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This morning I made breakfast for my daughter before she went off to school. It wasn't anything fancy… but it was a nice chance to interact with her for 15 minutes before she left for school.

It was also my last chance.

Today is her last day of high school. Her graduation is on Sunday. And in August she'll be leaving home for college.

Mountain biking in Moab, UT with my daughter

My daughter started kindergarten thirteen years ago… and I did much the same thing with her back then – made her breakfast and got her out the door. Of course, getting her ready for school was a lot more hands-on back then, and she didn't drive herself to school. 🙂

But what a long strange trip it's been.

Back in 1998 my business was starting to get rolling – I think I made $70k or so that year – and I was working my butt off to grow my business. And I was starting to see serious potential for big growth… I was actually thinking I might hit the $100k mark in a year or two, and we were starting to think about Mary quitting her job to be home with the kids.

Things have gone pretty well since then. 🙂

All I can say is I'm incredibly thankful for the Internet and a business where I had the flexibility to be there as my kids grew up (and make breakfast for them before school.)

And I can't believe my good fortune to have a business that makes a positive impact on so many people.

And I'm blessed to have such an amazingly awesome daughter.

(You've got better things to do than read a father's brag sheet about his daughter… so I will spare you. But she really is amazing.)

For you parents with little ones… the next time you turn around, your kids are going to be graduating from high school… and then leaving home.

It's a bittersweet thing. Make sure you savor the time you have with them – because the years are fleeting. They'll be gone before you know it.

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185 Replies to “A Bittersweet Milestone”

  1. My daughter is 8 – we just had a morning rushing out the door to school as well. I know that soon enough, I’ll be where you are. Thank you for the reminder to embrace every second offered as a parent!

  2. Jeff,
    I can relate as my daughter did the same thing one year ago. Bittersweet indeed.
    Now she is off enjoying the next stage of her adventure in culinary school in San Francisco and having way too much fun. So her Dad and I did what any good parents should do – we decided to start having more fun as well! Empty nesting while sad at first – actually really rocks!
    My best,
    Cheri

  3. Jeff,

    My daughter is 9 going on 13. This often leads to clashes over food, clothes, etc. This is a great reminder that no matter what .. that is all minor and we should take the opportunity to just be with each other.

    I think I’ll take my daughter to school tomorrow.

    Thanks,
    Mike

  4. Thanks Jeff, I appreciate the post. I haven’t had children yet but its still a reminder to enjoy everything as its happening, not just in retrospect.

  5. Congrats to you and your daughter! Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me; Other times I can barely see. Lately it occurres to me.. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

  6. Jeff,

    I know exactly what you’re going through. My son graduated last year. My daughter graduates this year.

    If your daughter is going away to college, better start getting prepared (emotionally) right now. Seeing them get their high school diploma is one thing. Moving them away to college… well, that’s a whole ‘nuther level all together!

  7. My oldest is only 5, and I still remember the day he took his first steps as if it were yesterday. When he graduates high school, I’ll be too old to remember anything so it’s a good thing I remember that for now lol.

  8. Hi Jeff,
    I went through the exact same thing last year with my daughter. She’s at CSU 🙂
    Now this Friday I get to go up, pack all her things in my car and bring her home for the summer.

    I’m so thankful to be doing what I love. Yes, I work hard, but I can go to my son’s track meet tomorrow and up to the college on Friday because I set my own hours. I’m also here to make my son some chicken noodle soup because he’s home sick.

    Thanks for the reminder!
    Peggy

  9. Good post Jeff! I have 2 that are 5 (daughter) and 7 (son). Everyone tells you they grow up so fast and I totally believe it since 7 years has flown by. Despite my personal frustrations of not being where I want to be fast enough, I know to keep at it, things will certainly fall in place and I “always” remind myself that I am already wealthier then I could ever imagine with the family I have in my life. Bottom line, I am grateful!

  10. I remember taking my son Judd from San Diego to Columbus, Oh for college. He wanted to be a Buckeye. We did a road trip cross country. I dropped him at the ROTC building. They told me to come back later. In three hours I returned to find him in a Navy uniform and they swore him into the Navy! I was having enough trouble giving him to college; let alone the Navy. As I write this he’s on deployment. The only things I know are: that Love transcends time and geography. They are their own beings, not ours; and enjoy, milk, cherish every single Now moment. Sounds like you are and you do. If there is anything that makes us stretch beyond who we are to become More, it’s our children.

  11. Steve Szudera

    Reply

    I have a 17 year old son, the baby of 5 at home yet. It is hard to believe that he will graduate next year. I try to take the time everyday to connect with him in some sort of way. He works in our farming business so we have lot’s of time together but I try to let him know everyday how much he is loved, even though hugs are tougher for him now. Thanks for the sharing Jeff, great to hear about your family life.

  12. Jeff,
    My daughter is 5 and we just had our 2nd daughter Yesterday. I can totally feel your emotions. Nice reminder to enjoy the Important things in lIfe!!!
    Regards
    Suresh K

  13. Thanks Jeff for sharing that great story with us. I definitely remember how fast my daughter grew up but I have kind of a different experience. Because of military and job obligations I missed a lot of breakfasts, suppers and sports games. I wish I would have had the
    Intenet opportunity that we have today. I’m a disabled vet now, alone with plenty of time. Kids are grown and long gone on their own with college degrees but I wish I would have had the chance to work at home and spend time with them then. Thank you for writing to me and sharing your thoughts.

