Inside the Mind of a Recovering Workaholic

In recent weeks, several peers have called me for business and career advice. I appreciate the calls, but the conversations are sort of ironic. By reaching out to me, you're essentially reaching out to someone who is stuck in career purgatory at the moment. Not that I'm complaining.

The story goes something like this: I've spent two-thirds of my career chasing the next promotion, next title, next raise at big media companies. And I've spent one-third of my career building companies with Amy Katz. Both stages had their pros and cons. And in both cases, I was a workaholic. I was so focused on the next "milestone" (raise, promotion, customer win, product launch, etc.) that I tuned just about everything else out. At times, that included my family.

All that ended when Amy and I each exited our last job at the same time to take several months off and recharge. Then we re-emerged in September 2014, co-launching After Nines Inc. In addition to our consulting services, we've pulled together a dozen or so different potential business plans. But we've yet to announce or publicly discuss any of them.

During a phone call yesterday, Amy mentioned that she hopes we can maintain our current life-work balance once we officially launch some products and services. I certainly agree.

Simply put: I don't have the desire to be a workaholic again -- at least not the guy I was in my late 20's and mid-30's. I'm done chasing a carrot that others define for me. Ditto for Amy. But don't misunderstand me...

Kickoff Day?

... I'm not done building new products, services... and platforms. And neither is Amy. Of our dozen or so business ideas, one in particular is starting to really take shape. 

Crazy concept: We think we know where every IT business in the world is ultimately heading. To the cloud? Big data? Mobile? Social? Sure, those tech waves will come and go. But we're talking about looking at the IT market through a completely different lens. 

We're building that lens now -- powered by several databases the IT world has craved without necessarily knowing it. We don't know what we'll call the lens yet. Nor do we know who will look through the lens first. But we think you'll appreciate the view... the clarity of vision... and the automation that seeks to ensure neither Amy nor I become workaholics again.

While I'm enjoying the "build-out" process, I'm working hard not to become a workaholic again. And besides, now that NFL season is over I've got more spare time to work on that lens... until the next season kicks off, of course.

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