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I refuse to spend less time with my kids

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Andy Black

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I refuse to spend less time with my kids now so I can spend more time with them later.

If money was no object, what work would you do and how would you do it?

What's stopping you from doing it now?

Maybe don't work 80 hours a week so that you can work 20 hours a week later. Maybe figure out how to work 20 hours a week now.

(I'm fully aware it's easier said than done, and you might be running a side hustle whilst holding down a j.o.b. ... however, don't forget why you're doing it.)

...

I am reminded of this story recently posted by @jon.a and that @Vigilante and myself also posted a few years ago:

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
 

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amp0193

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So a couple of weeks ago, we got a kid's book from the library that was powerful to read. The author was reflecting back on how every Friday morning, for his entire childhood, him and his dad would walk to the same nearby cafe and get breakfast.

So, I was already kind of thinking about how I needed to start some sort of significant ritual with my kids.


Then I read the first line of your post on Monday, and it gave me a shot of clarity on how my choices recently have not been in line with my desires.

Between running my old business, trying to sell that business, and launching a new business... I've been working a lot lately.


After reading your post, I decided that my "ritual" was going to give up every Friday to my daughter (who's now almost 3), from now until when she goes to kindegarten. No work (well, maybe just a little before breakfast) and then just me and her all day.


Friday #1 (yesterday) - Using a combination of bicycle & train we went on an adventure to get to DFW Airport. They have a plane watching pavilion right off the runways, and we had a picnic lunch and watched planes. They had a speaker broadcasting the real-time radio chatter, which I thought was really neat!

You know it's been a good day when the kid is so drained they go to bed an hour earlier than normal!



I don't have set plans yet for the next few Fridays, but I think we're just going to explore DFW by train and bicycle and see all the neat places we can find.
 

Ecom man

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Finding a balance in life is difficult no matter what your profession. I feel like we need to stop beating ourselves up over the way we should be doing it.

If you work a regular 9-5 job you spend 40 hours a week 50 weeks a year (assuming 2 week vacation) for 45 years away from your family. That is 90,000 hours you spent at work by the age of 67. (Assuming retirement age goes up a couple of years and you start working at 22)

If an entrepreneur works 80 hours a week 50 weeks a year for 5 years and then sells the business they are spending 20,000 hours way from their family.

If an Entrepreneur works 20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year for 45 years and then retires they are spending 45,000 hours away from their family.

Entrepreneur 1 might envy entrepreneur 2 or vise versa. One thing we can all agree on is that the entrepreneur spending 80 hours a week for 5 years and the entrepreneur working 20 hours a week for 45 years both spend far more time with their family than someone who works 9-5 and spends 90,000 hours away from their family.
 

amp0193

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Finding a balance in life is difficult no matter what your profession. I feel like we need to stop beating ourselves up over the way we should be doing it.

One fact I like to keep in mind is that from age 0-5 you could literally have all the time in the world with them.

Once they go to school... well, now I've got 8 hours a day I can work. I couldn't be spending much time with them even if I wanted to (unless I went the home school route, which I don't think we want to do).


I could bust my a$$ now for 5 years, and retire for the rest of my life. Or I could go a little slower now, spend that time with them while they are young, and retire in 7-10.


I definitely am not beating myself up about anything though. I feel like I'm already doing a great job, just always trying to improve and find the optimal balance. I am a better and more present dad now than I ever was when I had a full-time job.


So, you're right, just being on the entrepreneurial path, is pretty much a net-win, no matter how you slice it.
 
G

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Respectfully disagree. I see that as a selfish way of looking at wealth and it’s purpose.

It’s not just about finding your happy place, it’s about having the means to make the world a better place, to vote with your money, to fund great ideas and to help the people who need it.

Lots of threads lately talking about the importance of perspective, not to work too hard,etc. but there’s also a ton of slow lane threads - I don’t think both can be true.

I’d bet there’s more people exhausted from chasing money than actually building things.

If you have a job, of course, don’t work 60 hours/week to make someone else rich at the expense of your personal life.

But if it’s your business, do whatever you have to, to pull away from your competitors.

Why not aim for a billion if you have a vision for the future? Not everyone fits the mold of nomadic stoic with a blog about side hustles and tiny homes.
 

Thoelt53

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Respectfully disagree. I see that as a selfish way of looking at wealth and it’s purpose.

It’s not just about finding your happy place, it’s about having the means to make the world a better place, to vote with your money, to fund great ideas and to help the people who need it.

Lots of threads lately talking about the importance of perspective, not to work too hard,etc. but there’s also a ton of slow lane threads - I don’t think both can be true.

I’d bet there’s more people exhausted from chasing money than actually building things.

If you have a job, of course, don’t work 60 hours/week to make someone else rich at the expense of your personal life.

But if it’s your business, do whatever you have to, to pull away from your competitors.