  14. Jeff, To see that picture of you and your daughter getting ready for a ride is awesome. I have two daughters (9 and 7) and we live in the country. I’m usually there to usher them onto their school bus (we live in the sticks in Ontario, Canada) before work and I find that really great to have this luxury.

    During a few 8hr MTB races, we’ve been able to sign them up for the kids mountain bike race that takes place at these events. I’m sure you’ve been there.

    Getting outside with your kids is great. It’s amazing the conversations you can have with your kids when you’re snaking through the trees on some single track. My girls just talk and talk… it’s awesome!!! I’ve got a few more years before my bittersweet moment but I do appreciate your post. A great reminder to keep it real with your kids. The weather’s going to be nice this weekend, time to clip in and go for a ride with the kids. Scott

  15. Jeff:
    Great article and reflections about your beautiful daughter. And your statement about savoring your time with your children is so true. We lost our beautiful daughter Cynthia very suddenly and unexpectedly and I can honestly say that there is nothing as painful as losing a child. It just is not supposed to happen that way. We miss our daughter so much. And I fully understand what you mean about them growing up so fast. To anyone who is reading this post, if you have kids, please give them a BIG HUG everyday and tell them how much you LOVE them everyday. There is nothing like turning around one day and not be able to see your beautiful child standing there. May God Bless Everyone and their families.

  16. Steve Rivkin

    Reply

    I have two little girls in my world 8 and 5 and I’m doing my best to not project to the day you have at hand. It is a beautiful trip indeed and I know you’ve been savoring the moments as I have been. The next phase will bring new joys for you! This is however the only time I ever well up…

  17. My first of 3 goes off to the University of Washington in the fall, so I’m heavily relating here! Like a recent Zits cartoon said — the days are long, but the years are short.

    You’re lucky if you still get to make her breakfast…mine is at the point of communicating only in grunts and the occasional curse. Boys.

    I too am grateful to be able to work from home and control my schedule. Don’t know how I managed before I went freelance again in ’05.

  18. Jeff,

    I am a father of 4 children, and 5 grand children. It was always very difficult for me to see them leave, after enjoying the years of them growing up. My youngest is only 13, and I cherish each and every minute I have with her. I really appreciate where your comming from. Thanks for shareing.

  19. Congratulations Jeff, been there with my three daughters and have my son who is a Jr. to go through it yet. It’s not the end, only the beginning of seeing them blossom once they’re away at school. But I did find myself missing the macaroni necklaces this Mother’s Day 🙂 Enjoy!

  20. I will always remember the evening that my college-age daughter said to me (after sitting through dinner with me giving her tons of advice) “Dad, I’m a fully functioning adult now”. I never give her unasked-for advice again. She asks now, I respond. She’s now a 30 year old Philadelphia lawyer in every respect.

  21. What a great post Jeff! It is bittersweet. My daughter is 5. We just had her kindergarten orientation the other day and I got a little weepy realizing how fast the last 5 years flew by and how everything is going to zoom by now that she’s in school. Cherish every moment. 🙂
    Thank you for doing the work that you do, you have helped me tremendously.

  22. Doug Gascon

    Reply

    Hi Jeff
    good for you Jeff We need to take advanage of every moment that we get with our children for sure. I have a grown daughter she is 35 and she is my hero. She just gave me our first Grande Child and I can not tell you how incredible that is. I tell everyone that now i know why animals lick there young. when I see her sleeping in her crib I just want to lick her face. Does that sound corny? Oh well? You see in 1988 we lost our 19 year old son in a school basket ball team accident hear in Canada. When that happens you learn to enjoy every moment. So make sure you hug them every chance you get. they are deffinatly God given gifts that we get to love.

  23. Thanks Jeff for the reminder. We have a little one (16 mos.) and I feel like just yesterday she was coming into our world. Now she’s taken over it and I’m enjoying every moment of it.

    To try and slow down time, we’re always ready with a camera and we frequently write letters to her chronicling everything she does (she’ll read these when she’s older). It’s good hearing from other dads who cherish every moment as well.

  24. My daughter will also be leaving home this sept. 19 and off to University. Blink and it’s Gone.

    I too am very grateful – have worked from home for the last 15 years – Internet business.

    Like you I have shared the school sports, Ice Hockey, Hockey, Sports days, Parties.

    It is so nice to be here when they come home.

    My son is now in Canada.

    When you make a strong home life for your children, you give them a strong foundation to fly, because the know home will always be there.

    Dave

  25. You are a really very lucky fellow…to realize how quickly our children grow up and away…while parenting is intense at times, it’s worth every moment, even the not-too-great ones.
    As The Attention Lady, I’ve learned that attention is alive and well 24/7 and when you know what you need and what your kids need and want, life can be glorious, healthy, and nourishing….l
    We parents just have to enjoy every change, love our kids for who they are with no strings attached and support their growing into their own people!!!
    Congratulations to both your daughter and to you.

