A Family Man Can’t Be Successful On His Own

If you read this blog often and follow my other work you might be able to tell I’m insanely busy all…the…time. I am an entrepreneurial spirit and have an inherent need to feel productive, have more ideas than stars in the sky and am constantly going down rabbit holes exploring what other things I can do.

I do this with a wife, a 6-year old girl and a baby on the way (tomorrow!). You might think that my family life would be severely affected. I can tell you it’s not. My wife and I are very happy. How do I maintain a happy personal life while working ~60 hrs/week for nearly 10 years now? An understanding wife.

My wife and I met over 10 years ago. She’d probably tell you the exact day. She was immediately introduced to my sometimes over the top interests. It was bodybuilding in college. I never competed but I sure trained like I was going to. I had spreadsheets that tracked my caloric intake down to the calorie, weighed all the food that went into my body, always worked out 5 days/week and knew more about supplements than some scientists. I was over the top all in on making myself the most healthy, fit person I could be. This is when she got a glimpse of my personality. She supported me.

As my career started, my interests shifted from bodybuilding to my work and learning. I started putting in lots of hours, working on certifications in which I had 10 at one time. It wasn’t because I had to get ahead for my employer. It’s because I wanted to. My brain is a hungry beast and I needed more data! She supported me.

A couple of years went by and I started an Internet marketing business and a used book business. This took up considerable time that pulled me away from the house and forced me to work a ton in the “book warehouse”. This was extremely hard on the family because it required considerable time on my behalf and eventually was shuttered. She supported me.

Now I’m onto the next phase of my career; Powershell/DevOps/Automation consulting, training and writing. Again, this has been consuming nearly 60 hrs/week of my time but it doesn’t seem like it. She understands that I must make money for our family to survive and puts up with the “extra” stuff I am always starting. She supported me.

She’s now had to endure one of the toughest decisions of our lives. I have decided to forego the “security” of a full-time job to accept a 1-year contract agreement as a Senior DevOps Automation Engineer; no benefits. It’s the kind of work I’ve been searching for, for a very long time. It allows me to work on my schedule and only do what I love. Even though it’s risky she trusts me that everything will be OK. On top of that, our second daughter is to be born tomorrow which makes life in the Bertram household pretty stressful these days. But, she supported me.

She’s thinking about blogging about being married to someone like me. I encourage you to follow her on Twitter @randafaith or email her at randafaith [at] gmail.com and show your support. If you’re in the same position, tell your wife. Maybe they can start a “Wives of Men with Way too Much Drive” :). I’d be interested to see what kind of interest would be around something like that.

On this Mother’s Day, I want to express my gratitude to my wife and to thank her for supporting an insane, entrepreneurial person like myself. Here’s to all the understanding wives out there that support their husbands no matter what!

A 20-year veteran of IT, online business professional, consultant, productivity geek, mental health advocate, career coach and applier of tech to life.

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