It’s been a busy 10 months. The last time I wrote a post my wife was pregnant and I had just started at PivotDesk. At that time I joined PivotDesk as the 5th member of the team, not even enough folks for a full hockey line (goalie included).
Things changed since then. We have a precious little girl, Anna, who is now 6 months old and PivotDesk has grown to a full squad of 19. I remember talking with David about my daughter’s upcoming birth, he responded with these words of wisdom: “there are two types of people in the world: people with kids, and people without them”. After becoming a parent I completely understand what David meant. I also think this statement has a parallel in business; There are two types of people in the world, entrepreneurs and everyone else.
When I reflect on the last 10 months I can’t help but notice the similarities between Startups and Newborns.
You have no idea what you are getting yourself into. It’s hard to explain what it feels like to be part of a dynamic, high growth startup. When working on the venture side I was very close to startup founders and figured I knew what the experience was like. As it turns out, I had no idea what pressures and demands are placed on the members of an early stage, venture backed business. Same goes for being a parent, the baby requires your time and attention. It’s your job to take care of her every need. Just like a startup she’ll flip your daily routine upside down. You may think you know what it’s like to take care of a hyper-growth human (Anna put on 12 lbs in 6 months), but you just don’t know what it’s like until it happens.
You’re constantly thinking about milestones. Every couple of months the board of directors keep us in check, examining to see if corrective measures or adjustments need to be made. Same goes for the baby, we just had the 6 month checkup where the doctor went through a checklist of things Anna was supposed to do, such as sit up on her own, smile, laugh and follow people who walk into the room. All things I try to do in the board meeting as well.
Team is everything. My wife, Rana, is amazing. She takes on most of the baby tasks, but we communicate well and trust each other. Rana makes me feel like the luckiest father in the entire world. The same goes with your startup team, getting the right people on the bus is the best thing you can do for your startup. This is especially true in a startup like PivotDesk where part of our team is remote. Fully trusting Alex and Matthew in NYC and SF is not only vital to our success, it lets me sleep at night (so does Rana).
Growth is the reward. Being a Dad is the best thing ever. It’s easily the most incredible thing I’ve ever been a part of. At six months Anna’s personality is just starting to come out, but its so exciting to watch her change and grow. The same goes for PivotDesk, the wins that move your business forward and create new plateaus feel amazing. I’m not someone who normally looks in the rear-view mirror but we’ve come a long way since November 2012. Our growth as a business and the impact we’ve had on the startups we’ve helped makes it all worthwhile.
There is no time like the present. It’s never the right time; there will always be things you think you need to accomplish before you jump in. If you want it now is the time to do it (no, not by yourself. You need a partner, see paragraph on team)
If you’re in a startup, a new parent or both, you’re probably really tired, out of shape, and feel like you have no personal time. This is probably true, and to outsiders it sounds horrible, but for those of us who have crossed over we know how much fun it is. Words can’t explain it, it’s simply awesome.