  26. I know what you mean Jeff! My oldest is a Sophomore in college. I went up to Mizzou this past weekend to help pack him up to move back home for the summer. I remember the first time I went to the grocery store after he had left. I was in the yogurt section and I started crying because I couldn’t buy him his favorite Key Lime Pie yogurt. Enjoy the summer with your daughter!

  27. Hi Jeff, thanks for sharing. My daughter is almost five and half. I always thought she was my baby until a couple of days ago she told me that her baby tooth was loosening. It is a bittersweet thing for me. She is no longer my little baby. I treasure every memory I had when she was little. I am also excited to chat with my “big” girl as friends : -) Thanks to the Internet, we work from our home office so that I can be with her most of the day.

  28. Your post brought tears to my eyes….my son is graduating this year also. He’s the first of ours to graduate, and he will be going to the local university next year. But, graduation is such a huge milestone in a young person’s life…I’m not sure we have enough tissue around here to hold all of my tears that will be going on for a few weeks now as we go through the graduation season. Thanks for the great post Jeff! And, good luck to your daughter in college.

  29. Jeff — Good post, but it’s not just your kids, it’s everyone in your life. Before you know it, a lot of them are gone.

    See you in October!

  30. J-dub – besides singing happy birthday to her at your last PLF live I just performed with her in a Daddy Daughter Ballet Concert Saturday night. We had been practicing for 6 weeks and had the best time. She’s my only daughter and we’re due with twin boys in a month. Your work has changed my life – so thanks for all you do.

  31. My son is 6. We try to spend as much time as possible with him as he grows up.
    We know that these young years are the most precious, irreplaceable times in our lives.

    We cherish every day and each moment we have to be parents and hopefully he’ll always keep those thoughts front and center. This is what we do right? Love, teach, be full of gratitude and pass it on.

    Good one Jeff – now you can look forward to more time learning to play guitar!

  32. Jeff,
    I am the mother of two boys ages; 21 and 17. My youngest is going off to college next year and it is way more bitter then sweet for me. His graduation is this June. I cherish to time we have together also. Thanks for the kind words, they helped to lift my spirits today.
    Lisa

  33. My daughter is out and gone… running an accounting office for a lot of money now! I have always spent time with her, told her how much I love her and how grateful I am for her, and now we have wonderful father/daughter dates together. Life is good. Nurture your children, because they are the future and they are probably, (at least, let’s hope so), going to be here longer than us! Family day….

  34. Congratulations, as parent I have always stressed the educational factor to my children. Now at the age of 46, and in a complicated arrangement, I still stress the educational factor to my children. With all the life teachings that I pass onto my children, I now am trying to show them that Dad has now enrolled college and it is the correct way for my 2nd time around. Congratulations on a job well done! Jonathan Mckenzie

  35. Jeff,
    Yes, it’s scary to have her leave for college and being a dad that went through all that it’s definitely nerve racking that first year. But here’s the deal……she is going to meet that special someone and hopefully go on to become married(like mine did) and then in a short time later you get another very wonderful phase of life( in my case a grand daughter). Then you experience a whole new level of love.
    Enjoy watching her grow and expand her world…….just try not to be too protective.(easy to say now that I have gone through it. Ha, ha!)
    One phase at a time
    Thanks for sharing

    gary

  36. Martin Howey

    Reply

    Thanks for that post, Jeff. It brought back memories of doing that 6 times myself. But while the ‘getting off to school’ times may be past, there are other wonderful experiences you’ll have with your daughter. College graduation, engagement, wedding, son-in-law graduation, new jobs, their first house, grandkids… we’ve been through it all.

    Nothing is sweeter than having 6 kids, their spouses, and 26 grandkids show up at our house for birthday parties. Hectic? Of course. But getting them all together is a most wonderful experience.

    And renting all the kids cars and caravaning to San Diego for a week of bodysurfing, Sea World, and bar-b-ques on the beach at night are memories that are difficult to replace. Expensive? Yeah, it is. But when you pause from your daily activities and think about how much time you may have left on this planet to do these kinds of things, you treasure every possible moment you can spend with those who matter most.

    I admire you so much for all you share with us about your family. You’re an inspiration to us all and make us want to be better and more involved.

  37. Great post, Jeff. My oldest son just finished his sophomore year in college, and my oldest daughter graduates from high school in a couple weeks. Time certainly does fly. I feel very good about the life lessons my wife and I have instilled in our children through the years, and all four of our children are amazing.

    Your post is timely on a number of levels. I wanted to capture in book form all the important lessons I wanted my children to learn, and on June 9 it will be in each of my kids’ hands. It’s called Life Lessons: A Guide to Creating and Living Your Best Life.

    http://www.LifeLessonsTheBook.com

    I appreciate your help through the years, Jeff. I know your children appreciate you, too!

    Kind regards,
    Brian

  38. Jeff,

    It’s good to see you are taking advantage of every opportunity to be an active part of your daughter’s life. Many people either don’t have (or make) the time for their kids while they still can and then one day wake up and it’s too late.

    All three of ours have already moved out and we have one left in college now. It’s tough when they’ve all left the nest, which makes the time we do get to spend with our children even more valuable as life moves on.

    It’s a great thing you have done, sharing your knowledge, life experiences and success patterns with others, helping to lift us up a little higher. It’s not surprising to see those same characteristics in your personal life, as well.

