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EPISODE 2 of the Managing Happiness Show!
An interview with David Braun, a serial entrepreneur, CEO of TemplateMonster, and a happy father of 4 children.
I’m very happy to present you the second guest of the Managing Happiness Show, David Braun. David is a Ukrainian public activist and a serial entrepreneur. In May 2002 together with his mates, he co-founded TemplateMonster – a website template provider with 1,5 million users worldwide. David is the founder of People’s Project – a military and civil crowdfunding platform to support people who suffered during the war in Ukraine.
He is a happy father of 4 children, a drummer and a passionate social activist in the development of small businesses.
David has been married two times and in this interview, he will share his lessons learned on the way to finding work-life balance.
Living in “parallel universes”
David refers to his first marriage as the “typical story” where two young people fall in love right after graduating high school. The problem about getting married so early is that both partners haven’t defined themselves yet. While David’s wife dedicated herself to raising their child, he had to travel, to change careers and social circles. Over time, they started to grow apart and eventually divorced. He believes that this can be avoided through a continuous effort to get in sync with your spouse.
“When you start working, getting a new profession, new connections and start traveling, it is very hard. You start living in parallel universes. You start coming back to the past and you are working in the future. When you don’t do anything to unite or synchronize them (the universes), they basically grow apart.”
David’s first marriage taught him that, much like in business, you can’t have a successful family if you don’t share the same vision and goals with your partner. However, most families never get to discuss how they imagine their future together. In fact, the sooner couples talk about this, the better because if it appears they don’t share the same vision, they could work early on to fix it. The other option is to go for the “early exit” and save each other’s time.
“Now, after 15 years of management experience, I know that we need family meetings to discuss our strategy. What do we both expect from this marriage? How do we see our future in some years? What are our goals and plans?”
I couldn’t help at asking David which of his habits drives his wife nuts and, similarly to Syed Balkhi and me, he admitted that it is his phone/Facebook addiction at home. Seems like we’ve already spotted a pattern, so here’s some handy advice for managing happiness – Stop staring at your phones when you’re home with your families and spend some quality time with them! They will appreciate it.
Personal vision statement
David admits that he hasn’t written down his vision statement, but he believes it can be a great exercise. He shares that his mission and vision are closely related to his business and this makes him love his job so much.
“When you see how a person 5 years ago bought a template and now they have a big business with a lot of staff, it feels good. I like helping other people and if one can make money doing that, this is the dream job. You no longer consider it a job. It is more of a lifestyle which gives you money, the joy to see other people grow. It is perfect.”