Blogging Podcast, Mindset

194 What’s It Going To Be? Your Business Or Your Family?

By Leslie Samuel

This was the question that triggered my phone call:

How big of a deal would it be if I shut it all down and left blogging like you left your job?

WHAT? Leave blogging? I had to call her.

She’s a close friend of mine and I knew we had to talk.

It was about a topic that I resonated with at the core of my being.

Listen to This Episode

She was struggling with managing everything that she was currently doing with her blog, her business and her family.

More specifically, she was trying to make the difficult decision of leaving it all behind because she has a young child at home who needs her, and her business was making it very difficult for her to be able to do that.

What’s It Going To Be? Your Business Or Your Family?

By the end of the conversation, we came to a pretty solid conclusion – cut back on almost everything and do the minimum that was necessary to keep things going, but focus on family first.

Building an online business takes A LOT of work and A LOT of time. If you’ve been listening to my podcast for a while, you know that!

Working a job takes A LOT of work and A LOT of time.

Taking care of your family takes A LOT of work and A LOT of time.

However, lets say you live to be 100 years old. You lived a full life and someone asks you on your deathbed – what are your biggest regrets?

Will it be that you didn’t make enough money?

Will it be that you didn’t work hard enough?

Or will it be that you didn’t spend enough time with your loved ones?


When I came to the United States, I had in my mind that I wanted to be a neurosurgeon. Then, I had a series of conversations with other students whose dads were neurosurgeons or some other kind of surgeon.

They all said the same thing – I never really knew my father.

That freaked me out and I instantly decided that I didn’t want to be a neurosurgeon anymore.

Eventually, I became a professor and in the process, ended up with a ton of things on my plate.
I was teaching in a doctoral program full time. I was teaching classes I had never taken before, running two online businesses, and had just started a PhD in leadership.

The result – I had become the person who hardly had time for family.

So what did I do? I quit my job.

Quit Job?

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Leslie, you are such a noble guy. You care so much for your family. It’s so awesome to see a man who’s willing to leave it all behind”.

That sounds awesome, and yes – I’m able to spend much more time with him now, but the truth is this – I end up being so busy at times that I ignore my son, ignore my family, and end up in the same position that I ran away from.

The truth is this – sometimes it’s easier to make big decisions than it is to consistently make those little decisions that make all the difference.

I’m not perfect at this – but I want to become better. In fact, I want to be MUCH better at this.

I want my son and future daughter (Side note: nope, we’re not pregnant and aren’t trying) to be able to say:

I spent so much time with my father and it was great.

My dad loves me so much that he shows it to me every single day.

My dad works hard to give me a good life and I love him.

I want my wife to be able to say:

I married a man who spends time with me, listens to me and loves me more than life itself. I know this not just because he tells me, but also because he shows me each and every single day.

So, there are changes I have to make. I have to do things differently, and although I haven’t figured it all out as yet, I’m going to die trying.

What am I going to try doing right now?

1. I’m going to work HARD.

When I’m at work, I don’t have time to waste. The fact is this – every minute that I waste is valuable time I could be spending with my family. That would be unfair to them.

2.  I’m going to set specific times that are designated as work times.

I’ve been doing this, but have fallen off.

3.  I’m going to disconnect when I’m spending time with family.

I suffer from checkthewebitis. It’s that disease where you get that constant urge to check email, jump on Facebook, do more work.

4.  I’m going to date my wife once a week.

This is something we started when we got married but have fallen off in recent years. Here’s the fact, if I can’t take 2 hours/week to spend uninterrupted time with my wife, I’m not fully invested into growing our relationship.

5.  I’m going to be constantly reevaluating where I am and where I can improve when it comes to spending time with my family.

I say these as if at the end of this episode, it’s all going to be better and I’m going to be “fixed”.

But I know the truth – this will be a struggle. It’s much easier to coast and let things happen. It’s much easier to keep doing the same thing.

Change takes effort. Change is hard. Change takes supernatural power.

Fortunately, I know someone with supernatural power and I believe that He (God) can help me.