    “Live long and prosper.”
    Rick

  39. Dennis Totman

    Reply

    I cried the first day my little girl went to school and I cried the day she graduated college. My oldest daughter is now 30. The journey for a father is a one of solitude as no one really knows what goes on inside a daddy’s heart for his little sweetheart. But he suffers in silence, trying to be her rock and her hero while not letting his soft heart break before her very eyes when she hurts. I am now starting over with a new little girl who is 1 and my walk begins once again with her tiny fingers grasping my finger. While we love our sons, nothing taps into our inner core like our little girls do. Darn you Jeff, I have tears in my eye again!!! See you in Arizona!

  40. I’ve been throught it as well, Jeff. Have a sense of what you must be feeling. My daughter went off to college this past fall. And she was far enough away (300 miles) that she couldn’t come home often. It really affected me way more than I thought it would. I started having vivid dreams about loss, about my kids dying in bizarre ways, about them going places where I couldn’t follow. These dreams and feelings persisted through the fall and into the winter. But now she’s home — and always off with her boyfriend, or working her summer job. Which is fine. Hey, you don’t want ’em living under your roof when they’re 40. At least I don’t. Good luck with the transition, and remember Father’s Day is coming up. Best, – JC

  41. I have two daughters. Just for perspective, my older one took a year off from work and traveled around the world by herself and my younger one is finishing her PhD in physics. I know they are all grown up but they will always be my little girls. Even though I live 9 time zone to their east, we are still quite close. So take heart Jeff. You have many more years of warm, fuzzy feeling no matter where you two are physically.

  42. Hi Jeff

    I have to say you struck a nerve with me on this one. My daughter is starting kindergarten this fall and she’s ready… but daddy’s not 🙂

    I’ve been working for myself since 1996 (the year I graduated from High School) and working at home since my daughter was born. Business has been very successful, but I do attribute much of that to the fact I get to be with my daughter (5) and my son (nearly 2) every day.

    I have to say, I’ll probably get more work done when my daughter starts school LOL, but I’ll miss hearing her voice all day at home.

    I’m definitely not looking forward to the little curious girl moving on in 13 years… but this is why we do what we do… so they can live their creative, independent lives.

    Bittersweet is a fitting statement.

    Thanks for the post, it touches my heart.

    Warmly

    Bob Yeager

  43. Of course she’s amazing, Jeff. She’s YOUR daughter after all.

    Listen to this — two short minutes. I think you’ll love it.

    http://bit.ly/ifNLE8

  44. Jeff, Congratulation on your daughter graduation. You may find that, after 3 – 5 years, and you turn around again, she is graduate from university.

    I will eagerly wait for that day coming, and your blog post on that.

  45. A beautiful daughter from beautiful parents.. GB you both.. Happy Fathers DAY.. cheers for the memories present and the future.. the best of GODS love to your Family in the name of JESUS

  46. Congratulations to your daughter, Jeff. I’ve only recently graduated from university, so these kind of memories are fresh in my memory, too. It’s definitely bittersweet for the “kids,” too!

    I wonder if she’ll end up developing the same entrepreneurial spirit as her father? 🙂

    All the best,
    Matt

  47. We’ve got a two-year-old at home. When she’s good, she’s really, really good. But when she’s bad… yep, she’s terrible. So when there are those brilliant moments of charming behavior where she’s climbing all over us, wanting hugs and kisses, and desiring to be right in the middle of us every second of every waking moment of every day, my husband and I remind each other, “It won’t always be this way, and one day soon, we will miss these moments.” But the funny thing too, is that when she is kicking and screaming and throwing one of her end-of-the-world tantrums because we won’t let her leave the house barefoot, my husband and I remind ourselves, “It won’t always be this way, and one day soon, we will miss these moments.” Thanks for the great post!

  48. I caught my 6yo daughter watching part of the movie “College Road Trip” and I told her that her college road trip wasn’t going to happen for a LONG time.

    However, I know it will be here before we know it. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy that ride…

  49. Hi Jeff,

    I work online full time too and the time it allows to spend with my wonderful wife Debs (who now works the Business with me) and our 4 kids doing the breakfasts, school runs and all the stuff that kids get involved with at school, is priceless. You can never put a price on those moments and you can also never get that time back.

    It is truly fantastic and all made possible by my online Business

    Jon

  50. Jeff,
    Great story
    I am right with you..My son is graduating this year – it truly is bitter sweet.
    http://james-lynch.com/james-lynch-iii-salutatorian-class-2011/

    I am STILL TRYING to be able to stay home and work in a successful IM biz…
    Plus pay for all the college extras…

  51. Jeff…thanks for the reflective moment…sincerely appreciate and I too can relate big time. I have 4 kids and the youngest graduates from college this year. My wife and I feel as if we are about to complete one of life’s precious cycles; that of raising, nurturing, loving and preparing our kids for the ‘real world’…wow!!! It will also be a return to just the two of us. Fortunately, I recently got started on an internet-based business and all of us are assisting in some way, even the 2 kids that live out of town. Thanks again for being ‘you’…and being real.

