Fatherpreneur.com

My journey of balancing small business and small kids


Leave a comment

Cliff Dives and a Sick Kid – Stressful Relaxtion

This post was started a week ago, so take yourself all the way back to last week (cue flash back harp music now)
At this very moment I am at the height of a personal paradox, a stress filled relaxing vacation. I’m sitting in a cabana chair with an amazing ocean view of the Caribbean, a full glass Johnny Walker Black and Coke light (as it’s called in Mexico), and an amazing wife, yet my mind and heart have been preoccupied with the stress of work and a sick child. Through her company, Thirty-One Gifts, my wife worked her tail off and earned a fabulous trip to the Hard Rock Resort at Riviera Maya. It’s absolutely amazing. All inclusive meaning all the food and beverage you can handle. I have brought some oversized and stretchy clothes for the occasion. For the first time since our honeymoon nine years ago we are taking a trip that doesn’t involve kids, family, real estate coaching or a life coaching conference. This is our chance to spend time together and take a relaxing break from both of our lives as parentpreneurs.
Relaxation and I have an odd relationship. I almost feel like it’s a long distance relationship in which we speak often yet spend little time together. In my world as a parentpreneur the ability to disconnect is one that doesn’t come easily. Amazing wifi and international cell phone service and an amazing resort quickly turns in to a real estate office south of the border. The real estate transactions can be dealt with fairly quickly these days. Over the past few years I have been able to grow a small team of very competent and reliable agents whom I’m blessed to be associated with. A few text and e-mails makes short work (a few hours) of the first few days. What I am really paying for is the true lack of preparation for integrating my team into the work prior to leaving versus just leaving notes. Future trips will include taking enough time to stop and perform a thorough briefing. That stress I can deal with.
The one I’m struggling with as is my wife who earned this amazing trip is what’s going on with our oldest daughter. The day before our scheduled flights she complained of tummy pain in the morning. Back in June she faced a bout of pancreatitis that involved 4 days of hospitalization for fasting. I told her teacher about pancreatitis and asked her to be sure to look out for her. At 9:30 I received a call to go pick her up from the school. We were able to get her into the doctor right away who then ordered a blood test. My wife and I swapped places and she took little Ayla to the phlembots at the local children’s hospital. Fortunately our trooper has become accustomed to the blood draws over the past several months. A blood tests is the only way to rule out or rule in pancreatitis. Early that evening the whole family somehow all converged together at our house. Oakley’s mom, my parents, the kids, and I all were there when Oakley came in to tell us that Ayla’s numbers were up and that she had to go to a specialists in the next few days. One problem, we are leaving for Mexico at 6 am the next day. We discussed the situation with all the family as the girls played. Our initial thought was to stay. We couldn’t possibly leave her there with the possibility of a hospital visit. We ran through a myriad of options and came to the decision that the family will help as planned. If the doctors said she needed to go to the hospital we could get back that night. Ultimately we asked Ayla and she said that we should go. I’m really glad she said yes because I’m not sure how this would have played out had she begged us to stay.
Once in Mexico I worked the first few mornings and we worried between Pina coladas and dodging monsoon style weather. The dark clouds that covered the resort represented the dark cloud of worry that were covering my heart. In addition to my wife dealing with this worry, her father is undergoing spinal surgery this week as well. It’s been a mind filled week.
Then one moment at the dinner hosted for all the 600 plus consultants in attendance changed the clouds of worry into sun rays. I have been reading a prayer book and trying to elevate my prayer life and belief. I read how our prayers effect the world well beyond our individual needs.
At the dinner Scott Monroe, husband of the Thirty-One founder, prayed for the meal. During the prayer he seemed to add one line that was just for us like a word of comfort from the Lord. Paraphrased he said “God let everyone here know that you are taking care of all our family and loved ones back home. Help us trust you in caring for them. Help their minds be at ease.” I’m not sure exactly what he said, but that’s what I heard and I began to cry. I wiped my eyes and had a sense of peace.
Today the rain poured down hard and our worry was still there. Ayla had an appointment with the doctor and my father-n-law had his surgery. I remembered what Scott had said the night before and the clouds began to lift. I prayed and asked God to care for them and we will respond how he needs us to. The clouds at the resorts lifted and we are seeing sunshine for the first time all week. I have struggled with worry most of my life. I learned to not let it consume me like I used to. I believe God is continually working on me.
Originally this post was to start concluding here. The next day after writing this my wife we on our way to a jungle excursion which included jumping off of 20 foot cliffs, zip lines, and swimming in caves. On the way there I saw a message from my mother-n-law that said Ayla was on her way the emergency room at the doctor’s request. I had noticed the message as the bus pulled away from the hotel and we lost internet service. Once we arrived at a true Mayan village I was able to begin texting with my dad. Ayla’s blood work confirmed pancreatitis. The day we left we asked Oakley’s mom to put Ayla on strict low-fat diet which is the only way to combat pancreatic attacks without complete fasting. We prayed as we trekked through the jungle. Ayla was in a waiting room at the ER as we jumped off cliffs. We prayed for safety of us and for her. It was complete chaos in our minds as we enjoyed moments and I ran to check my phone every few minutes. They did more blood work on her and a few hours later we received the news that she was being released and going home. The low fat diet had helped her enzyme levels drop enough for the doctors to feel comfortable with her not having to fast. Our trek from the Mayan village to the bus was one of joy and relief. We had to work to completely trust God and our families to take care of her. We had to work to have fun and not let the worry take away an incredible experience that my wife and I will always remember. Fighting the feelings of guilt because of the fun while our daughter was awaiting another test was tough. Feeling helpless as a parent is indescribable. I really feel God was using this experience to show us we can truly trust him. He showed us that our daughter is a strong person and I hoped it showed her the same.
As I finish the post the sky has a dual personality with rain and sunshine. In spite of the rain God is still there shining down on us. I will remain committed to trusting him. When I let the rain of worry shower down on me as it is sure to do I will hold fast in the truth that rain is momentary and that the God who created the sun will shine always.
The hybrid of parent and small business ownership is truly tested on vacations. Maybe this time I wasn’t be great about disconnecting fully, however I am the type of person who likes to learn and I look forward to my next lesson. Thank you Thirty-One for this trip and thank you to my wife for working so hard to earn it and thank you God for taking care of my little girls.
Cue harp music for the return to tonight. It really was a painfully enjoyable experience. My wife and I had the greatest time on the trip and made some great friends. We both learned to trust God more. I know worry may never leave me, but the level of which I let it steal my joy is going to be a lot less.