Don’t listen to this episode and think – Leslie has his junk together. I don’t. But I will be constantly working towards having my junk together.

Keep me in prayer and I will do the same for you.

In fact, I’m going to start praying for you. I know that some of you don’t believe in prayer and that’s ok. For those that do believe in it and you’d like to know what I’ll be praying for, I’ll be praying:

  1. That God shows you the best way to do what He has called you to do without neglecting the people He has placed in your life.
  2. That He shows you what you need to cut out to be able to accomplish His plan for your life.
  3. That He gives you supernatural power to not just do what’s easy, but to do what’s impossible.


Some people prefer to read along with the podcast episode. Others actually prefer to read than listen. If you are one of those people, not to worry. I’ve got a transcript right here for you 🙂

Click here to download transcript.

About The Podcast

Learning With Leslie

Learning With Leslie is a podcast dedicated to helping you build a business around a blog. No, not one of those blogs that will fall by the wayside when Google has a mood swing, but one that will thrive no matter what gets thrown at it.

I share tips and strategies that I’ve learnt building blogs since 2008 and interview experts who are knowledgable about various aspects of blogging so that we can learn from their experiences.

If you’re a blogger, thinking about becoming a blogger (pun intended) or are not even sure if blogging is right for you, go ahead and tune in to see what this blogging thing is all about.

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  1. Beautiful, Leslie. And yep, every single decision I make about blogging is based on how it will affect my family. But it’s still a constant struggle to make those daily decisions that put them first.

  2. Thank you for this post, Leslie. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast yet, but I know exactly what you’re talking about. I have a full-time job, a growing blog, and also make and sell children’s toys through Etsy. In the past months, I’ve really been struggling with finding balance, and often hear complaints from my husband that he feels like I’ve put our relationship on a backburner. This just breaks my heart… I’d love to quit my job that I’m really bored at and devote more time to growing my blog, but all of the skepticism I encounter makes it hard to believe in myself… At the same time, I absolutely don’t want to quit blogging – that’s about the only thing I have that’s fulfilling my need to be helpful to others. You’re so right, Leslie – finding balance is a REALLY tough job…

    1. It really is a tough job, but I think it’s possible. We just need to figure out the best way to approach everything we are doing, make difficult decisions about what to leave behind and be proactive about making it work.

  3. Wow, Leslie. Great stuff. Indeed, the very reason Jesus able to do all he did was that he had unwavering faith. I truly believe that IF I had such faith, I could indeed move mountains.

    I once enrolled in an MBA program while my 2 girls were in elementary school. Before my first class I had to read Steven Covey’s “First Things First”. After finishing that I realized that an MBA was not a “first thing” at that time. I immediately quit. I can’t tell you the number of birthday cards I’ve received from my girls (28 and 30 now) in which they thank me for always being there for them. Years later, after they had graduated from college, I did go to seminary and devote a ton of time to those studies. The time was right.

    My biggest fear on my death bed is that I will not have invested enough time in developing a relationship with Jesus. I try, but my human desires get in the way.

    Keep up the good work. I WILL pray for you. Pray that I might get the courage to start a blog or whatever is in God’s plan for me. Crazy as it sounds, my full time job and commitments in my church have kept me on the sidelines. I want to figure out how to get over my reservations and just do it.

  4. LOVE this episode! The #1 reason why Mark left his job was so that our kids could say “I know my daddy”. One thing that we do is have a part time nanny. She works M-F from 9-1., that is our work time. Then we take from 1 -8 pm off and work again a few nights per week.

    Thanks for bringing up such a great topic!

  5. Leslie, I have been a long time listener to your podcast on my commute to work each day. This is the first time I post to your site because I couldn’t agree more with what you said in this episode.

    The reason why we are struggling is because of our love ones. We want them to live better, we want to have the financial freedom to be less stressful and have time to be with them. Blogging quite frankly allow us to be location dependent and give us closer to freedom (still working on replacing my income). However, at the same time it is taking away from our love one since we can work on our blogging business anywhere anytime.

