from it, and never said a thing about wishing he'd been an engineer. I actually had to figure out by myself what his original plan had been, based on what college he'd been at, due to his complete lack of any comments or hints that he ever wanted to be anything else but a programmer. It was a shock to realize that the thing he seemed so perfectly satisfied with was Plan B.)

Meanwhile, the movie's one character who did change careers switched to a rather unexpected one because he discovered that the priorities that he cared about were not what he thought they'd be. That's where taking a close look at this part of your own words here comes in:
I chose Landscaping because it fit a certain criteria...If you really examine what criteria you really want and which ones you can give up in order to get the others, you might find something else that meets them which you never thought of and have never done before. It might even take someone else to come up with it for you. That's what I found happening when I was in the same situation as you not very long ago.

I had left my most recent job in my original career a few years before and finally decided (based on many job interviews that had made me not want the jobs i was interviewing for) that the reasons why I'd left applied throughout the profession, not just in a few of the jobs in it, so I didn't want to go back anymore. That made me think of what I had liked about that profession in the first place and what about it I was avoiding now, which made me think of what other professions I could find the positive parts in without the negative parts. I ended up starting a thread here asking about jobs in applied (meaning non-research) science (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/51834-jobs-applied-science.html), and picked a new career field I'd never imagined before, based on suggestions in that thread. On the surface, it might sound really weird and disjointed to go from forestry to medical radiology/imaging, because they wouldn't seem to most people to have anything in common. But that's exactly what I'm doing now, because instead of just thinking of jobs/careers as amorphous, generalized wholes, I isolated the specific elements of them that mattered and looked at jobs/careers in terms of whether they had those specific elements. The right combination of those individual elements of a job can sometimes be found in unexpected but perfect places. (And for you, one of those elements has to now be stability/reliability!)

Torsten
2007-Nov-24, 06:19 PM
I've been in your situation before, but even today as a self-employed consulting forester I often find myself wondering whether I really want to continue to do this. (Delvo, I struggled with some of the same issues you described in your thread about your career change.)

The youngest of my three children was 2 months old when I quit my relatively secure job with a large forest company. My wife was completely unsupportive, but she didn't seem to understand that the other job was "killing me" (a little melodramatic, but man was I miserable). But the risk I was taking was calculated and really quite slim: I opened a branch office of a consulting firm owned by a friend of mine. We had a five-year contract in which I received a modest salary plus profit sharing. The beauty of this arrangement was that someone else was putting up the capital and risking their name and reputation, plus providing me with work that the main office generated when my own work opportunities became slim. As it turned out, within minutes of giving notice to my former employer, they asked if I would be interested in providing consulting services to them. What a great start! I slowly built the business and eventually had up to 5 employees. Over the years I was exposed to other aspects of this business because of the range of activities undertaken by the main office, in which I sometimes participated. When the contract ended I bought the assets of the business and continued it under my own name. We both made a lot of money through the arrangement in those five years. Today I operate the business as a limited company for liability and tax reasons, but I am now back to being a one-man show.


A few things that I think are important:

I stayed in the field of my training, but changed the circumstances of employment to something a lot more exciting. I already had numerous contacts in this field, so work was quick to come my way, and the venture was immediately profitable. I also started when there was a predictable upswing in opportunites and a really good mood in the business community. I think the US economy is not in that state at the moment.

Operating a branch office gave me peace of mind that I had someone (the owner) who really cared to talk about business practices, best course of action to take in different circumstances, professionalism, etc.

Operating a business can eat into your evenings. I found managing logistics wearying. I also found that I worried too much about how to keep the crew gainfully busy during lean times. They had mortgage payments to make, and I felt I was responsible for their continuity of employment.

You need to keep good people, and this means you have to make investments in them. There is a risk that they will leave regardless of that investment, but that's just life.

A few years ago I made the decision to let the enterprise retract through attrition. I moved the office to my home. I have much less stress these days. I am only responsible for my own income. Sometimes I collaborate with others to get some really interesting work which would otherwise be out of reach to me.

There are times when I find myself in front of the computer for weeks on end. I've had to start purposely exercising when I'm in this "predicament".

Cash management is really important. I keep a large cushion available for the slow times, and I am entering one of these shortly (though it is super busy right now - feel like I'm running headlong to the abyss - lol). The upcoming winter season is the bleakest that I have seen in many years (high $CDN, and US housing bust translates to poor opportunities here). But with the cushion, I am looking forward to turning it into an opportunity to calmly reflect on, well, everything!