  52. Dude,
    I have to drive 9 hours to see my kids next week–and I was almost, maybe about to complain about it when I got your post…I’ll drive happily now…thanks for the reminder…your brother always, rg

  53. I can totally relate as I have 2 daughters – one who is 9 and the other who is 6. They really do grow up fast. I always find it hard to “savor the moment” because I’m always looking toward the next moment (my mistake, I know). Thanks for the important reminder. It reminds me of that song by ABBA “Slipping Through My Fingers”. Do you know that one? Don’t listen to it without a tissue in hand! 😉

  54. Scott Evans

    Reply

    Jeff:
    I have 2 sons…one is at a Google conference, he is a programmer for the Financial Regulatory Authority, my younger son will begin Medical School next year…how time flies. My wife deserves more credit than I could ever give her for raising two great sons. Fortunately I had a job that required a lot of travel, so I stayed out of the way while she steered them in the right direction. God bless that woman!! One day they will be out of the nest and she can turn her efforts toward making me a better husband.

  55. Jeff,

    True, true, true!

    It seemed like she was just born, then three weeks later she was off to college. Thankfully we lived in the same town. Now she’s just graduated from college and will be off to grad school in August in far-away Dallas.

    Time goes so fast! She is awesome, she will do awesome and I will miss her dearly.

    Thx for doing what you do.

    LD in Austin

  56. Congrats to your daughter and to you, too. This was a wonderful message to read…a father reflecting on his “feelings” about milestones he has shared with his child. Thank you Jeff for including us on this magical ride. It means more than you know (smile).

  57. You are a good example for you daughter. Everybody have to think about what is more important for our life. The businesslife have to change because people can`t be with the family and this is bad. Online business can make a change.
    All the best to everybody
    Stefan from Germany

  58. Hi Jeff
    I fully understand how you feel. I currently have three kids in college, at various stages.
    My daughter just finished her first year,so I full empathize with how you feel about your amazing daughter. Not to brag, but mine got straight A’s her first year.

    My oldest son is in graduates school, with one more year to go.
    My middle son, just finished his second year.

    Here’s the way we keep in touch with our kids.
    With my daughter, its easy. My wife and her have set a new cell phone spendind record for the entire planet. They talk every day, and they text to.

    I learned texting as a self defense art because text messages always get read and answered faster than emails from my kids.

    And best of all, we use skype not only to talk to them, but to see them. Makes it easier on us “Parents” to actually see your child, as well as hear them while they are away.

    In addition, we take advantage of every opportunity to go visit, Dad’s day, Mother’s day, Homecoming, etc. so there are opportunities to see your kids during the year.,

    And best of all, the school year seems to fly by and there is End of the year, And Spring Break too. At the end of the year, when they come home, I tell my wife there
    are “no vacancies” anymore in the Helfer house. It’s a good feeling to know they are home in their beds in the summer time.

    Hope these ideas help you get used to the idea that your hard work as a parent, is paying off, and like it or not, your daughter is growing up.

    While you feel proud, you and your wife helped lead her down a successful path toward college, you will never get over the fact that your little girl is now away from home.
    You really never get fully used to it, use just deal with it and hope for the best.
    And the bittersweet moments, turn to pride, and joy as you see your kids jump to the
    next level.

    For you, think of it this way. It’s the ULTIMATE PRODUCT LAUNCH!

    All the Best

    Joel Helfer

  59. My son is 37 this year – and I still remember, when I brought him home from the hospital, that I could hold his whole body longways in my hands… although its a bit harder to visualize with all 6-1 of him in front of me LOL.
    Every day, he makes his parents proud… and almost always has. He didn’t pick the easy path, and it didn’t pick him – but he’s just fine anyway.
    We’d wrap them in cotton wool if we could, shield them from every bump and scrape – and do both themselves and us, the gravest disservice. They need to try – and fail – and try again, or none of it means anything. He once told me, after falling off his bike – again – “Dad, if you could just jump on and do it, it wouldn’t be special, would it?”

  60. Wow Jeff,

    Thanks for being vulnerable. Have you cried yet?

    Reading your journey i imagine your daughter has had times when she has compared you with many others, and that has to be why yours smiles are so genuine. It sounds like you have trained up your child in the way she should go so that when she is old she will not depart from it or you.

    Many more should ditch their careers and get a life like you did! Then we wouldn’t have a U.S. pandemic of preschoolers being expelled in the U.S. at 3 times the rate of k-12 combined, or more than 6 million of them on adult medication for not fitting into the puppy mills that we call public schools. I applaud your story of personal and professional success.

    P.S. So celebrate your legacy along with your tearful memories. And soon she’s going to wow you this time Dad!

  61. Because of the internet, I am very blessed to have a fantastic lifestyle, traveling all over the world, and have gotten to spend a ton of time at home enjoying my wife and my kids. I am there for them! (and not at some business meeting.)

  62. Jeff,

    Hearing you talk about making breakfast for your daughter and having those few minutes with her in the morning before they rushed off to their day….. it just reminds me of the entire *reason* why I was determined to go out on my own. Mainly, to spend time with my kids and actually being there for them. In a previous life, I was out the door before 7am and getting back just after dinner, working a corporate job. In other words, never really having time with them. These days, with dual-income households, it seems like our kids are being raised by strangers. Yes, it a common struggle to keep everything going and still be there for our kids. Thank you so much for sharing that personal moment. My oldest is a senior next year and thinking about the next phase in his life and ours, hearing you tell it, it makes that lump in my throat appear out of nowhere.