    I have a full time job and by the time I get back home, finish dinner, shower etc it’s almost 11pm. I really want to spend time with my wife but at the same time I feel each minute I spend other than my blogging business is another minute I am behind freedom. I don’t really have an answer to this but just want to share with everyone here.

    Thanks for all that you do Leslie!

  6. Thank you Leslie for this incredible heart felt post .
    I left my full time job and corporate ambitions when I became a mom. I have been freelancing for a few years and have just started to establish an online business. My most exciting memories are being available for my sons and my husband and I don’t regret it at all. We tend to put our best efforts into ‘work’ but pursuing the best work/life balance for your family is where the real ‘work’ should be done.
    At the core of my being, I have become a better person by choosing to be at home with and for my family. If you are a believer, then trust that God will honor these decisions by providing everything needed to sustain us, including money and health.
    It is definitely an ongoing pursuit as even though my children are much older, I still have to keep checking my activities to make sure that I spend quality time with my husband, (more so now) and my children.
    I always keep in mind that blogging and building a business online is a marathon not a sprint and I have to keep my relationships close by along the way.
    Thanks again for this reality check.

  7. #4 is my favorite. I used to have Fridays off, but just traded Fridays in for a job that pays a lot more money. My wife and I lost our Fri-dates. 🙁

    On the plus side, we can now afford to go on real dates like other couples. It’s kind of exciting in a sense.

    1. Yeah, sometimes you make sacrifices based on your current situation. Glad to hear that there’s a plus side though. Kinda helps balance things out a little 🙂

  8. Wow, I got tears in my eyes when I read this. I quit my job when I got pregnant, because I knew that our children are more important than anything else and I wanted to give them the best of me. I’ve tried some freelancing after my first child was a bit older, but quickly realized that I’m not one of those people who can do both, so I never pursued a job (and am still at home with my kids). But the reason I got so teary eyed was because I read your list of 5 resolves, and I wished that my husband would read this (he already feels overworked, so he doesn’t listen to podcasts or read blogs, they just “eat into his relax time”). I miss him, he could learn something about priorities, and how “working hard” a.k.a. spending all your time working, is not the same as giving your all to your family – many times it’s the opposite, because it takes you away from them. We haven’t had a real date in a decade, or a meal without email-checking/WhatsApping/phone calls in years. Thanks for reminding people what are important, I know there are other husbands and fathers (and of course wives and mothers too) who will read/listen to this and make changes because your message resonated with them, and there will be many children/wives/husbands who will thank you one day for changing their relationships for the better. Also, thank you for being unashamedly God-fearing. When I read that you’d be praying for us (me), I guess that’s when the tears got real 🙂 I’m asking God to re-direct them to my husband, and I’ll be praying with you (and for you).

    1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing. Life isn’t always easy. I definitely understand where your husband is. It’s very easy to get there and doesn’t mean that he’s a bad husband.

      In a weird way, he’s showing his love by doing what he’s doing. But hey – prayer works. And I’ll be praying for you guys. Don’t give up hope.

      I think it’s going to be important for you guys to get on the same page at some point, and if that’s able to happen – change CAN happen!

  9. Such a great lesson, thank you Leslie! If I had it to do over, the first years of my business would be different. I would not have worked so many hours and spent more time with my family. However, I don’t regret it. I did what I had to do to make the money to get ahead. The struggle now though, 6 years later, I have trouble changing the work schedule because I’m used to working long hours. I’m grateful for the work and the opportunities, but sometimes I wish I could just be a Mom more often, and not work so much. My boys are all older now, so it’s a bit different for me than it is for parents with little ones. But I still miss the time I missed with them over the last 6 years.

    1. I just had a similar discussion with my wife like an hour ago, but about time spent with her. I find myself so “busy” with the business that I take time to spend with my son, but not as much with her. I think we convince ourselves that if we take a break, things will brake. And once we get into the mode of constantly going it’s SOOOO hard to stop. I feel you on that. But I know I need to change things, so I will be working on just that. We’re all a work in progress 🙂

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