Ask yourself whether your motivation is based on "running from something", or "moving to something".

Anyway, just a few thoughts. Hope they're of some use in your decison.

Whirlpool
2007-Nov-26, 02:23 AM
I'm in the same situation with you and the others. I've been thinking of quitting my office job and start my own business and have my own time where I'm the boss .

I've been practicing my profession for 10 years now and it's true that I earn more than , if I start my own my business , but others say , it depends on how you handle it. Sure that it will be tough from the start , and you need some sacrifices financially , but once you're on the right track , it will become better and you will earn more.

I have a kid too, decisions like this are really hard , when someone is depending on you 100%. I have to make sure that I earn steady income for my son.

You have a wife , you are a team , seek her opinion. It will be wiser if the two of you will agree on some points before coming up with a final decision .

If I'm your wife and I just gave birth and on Maternity Leave, I will feel unsupportive on what you want to do, but discussions are needed and some things need to consider, and that is the kids , especially you have a newborn child.


Edit: My wife has a good income - and as I said, we can live on it if necessary. The thing my mother pointed out is that since my wife is still on maternity leave, we don't know how she'll respond to becoming a "working mother" as opposed to a "career professional" (which she was just before we had the kid...). Personally, I think she'll transition back to being a "career professional with a family," and not hate going back to work - we just don't know at this point.

I can relate to your wife , I'm a career professional and working is part of my life, when I got married to my ex-husband, I have said to myself, I'll quit my job and will be a full-pledge wife, when I gave birth for our 1st child , I did that , beside the fact that I had a delicate pregnancy, I enjoyed at first , but after awhile , my brain and my body is telling me to go back to work and its more meaningful now since I'm working because I have son compare to before that I'm working and enjoying my money only for myself. Well, I don't know with your wife , if she will feel the same.

novaderrik
2007-Nov-26, 04:57 AM
try knocking down one of your cubicle walls and see if that brightens things up a bit.
i've never had an office job, and i can't imagine me EVER having an office job. as crazy as it sounds, i actually LIKE doing menial physical work- and currently i'm operating a CNC laser cutter, so i get to not only watch a 4000watt laser cut thru 3/4" steel all day, but i get paid to get a workout when i unload the parts after they get cut.

Click Ticker
2007-Nov-26, 02:37 PM
One frustration is that whether I work 30 or 90 hours per week in this job - I'll make the same money (salary). But if I were self-employed... well, either way I reap the benefits of my performance. I know I need to build a plan, before I do anything. That's partly what I am doing now: reconnaisance.

My neighbor bought an existing irrigation business (installing sprinklers for commercial and residential). His employees were using his contacts and equipment to do side jobs. He lost the business, got divorced, and their house has been for sale for about a year now.

The benefit of being self employed is you will be able to work 90 plus hours per week and have no idea whether or not you will be able to pay yourself when all is said and done. I was talking to the owner of another small business we frequent. We really like this company so I hope they're doing well. Around May or so we were able to use their services. I asked the owner how business was going. She said, "Really great. I was actually able to pay myself a couple times this year."

As far as charging hourly goes. We had a rather large landscaping job done on our yard a couple years ago. We were seeking fixed quotes - not hourly quotes. And if they told us they were going to do a job a certain way for a certain price - that's what we expected. There was no wiggle room in our agreement for, "well - if it takes longer than expected, then it will cost x instead of the original quote". We counted on the professional to estimate the cost appropriately up front. Once we got our initial quote - we came back with our budget and said if they could do the job for that price - they were hired. If not - they weren't. Saved us a couple grand. Not sure how far into their margin it ate - and frankly it's not my concern.

The other thing we required is a list of addresses where we could go see their existing work. Oddly enough - that is how we found the company we ended up hiring and passed on another company. Company A gave us a couple addresses and we didn't like the work. We saw a project we did like and asked the people who lived there who their provider was. We ended up using that company. In total we spoke to five companies - all of which had existing work for us to review.

Cougar
2007-Nov-26, 04:15 PM
...got a good job and work with some good people.
Dude! Consider yourself one of the lucky ones!


I hate the fact that this job keeps me behind a computer @ 8-10 hours a day - and is not physical at all. (I went from VERY fit, to looking like an NFL lineman starting to go to seed).
Get a gym membership... and use it.


