My second daughter is due any day now. I am both thrilled and terrified. I know this would have a profound impact on my quality of life, work productivity, relationships with my wife and friends… just about anything.
And I know it’s not going to be easy. Anyone around tells me that. Some with a grim smile only veteran, sleep- deprived parents has.
But other than the fact that the next couple of months, maybe even years (and this does put everything in a longer- range perspective, as I wrote about before https://owntrepreneurship.com/2015/03/30/the-benefits-of-long-term-thinking-and-decision-making/) would be challenging, the fact is that this joyous event is also a great motivator. When I look at my daughter (2.5 years old, smart as hell) today I can help but wonder- Would she be proud of me when she’s older? I’m doing enough to make her life better? Am I doing enough to make her world better? This internal discussion keeps me extremely motivated- and that’s a must, because since she was born my life has turned into a rollercoaster of sleepless nights, doctors’ visits, joy, fear and fatigue. Without this motivation it simply not be possible for me to create any momentum in my life and career, and I would be stuck in the same place. But I have decided not to let this stop. Au contraire, the last years’ have been some of the most productive, exciting years of my career- I’ve switched 3 jobs, was involved in the founding of 2 companies, built and launch 2 new brands and have grown personally and professionally. I’m mostly tired yet energized in ways I never thought possible.
So how do you channel this newborn energy into career advancement and personal growth? Start with the simple, tangible things. Ask yourself if your current and future income would suffice to support your family? Would it allow you to take your kids to the vacation you always wanted? If not, it’s time to think in economic terms and see how this can be achieved (we are putting a small amount of money away every months, to be used for a Safari trip when my elder turns 12).
But the real motivation comes when you consider the less tangible things- like making your kids proud.
I have no idea if my daughters will be proud of me. The only benchmark I have is that I great pride in what my parents and grandparents did: start a company, build a new school, and manage a hospital.
And since I’ve accomplished nothing of the above so far I know that at the bear minimum I need create some legacy they will be able to proud of- like building a company, writing a book (or blog!) or develop a new product that will improve the world somehow. And I intend to that (haven’t decided exactly what it will be yet).
So while I recognize the birth of my second kid will have an immediate impact (like a meteor crash!) on my life, I also know there is not a single thing in this world which will provide me with more motivation to fuel my career.