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It was supposed to be my safe haven, my refuge from the world.

A place that I could enter a state of bliss where love is all you need, and the only thing I felt.

But when the door opened


My kids ran at me full speed squealing “Daddy” … which was dangerous because I was usually carrying things and their hands and heads were at “soft spot” level.

Instantly they wanted my attention… come here, look at this, let’s play this, daddy, daddy DADDY!

My wife, in a mixture of relief and excitement to have another adult present, would start sharing stories of her day faster than a jet racing across the sky.

And all I wanted to do was hide.


Which instantly made me think, “What’s wrong with me?”

I mean c’mon, my kids wanted to see me. My wife wanted to talk to me. This is what everyone hopes for. 

I wasn’t supposed to be the guy that hid in his room because he didn’t want to lose it and snap at his kids… but I was.

I’d go to my room so Daddy could have some quiet time… But what I really wanted was to have the energy and the mindset to fully engage with my family in every moment we had together.

The problem was I had no energy and my mind always seemed to be somewhere else

I had spent the whole day at work trying to be perfect, literally perfect. Because it felt like the smallest mistake would be pounced on and gossipped about and added to a list of why I should be fired.

Right or not, that’s a heavy burden.


And the worst part was how it was destroying my life at home.

I mean you only get so much time to spend with your kids, right? And even the time you get is broken up into different stages: they want to spend time with you, they don’t want to spend time with you, they think you’re crazy, they think you’re ok, they move away to college…

Flash. Blink. Done.


Then one weekend it was crystal clear how stress from work was having a radical impact on my ability to engage with my family.

So my wife and I talked and we came up with a plan.

We would work on generating a side income and save as much as we could. She sold things on facebook marketplace and I began to write.

To write?… but you can’t make money at writing…


Yes you can… and I did. And we saved, and we prepared.

Starting when we did made a world of difference. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had hesitated. 


Great things can come from having the courage to act as soon as the guidance comes.


I learned I could make money doing something I enjoyed. I learned that I could create an income that still allowed me the energy I needed to be the dad and the husband I desired to be.

What would that look like for you?


What if you could have an online business (whether writing or not) where you worked from home? …and during the day you hear a little knock on your office door.

Tap, tap, tap… “Hello?” a sweet, meek voice asks.

“Who is it?” you reply with a slight grin.

“It’s your daughter. Do you want to come have lunch with me and mommy?’

“Of course I do!”

The smile spreads across your face as you open the door. Instant joy springs into the eyes of your child as you pick her up, carry her down the hallway, and spend lunch with those you love the most.


Focus Forward

  • How is your job impacting your home life?
  • Are you the parent or spouse or friend you desire to be?
  • What is something you are good at where you could start creating a side income?

Share in the comments below or on social media with #forwardwithjoe. Have courage and move Forward.