Working as an entrepreneur in any industry can be a monstrous life-sucker. As entrepreneurs, it can consume our lives and severely damage our relationships with our friends and family. I am a little over a year into this journey, and I can already see the effects of work-life taking over. I have been developing my tools for creating a healthy work-life balance. In that development, I've sought out the wisdom of other people in my position. Why reinvent the wheel? I am a software developer, after all!
In my search for the wisdom of others, I found a lot of articles that don't quite get into the nitty-gritty of time management, particularly in the context of software development. A substantial challenge is working as the sole employee (or co-employee) of a company performing tasks ranging from full stack development, graphic design, marketing, research, and so on. To be a jack of all trades, working 5+ roles and still manage to meet self-imposed deadlines as quickly as possible. As an entrepreneur, it feels like everything needs to be done all at once, and that can create a lot of stress.
Meet Tickit co-founder Alex Dunae ( ). Alex has been a developer and entrepreneur in Comox Valley for over ten years. I've been scouring the internet for the wisdom of entrepreneurs in my situation, and it turns out I only had to walk a few blocks from my house! I sat down with Alex at the Union Street Grotto in Courtenay and asked, in a few different ways, how he manages his time.
I did not record our conversation, and I've already wasted enough of your time with the introduction, so here's a summary of his answers to each of my questions:
(This answer is in the context of software development)
Priority-based with the following on a scale of 1 to 5:
What are customer pains/gains? Read about value proposition design here.
This priority system is trumped by:
Alex jokingly replied to this, "Nothing!"
He contorted for over 30 minutes trying to answer this question in an attempt to come up with a profound answer, but I think his joke is profound enough. I'm going to close with a few words on the assumption that it is true.
The internet is riddled with blogs glamourizing entrepreneurship, boasting a lifestyle and work ethic that is suited to very few people. Even for the people that it is suited to, it is still a tremendous challenge, and at the end of the day, the journey is not all that glamorous or worth sharing. It's about working your ass off trying to get rich (or at least make a comfortable living and the ability to retire at a reasonable age) while attempting to create value where there was none before. This lifestyle is for us, entrepreneurs, people who are relentlessly obsessive. It's in our nature to chase the white whale, and it's important that we are careful about how fervently we pursue it. I hope these not-so-glamorous tidbits of information can help myself and other entrepreneurs tweak our schedules in a way that makes us more careful, and overall, healthier. For me, I think they will.
Thumbnail Photo byUroš Jovičić