EPISODE 1 of the Managing Happiness Show!
A fireside chat with Syed Balkhi – a serial entrepreneur, CEO of Awesome Motive, and a father of a 6-month-old.
I’m very excited to tell you that the first episode of the Managing Happiness Show is live! Every week I’ll be sharing interviews with inspiring entrepreneurs who will open up about their professional and family lives and give their recipe to finding work-life balance.
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My first podcast guest is Syed Balkhi who is a very good friend of mine and a serial entrepreneur. Syed runs the phenomenal 28 companies being only 26 years old. He founded his first business at the age of 14 and in the last 12 years has become one of the most recognized names in the WordPress space. Syed is the CEO of Awesome Motive – a company creating industry-leading marketing solutions. He is a marketer by background, a regular speaker at conferences, a proud husband and a father of the 6-month-old baby boy Solomon.
I had the pleasure of joining him on his way to the Social Boom 2017 Conference. We had a great chat on our road trip and you can listen to the podcast here or watch the video at the end of the blog post.
Finding work-life balance
Syed has been working from home all his life so he has had no choice but learning how to put clear boundaries between his professional and personal life. He admits that managing one’s career and family life requires conscious effort such as not allowing to be disturbed after certain hours and blocking calendar slots to spend time with the family.
Another important thing for maintaining a healthy relationship at home is setting the right expectations with your spouse. Syed shares that when he has a product launch he can work non-stop forgetting about food and sleep and just focusing on the end goal. All of us have hectic periods at work and the best way to approach them is to sit down with our life partners and discuss the most efficient way to handle the situation.
3 reasons why having a kid makes you a better entrepreneur
1. You learn to delegate
Becoming a father completely changed Syed’s priorities and he became much more conscious about how he spends his time. He had to learn to delegate more of his work to his team which wasn’t easy for a person who had built a company from scratch mastering every aspect of the business.
“When you start like how I did, and you have to do just about everything in your business, you become really, really damn good at it. You say “If you want it done right, do it yourself”. So, I was always hesitant and always double checking everything.”
2. You learn to say “No”
Syed shares that before the baby he was always committing to doing more things than he was able to handle at once. As a result, he had to work long hours, hustle as much as he could and do everything to get the job done. Becoming a father, he changed his approach and learned to say “No” to the things that don’t seem to bring real value.
“Now I’ve gotten a lot better at saying “No”. “Is it going to help me do this? No? Then forget about it, I’m not doing it”
3. You keep reminding yourself of the Why of your business
When the baby came, Syed started asking himself why he is working rather than spending 100% of his time with his family. He admits that this has been very valuable because he keeps reminding himself of the Why of his business and doesn’t lose focus.
“I started so young that I never had any professional training to be a CEO. As a matter of fact, most people don’t. There is no school to be a CEO. So, you learn as you go and you are always constantly improving. With the kid coming in, I got a lot better, because I had a new perspective on life.”