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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4287
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I have a problem with choosing where to put focus in terms

Resolved Question:

I have a problem with choosing where to put focus in terms of my career. I am 42 years old, married, 2 kids (13, 2 1/2), with a succesful career in music production. But, I am also a programmer and IT expert. The problem is that all of my IT projects and startups that i start, declared as promising by my potential customers, I never finish because I need to earn daily money with low payed music jobs which I am affraid to turn down cause it's tough times and i have a small one to take care off. How can i break that circle? Whatever It project i managed to finish brings me regular money. But in music I am "the man" and i keep getting nice jobs. How can i "buy 3 months of my time"? I am looking for investor, but they all want my full dedication to IT, and that is not and option. Thx
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I may be able to help you with you concern

DoctorZ :

*your concern

DoctorZ :

I understand the difficulty in breaking the cycle of the small paying projects that you mentioned because you have a responsibility to take care of your loved ones, and if you do take a break from those small jobs to work on your bigger IT project/startups it would be considered a risk, which is your dilemma

DoctorZ :

So you may have a couple options for yourself, you could go to your bank and ask for a loan that would be able to "buy 3 months of your time." If you have a good credit and history with your bank a 3 month loan should not be difficult to get

DoctorZ :

Or you can go to crowd funding website and put your project idea on a website and ask for people to help support you by giving you the money to start your project/startup. An example of one crowdfunding website would be Kickstarter.com

DoctorZ :

Another option would be to get a partner or two to help you with your IT projects, so that you can still continue to earn daily money with your music jobs, but also work here and there on the IT startup ideas as well as have your partner(s) work on it as well so that you will be able to finish those projects and still continue earning through your daily music production job

DoctorZ :

In addition, some governments have grants, tax breaks, or loans for innovative projects such as yours, so sometimes speaking to a lawyer in your country about these possibilities may be an option for you as well.

DoctorZ :

I see that you are offline right now, but when you get back online I would be very interested in continuing this discussion with you and talking about any further ideas regarding your concern, so if you respond in the chat box I will be able to get back to you as soon as possible.

Customer: Well, you are right on the spot with the answers, but I wouldnt ask for counseling if it was just a matter of lack of informations on my options ;)
DoctorZ :

I understand and that is why I am here to help give you counseling on the matter

Customer: The problem is in the decision making process. I know my options but somehow I am stuck for a couple of years (since my LO was born) and "lack the guts" to "break the eggshell". What i feel is that maybe on some level I afraid that, if a "big thig" starts, I will not have time to handle it as I should because I have a small child and am completely commited to him. Our other child is from my wifes 1st marriage where she was abandoned by a "carreer guy" so from day one it was a deal that my priority will be family.
Customer: With music its always manageable, but if i start a big thing I am afraid i would come in conflict with my paretinf decisions.
Customer: I know its a tough one, but I need a help with a perspective on this cause I feel stuck in a circle. And every time i decide to dedicate to IT projects, like in a movie, there comes a great music project i can not refuse.
DoctorZ :

Okay well it sounds like that you are feeling guilt over the thought of taking a big project and what it might do to your family and your presence in your family. On one hand you can continue the smaller paying music jobs and still be a great father and husband, but on the other hand you have a chance to be more successful in something and provide more to your family, but may only be a good or average father and parent. Sometimes making a temporary sacrifice of your time is not abandoning them, but doing it for their own benefit to provide your children with opportunities you may not have had. Have you discussed your feelings with your wife at all? I think if your wife supported your decision to take the bigger projects, you would not feel this guilt possibly.

DoctorZ :

Obviously taking the bigger projects is a risk, but the benefits of that risk can be great. If your family was supportive of you, no matter if you succeed or fail, this should give you the reassurance that you are doing the right thing. Now if you choose to stay with the music jobs, I think you will always be left wondering "what could have been," and that can cause you greater anxiety over this.

Customer: My wife is from a non enterpreneual family (father oncologist, mother lab tech) and has no experience whstsoever with "projects". so, in theory, she supports me, but to a limit when it starts looking like her first marriage (9 - 9 work). so as long as its 9-5 weekend free work its all cool. which works if I work ONLY on music or IT. so it always seems like a choice - family, music, IT : pick two. I know its not like that but somehow i can not work it out.
Customer: But dont me wrong - i LIKE what she is doing because she is my "reality check anchor"... i want family and time with my kids... otherwise i would not have one at all. it was a decision.
Customer: its about choosing "the less wrong thing"... very hard for me
DoctorZ :

So she is concerned that you will resemble her fist husband's work behavior and she does not want that. You can try to make a compromise and do one project to see how it works out with your family schedule. If you tell her that this will only be temporary, as you mentioned "buy 3 months of your time" then she may be on-board with this and then you both can talk about it afterwards to see if this is a worthwhile investment for you in the future and how it would impact your family life. Think of it is a trial run. There is no real wrong decision here as both decisions you are thinking about what is best for your family.

Customer: OK, you got the point. as long as i have my family in mind, i will be OK.
Customer: But what about the fear that i will "loose the music"? It always seems to save my ass... i do it easily and get decent money. have reputation and experience. And it got me this far... I have some friends that quit music and they all seem to envy me.
Customer: also, my father quit music career because of family and he really tried his best to make it work for me... and it does, but up to a limit... strange story.
DoctorZ :

If you feel that the IT projects are not worth it, why can you not go back to the music afterwards?

Customer: because in music you have regular clients that come couple of times a year. If you skip, they take someone else. If hes good, they will stick with him cause you "were not available once and that can happen again".
DoctorZ :

I see, i did not know that about the music business. Well if you stay with the music business you are doing something you love, is steady work, and gives you more time with your family. If you choose the IT projects, then you can provide more for your family, but it is riskier and you may not make as much money too, not spend as much time with them, and you may not love it as much

Customer: yes exactly. and decision would be easy if it was not like this all the time - I have an idea, start working on it, have a great vision and a good start. then I have too little time cause new music projecr comes my way. then i put it in the closet. year after i see someone did almost exactly the same thing and earned 100.000$ + !!!!! true stories (last one with Leap Motion device that came out recently and i was chosen as a developer a year ago).
DoctorZ :

Well than that is the benefit from the risk if you idea pans out like that. The decision is a difficult one and requires sacrifice on all sides. I think you are have thought about it very thoroughly, but you have to decide if you want to take this risk. I also think the fact that you have been thinking about it for so long, you will regret it if you do not take the chance.

Customer: OK. makes sense. One last thing, connected with this. I always seem to work on too many things at once. How can I stop or at least go better? How do normal focused people choose what to do, and what to skip? My brain just pours with ideas all the time and i feel responsible for them. How can I change that? I would rather have less, but more viable ideas...
DoctorZ :

Well this is difficult with people who are good "go-getters" because you have a lot of ideas and want to do them all. So what you have to do is write down a list of all the things that you want to work on and then prioritize that list, and then move down the list one by one. This will help you put the more important things that you want to work on at the top and the less important things at the bottom.

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4287
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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