Advertisements


1 Comment

Your Eternal Custom Home

One of my families two businesses is a home building company named Tandem Homes. We are small company that mainly focuses on building custom homes. There is a distinct difference between types of builders. There are large speculative or inventory builders who build homes to their own specs to sell on the open market. These are the most common types of builders who build multiples of the same floor plan in a subdivision. If you are lucky you will get to “customize” your house by choosing colors and some variations of design they have predetermined. These builders do a great job giving you choices from their expert selections. The Realtor part of me loves selling these new homes because the builders in most cases do a great job with clients during selections. They have great process and systems for customer management. Since they generally have a lot of customers the one on one time is limited. Some spec builders won’t even sell their homes until it’s almost finished in order to avoid having much interaction with customers during the build process.

Then there are true custom home builders. We are the group that specializes in helping people from the conception to the closing of the house. We often get involved at the outset with site selection and design where a blank sheet of paper begins to reflect someone’s dream. The customer and the builder are together every step of the way. The best part is that the customer has the ability to make almost every choice. The hardest part is that the customer has the ability to make almost every choice. This is where the separation is. Custom builders give the client what the clients wants and walks hand in hand with them through the whole process. It’s a time consuming and very involved process for builder and client. Our company is named Tandem because we work together with the customer for their dream.

From a real estate perspective both are great. Spec builders can efficiently build hundreds even thousands of homes a year, while a custom builder may only build a few. This is because a custom home takes much more time and effort. Working with your customer so closely requires getting to know them on a much deeper level.

This past Sunday at Easter service my Pastor Bil Cornelius began a new series, Heaven is for real. During the message which you can view using the link at the bottom of this post he spoke about John 14:2.

John 14:1-2

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Pastor Bil spoke about the fact that God is preparing a home for each one of us in Heaven. This may be the truest custom home of all. It’s built for you based on you and there you will experience constant joy. The homes my company builds are beautiful and serve you well, however they will never be perfect because you and  life is always changing. In Heaven your home and room are prepared specifically for you by your father for your lasting joy.