    -Mark

  63. How great it is that this is a big deal for you! So many parents can’t wait for the nest to be empty . . . and feel a sense of great relief when their teenagers leave home. Clearly, you are a great dad and your daughter is a wonderful young woman. Proof of your deep and loving relationship is in the “bittersweet” taste of this part of your life experience.

    Bless you all as you share in these milestone experiences this week . . . moving from one place of greatness to the next. Life is good!

  64. The bittersweet does not end with college. My son is in the forces. I cry bucket every tour he does both when he leaves and when returns. We love them so much that like the golden eagle we must throw them out and let them fly; no matter what we want.
    I have seen a sickly child with no hope turn onto an awesome healthy man with a love for life.

  65. Jeff,

    My daughter is 2 and I am the stay at home dad working on getting my information product (DVD) finalized and ready to rock the golf industry with it. While there are many challenges in watching her while doing all of the things necessary to get this going, I am so thankful that I get to see her every day and she is the cutest thing ever. Thank you for the reminder how precious the relationship is.

    Greg

    • @Greg: that’s EXACTLY where I was 15 years ago… a stay-at-home dad with two little kids and a fledgling information marketing business.

  66. For those with young children, you mght want to take a look at the lyrics to:
    IT won’t be like this for long.
    http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/rucker-darius/it-wont-be-like-this-for-long-25839.html

    Some day soon she’ll be a teenager
    And at times he’ll think she hates him
    Then he’ll walk her down the aisle
    And he’ll raise her veil
    But right now she’s up and cryin’
    And the truth is that he don’t mind
    As he kisses her good night
    And she says her prayers

    He lays down there beside her
    ‘Til her eyes are finally closed
    And just watchin’ her it breaks his heart
    Cause he already knows

    It won’t be like this for long
    One day soon that little girl is gonna be
    All grown up and gone
    Yeah, this phase is gonna fly by
    So, he’s tryin’ to hold on

  67. It’s amazing how fast the time goes. And when one of our kids graduate from high school, it becomes a fairly major transition time for every member of the family.

    Good for you Jeff… making that last breakfast on her last day of high school. And here’s to you and your amazing upcoming relationship with your adult ‘child’! Honestly… it just gets better and better. 🙂

    –Mary K

    ¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* Light

    EXPECT MIRACLES!

  68. I can SO relate to your post. I have five daughters, and the youngest one is in college in Florida. We are in Alaska. That is a LONG ways away!

    But, now there are grandchildren. You will love that!

  69. Jeff…congratulations on this upcoming milestone…it does so quickly fly…my daughter is now five, but it seems like just the other day she was on top of the changing table, my wife and I looking at each other realizing how real it now is.

    May your daughter have great adventures in college and she’s a lucky young woman to have such a great dad to help her get to this point.

    Paul

  70. This Friday, my daughter is having her Coating Ceremony. That means she is getting her Veterinary Medicine Coat after 2 years of vet school so that she can start, with all the other members of the class of 2013, work the clinics at UF. I am proud and can attest to the fact that time flies. Love it. Enjoy your gratitude. Peace IN and all that jazz.

  71. Hi Jeff,

    I only had one child, a daughter. I was a single mom and was responsible for everything, and things were sometimes very hard, but I really enjoyed each moment of being with her. She is now all grown-up and has a child of her own, my adorable grandson. I will pass your advice on to her, as I know how true it is to savor each moment, because eventually they will make their way out into the world.

    However, I do need to say, thankfully, that they always come back! (Even if it’s just for money!) 🙂

    Giselle

  72. Hey Jeff,
    The large number of comments in a short period time point out importance.
    The importance of family, nurturing and guiding. Sometimes that can be done from a distance. But much of the time, it needs to be hands on. It is similar to business but with a much bigger payoff. When taken ill, most are not wishing they would have worked more hours. They wanted more ‘quality time’ with their family.
    This is a great reminder to all. Don’t wait until something is wrong. Enjoy that time now, as it only happens once.
    Congrats, and good on you Jeff.

  73. I have two little girls, ages 8 & 4, and I know that they’ll be grown up and moving out one day. I try to remember to savor every moment I can while they’re still my little girls.

  74. I’m in the same boat … High School Senior Girl, going off to college in the fall! I ask God to bless our girls and protect them.

  75. You nailed it Jeff. My son turns 16 tomorrow, plays Varsity basketball and football on his High School team, and everyday I find myself reminiscing about carrying him on my shoulders and rocking him to sleep when he was the “little guy.” Now, I couldn’t lift him an inch off the ground if I tried.

    It is very bittersweet and the “off to college” days will be here the next time I bat an eye. Thanks for helping us remember what’s really important important in life and thanks to Martin for reminding me that there are many more wonderful memories to follow. We just need to keep our priorities straight.

    Hope to see you again soon.

  76. Bill Fleming

    Reply

    AMEN to that Jeff!! For all parents… this song by Darius Rucker pretty much says it all… “It won’t be like this for long” Go ahead… go to Youtube and listen to it. You’ll be glad you did… :o)

  77. Jeff,

    If I remember correctly, you were Mr. Mom, right?

    I had the same privilege too. My daughter starts high school next year and my youngest ends her days in elementary school next year.

