So… This Is “Work”

I had a fun little Twitter convo earlier this week and it hit me (again) that… “this” is “work.”

Yes… I work from home! And, I’m kind of ruined for the usual corporate lifestyle… “going in” to work. My office is this packed storage’ish place where a lot of toddler, media, workout, jiu jitsu, and miscellaneous overflow exists in the house. It’s a place I establish some time to every once in a while, do some video blogging or broadcasting via #Periscope or Snapchat… I’ve actually taken a liking to Snapchat.

And, then… I’ve been looking back at the big picture. It’s MAY. That means, I’ve been “work at home” for TWO YEARS now. It’s really crazy to think that. Yes… I’ve taken some per diem gigs and some private clients over these past 24 months. However, the bulk of how we’ve been surviving financially has been from me working in this tiny little office, running around after my kid, cooking when I can, or jamming on this laptop at the bar of our kitchen.

It’s really quite crazy, when you stop and think about it. And, it’s awesome, amazing, and a gift of an experience.

What’s really crazy to think about is that… things are actually working out! Yes, it’s still financially a nightmare of sorts. However, it’s the LIFESTYLE I’m after. Of course, should the opportunity come and I get to realize some of my exit strategies that I end up with a big financial bump… yes, that would definitely be appreciated.

Still, I look back and mentally call upon the lovely experiences we’ve had as a family, the closeness I have with my wife, the love, fun, & adoration I have with my boy… how could I give this up?

My hopes and prayers, now, are that this next stage (as it develops) continues to grow this lifestyle along with the finances… that things finally balance out in a direction of growth.

Until Next Time!
-Ben

A Year Out Of School, Again

So, it’s been a year… nearly to the day, that I graduated. Again. LOL!

What has happened? Well… EVERYTHING.

Graduating with my MBA to tag onto my other graduate degree, the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree… I sought to re-enter the world of healthcare at the business/operations beat of the realm. I was only to find that everyone and their neighbor’s uncle’s friend’s cousin’s roommate’s bartender wanted me to do what???

Return as a Director of Rehab.

Yay……..

I mean, if I wanted to be that, I would stayed that. I wanted to DO SO MUCH MORE. I wanted to be around my family more. I wanted to effect change at greater scales. I didn’t want to go back to where I started… it was ridiculous.

Well… as things turned out, I joined a startup company (as you know)… UpDoc Media!

Things are going well. We’ve been growing steadily, quickly, and things are getting very exciting. I’m hoping to be able to share things later on as the dust settles.

Before things got good… well, I basically applied to every corporate job imaginable, in the scope of non-clinical management. Annnnnnnnnd…. #Bust. Yup. No one wanted me. They wanted me to do my old job. #Irony

I also continued my work to be a big advocate for students and developing professionals. Personally, this is a huge driving factor — setting up the future generations for success. I just love it.

All to say, looking back at how I got here, I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve been a work at home dad, full time. A year since I’ve graduated with the MBA. And, 6 months since my company launched. Things are happening!

#ThatIsAll

A Week Away From Home

So… due to life and bills to pay, I found myself away from home and in clinic for an entire week. Now, first things first: I was very thankful to this relationship with this local clinic I per diem at. We have a wonderful working arrangement and it helps that we’re pretty darn close in terms of a drive/walk. #Awesome

Well, what was supposed to be more of a half day all week turned into practically full time work all week. It worked out in most respects in that there are bills to pay and we gotta do the work, sometimes & many times, that we rather not.

I learned a lot about the healthcare consumer, my role as a clinical physical therapist, and even how that despite such a break from clinical care these last (nearly) two years… I’m still spot on with so much of what I do. I guess it really is like what they say about “riding a bike.” Now, while I enjoyed being in the clinic again… what hurt was being away from family.

After all, this was the first time in TWO YEARS I was away from home and family at a full time pace.

Ultimately, being away all day for a full time equivalent work week… I noticed something truly remarkable in parenting. First, my son was in a bad mood most of the day. Even though I took lunch at home, my wife would tell me how grumpy he would be in my absence. Our boy just likes having both parents around. We also, ironically, realized that mommy & daddy represented certain facets of emotions… much like Disney’s Inside Out.

Mommy = Anger, Fear, and Disgust.

Daddy = Joy & Sadness.

How accurate was this? Well… one day, I came home and Nate went from absolute anger-fit to super giggle happy. He got so happy we were running around and he ran into a wall. Immediately… he began to cry in the saddest most pitiful cry ever.

Well… that seemed to be our dynamic for the week. The biggest lesson I learned was this: I belong at home. I am MEANT to be Daddy In The Raw… a work at home dad.

I can’t say it’s been easy. I can’t even say it’s been financially advisable (yet! some big news, hopefully around the corner) or emotionally stable. However, it is something I know is right for my family.

Well, after such a long and hard week, we felt there was no better way than to make a quick impromptu trip to Disneyland 🙂

Here are some highlights:

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Crazy swag!

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Selfie after front row seating at the Paint The Night Parade.

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Entrance into Tomorrowland.

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How it started in the front. Now, diamonds in the back.

Ultimately, I learned that no matter where you are on your journey… you must find your home. Your home might be your actual home. It may be your family, your friends, your profession, your passion, your hobby, etc. Whatever that home is, find yourself there and start there. Why? Well… everyone starts somewhere. Even, Walt Disney.

And, the key is: You have to START.

Feeling Depressed…

Just to add some dramatic balance to the blog… ha ha! I wanted to contrast where I am now to some of the lowest of lows from a year back or so.

The reality is this. When I was at my lowest of lows… it was so bad that my wife, Christina, who is typically very unworried about my well being… mostly because I known as this super happy, joyful, positive, constructive, can get through anything kinda guy… she came up to me and stopped the world to ask me:

“Are you okay?”

Oh, it wasn’t an emoji situation. This was the real deal loss of interest in… everything.

I was never more credentialed. I had never been more desirable a candidate to just about any company. I mean, common! I had a doctorate with honors. I had an MBA with honors. I climbed up the management ladder in record time.

And…. I had NEVER been more rejected and moreover ignored by the job market. Every application I sent in, every cold call, every networking attempt… silence.

It was nuts. It was insane. It was beyond fathomable. In fact… it was…

Truth be told, if it wasn’t for the love & patient of my wife, the joy of my son, and some amazing friends out there… PS. shoutout to the Rebellion Academy where I train in BJJ… I would’ve been truly lost.

How lost?

Nature videos lost. As in, watching every possible nature video I could find on YouTube… to the point, where I got to them them rather well. PS… Pelicans are… (this is a dad blog, so I’ll use the kid friendly term)… Big Meanies!

Dont’ believe me? Click here… it’s… wrong. And, please don’t let the kiddos see it…. 🙁

But, I’m way better now! All better, almost… 😉

I’d be lying if I didn’t mention I’d love to have more financial padding in this entrepreneurial journey. Of course, it wouldn’t actually be a startup journey if I *was* financially padded. That is, until I exit with $$$$$! That’s the goal, anyway.

So, where I am I now?

Well, the conference went well and we’re pursuing business leads to grow, scale, and quite possibly expand. I’m back to BJJ after a month off due to all the business activity in February 2016. AND, my kiddo is a major chatter box of love. AAAAAND, we’re in our anniversary month 🙂

That’s always a good thing.

I guess the moral of this part of the story is… no matter how low you get, so long as the people who mean most to you are there to help lift you back up, you’ll alright. It’s all gonna be good. You just have to keep moving.