The best gift that life as an entrepreneur has given me
I always thought the best thing about being an entrepreneur was being my own boss and the flexibility to work on projects I am passionate about. The possibility of earning high amounts of money or traveling and working at the same time were also appealing. While I have had some of these experiences and they have been generally positive, I never imagined that what happened to me last year would give me the sense of fulfillment I always sought in this life of entrepreneurship.
Since I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I have experienced the different achievements and failures that come with this path. I started by developing video games with my company Press Start (www.pressstartevolution.com). I am quite passionate about this work, and I have worked from home for over a decade, enjoying the flexibility and comfort it brings. I have also lived in Silicon Valley for 5 years and received private investment for my project, which I saw grow and fall. I have traveled through Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and I even lived in Australia for a year and a half before settling in the country and city of my preference, Punta del Este, Uruguay.
However, none of these experiences compare to what I felt when my son Joaquín was born last year. Even more, the ability to see him every day and be 100% present in his growth is the best gift that entrepreneurship has given me and continues to give me. I did not have time off, but I have been able to be with him every day, 24 hours a day, for every diaper change, every meal, every bath, and every achievement in his development. These experiences have given meaning to the great effort that creating a company from scratch represents.
For many years, I thought the success of being an entrepreneur was raising large amounts of money, being famous, traveling the world, etc. But after experiencing some of these things, I always felt empty, as if something was missing. That changed when Joaquín arrived, and all the effort had meaning. Today, Joaquín is about to turn one, and I have managed to be with him every day and be the main actor along with my wife in his growth and development. Seeing him grow from a baby who couldn’t stand up and move much to a one-year-old child who imitates everything, crawls and is taking his first steps is an incomparable life experience.
This experience has led me to the best definition of “freedom” that I can find.
“Freedom is the capability to do the necessary actions to become the person I aspire to be.”
Freedom is not the ability to do as one pleases at all times, it is having the option to do what is necessary to achieve one’s goals. We all have an internal moral compass that dictates how we should act, and as cliche as it may sound, the consumer society in which we live is our worst enemy, negatively impacting our daily lives by telling us we must live where there are jobs, industry, and commerce, often sacrificing a quieter, healthier life which we typically desire along with proximity to our loved ones.
At Press Start, since the beginning, we decided to challenge the idea that working in an office is necessary and have been working remotely for 12 years. Our team is located in different countries in Latin America, which has given me the opportunity to choose where to live while still fulfilling my personal and professional goals. This freedom has played a big role in shaping my life and my family. Specifically, it allowed me to accompany my wife in fulfilling one of her personal goals of living in Australia and improving her English, all while still working with Press Start. In the last two years and eight months, we have been able to live in a peaceful, safe and well-structured place, which we believe is the best option for raising our son Joaquín.
This freedom translates into my everyday life in that I am able to balance my responsibilities as a father and a professional. Every day, I wake up between 5:30 and 7:30 am (depending on the stage of Joaquín’s growth) and my first action of the day is to change his diaper. I then spend time with him in the kitchen, drinking my first glass of water and coffee (SUPER IMPORTANT), and playing with him. The rest of the day is a balance of activities such as his bath, playing, cooking, work, meetings, etc. I make sure to not spend more than two hours away from him, which means my workday is not 12 or 10 hours or more, as many “gurus” of entrepreneurship may preach. But at the end of the day, I feel extremely successful because I am doing exactly what I want and I know what I have to do, which is to be 100% present in my son’s life.
Before having Joaquín, I thought that fatherhood would be easier than entrepreneurship, as we are biologically programmed for reproduction. But I never anticipated or saw coming that being a father is the hardest job one can face, and at the same time, it awakens all the love and motivation to be a better person. This great feeling made me change my thinking and understand that my greatest goal in this world is to be a great teacher and example for my son. I know that by achieving this, I can have more impact on this world than with any innovative product I can create, as from this effort, a more conscious, centered and better-valued human being than what we are as a society now can come out. Characteristics that can change the world for the better for future generations.
In conclusion, each person decides what sacrifices and challenges they are willing to face in their everyday life to achieve their life goals. For me, it has always been to achieve the “freedom” that, as I mentioned earlier, is: “The capability to do the necessary actions to become the person I aspire to be”.
If you want to know more about Press Start, we invite you to visit our website and our portfolio as software, video game and digital product developers at www.pressstartevolution.com.