3 Day Work Week
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Hey everybody, welcome back to the Cloud Secrets podcast. And today I’m going to talk about how I changed my business into a three day work week.
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So blessed that I am, I’ve got three beautiful children. I am happily married, as proud as I could say it, with my wife. Took us a while before we made the best out of it. It’s rather personal what I’m going to tell you, but I think it’s an important story, because it’s what made me take a different look or approach to the whole business aspect. My main priority was to be able to provide for my family, you know?
To have a roof over our head, to be able to do groceries, to pay insurance and all the taxes and all stuff, you know… and still get a holiday once in a while.
HERE’S THE PROBLEM…
It was a bit hard because my wife has these terrible, horrible pregnancies. The hormone thing is pfffff. And she always says having kids is nice, but the delivery time is way, way, way too long ;-). So here in the Netherlands we got bol.com. If you order today between, I don’t know, 12 o’clock PM and 0:00 AM, you will receive the package next day.
If we could change that for having children as well, that would be very nice for her.
But we’re blessed with three beautiful children, and they are all three healthy. So we’re good, it’s fine like this, and our family is complete.
But with the first child, as every father would agree, I think your whole world is upside down and you need to make adjustments. And that was a bit hard for me, because my focus was on the business. And it was only running for three years until we were having our first child. And after the second one, well it came even harder, because my wife was very ill even afterwards. I’m going into details here, because I don’t think that’s necessary for the story. But she needed a long time to recover.
So in that time we had like daycare three days in a week. So there were two days left that I needed to run the business and provide for the children. And while she was doing her best and even more so.
Without her, I wouldn’t been the guy that I am today, so I’m very grateful for how she pushed me and stood by me and helped me become the man that I am today.
With that said, she was doing more than the best she could ever do, and putting all her troubles aside to be able to give me the space and let me take care of our customers and provide so we have food on the table literally. Then we moved and it was December, 2014 I believe. Yes. With Christmas we moved to a different location. First we rented the house and from there we were searching for our new home, you know? And after half a year we found it. And well all the contractors there made a beautiful house out of it. And we’re still living there and I’m enjoying it every single day.
And there, she got pregnant of our third child. And although it was like, not really planned, it was meant to be. And as we say here, it’s a beautiful gift. No, that’s wrong, let me think. It was a pleasant surprise, and then now our family feels complete and whole. So it was meant to be. But after that in her pregnancy, from 16 weeks she got ill again, sick and she still didn’t overcome all of it.
So, I still have a three day work week because from… Well my working days are Monday, Tuesday and Friday. And Wednesday, Thursday, I take care of the kids and do nice stuff when they’re out of school or out of daycare. And that’s where the need came from to change my business.
- Change the people we work with,
- changed partnerships,
- change like everything…
to accept the fact that these were my conditions for the next time to be, until she is completely recovered. Because I wanted to be able to give her the space and rest so she could recover. While I’ll still be able to provide without having all the stress, fear and doubts and anxieties about being able to provide.
Focus Is Key
That’s where we, as I talked earlier on on this podcast, stopped serving all different kinds of services and products, and really focused down to this one thing. And by doing so, I was able to systematize the whole process from acquiring a customer until delivering on the promise that we made during the sale. And now we’ve changed personnel in the last couple of years, we educated our team, and it’s like a really good oiled machine. So when we put in an order on top, at the end of the line, a successful migration is rolled out. And by doing this, I’ve always looked at it from the wrong angle, you know?
When you look at the problem and that I needed to… well it’s not a problem, but time was the problem. I needed to make myself available on the Wednesdays and Thursdays to take care of my family and my kids and give my wife the space and rest that she needs.
When you look at it from an angle that you… Well on those two days I can’t provide for my family financially, you’re always one step behind, because you always have this inside feeling that’s burning and telling you, you need to work to be able to provide. As soon as you let that go, and that’s what I managed to do with coaching and help from others. I always underestimated the power of good coach and Michael is my coach.
Michael helped me in lot of ways to exponentially increase or make progress in
- my personal development
- as as a father
- as a husband
- as a business owner
- as a manager
- as in every form you can think of.
And now I look at situations that I’m blessed to be able to make the money that I need to be able to provide for my family. You still have a good life, you know. While I have two days in the week that I can spend time with my kids. I can go to sports, I can go to swimming or horse riding, all these kinds of things. And all other fathers can’t do, because they have these 40, 50 hour work week, excluding travel time.
So that’s the story that I wanted to share with you. How it’s very, very, very possible, very good points. It sounds wrong, but how beautiful it is to be able to grow in this way and that you can create this time for yourself, for your family. To be able to do what’s most important, because at the end of the day when you’re dying and you’re laying on your deathbed as matter of speech, nobody’s ever told anyone, “Oh, I wanted to finish that project, or I wanted to help that customer.” No, it’s always, “I wish I spent more time with my kids. I wish I had more time for this. I wish I’d done that.” It’s always family related, because at the end of the day that’s the only thing that counts. So yes, business is good, business is fine, business is important, but never forget your number one place, and that’s your family.
Okay. That’s it for today. I think it’s a pretty personal riff. I can tell it without any emotion at the moment, but as you can understand it’s been hell of a roller coaster to get here. And if I may say so, I’m pretty proud that we’ve managed to come now to… I’m pretty proud that first of all, we’ve made it, because there were difficult times that we were about to end the relationship and either of us go their own way. I have a better relationship with my spouse now than I ever had before. I love her with all my heart and well she’s the love of my life, and everything comes before that. So the other way around… she, sorry.
She is always number one, and including the kids of course. And the rest is afterwards.
So I hope you, well got some inspiration out of this. If you have any doubts according to your relationship, the only tip I can give you, because I can’t help you with conflict, I’m not a coach. But what I’ve learned is lean in. It’s the same with your ears and your mouth. Use them accordingly. Listen more. Listen to understand. If you ever should read a book, it’s from Steven R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Effective Leaders and it’s… I don’t know which habit it is. I believe one of the last ones, but is first understand the other person before you get understood. So you have to listen to really understand and comprehend what the other one is telling you before they get to understand you. And with doing that, and it’s the same thing in sales, in support, in every call or contact you have with your customer. If you listen to understand well, they feel blessed because they finally have someone on the other end of the table, on the other side of the phone, whatever, who knows what’s important and makes real time for the other person. So that’s the best tip I can give you.
It’s not always easy. It’s supposed to be tough, I think.
And that’s the same with giving and receiving. You can always share more, give more than you need to receive. So that’s the way I do it. And that’s the way for me. It’s working as good as it is at the time. Well, it’s never been better, so that’s what I meant to say. So if you like this podcast, please leave a review and rating on iTunes and SoundCloud or wherever you on, Spotify. It tells me what’s good content and not, and what I need to or can provide more of. So thank you very much. Marcel Martens, and I’ll talk to you next time. Bye-bye.
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