I am also venting frustration with a job / career that is not satisfying me.
I wonder how many people in this country don't really have "satisfying" jobs. Of course, I always figured, if you've got to do it, you might as well enjoy it, or at least try to enjoy it. It's usually satisfying when you get that paycheck.


One frustration is that whether I work 30 or 90 hours per week in this job - I'll make the same money (salary).
Well, then just work 30 hours. Duh! ;) And go to the gym. And besides your usual workout routine, join a yoga class. :eek:

Hmm. maybe I'll quit my straight job and start an advice column.... :think:

DyerWolf
2007-Nov-27, 03:10 PM
That was kind of the point of my original post. The check alone does not satisfy. It isn't about the money, its about enjoying (feeling a sense of accomplishment) where I spend 10-12 of my waking hours...

I appreciate everyone's thoughts.

The biggest consideration now is that my wife probably needs a bit more support and stability out of me while she discovers whether she will enjoy being a working professional mother. Guess I'll back burner this for now.

Still, I wish I could find something that gave me the satisfaction I felt in the Marine Corps without requiring me to be away from my family for months / years at a time. Business ownership might give me that - and I may keep my eye open for a going concern - and meanwhile knuckle down and try to enjoy what I'm doing now. At least I like the folks (most of'm) that I work with.

Thanks again!

Neverfly
2007-Nov-27, 03:16 PM
That was kind of the point of my original post. The check alone does not satisfy. It isn't about the money, its about enjoying (feeling a sense of accomplishment) where I spend 10-12 of my waking hours...

I appreciate everyone's thoughts.

The biggest consideration now is that my wife probably needs a bit more support and stability out of me while she discovers whether she will enjoy being a working professional mother. Guess I'll back burner this for now.

Still, I wish I could find something that gave me the satisfaction I felt in the Marine Corps without requiring me to be away from my family for months / years at a time. Business ownership might give me that - and I may keep my eye open for a going concern - and meanwhile knuckle down and try to enjoy what I'm doing now. At least I like the folks (most of'm) that I work with.

Thanks again!

One of my plumber buddies used to work at a bank. He made good money. But just wasn't satisfied. He got into plumbing by chance- had no experience whatsoever in plumbing.

I complimented him one day about his knowledgable plumbing and he chuckled and told me about how he got started. He said that he hated that job at the bank. He said, "You know, when I get up in the morning now, I have a pep in my step and a tune in my head."
He works for a plumbing company. The largest one in the world actually- Roto-Rooter- owned now by ChemEd corp.

DyerWolf
2007-Nov-27, 03:53 PM
Similar story keeps running through my head: when I was in highschool, my dad hired a late 30ish guy to paint the house. He seemed quite happy with his business (he owned it), and very informed on a variety of topics (my dad is chatter - and very informed; thus it was interesting to find someone who knew as much about everything as my dad did...)

Turns out the guy used to be a lawyer.

One day he decided he didn't like what he was doing, so he hung up his suit and went back to painting houses. He worked when he wanted to, surfed and skiied regularly and seemed content.

I remember asking him (incredulously) how he could give up all that money he had been making. His response? How could he not?

I've never forgotten his story.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Nov-28, 02:52 PM
No easy answers, no formula to follow. It all depends on your preferences and tolerances. What's your tolerance for danger and risk? How strong is your need for freedom and fun? What price in the form of risk and less income are you willing to pay for more freedom. And be careful of your choice; sometimes the freedom you see as an outside observer turns out to be an illusion when you end up working 70, 80 or more hours per week.

That being said, I've known a few who bailed from the corporate jungle and not one regretted it. Some went back, but had no regrets about their time away and how it changed their life.

How about change of a less drastic nature? Something incremental that starts you down that path? You may find a station along the way that is the perfect fit. Here's my story:

Semi-bailed myself about 8 years ago. Went from director of a good sized division with about $200 million revenue stream that required I eat, sleep, and breathe the business, to inside consulting across divisions. Within 2 years I was back to my director salary (in real income) and am enjoying incredible variety as I move from project to project. I work about 35 hours per week and have a very flexible schedule. I am the super-dad that coaches most of my kids teams, volunteers for field trips, and never misses a single recital, sports event, play, concert, or anything. Ever. (That could change as my youngeer one is now entering serious extracirricular activities and we may have conflicts. I'll jump off that bridge when I get there).

