Maverick Member #207 Joe Mechlinski Shares His Insight On How Being A Parent has Sharpened His Skills as a Business Owner, Entrepreneur and Boss.
[Note from the Editor Rose Ayers]: I love when Joe Mechlinski posts a new photo of one of his adorable kiddos on Facebook. It’s clear to see that he loves his family – that they bring him much joy. I personally admire Joe for his ability to balance a healthy home life while continuing to successfully run his company EntreQuest: a Baltimore based consulting firm that has helped hundreds of companies prosper through some of the worst economic times in history. Joe is known for his mission, which is to give voice to America’s small- to mid-sized business leaders by teaching them how to grow their organizations regardless of their size, their industry, or the economy. Add Best Selling Author and Community Activist to his list of titles, and you are looking at a guy who is familiar with multiple levels of success. I caught up with Joe to get the goods on how he does it – balancing a healthy family life while killing it at work. Check out what he had to say below:
What are the benefits of having a family while being an entrepreneur?
Well to be honest, I waited a while to start a family, only because I did have the preconceived notion that having one would slow me down as a business owner. But lucky me, I met the woman of my dreams, got married and before I knew it, I had a daughter and a son – both of whom have completely rocked my world. Having a family has challenged me to step up to a whole new level of functionality – as a family man, boss, entrepreneur and business owner. You see, the stakes are higher. My daily allotted time has not changed; however my responsibilities have increased. Therefore I have acquired a more fine tuned focus. I organize my time so that I can accomplish all that I need to in a day. I work hard to deliver under pressure while maintaining an acute focus. Instead of getting up at 6AM I get up at 4AM so that I can go to the gym and still make breakfast for my family. Ultimately, having a family has made me a better version of myself.
What are the disadvantages?
I would not call this a disadvantage – I suppose it depends on how you look at it. You DO have to grow and change in order to accommodate a functioning home and work life. You become more disciplined in your routine. You invest in people differently – with more purpose and consciousness. Becoming a father is a call to action – to be organized yet selfless with your time. With that said, at the end of each day it still has to be about you. Take care of yourself! Go to bed earlier so that you CAN wake up early, get to the gym and make that healthy smoothie for yourself. You will not be able to be all that you can be at work and at home if you are not taking good care of yourself. Personally, I think having kids is kind of selfish! They are so much fun! I love being around them; spending time with them and being entertained by their silliness. I say selfish because spending time with them ultimately makes me feel good.
How has having a family taught you more about business?
Having a family has enabled me to be a better decision maker. I find that when a decision needs to be made, I’m able to focus and make it quicker. I’m more willing to make decisions – I’m gutsier! Being a family man has also taught me so much about myself. As an entrepreneur, I was always looking for a better way to make things happen Now, I try and relax a little, to focus on what’s in front of me. Trust me, it is NOT a sacrifice to be in this position.
How has having a family made you a better boss?
Having a family has taught me to let go of the little things. You can’t be a control freak and have a family. Things happen that you can not predict. You have to learn to let things go. Before having a family, I wanted to have my hand in everything. After having kids, I had to learn to let go. Now I view my employees much in the same way I view my kids. I want them both to be happy in living their purposes. I’m not obsessing over them getting “straight A’s”, I just want to see them putting forth their best effort.
How do you handle situations where you only have so much time, and you are juggling a work and family commitment?
I have done my best to foster a “work family atmosphere,” so that when my presence is needed at home, there is understanding within my team. The same stands true for my family. When my presence is required at work and I have to miss a family function, my home family pulls together and supports me. It’s about investing in both your work and home family, so that the two support and balance each other. It’s times like this that you fully realize the importance of surrounding yourself with people who tell you the truth and who allow you to do the same.
“The better dad I am, the better CEO I am. The two go hand in hand.”
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