As a home builder I spend countless hours on a project and have hundreds of conversations with the home owner. I love seeing the process unfold and the house begin to take shape. When trim work and cabinets go in it’s my favorite part. It’s at this time that the colors chosen by the home owners will take this blank canvas and make it their own. At the end I love walking through the house right after it’s been detailed and cleaned. My partner and I do an extensive walk-thru to catch any missed items before the customers come in for their walk-thru. We want to present our best effort. 

Now imagine you were building a custom home for your children or a loved one. You picked every detail exactly like you know they would love it. The rooms are perfect and the backyard has everything they want. It’s like your personal Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Imagine that the process took a year and you labored and had hundreds of hours filled with sweat, blood and tears put into it. The day your call your kids to scream “move that bus” everyone of their friends and your friends is there to see them. Now imagine if they, your kids don’t show.

You would feel crushed. The party is there for them and the house is perfectly built.  It would be a shame to have them never move in. I know as a builder I would be sad if the houses we build were never lived in.

How much more is God saddened by his children not taking residence in their Heavenly house. During Easter we celebrate the master home builder’s gift. God sent his son Jesus to die for our sins so we can get the keys to our house in heaven.  No one in this world is perfect and we have all not lived up to the standards set by God. If you go through the 10 commandments and your anything like me you’ll find several that you broke today. That means we can’t get into heaven on our own because we have sinned against God. Jesus paid the price for our transgressions. That’s the good news everyone talk’s about. He paid the mortgage on your new home. 

In John 14 Jesus goes on to say starting in verse 3 –“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

If you ask Jesus into your life you will experience unconditional love and forgiveness. Life won’t instantly get better and your problems won’t disappear. What will happen is the keys to your heavenly home will be delivered to the gates of Heaven with your name on them.  Your custom home is being built for you right now. Your eternal joy is a decision away. Don’t let that home go abandoned.

Check our Pastor Bils message using the below link.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1JJbgPWNIM

 


1 Comment

Unclear Path

fog photo

My family and I were driving back from San Antonio to Corpus Christi this past weekend.  About half way through our two hour drive a light fog started to appear. Although an interstate highway the journey between the two cities is one of wide open spaces, occasional gas stations and sprouting oil rigs (which are more prevalent than ever).  Throw in 9 pm and the light fog was enough to raise concerns.  The fog going from a mile of visibility to hundreds of yards and then the concern meter rose quite a bit.

I knew two things, I must stay focused on the road in front of me and that the road I was on will get me to where I want to go.

Sometimes things in life will be unclear. You’ll have circumstances that don’t make sense. Your future will be clouded and uncertain.  It’s in these times that you must remain focused on the task at hand.  Focus on the steps you can take in this moment. Focus on what you can do today. If what you are working on is pointing towards your life’s vision and dreams a temporary fog can be overcome.  The thing about fog is that it’s temporary. When the air temperature rises the suspended water molecules that create the fog disappear like the XFL.

When life is foggy turn up the heat and focus on what you can do.  I began to focus on the line markers on the road to keep me going straight. I also looked for cars in front. Seeing tailights ahead gave me comfort that someone had just gone through what I am about to.  That’s a big key towards your dreams. Find the people who are and have driven the road to the success you are looking for. In our new business I am turning to other franchisees who have built strong businesses.

There are times on the drive where I would wind up passing the taillights I was following because they were driving to slow. My speed picked up with my comfort level.  I would find myself driving in the midst of the dense fog with no sight of anyone else around.   These moments were more fearful and stressful. I just stayed focused on the road ahead and remembering that soon I would be home. Those who can deal with uncertainty and persevere will taste success.

There came a moment when we came up to the Nueces river which is a marker that we had made it to Corpus Christi.  The great thing is as soon as we hit the river the fog lifted and it was crystal clear on the way home.   When you get close to your vision and dreams life will be come clearer because obstacles will seem as though they disappear due to laser focus.

During the last twenty miles of the drive home I become completely aware of how great clear skies are. I also became aware of all the distraction of billboards and other lights.  When I was driving in the fog I was focused and aware of the road. If you can take the focus and awareness of your path through the fog and keep it when clear skies are there you will hit your dreams. The distraction can keep you from achieving and reaching your dreams. Stay focused.

When life becomes unclear embrace it as an opportunity to learn how to focus and become fully aware of the path you need to take. These times are when the hard work is done and the payoff becomes closer.

The next time you hit a foggy patch in your career, relationships, finances etc. write down a plan to serve as your road and then read your life’s mission and vision statements. Those who focus through the fog are the ones who reach their dreams.

Focus on!!