I set up for this position unintentionally during 15 years of holding various management and leadership positions. Paid my dues and gained expertise working those insane hours people mention. Sometimes the reward for hard work is that things really do just fall in place. Bottom line is that I almost accidentally set myself up to become the go to guy who knows most aspects of my business inside and out. It's perfect because I am not prime management material due to my complete disdain for needy people. I don't validate others, can't stand whining, don't run games on people, and will not play politics.

Getting kinda windy, so I'll just sum it up by saying you need to REALLY decide what is most important to you. Ask why until there are no more answers. My general rule is that you have to ask why 5 times on average to get the real answer to anything. Starting a family; that is a good time to do this anyway. The biggest role in your life is just beginning, and this is a great time to sort out how you will fill it. Who will you be as a dad? My bias in this area is probably really coming thru, but there are people that think working 80 hours per week so they can send their kid to some certain school or another is the best thing they can do for their kids. I disagree.

Another attempt at a summary. With a newborn, you are in a perfect situation to analyze things and then spend 3 or 4 years setting up. Decide what you want, then do whatever it takes to become the expert, the go-to guy. Pay your dues, get the experience, get whatever more education you need. By the time your child clears the toddler years you will probably be able to write your own ticket - even if the destination is not obvious right now today. Determine where you think you are going and set out now to clear the path.

DyerWolf
2007-Nov-28, 06:20 PM
Thanks very much for this reply.


I am not prime management material due to my complete disdain for needy people. I don't validate others, can't stand whining, don't run games on people, and will not play politics. Actually, sounds like you're perfect! I exercised much of this as a Marine Officer - and it turns out my Marines respected me more than those officers who tried too hard get their Marines to like them. (My philosophy: It's better to try to earn your subordinates' respect than to try to get them to like you. No one likes a person they don't respect and no one really likes being told what to do by a friend...) I've always set high standards and held folks to them, but also been very approachable and human. I also toed the line for my guys - even against some of my bosses. - Loyalty works both ways. In any event, I've gone from being a leader with responsibilities for @ 150 people and millions in equipment to being low man on the totem in an individual effort profession.

The addition of my son to my life is driving me to reconsider a lot of things.

My wife is more established in her career (and quite successful) than I am in mine (we're in the same line of work). She enjoys her career greatly, whereas I look back on what I liked from the Corps and compare it to what I'm doing now and wonder if I made the right choice.

The best analogy I can think of is that I've developed 10 discrete skills but am working in a job that only needs me to use 4 of them. To be fair, the Marine Corps only needed me to use 8 of those 10, and this job exercises those two skills the Marine Corps didn't want (and will add a skill or two to my kit-bag).

In any event, I really appreciate the considered answers and advice offered. I'm not going to rashly jump any time soon, but I'm also not dropping the issue. I just think I have a lot more thinking to do.


...am enjoying incredible variety as I move from project to project. I work about 35 hours per week and have a very flexible schedule. I am the super-dad that coaches most of my kids teams, volunteers for field trips, and never misses a single recital, sports event, play, concert, or anything. Ever.

I could go for that lifestyle. Congratulations!

farmerjumperdon
2007-Nov-28, 07:27 PM
Actually, sounds like you're perfect! I exercised much of this as a Marine Officer - and it turns out my Marines respected me more than those officers who tried too hard get their Marines to like them.

I'll bet I'd have made a near perfect Marine. But in the health care financing industry, with all it's current controversies and emotional hot buttons; people in leadership have to be politically savvy, and willing to use it, to survive at all. A consultant role is much more suited to my character.

I forgot to say congrats on starting a family, and one last nugget related to that. Hope it doesn't sound too cliche, and as a dad you are probably approaching things differently already - but:

Never lose sight of the fact that you can always go get more money. There's always some job some where that will get you a little more cash if at some point that becomes an issue. But you can never get back time. I think I was in my late 30's or early 40's when I finally really got that money comes and goes easily, but time that has gone by, including moments we may miss, can not be gotten back at any price.

It occurs to me that a lot of people do not get that at all, or get it very late in their life. It's a good bet that when you see people hopping off the wheel*, they have gotten it.

*My family has a running joke (pun intended) about people living like our pet mice, running the wheel at a feverish pace and going nowhere. We call it Life On The Wheel. I think that would be a good book title.