    It truly amazes me how slow our lives seemed before we had children, and how fast it has gone since her head crowned!

    Glad to hear you have such an amazing daughter (would be disappointed in you if you didn’t). Hopefully all of us have taken the time and effort to devote to helping our children develop into incredible people.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Joe

  78. Hey Jeff,

    One of my goals for a long time has been to have children who never knew me as a father who went to a job every day. (I love my own father for many reasons and he was always an awesome provider for our family, but when I was little, he was usually gone from 6 AM – 7:30 PM). We’re expecting our first this fall…so I’ve got my work cut out for me! I’m mostly self-employed now, but not bringing in more than just enough to scrape by…not where I want to be for sure.

    Thanks for all the great information you provide.

  79. We raised five. One thing about children. They are never “convenient”. But they bring a richness to your life that you can not get any other way.

  80. Dear Jeff,

    My heartfelt congratulations.Shakespear wrote his sonnets, he knew so much.
    I have only 50 Steps to a Successful Mindcontrol Mindset; a different aspect of
    social mechanics. The next level is conditioning. After that we have the physical
    world. At the top we have the worldliest of all. What is best is to combine all four
    harmoniously. Rejoice and get on well. Argyro

  81. Great blog post, Jeff! It made me cry. 🙂

    My children are now all grown and I have grandchildren who are growing faster than I can believe. There are times I long for the days that they were little and I could snuggle with them on my lap again.

    They have become truly amazing children in their own rights. Very successful in business and a incredible, compassionate human beings. I am so proud of them.

    I hope you know just HOW blessed you have been, being able to spend as much at home time with your daughter as you have had. You will, at some time in the future look back and stand in awe at how quickly the time as gone.

    Congratulations to your daughter on this major milestone she is achieving. There will be others, but this is the beginning of her entire adult life. May she be highly successful, centered and lovely always.

    Blessings,
    Michelle

  82. Thanks for this post Jeff.
    I’ve got two young kids (1 and 2) and 2 startups so I’m having difficulty in finding the right balance between spending time at home and working my buns off to get these businesses off the ground. Thanks for reminding me which one takes precedence.

  83. You’re making me so sad… my oldest is a junior. I’ll be in your same shoes this time next year!

  84. Your last two sentences sound like lines from the song “Turn Around Slowly”. Have you heard that song? My husband and I sing that together and make everybody cry! (Not because our singing is that bad.) We have a 20 year old and a 2 year old and eight kids in between. I try to live intentionally and in the moment and all that, but it’s kind of hard to keep that mentality all the time. My 20 year old is still living with us and has no plans to leave very soon, which causes other people to wonder. But I’m very grateful that he’s not chomping at the bit to leave his family and that he loves being with us. There’s plenty of time for him to find out what he’s meant to do, and I’m glad to be able to help him all along the way.

  85. Jeff,

    I have three kids – two daughters and a son. They are 20, 17, and 14 (boy). The best advice I ever received about raising my daughters was this…”When they turn 13, start dating them.” I wasn’t sure what he meant and he knew it so he added – “Take them for ice cream, take them to a movie, out to dinner. Just dad and daughter.” For all the other fathers out there…it makes a huge difference. Don’t ask them to go – tell them they are going. This is where you have a one on one about everything…don;t pile it on during the first date. By the time they are 16 they might actually not mind talking to you…and that’s the goal.

    • @Taylor: That’s great advice.

      I’m lucky to have kids that aren’t afraid to be seen with me in public 🙂 … I think one of the big factors is that we have a lot of time together sharing our passions for mountain biking and skiing. When they’re stuck on a ski lift with you for 10 minutes, they can’t help but talk to you. 🙂

      One of my big goals as a father was to share a passion with my kids. I figured I would just get involved in whatever they were into… I never thought I would be so lucky that they would adopt *my* passions!

  86. I have never actually purchase your PLF but feel as though I know and have worked with you for a while now. Your free content is almost enough to be successful and the journey you have gone through in the last 13-14 years both as a parent and in business, I’m just starting to embark on on. Keep doing what you’re doing as you are an inspiration. Thanks.
    P.S. The same can be said about your associates like Ridgely Goldsborough so you must be doing something right! Again, thanks for all your help whether you’re aware of it-or not.

  87. Congratulations on this very bittersweet milestone! My stepdaughter is also graduating this year and I have been in her life since she was just four years old. The time has flown, which scares me when I look at my four year old!

  88. Hey, Jeff,
    I remember leaving for college, going in the army and leaving for Germany – true adventures.
    But coming home, oh, coming home. There’s nothing like hearing my mother as she spots me coming to our door, and shouts through the window, “Jay’s home. He’s home!” I remember every hug. Those were some of the best ones.
    Jeff, thanks for the memories,
    Jay

  89. Jeff,

    I can certainly relate (as it seems a lot of others can as well)!. I have three children myself, with by oldest just turning 13. BUT, it literally seems like yesterday he was born and now he’ll be a teenager in a month. Time is flying for sure, and the older we get, the faster it goes it seems.

    I have to constantly remind myself to take a moment to step back, put work on hold for a bit and spend time with my wife and kids… there will ALWAYS be work to do. It was there before we were born, it will be there after we’re dead. It’s super important for everyone to realize what’s truly important in life, and that’s memories. More importantly, memories with loved ones. They’re the only thing that will be left once they’re gone, so rack them up as much as possible!

