While I was unsuccessfully trying to convince Ben that I was going to move his bed outside and he’d have to sleep with the owls, he looked at me, rubbed my check and said “aww, it’s okay. It will just take a little time”. Cracked me up!
I am usually an optimist. I look on the positive side of things. I do this partly because I think it is an easier way to live life. Less stress about potential negative outcomes. I also partly do this because I don’t like to deal with un-fixable problems. I don’t like when people present me a problem without a solution and I don’t like to go through my mental rolodex of issues without being able to have a plan to fix them. Some problems are not immediately fixable or do not have an obvious solution, so this can cause me to look through rose-colored glasses and try to ignore things that really are problems and should be addressed.
So this is me, taking off the glasses and dealing with what is becoming a problem and making my life unmanageable. My un-fixable problem is how I am dealing with the multiple hats that are required of a small business owner.
Being the managing partner in charge of the direction of the company, being the lead developer in charge of the direction of the code and being the CFO in charge of making sure all the bills get paid are not roles that can be handled by a single individual.
There are too many opposite forces as work.
As CEO, I need to make sure that clients are happy, employees are motivated and the future is mapped out.
As lead developer, I care about the quality and maintainability of the code. Quite frankly, I don’t care about clients, deadlines or costs.
As CFO, I only care about how much things cost. I don’t care that my project managers have to take a 9:00 PM flight, I only care that it is $150 cheaper than going out the next morning.
Now, I have been “handling” this forces for the last 2.5 years. Our clients are happy, our product is sustainable and our income is larger than our expenses. But it has come at a cost. Not anything large and irreparable, but I have made mistakes that have impacted my family and I have overloaded myself into several small bouts with depression.
I find myself saying “as soon as (fill in the blank)”. As soon as this project is done, or this release is finished or this client pays this invoice. That is a big warning sign. We are who we are no matter where we geographically are or what season of life we are in. If I’m overloaded, it is my fault because I’m the one that overloaded myself and it has very little to do with any life circumstances or the people around me.
This is my problem and I’m presenting it with no immediate viable solution. My problem really has more to do with how I’m handling the circumstances vs the actual circumstances themselves. All the factors I need to consider when making a decision can cause me to seize up and not fully commit to a direction. I’ll second guess a development decision because I’m worried about the ROI. All the different types of work I need to do causes me to be unable to focus on a single type of task and put the other tasks on the back burner. Working on our finances requires a different mindset than development and a totally different mindset than client management and I do a poor job of quickly switching between them.
I don’t have a nice succinct summary. I’ll continue to work on my prioritization and delegation skills and try to work on taking off the rose colored and see problems before they become big problems. As I always say, I try to be stupider yesterday.