Why not aim for a billion if you have a vision for the future? Not everyone fits the mold of nomadic stoic with a blog about side hustles and tiny homes.
Just curious, do you have kids?
 
G

GuestUser450

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Just curious, do you have kids?
I do.

I empathize with op and agree with the sentiment but sometimes I think good intentions lead to birds who can't fly. To each his own.

I never really thought about it until now but I work around 70+ hours/week and spend about 20-25 hours with my daughter either as a family or doing homework. I'm far more focused on her being ready to be on her own than I am worried about not seeing her grow up. My aim is to give her the world, which to me isn't stuff - it's the mindset and work ethic of a happy, healthy person who does fulfilling work.
 

MJ DeMarco

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An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”


You didn't finish the story... the part that no one tells... I wonder, who has it?
 
G

GuestUser450

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You didn't finish the story... the part that no one tells... I wonder, who has it?

...Sensing skepticism from the fisherman, the businessman moves onto the next boat and finds a more receptive fisherman. The two, sensing an obvious business opportunity, decide to go into business together. They raise a venture capital round and a year later, return to the pier outfitted with a dozen high tech fishing boats.

Immediately, the price of tuna at the pier drops threefold with increased supply, forcing the young Mexican fisherman to increase his hours at sea just to maintain his existing standard of living.

Shortly thereafter, all of the shallow water tuna have been caught and the young Mexican fisherman discovers his tiny boat is incapable of deep water fishing. Because of his limited savings, he does not have enough capital to invest in a deep water fishing boat and he is forced to sell his tiny fishing boat for pennies on the dollar as scrap because advances in technology have made it obsolete.

After discovering that there is limited demand for an employee whose only skills are watching ballgames, playing the guitar and taking siestas, the young Mexican fisherman finds his only option is to take a job working minimum wage on one of the businessman’s fishing vessels.

Several years later, the fisherman’s joints are shot through from the hard manual labor of operating on a commercial fishing vessel and an ill timed lift of a 150lb pallet of tuna finally causes his back to give way, causing permanent crippling. The fisherman discovers intensive lobbying from the businessman has weakened workplace protection rules and the fisherman is summarily let go with only a paltry settlement.

After years of expensive medical treatments and crippling bills, the fisherman is finally forced to sell his land, passed along to him from generation to generation, to a development conglomerate run by the businessman who is buying large tracts of the entire village.

Unbeknownst to the fisherman, the businessman has lobbied for the village to turn into a protected nature reserve, allowing for the rehabilitation of the environment and the restocking of fish in it’s pristine waters. The businessman painstakingly recreates the quaint, coastal charm of the village he once visited, making it a paradise where the wealthy flock to when they want to retire into a life of easy indolence.

Finally, 15 – 20 years after the original conversation, the fisherman and his wife are found dead in a homeless shelter. Meanwhile, the businessman retires to the village having made two successive fortunes first in fisheries and then in real estate development. He spends his days sleeping late, playing with his grandchildren, watching high def ESPN ballgames on a 70″ TV, and taking siesta with his wife. He occasionally strolls down to the village in the evenings where he regales his fellow millionaires with the story of how he found an unexploited niche in the marketplace and then took full advantage of it to make the fortune that got him to the comfortable retirement he enjoys today.
 

daru

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This is a good conversation. Liked both Andy's and TeveTorbes posts. Which is a contradiction maybe. I'm just trying to learn to see things from multiple perspectives.
 

MJ DeMarco

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You didn't finish the story... the part that no one tells... I wonder, who has it?
Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 8.25.40 AM.png
 

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andyhaus44

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amp0193, can you please share the name of the book?

So a couple of weeks ago, we got a kid's book from the library that was powerful to read. The author was reflecting back on how every Friday morning, for his entire childhood, him and his dad would walk to the same nearby cafe and get breakfast.

So, I was already kind of thinking about how I needed to start some sort of significant ritual with my kids.


Then I read the first line of your post on Monday, and it gave me a shot of clarity on how my choices recently have not been in line with my desires.

Between running my old business, trying to sell that business, and launching a new business... I've been working a lot lately.


After reading your post, I decided that my "ritual" was going to give up every Friday to my daughter (who's now almost 3), from now until when she goes to kindegarten. No work (well, maybe just a little before breakfast) and then just me and her all day.


Friday #1 (yesterday) - Using a combination of bicycle & train we went on an adventure to get to DFW Airport. They have a plane watching pavilion right off the runways, and we had a picnic lunch and watched planes. They had a speaker broadcasting the real-time radio chatter, which I thought was really neat!

You know it's been a good day when the kid is so drained they go to bed an hour earlier than normal!



I don't have set plans yet for the next few Fridays, but I think we're just going to explore DFW by train and bicycle and see all the neat places we can find.
 

The Abundant Man

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How many times do you go to Jimmy Johns? I used to see that all the time when I used to work there when I was younger.
 

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