Three weeks ago, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world! Suffice to say I am thrilled and grateful, but also a bit exhausted.
With two children under the age of two, my family has grown almost as rapidly as my company, Genexa. In under two years Genexa has gone from an idea to being the first and only international healthy medicine company. The expansion in both my professional and personal lives has been, to put it lightly, significant.
Leading a fast-growing, award-winning company and being a father are both full time jobs. Parents and colleagues alike have asked me on many occasions how I balance it all. And while sometimes my gut reaction is to make a joke and say, “I don’t,” the truth is that there is a secret to staying sane with this kind of lifestyle. You just have to ask yourself, every day, why you do what you do.
For instance, why did I create Genexa? Because I wanted a healthier, non-toxic, safe alternative to the over-the-counter medicine available for my family. There were no organic, non-GMO cold medicines for children, so together with our medical team, I helped make them. In short, I did it for my family.
Now the question has become, why do I continue to lead this company? The hours can be long. The stress can be high. I won’t sugarcoat it for other hopeful entrepreneurs out there: starting and running your own company will be one of the hardest things you have ever done. But it can also be one of the most rewarding. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told that my company’s medicines have changed the lives of entire families. I continue to work the long hours, manage the stress, and lead with confidence, because I’m now creating healthier medicines not only for my own family, but for yours, too.
The big reason why I do what I do every day is that we’re changing the way people think about medicine, for the better. Genexa is paving the way for a healthier future, with not only safer over-the-counter medicines but also with more sustainable business practices and more transparent company policies. I know that because of the work I’ve started, my children, and my children’s children, and future generations to come, will benefit.
The “why” is the most important part of balancing running a business and being a father. After you answer the “why,” the “how” will fall into place. For me, the “how” involves working from the early hours of the morning so I can devote as much time as necessary to get the work done, while still (usually) leaving the office in time to have dinner with my family. It involves having a kid-friendly workplace, where my little ones can come visit me at work and be warmly welcomed by my entire team. It involves knowing when to put down the phone to read a story to my daughter and picking it back up after she’s gone to sleep (or sometimes putting the phone on muted speakerphone during long conference calls so I can play with her during it).
It’s a balancing act and it isn’t easy, but knowing why you’re doing it makes it that much more worthwhile. And when I get home from a long day at the office and get to see my newborn baby girl, I always know why.
Max Spielberg is the President and co-founder of Genexa, the first and only healthy pharmaceutical company. Max's combined professional background in both law and entrepreneurship has made him a successful company leader. As a new dad, Max's passion for his family's health and wellness led him to co-found Genexa, which produces the world's first and only certified organic over-the-counter medicines. Max has been featured in major media outlets including Forbes, LA Times and Well & Good, for his part in innovating the OTC medicine industry. Follow him on LinkedIn.