Life after Startup – Entrepreneurship after 30 (with child)

It’s 7.25 AM and our flight from Romania back to the Netherlands is about to take off, when my 1,5 year old suddenly starts screaming for an uninterrupted 2,5 hours. By the time we land back from a short weekend with the family I am already completely exhausted, and my workday is just about to begin. Welcome to life after startup + child 🙂

As I said in my previous post called empty agenda it felt nice but also uneasy to not have anything planned in my calendar, and for a while that combined quite easily with the hard deadline of the drop off and pickup from daycare and weekly daddy days.

(Weekly daddy days are also a blast as you can see from my sons expression 🙂 )

Now however my calendar is starting to fill up again. Partially because of commitments that I still have to funk-e, partially because of new ideas that are finding more shape.

This puts a squeeze on my calendar again but for different reasons than I had in the past. I am having trouble accelerating on the ideas I have at the pace that I was used to.

Acceleration before – multiple focus points per day

When I had just moved to Berlin to open up our new Funk-e office for the first 3 months, it was easy. I was 24, I was in a long distance relationship and had no friends in the city I had just moved to. I had a singleminded goal to get things moving as fast as possible, so that the German business would run just as well as the Dutch one.

With infinite energy and time at my disposal (that’s what it feels like now) I was able to solve many challenges at the same time (finding new clients, setting up a team, setting up all the systems for communication etc.)

This meant I was able to bite down on any idea. My days would sometimes start as early as 06.00AM, and could easily continue until late at night around 02.00AM.

(In this picture you can see us powering through on the belief we could buy, build and finish the entire office with upstairs apartment in 1 day)

The downside however is that I also spent a lot of time on way too many activities. I was very distracted and unnecessarily stressed and would sometimes jump from focused work with a client, to trying to create a brilliant viral video concept to market funk-e (which never worked).

Accelerating now – focus weeks

Nowadays I can still accelerate on an idea, however I really have to pick one, and apply myself to that for a full week or two at the time. So for example, releasing a new podcast is a full commitment of recording an entire season worth of interviews and then work on production in stages and then release, instead of doing one episode at the time.

The reason is that I simply do not really have the continuous hours and flexibility anymore to start and stop multiple activities. Night hours I am often not so sharp anymore since I have likely been awake since 5 or 6 AM when my son woke up. And mornings are dedicated to my little man.

These used to be times I used to have all the peace and quiet to finish open ended tasks, however now, if I pull an all-nighter it takes me a week to recuperate.

Full steam or balance?

I still catch myself thinking that it would be nice to go back to having the full workweek available for full steam work.

But before I go and spend even more money on daycare (super expensive in the Netherlands) let’s see how these newly found focus weeks pan out in the long term..

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