Internet Entrepreneur, Career Strategist and Founder of ResumeOrbit.com. I'm passionate about helping people discover their calling and providing the expert strategies required to succeed in today's marketplace. Whether you're someone who has a great idea for an internet business but doesn't know where to start, or a seasoned professional who needs help with the job search and communicating a personal "brand", I'm your man. Are you ready to start the next chapter in your professional life?
Congratulations on the success of your company! I'm the father of a 2-year-old boy who has to juggle being a Dad with the demands of a growing Internet-based business myself, so this is an area I deal with on a daily basis.
It helps to get real clear about what's most important. During the first 6 months of being a Dad, my stress levels were through the roof because I simultaneously felt like I couldn't give my son all of the attention he needed, and I also felt like I was falling short of what my clients expected. We live in a culture that says you can have it all, but it's not possible to give both parenthood and entrepreneurship 100% without coming apart at the seams. For me, it meant deciding that I'm a father first and foremost. Anything I do professionally is to support being a father, and if a situation or opportunity arises that negatively impacts this role, it's off the table. No discussion. However, everyone needs to come to their own decision in this regard: if you feel like going all-in within your business is the ticket to lasting success for your family, then of course that's something you need to consider. Just be very careful (and honest) about weighing the pros and cons.
Once I committed to this perspective, organizing my day got a lot easier. For starters, I don't even check email or the phone until after I've had 1 meaningful experience with my son. It's a little ritual that centers me, and I've found it to be very helpful. Second, time management becomes all-important- gone are the days when I could just let a client call continue on endlessly because there was nothing else going on. Nowadays, I will immediately inform the person on the other end of the line of the time limit involved, and make sure to adhere to that. I've also had to get really strategic about which business development and marketing opportunities to pursue and which to let slide- again, the more picky you are, the more easily you'll be able to balance the two hats of fatherhood and entrepreneurship.
One last thing: both of these pursuits will continually humble you, because you never stop learning. It's ok to feel overwhelmed and it's ok to have moments of despair. The important thing is to remain engaged and make forward progress each day. What an amazing journey you're on- I wish you much success! If you'd like to speak further about juggling fatherhood and a growing business, do reach out.
Being bold and assertive, both in terms of communicating a vision as well as standing up for yourself, is something I've struggled with as an East Asian entrepreneur, and it's something I also see other Asians/Asian-Americans struggling with. Growing up, my parents always instilled a respect for hard work beyond all else. If I worked twice as hard as the competition, I'd achieve my goals. But what I realized as an adult is that your work ethic is just one part of a successful career. You need to know how to promote yourself and how to influence people, and these were areas that I was totally unprepared for. What was perceived as "lack of confidence" was really mostly shyness and a desire to keep my head down and plug away. You can lose out on a lot of opportunities with that kind of mentality.
What changed it for me was reaching out to non-Asian friends and peers who I admired and asking for their take on how to deal with a particular situation. How do I sell myself in this email? What kind of approach do I need to take with a prospective client that will allow me to close him or her? I'd then use their suggestions as close to verbatim as possible, and ignore the natural feeling in my gut that said, "Stop! This is not polite!" and push through. The results were undeniably better this way, which was encouraging, and over time, these new methods of communication and assertion started to become habitual.
In my experience, the unique skillset required to be a successful entrepreneur isn't something which can be learned through working a variety of jobs as you've described. Yes, it's true that an entrepreneur needs skills in all of these areas- but HOW MUCH and in WHAT CAPACITY is something that only other entrepreneurs can really teach you. Sometimes having a generalist's understanding of a particular area is enough to make meaningful progress, while in other situations your particular niche might require a "deep dive" to really become an expert. I've spent over 10 years creating businesses and making many missteps along the way (let's call them learning experiences!) and the most valuable lessons I've learned have come from more successful entrepreneurs who were willing to listen to my challenges and offer their perspective and wisdom. My advice would be to gain a mentor like this, learn as much as you can, and then start applying what you've learned towards a new endeavor ASAP. I wish you every success!