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Chris Do & Mo Ismail

How do you balance an uncompromising purpose and family responsibility? Work-life-balance is something many people struggle with. Especially when it comes to making big, scary decisions.

Round 3: A long term sacrifice
Round 3: A long term sacrifice

Round 3: A long term sacrifice

Ep
152
Sep
15
With
Chris Do & Mo Ismail
Or Listen On:

How does Chris balance work and life?

Round 3 is all about balance. Mo asks something personal of Chris: how do you balance this uncompromising purpose and your responsibility as a husband and father?

It’s a fantastic question and something that many people struggle with. Especially when it comes to making big, scary decisions.

As the expression goes, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Hosted By
special guest
produced by
edited by
music by
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Episode Transcript

Chris:
Let's move on to round number three.

Mo:
Okay. I think round number three is going to be the money shot because I was in LA with you and you messed me up bro, in a good way.

Chris:
Okay.

Mo:
You said that you don't compromise in the pursuit of your personal mission. My question is how do you, Chris Doe go about doing that, not compromising, while also satisfying other commitments in areas of your life like wifey, children, family, fans, the marketplace? Without one suffering because of your personal mission, because we have people out there with families and stuff.

Chris:
Yeah, no, this is real difficult, and you have a growing family eventually, right? You got a little one.

Mo:
Yeah. Yeah.

Chris:
We're trying to solve many problems and this is an issue of focus. Clarity in terms of what you want and focus on keeping your eye on the prize. This is not advice I would give to everybody, but I've done as much as possible to align myself with a life partner, my wife, so that we value the same things and we're working together in concert versus in opposition to each other and it begins there. Do we want the same things from our lives? Do we have clear roles and definitions about who is doing what at what time? Because I think it's messy when it's muddy and that's a problem for a lot of people, okay?
So look at this and I've seen relationships like this, I won't betray anybody by sharing this part with you, which is the primary breadwinner goes to work but the caregiver, the homemaker, says to the breadwinner, "I need you to home. You need to be part of this family, this unit." So the person who's going out to get the money, doesn't do a great job, is riddled with guilt, and returns home to be with his or her family.

Mo:
True.

Chris:
Then they spend time together but while spending time together, the breadwinner is sitting there thinking about their work so they're not fully present in what's going on. Now you're not good to your primary function, which is to provide for the family, it's not good to your office mates, it's not good to your company if you're running one, and while you're at home, you're not fully present so you're not being a good parent either way. This to me is about a division of labor working in concert to compliment one another and having a shared vision of what this is supposed to be like. This is also in my opinion, playing the long game, not just with your business but with your life, that things may be difficult and things may be tense, or you're not as present as you'd like to be, but it's a sacrifice that needs to be made, that's mutually agreed upon, that'll get you where you want to be as a family, as a group, and as a unit.
Now let's take us back to ancient times. I'm not historian. I'm not an anthropologist, but I sit there and think Mo, you and I were in a tribe of 12 people. Let's say you and I are the hunters because we're both good at hunting. We're fast, we're agile, we know how to hunt, we know how to bring home food to our tribe of nomadic people. Then there are people who are the caretakers, and there are people who are going to harvest the fruits and vegetables and to make sure that all the other kinds of things are in order, that we have firewood. We all work, if we're collaborating and contributing, in ways that benefit the group. You and I go out and we're sitting there thinking, "Mo, isn't it better that we're at home and should we be doing this other thing?" We miss our opportunity to bring home food for the group and we come back empty handed. We failed in our mission to do this thing. The price of which is we all go hungry and potentially get malnutrition or die. We failed. Our society, our group of 12 people of nomadic hunter gatherers works when everybody does their role and this is really important to have that kind of clarity and definition. You can abstract that lesson, any which way you want.

Mo:
Time for a quick break, but we'll be right back.
Welcome back to our conversation.

Chris:
I also believe this thing too, that I have one life to live. I'm trying my best to be accommodating without overly compromising who I am. This is difficult because I have two boys, they're getting older, and they're going to be often to the world as being adults and they're going to make their own decisions, I would want the same thing for them. They get to explore who they are and what they want from their lives and I want to be able to give them that opportunity. I don't want to burden them with my operating system, my shortcomings, and my failed way of living. That's how, unfortunately, some parents manage their children. Instead of doing what they're supposed to be doing, they're going to be mom-ager, where the mom is trying to be the manager so that they can live vicariously through their children and I don't think that's the way to live either. We've seen too many stories of celebrity talented children who grow up in a dysfunctional family because the parents are trying to live out their dreams through their children. You had your shot, you make it, don't blame other people for that and don't take it out on your spouse, your sibling, your parents, or your children.

Mo:
This is heavy, but I think it's a healthy heavy, because I know you're big on words. You said something, "Accommodating while also not compromising," and then you follow it up with, "It's not easy. It's simple to hear it, but it's not easy." Maybe walk me through some key things that a person who is not single, they're already in a relationship, maybe they've just uncovered that they want to start a business and they're going that route because we know them, there's many of them there. What does somebody need to do to play that balance healthy, to not jeopardize their dream, and also not jeopardize their family or their relationship or whatever it may be, to be accommodating without compromise?

Chris:
I don't know and it might be unhealthy advice I'm going to give you right now.

Mo:
Yeah.

Chris:
You've heard this expression, "Everything in moderation, everything in moderation. Not too much salt, not too much sugar, not too much spice and everything will work just fine." I have a slightly different expression. Everything in moderation leads to mediocrity.

Mo:
Whoo.

Chris:
Our whole society seems to be built around this mantra, "A little bit of work, a little bit of play, a little bit of love, a little bit of life and individual pursuits." Then you, one day you wake up and you're 70 years old and you wonder what could have been and then you start to have those pangs of regret. I think that's why there is so few exceptional people. People are willing to make the sacrifices, the hard decisions to be able to make the most of this one precious life that we're given. I don't know. I don't know how to answer that, except for to say, find out what's important to you, align your life and the people that you surround yourself with, and make sure that they're not unwitting participants to this goal or this vision that you have. I think it's kind of important. You will find partners, peers, and maybe professionals who see this, who want this with you, and you're going to gather together and you're going to build something and it's going to be awesome for all people.

Mo:
Dang. Let's just keep it there. Let's just keep that round right there.

Chris:
Okay.

Mo:
Because I feel good about that [inaudible 00:08:11].

Chris:
Very good.

Greg Gun:
Thanks for joining us this time. If you haven't already, subscribe to our show on your favorite podcasting app and get a new insightful episode from us every week. The Future podcast is hosted by Chris Doe and produced by me, Greg Gun. Thank you to Anthony Borrow for editing and mixing this episode and thank you to Adam Sanborn for our intro music. If you enjoyed this episode, then do us a favor by reading and reviewing our show on Apple Podcasts. It'll help us grow the show and make future episodes that much better. Have a question for Chris or me? Head over to thefuture.com/heychris and ask away. We read every submission and we just might answer yours in a later episode. If you'd like to support the show and invest in yourself while you're at it, visit thefuture.com. You'll find video courses, digital products, and a bunch of helpful resources about design and creative business. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.

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