Michael Bastos Online Writings and Resume

Losing focus and getting it back

A few months ago I quite a job I loved in order to start a company, it was one of the hardest and best decisions I’ve ever made, yet I took some side contract work to help pay the bills while I spent every available effort to build out my software and architecture. It wasn’t easy and I have a family with a wife who’s a stay at home mom and two kids so needless to say it felt almost impossible but God is good and everything has been working out.

Recently I entered into a conversation with a good friend that had helped me remember that I had lost focus of what was important, when I made a comment about my contract job he reminded me that I had only taken that position to help me focus on my real job, the start up. When trying to juggle software projects, one for me and one for the contract, as human beings we tend to put emphasis on what pays off the quickest, not in the long term.

Working in software development I get a lot of job offers, some of them better than what most people would dream of and I’m blessed to be in a field that pays well but it’s also a curse in that when you’re looking at your bills, looking at getting rid of debts, those job offers tend to become a tempting distraction from the focus that I’ve tried to maintain in the last few months.

As I stand here, about a month away from launch and I look at the list of to-do’s I can’t help but realize that I lost some of my focus along the way, I did a lot, learned a lot and gained much but sometimes we as humans try to do too much and only when we come to that realization do we take a step back and re-prioritize a bit.

Having the time to spend with the kids instead of at work, being able to work from home on any research project I want and go down any rabbit hole of software development that my work takes me, that is why I started all of this and it’s why I work as much as I do and strive for this project.

As I get closer to the end of the year and the start of a new, my goal will be to have a cleaner schedule, more focused work load and ensure that the time spent away from my family to work on my startup isn’t just worth it, but that it’s the most important commodity with which I can’t loose sight of.

I’m confident I can finish all of my tasks in the next month but the real lesson for me here is to realize that coding isn’t everything, learning isn’t everything, even execution which was always my original mantra isn’t everything. Motivation and Focus is everything, I know it’s a bit early to start making new years resolutions but that is my goal next year, to do less and focus more. Wish me luck.