One of my favorite sayings is “this too shall pass.” It’s a mantra that has served me well as I’ve gone through life’s ups and downs, both personally and professionally.
“This too shall pass” applies in good times and in bad. When things are going your way, enjoy it because there will come a time when they are not. And when you’re going through a tough time remember that it won’t last forever and you’ll eventually get through it.
As a working parent of now two young adults, I can finally safely and honestly say that you can in fact make it. While there are days and nights that seem like they will never end and while there are milestones that seem like they will never come, I can attest to the fact that they indeed do come.
High-school graduation is just one of them. Selling my agency to a multinational firm was just another one.
Life has been a long time coming, but I made it. My whole family made it. That makes this new phase of life so rewarding.
My children are moving forward with their lives, each embarking on their own personal journeys to carve out their happiness.
My daughter just entered graduate school in California, far from what was called “home,” but close to what she wants to accomplish.
My son is in his third year of college, after having just finished a summer internship in marketing here in New York City. His first job was an incredible experience that taught him what a career might look like and why it’s important to do well in school.
It’s been a life-shaping and life-affirming experience for both of them -- and for me.
I can’t even begin to explain what it feels like to see your children move on with their lives. There’s no separation anxiety (at least no permanent damage!), only a desire to continue to help them tackle life as it comes. I feel good that I’ve prepared them as best I can. Now it’s up to them -- with a little help from Dad now and then.
This means my role has changed too. No more changing diapers, no more school-chaperone trips, no more homework and no more late nights staying up worrying. Well, not all things have changed.
Now my job is to merely provide support for the decisions that they make themselves, on their terms. Sure, I can point out the land mines, but honestly even many of those are for them to discover. How exciting!
As for me, I’ve got an evolved focus on my career. While I will always be an entrepreneur at heart, I’m now working around the world doing what has always been my professional love: marketing and branding and helping to lead a global communications firm.
Now that I’m not tied down to the day-to-day grind of raising two children, I can explore the next chapter of my career with far fewer constraints (and more travel away from home). It’s liberating if I am to tell the truth. A little tiring too, if I am really to tell the truth.
Our own personal brands are evolving as individuals and as a family that is moving onto the next phase of life. Now, more than ever, I remember the advice once given to me when I didn’t think I could make it:
- Be honest with yourself, as best you can be.
- Be honest with others, as best as they will allow.
- Remember that these are the good times, no matter what you might be going through.
And of course, “this too shall pass.” It’ll be something new again by the time I’ve even noticed.
If you’d like to read more about my journey as an entrepreneur and father, check out my new book, Out and About Dad.