Dividends Aren’t Always Monetary
During Joaquín’s first year of life, I thought I was lucky to spend his first 365 days with him, witnessing his growth firsthand. (If you haven’t read that blog, I invite you to do so here https://www.pressstartevolution.com/blog/the-best-gift-that-life-as-an-entrepreneur-has-given-me/ ) Now, as his second birthday approaches, I’ve been able to spend another 365 days with him. This time it’s not luck, it’s not a gift from the entrepreneurial life, I now understand it’s something more structured: it´s dividends, but not in money as usually perceived, rather in time, which is our only truly finite resource and the most valuable one we have.
Why do I say this? Because Press Start (www.pressstartevolution.com) after a long time invested in better structuring as a company, finally gave dividends to me and my wife/partner. If we consider that “time is money,” then what we’ve achieved is a mini “exit.” Thanks to this investment in the company, we’ve had a year full of business successes. This has allowed us the time to be with our son Joaquín during a critical phase of his growth. And for those who have experienced this, you know that after the first year, babies become little people with their own character, opinions, and a say in the family matters. Moreover, they are at the stage of learning to manage their emotions and their body, wanting to explore everything, which turns everyday life into a huge challenge when you’re a parent who is truly involved.
What did I learn this year? That being a father is the most challenging, beautiful job with the most extreme emotions in the world, both highs and lows. I know I mentioned some of this a year ago, but it’s important to reinforce it. And we haven’t even reached adolescence.
I can’t say I wake up every day with the best energy, nor that my days as a father are perfect. Quite the opposite, day-to-day is a very big challenge, requiring me to be a calm, loving, strategic, rational person, etc., and to be able to repeat this every day. I don’t know how I’ve made it this far, because it’s not just being this person as a father, but also as a CEO, as part of a team, as a face to clients, and as a husband. At the end of the day, I remind myself that it’s one day at a time, and I start over every day, knowing I wouldn’t change this for anything, as it’s the life I want to be living. What I can say is that this experience is the most demanding and authentic school for personal growth. It’s in my hands to decide if I want to absorb the lessons to evolve or stay the same, aware that ignoring them could lead me to repeat old and negative patterns that I could eventually pass on to Joaquín.
“The days are long, but the years are short,” is the best comment a fellow father made to me, and yes, I know I am living the best years of my life as a father, this time will never happen again and what I don’t teach Joaquín these years, I will hardly do later. Moreover, as Joaquín grows, he will spend more time with his friends. I have been able to witness my son’s awakening every day, I’ve seen him transform from a 50-centimeter newborn to a two-year-old, 86-centimeter child who now speaks, has opinions, argues with me, asks for affection, gets jealous of his mother with me, invents things, helps us with the groceries, and most importantly, makes us laugh every day especially with his Colalas (a word he invented for excavators). I can say that I know my two-year-old son, and I only achieved this because all the work at Press Start, especially in the last 5 years, gave me dividends, and I made my mini “exit” this year, when my work time has been little but extremely productive, fulfilling the famous 20/80 rule where 20% of the effort generates 80% of the results.
Personal experience and entrepreneurship are intimately linked in my journey with Press Start. The dividends, commonly associated with monetary gains, actually came to me in a much more valuable currency: time. It is a finite resource that we cannot generate more of, regardless of our wealth. In the year I needed it most, Press Start paid me dividends in time, allowing me to focus on the person who needs me the most at this moment. This revelation has broadened my perspective on the motivations behind entrepreneurship. It’s not just about seeking financial returns of 10X or 100X or entering markets worth billions of dollars.
Entrepreneurship can have a deeper and more personal meaning, focused on what is valuable to us, our families, and our communities. If young entrepreneurs adopted this mindset, they could create profitable businesses that allow them to enjoy the process and learn what it truly means to build a company. Entrepreneurship is one of the most complex jobs and it is unrealistic to expect that on the first attempt or in the early years, a world-changing company will be created; this, like any profession, requires years of experience, which is gained by seeing entrepreneurship as a marathon, not a sprint.
With this new perspective, many more entrepreneurs will be able to grow into mature and structured businesspeople, capable of forming significant companies that can impact the world. Moreover, we would have more independent individuals, with time for their families and their passions, engaged in projects they truly enjoy. The most fruitful and satisfying work is done with enjoyment and the right motivation.
In conclusion, if we consider time as a form of return on an investment in our companies or ventures, we will have a greater and more important motivation to undertake, and we will surely achieve more balanced lives as entrepreneurs. I have been able to live this for two consecutive years and it is the best feeling I have had, it also gives me strength for the future knowing that I do not have to overdo it at work to have the life I want and with those I love.
I close with a message to my beloved Joacs: Being present in your life every day is the greatest honor I can have as a man. Watching you grow day by day, talk, challenge us, have opinions about what you like and don’t like, and make us laugh makes all the effort worthwhile. On the other hand, you teach me every day about the vital role of mothers. No matter how present a father is every day, there is only one mother and she is vital for your security and growth. This has been a lesson about human nature that I could only see and understand by being with you every day. I love you and will always be here for you.