In a recent post, “Time for Mom,” I wrote about the sacrifices that we make as business people, the time away from those we love. Mom went through two hospitalizations last month for heart failure and pneumonia. She survived the episodes, but my sister and I came to the conclusion that we could no longer cross the country to manage her medical care. Dying is no easy matter in an age when we can prolong life indefinitely, to the edge and beyond of what we feel is a human existence. We each have our own way of dealing with the moral issues of death and dying. At this point, for my mom, my sister and I felt it was time to step up to the plate as medical proxies. So last week we brought her out to live just 5 minutes from my home and business, at The Remington Club in Rancho Bernardo, CA. Here, we can watch, comfort and protect her properly.
Now, my daily life combines both business and attention to mom, along with being a loving husband and father. Whereas in the past it was nearly impossible, as a pest control operator of a small pest control company, to give time to my mother back in New York, now, being a pest control owner is providing me with tremendous freedom of operation to attend to her as needed. Sure it takes time away from business, but having built a great business structure with qualified and motivated staff, I can and should after all these years, step away and let the business run independently.
I have periodically in the past used my vacations as opportunities to test the moxie of the pest control operation. I do a lot of planning before these trips and do the whole motivational thing. Then it is up to the staff to perform. Upon return, I either give the staff back a “warm fuzzy” or I pick up the pieces. Either way, I come back with a better idea of how the pest control team performs when it is not under my watchful eyes.
Initially, a business is like a baby in a crib. You constantly watch the baby to be sure it hasn’t fallen out of the crib; hasn’t wet the bed; hasn’t swallowed a toy; hasn’t stopped breathing. Gradually, like any child, you need to give it space and let it fly. At this stage, Hearts Pest Management is flying high and I am very proud of the staff. I am very grateful to them for understanding how hard I have worked for them and allowing me the chance to spend more time with mom.