The Amarillo EDC and the West Texas A&M Enterprise Center is sending eight local entrepreneurs to represent our thriving business community at the INC. 5000 Conference & Gala in San Antonio in October. Each of the attendees has offered to contribute a blog about their experiences as an entrepreneur working in the Texas Panhandle. This is a guest post by Kim May, President of Nobox Creative.
Let’s talk about that ever-elusive concept, “Work-Life Balance.”
I’m an Entrepreneur Mom. I spend vacations checking email and returning phone calls. I’m always deep in thought. I don’t check my kids’ homework, and they are on their own for projects and deadlines. It’s the norm for my boys to see Mom working crossed legged on the sofa, laptop appropriately perched on lap while Blake and Aaron do their thing on The Voice. They learned to talk while riding around on Mama’s hip, listening to me negotiate contracts and strategize about growth.
During my least proud mom-moment, I opened the back door to place a tantrum stomping 3-year-old (whoever said two’s were terrible was sadly mistaken) out of earshot so I could finish a conference call. Before you call CPS, I stood and watched him flail around on the other side of the glass, and it was the last fit he ever threw.
“They” say entrepreneurs are the only people willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40. How do I separate work and life? Can I be a wife, a mom and an entrepreneur? If I shine in one role, does another suffer?
What happens when entrepreneurs hit a wall? When their best effort is simply to put one foot in front of the other? When we realize there is no such thing as work-life balance?
I am vaguely familiar with that term. And I’m pretty certain I recharged a time or two in my past life. Before I had kids. Before my 4-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Before I became an entrepreneur.
And while I am, at times, lonely, I am not alone in this quest for balance, however lopsided it may be. Entrepreneurs work long hours, leaving them with no personal life and no time to recharge.
I’ve been surrounded by mentors, like-minded entrepreneurs (although less than a handful are women) and coaches. And with funds devoted to small business through the AEDC and WTEC, I was a 2014 recipient of a $100,000 EnterPrize Challenge Award.
In the two years since my company, Nobox Creative, won the Enterprise Challenge, our staff has more than doubled. Our growth is due in part to the support of our incredible Amarillo community, the WT Enterprise Center, and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation.
The key to real success is focused, hard work. But I can’t help but believe that there’s a dash of serendipity in the formula, as well. Lucky for me, I started a business in a small-business friendly community.
What Amarillo lacks in scenery, it makes up for in opportunity (although, there is the Palo Duro Canyon and our breathtaking sunrise and sunsets). The people are amazing, companies are growing, we have really great coffee, and we have an exceptional entrepreneurial support system.
When you’re an entrepreneur mom, work-life balance is an illusion. There really is no such thing as having it all. At times, I ask myself, “Why on earth am I doing this?” And then I pick myself up, shake off the exhaustion and tap into the abundance of resources that Amarillo offers to local business leaders.
Next week, I’ll travel with a team of entrepreneurs and business leaders from Amarillo to join other entrepreneurs from across the nation at INC. 5000. We will hear superstar entrepreneurs like Tony Robbins and Robert Herjavec, and gain powerful new perspectives and new momentum to lead our companies’ growth.
It’s my honor to work with Amarillo’s best. Thank you, Amarillo Economic Development Corporation and the West Texas Enterprise Center — I look forward to recharging at INC. 5000 with you.
In the meantime, could someone recommend a good concealer? I need to do something about these dark circles under my eyes.
Kim May is the President of Nobox Creative, a full-service strategic marketing firm. Before moving to Amarillo in 1996, Kim grew up in Denver where she became an avid skier. She is an alumnus of the University of Colorado – Denver. Kim is an active member of the community, having served on the board of directors for the Don Harrington Discovery Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the High Plains Food Bank. When she has time, Kim enjoys traveling with her husband and two sons.