Why Do You Go To Work?

About five years ago I was on a solo date with my eldest daughter who was four at the time. We were at our favourite fusion Mexican restaurant sitting on the upstairs patio. It was a warm spring evening, the sky was blue, and the sun’s rays casted a beautiful warm light. I cherished the moment alone with my daughter.

I said to her. “I really enjoy spending time with you.”
She responded. “Then why do you go to work?”

I can’t recall how I answered, but I know it wasn’t deep or profoundly insightful. I recall smiling and being stunned at her wisdom. She has always had an old soul.

Version 2

The old soul

I wished I’d answered. “Because I love my job, I work with great people, am constantly learning, and we are building and selling enduring products that deliver real value for our customers.” I’m not sure a four year old would have understood this answer. The point is that I haven’t always loved what I do and I wonder how this impacts my family.

I can understand why she would pose this question. I could see her brain working. “You love me. I love you. We have fun together. Why would you want to leave me?” Continue reading

Enduring

If there is one word that describes my personal journey I hope that word is enduring. I’ve always believed in building relationships, businesses, and institutions that take on purpose and value to withstand the ebbs and flows of time, the ups and downs up markets, and the trials and tribulations of families. In other words, building enduring relationships, families, and businesses.

One wouldn’t describe my roots as privileged or financially and emotionally secure. I come from a family that was embroiled in turmoil. From a very young age I knew I had to define my own destiny. As a child I understood my parents had to make trade offs. I heard them constantly stressed about finances. I recall one day shopping for a toy I really wanted but when the moment came to buy the toy I cowered and told them I no longer wanted it. I feared for the family finances and any resulting stress. I was already wearing the responsibility to take care of myself as a primary school boy and wiring my brain to help me thrive in what I observed as a very chaotic world.

Continue reading

Opportunities – How do you make them?

My career in enterprise software got started thanks to an ex-girlfriend.

In my early twenties I wasn’t quite sure what path I would take, however, I knew I wanted to be in high tech. It was the early 90s and I was studying business at university. I had put myself through school thanks to years of working in a bike (pedal bikes) shop. It is at the bike shop that I learned the importance of customer service, differentiation in value, and commitment to delivery and quality. My bike shop years were formative. I did sales, accounting, inventory management, service, and any task needed to keep the business going. It was a passion, a career, and a family. I applied myself as if it were my own business. Despite the passion for bikes, I didn’t see a prosperous future. In 2nd year of university I bought a computer and started learning as much as possible about software, business applications, and about how to install, configure, and exploit the software. I clicked on every button, experimented with everything I could get my hands on… but the programming and coding side of software never interested me. At least it never stuck. Continue reading

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