What’s More Important, Career Success or Family?

April 23, 2007

I’ve been a fan of the TV show The Apprentice ever since it’s first season. I said before that I think you can learn a lot of business concepts from watching them play out in “real life” on the show. After last night, I realized I learned a life lesson from the show as well.

Success Takes Time
Last night was the finale of season 6 and the lady that was hired to work for the Trump organization will be earning a $250K annual salary to work on a project developing luxurious residences in the Caribbean.

When she was announced as the winner I said to my wife “lucky lady”. Of course, she didn’t win by luck; she came out on top through hard work, intelligence, and business savvy.

One thing I’ve found in the corporate world and in my entrepreneurial pursuits is that success takes time, large amounts of time. It seems you could always do better if you just had more time.

Career Success or Family?
As described in her bio on The Apprentice website, Stefani is a 32 year old lawyer that graduated in the top 10% of her law school class and was selected as a Los Angeles Magazine ‘Young Rising Star’ in 2006 for excellence in law. I’m sure that Stefani’s job as a trial attorney for one of the largest California defense firms kept her very busy and that she’ll be even busier now that she’s working for Trump.

Even though I admire and somewhat envy her new career situation if I was offered the exact same job I don’t know whether I would accept it or not. The time and dedication it would require would mean time away from my family that I wouldn’t really want to sacrifice.

I’m sure Stefani will have an amazing experience in her new job and I congratulate her on the achievement. How about you? Would you take the job or pass it up to give yourself more time to live life outside of work?


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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3 Responses to What’s More Important, Career Success or Family?

  • KMull

    Working is like finances for me, in this way. At the end of the day, you’ve got to remember to live. ’nuff said.

  • Ben

    I agree with you Chris. I have a guy at my office with 4 little girls that works insane hours. I truly feel bad for him, I hope he doesn’t wake up someday and wonder where his time with his kids went. A fellow co-worker once used a line that has stuck in my head, “I work to live, not live to work”.

  • Chris

    For me, it’s family. I worked for a guy that was just such a workaholic. He had to miss so many special family events because of his work. He had 4 kids, he’s got another one on the way. His wife gives him crap about it, but he told me, “I warned her before we got married that I was very ambitious.”

    I just can’t see how it’s all worth it. I’m looking to be worth a few million some day, hopefully, but not thru 60 hour weeks and missing my family.

    My dad always tells me, “No one ever says on their deathbed, ‘I wish I had worked more hours at my job’ ” How true.