Scheduling Woes & Conferencing


It’s Monday morning and I’m sure the following may make many of you sick to your stomach so feel free to skip to the next paragraph: I love coming to my office with a smile on my face. I couldn’t be happier with where the business is, where all our product lines are falling, how well things are going and just how much good we’re able to do, from jobs to community (as in community services, not the online cults) empowerment to philanthropic stuff. Having had years of being kicked down and asked “Oh, so what you do is just like ___” I am happy to finally be able to say “___ who? Didn’t they go out of business / fold / sell out?” To be able to come to work and have my choice of meaningful things to work on, instead of working for money, has finally come and I am loving every damn second of it. Yes, even when LA-DC2 is on fire 🙂

Which brings the work addiction – family man equation out of balance. I decided (a while ago) that I wanted my life to have more than just work, and I cut my schedule, I cut my involvement in extracurricular stuff, I have a baby on the way and really a lot of stuff I am truly looking forward to doing. I have effectively pulverized my speaking schedule for 2008 so I do not have the pressure of “Can you blog about this, Can you talk about that, Can we do this, Would you do that” that used to be in my inbox non-stop. So now that there is no expectation, life is easy.

I want to go out and have some fun & make some money, and there are only two conferences that (kind of) fit my schedule. I have been invited to the Microsoft MVP Summit which is two weeks from now, and I would also like to go to WWPC. Here is the problem:

If I go to the Microsoft MVP thing, I may miss the birth of my son if he’s early. If I go to the Microsoft WWPC and leave my lovely wife with a month-old baby for a week, I might come back just in time to watch my own murder at the hands of the aforementioned wife.

The two events are almost mutually exclusive, value-wise, as one is a social/training event and the other is pure and shameless pimping (not that I am otherwise shameful when it comes to pimping, it’s just that people are paying to hear the pitch!)

So what’s the point? Well, the point is that if you’re really down and dirty and trying to build a sustainable business, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and one day you will not be looking for a way to go to a conference to learn how to get business, but will be trying to think of a way to get out of business so you can go out there and have some fun. Stick it out.

As for me, I’m not sure.

9 Responses to Scheduling Woes & Conferencing

  1. andyparkes says:

    When our little girl was born the business was still very new and we weren’t in a position to turn down work because my wife “might” give birth (i hate having to say it that way but can’t think of another!)

    We kept a window free which would cover us if she was early or late (late as it turned out) but then it was pretty much back to it straight afterwards

    Alice was born on the Tuesday night and i was back at work on the Monday as we had a server migration to do

    If i had to pick one based on what you have said…

    Skip the MVP conference. Seeing Alice born was an experience I’ll never forget

  2. Chris Knight says:

    Skip both.

    You can always go to an underwhelming conference pretty much every week of the year.

    You can’t experience the birth of your first child again. Nor can you offer your wife better support than actually being there. It’s going to be really new for both of you and the first two months are probably the hardest. I’ll be all too happy to send your wife a very blunt knife and a nasty garrote if you go to WWPC 🙂

  3. Dude, keep your feet planted firmly near your wife and kid, it’s worth it (as is the not being murdered part). And I say that with as much authority as a random internet blogger and blog reader (with an awesome 15-month old) can muster 🙂 I was sad to only have a week or so to stay home after my kid was born.

    You can take a break to post pictures once the baby comes, although it’s good to do that with a laptop from the hospital. You’ll even get my wife to read your blog long enough to see the pics…

  4. robfranklin says:

    Stick to the family, I speak from experience. I have four kids and have been fortunate to be there for all of them being born. With our last little boy he was born with a number of problems which meant that in his short life (20 months) he has had a number of operations. Some of these I have not been able to be there for both for my son and for my partner due to work commitments. At the time the business was struggling and I needed to work as and when needed in the same way andy was.
    In short obey the wife, the consequences of not doing so are very grave indeed:-) Also enjoy your family, you only get one shot at every step so live it. I’m sure everyone will understand that sometimes other things take priority and lets face it there are not many people that have given as much as you.
    Just my random thoughts, good luck

  5. Ok this is an easy one. I would also go so far as to say a no brainer.
    Every year there is a conference, every month there is a semiar or launch, every week there is a client, every day there is a problem. There will ONLY EVER be one birth of your child.
    I will promise you there will NEVER be a moment like the one you will have holding your child, ever.
    Once you hold that child you will never be the same again.
    Forget the conferences. If you dont, as a familly, make that bond over those first moments and weeks then you will weaken those bonds for ever.
    My girls are now 7 (twins) and we have, like everyone, been through good and bad times but making that commitment sets a marker about where you stand and where your new priorities are.
    BTW Congratulations in advance.

  6. Vlad, here goes comment number 2, since my wireless cut out on the last one.

    Stay home my friend, as a father of two teenage boys, nothing is more important that being with the family. We will miss you however you will still be around.

    I missed alot with my kids because of business and conferences. I was fortunate to be at the birth of both of my sons. Even flying 24 hours from the middle east to be by my wife for the birth of our first son in Winnipeg. Also a 90F temperature change from Cyprus to Winnipeg in December.

    I missed a lot my friend, during my wife and I seperation last year it really was driven home to me the value of family.

    I will not be at MVP Summit either because I need to be with my family. Kids Hockey Playoffs = higher priority.

    Good Luck my friend

    Stuart Crawford
    Calgary, AB

  7. Katie says:

    To begin with, I love how you describe me as both “lovely” and murderous. It is good to know that I keep you on your toes.

    I just want you know (& everyone else) that it is completely your decision. I am not going to love you any more or less based on a 3-4 day trip regardless of when it is. There are always alternatives for me. The real question is what you want to chance. Could you live with yourself if the baby comes 4 weeks early? Are you really going to want to go to a conference if that means leaving us behind? Are you going to regret your choice? Believe me when I say I will be fine with whatever you choose. You just have to feel confident with your choice too.

  8. StaceyC says:

    Skip the MVP conference…and WWPC..hell..send a staffer or 3 to WWPC to pimp OWN for you. It comes down to 2 words: Kid’s Rock!

    PS: Katie’s post above should tell you everything you need to know (and I will give you a hint, when she says “It’s your choice”, she really means “It’s your choice on whether I will ever let you live it down and will constantly remind our child of your neglect of us!” 🙂

    Good luck Vlad…
    Now, me, I was at the Rose Bowl watching UT beat USC for the National Championship 2 weeks before my son was due…hey! A man has to have his priorities!

  9. HandyAndy says:

    Ok there is no point in any of us suggesting what you should do, as anyone who knows you knows, you had your mind made up before you wrote this post :>)

    My only question is how did you ever manage to find such a great gal? My only advise to you is hang on to her at all costs, we will miss you at the summit.

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