The Time Sydney’s Words Knocked Me Off My Feet

So things have been going pretty good with my new crate business, especially the month of December.  

Hardly a day has gone by without an order, I've managed to keep up with timely deliveries and so far the friends who've purchased crates seem very happy with their orders.  I even managed to get a wholesale order from a store downtown.  Life is good, right?

Well, lemme tell you about Friday night...

Last week I spent every night building crates in my workshop.  I would have a quick supper, then head downstairs to the workshop to get these crates built and delivered because so many are Christmas orders.  I was so busy Maranda took care of baths and put both kids to bed every night while I ​worked well into the evening with my headphones on playing my favorite music. 

As a business owner, being busy should be a good thing.  It means the product is good and word is starting to spread​ and the potential to grow is definitely there.  My dreams of being a successful entrepreneur are coming true!

And then Sydney showed me what she made at school on Friday and it knocked me off my feet.  

bwithme, small business, family business

It says...

How do you make crates and why do you not play with me?  And she colored a star and inside it says B with me Daddy​.  

I sat down on the kitchen chair fighting back the tears and she got right up to me and said...'Well, why?  Why don't you play with me?'

I didn't have an answer.  I said...'That's a good question, can I answer it later?'  

She said...'no, why don't you play with me?  Will you play with me now?'

'Of course!  Let's go play!'

Phew....I was off the hook for trying to explain to our almost six-year old daughter why I've been such a bad Daddy during the past few weeks while I try to grow this business. After we finished playing I was still stunned at what she drew for me.  

My immediate reaction was to quit my business.  Nothing is more important than family so I had visions of contacting people and apologizing for not making their orders but I'm officially out of the crate business because I don't want to miss my kids growing up.  Surely, they would all understand.  

And then I started to rationalize and think about the big picture and realized that December will probably be the biggest month of the year.  I'm just trying to keep my head above water and make it through the Holidays and then things will settle down a bit and I'll be able to get in more family time.  

But of course if that happens then the business might seem like it's trending downwards and I definitely don't want that to happen, especially considering I've got some new products and categories to add in the coming months.  ​

So then I started to think even BIGGER picture.  Sydney's art just means I need to stop working in my business and start working ON it...​I need to hire help to build the crates and I'll spend my time focusing on securing orders and the overall direction of the company.  And spend my evenings with my family.

I thought to myself every person who starts a business probably struggles with the work life/family balance.  I know my Dad worked so hard when I was growing up I hardly saw him at all.  But he did an awesome job providing for our family and giving us whatever we wanted.  I have no issues with that.  

But those words from Sydney still knocked me off my feet and hurt my heart.  Kids are only young once, and although my business is only a couple months old I don't feel like I've missed too much.  Although Trey did come running into the workshop the other night to tell me he tried a banana for the first time.  He was so excited!  

But kids definitely notice things and I have to take the art Sydney made for me seriously.  I'm going to frame it and keep it my workshop and never, ever forget to spend more time with my family.  It HAS to be family matter what.  

Before bed I made a vow to Randa...

I'll always put my tools down at bath and reading time.  Yes the next few months will be busy times as I do everything myself but my family will ALWAYS come first.  

Tomorrow after swimming lessons we're going to YoLo for ice cream!  Woohoo!  And then we'll come home and play.  

PS...Sydney, I'm really proud of your art work.  Your printing is looking awesome!

And one more thing...Daddy promises to always B with you.  


Husband | Daddy | Writer | DIY Wannabe