    A quote I like to repeat every so often… “I asked God to give me all things, so that I may enjoy life. God said, No, I give you life so that you may enjoy all things”

    If other words, sometimes we get it backwards.. thinking we need stuff to make us happy. The reality is, we have everything we need, we just need to open our eyes and realize it’s right in front of us. The most important things are family, health, friendships, experiences, memories, etc… Money plays a facilitating part for sure, but taking the time to actually soak it in and be grateful for life, that’s really where it’s at.

    Seems like your doing just that, and good for you!

    Thanks for the post and keep up the great work!!!

  90. Jeff –
    That is oh so true. Just wait until you dance with your daughter (only daughter I might add) at her wedding and you look at that young “whipper snapper” who has won her love and promises to take care of your little girl now for the rest of her life and beyond. And then, then Jeff, she goes and changes her name and now has a whole new identity. That’s a challenge to get through. But, then the grandchildren come and you forget about your doubts of that “young whipper snapper” and are amazed at what a great father and husband he has become. Then, you just love her all the more.

  91. Jeff,
    I know what you mean. I have 2 daughters that graduated from high school and later college some years ago…I think of them and miss them everyday. Being a father is the best. Check out the Trace Adkins song “You’re Gonna Miss This”.
    Take Care,
    Bob

  92. Hey Jeff,
    I’m almost there. My daughter was just 2 yesterday, now she’s 16. Same with my son. Except he’s only 14. It’s amazing how fast the time goes. And just when you think you want them to be able to do things on their own, you realize how much you miss helping them.

    Congratulations on this milestone. By the looks of the picture, it looks like thing turned out alright.

    Stay in motion,

    Dana

  93. Jeff,
    My daughter was born 8 days ago. My son is almost 3. I work 50 hours a week as an employee with a decent job, but feel like life is slipping me by… A newborn in the house tends to question your priorities, and why I’m not home right now to be with her is a good question.
    Do I give up all the security my family needs and *years* of hard work to obtain a professional designation and go online? I ask this question of myself every day…

  94. I’m reading this as my two littlies (9 & 4) get ready for school.

    I’ve just given them an extra special hug, now, back to workin’ my butt off!

  95. Jeff,

    I look into my daughter (8) and sons (13) eyes and imagine them as young adults moving on with their life and it frightens me, saddens me, and excites me all at the same time.

    I’m extremely jealous with my time with my kids. I take my daughter to school every day and get my son up and help him get out the door.

    Watching your son go to college is one thing but there’s just something about letting your daughter go that is gut wrenching as a Dad.

    May the force be with you…and your beautiful daughter too!

    David

  96. My son is 14 and graduating from jr. high in a couple of week. I remember his first day of kindergarten. The teacher dismissed us parents when the bell rang, saying. “OK, you can go home and cry now.” I did.

  97. Hey Jeff,

    Having a daughter that is 1 and a son who is starting Kindergarten at 5, I can’t imagine how that moment will be for me. I appreciate you sharing that moment and take your advice to cherish each one that we get with them.

    Thanks so much,
    James

  98. I have two daughters, one’s a senior in high school, and will be going away to college, God willing, I miss her already. I understand your feelings, people often say that, but I really do. You are blessed, indeed.

  99. My heart sighs with yours. A few more weeks and my son will graduate. Now I – like you – cherish the moments that so quickly evaporate into sweet memories. Congratulations to you, Dad – and to your awesome daughter. You’ve both done a fine, fine job.

  100. Hi Jeff,
    I am a senior person & remember the past.
    My son is attorney,two dauthers are doctors & one daughter
    is dentist. All married & settled in Uk.My job is to play with
    grand children & computer.
    Thanks
    S.N.Prasad

  101. As I was reading this my 2 year old daughter shouted “I need to go potty” and then didn’t make it in time. 🙁

    You can’t wait for them to get through all these milestones so you don’t have to work so hard. And then, when they do, you suddenly realize they are all grown and heading off into the world.

    Beautiful picture and a nice post!

    Andrew

  102. Hi again, Jeff,

    Here’s a link to that song “Turn Around Slowly”. I think you’ll like it. Just have some tissues handy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpUTEjiA47c

  103. My wife and I adopted a boy at birth a few years ago, and he became my first and only child (she had three adult kids from her first marriage).

    I scaled back my involvement at my company because I knew that, at my age, it was unlikely I would ever again have the same opportunity. Watching him grow has been an incredibly fulfilling experience and I cherish each day,

    Regardless of the battles we all wage for market share and growing our businesses, it really boils down to these moments with family. I can’t remember details of most of the company victories any longer, but I can still visualize my son on the warming table moments after birth, taking his first steps, flying 20,000 miles at age four months (condolences to those who were anywhere within 10 rows), his first restaurant meal, and so many other things.

    Children are your real report card, not your bank account.

    Blessings to all here.

  104. Congrats on the milestone Jeff. Although a happy occassion, it leaves a lot of mixed emotions for a parent to come to the realization that their kid is all grown up. I have extra tissue over at my house if you run out.
    – Gauher

  105. With two grandkids I’m trying to make sure I don’t miss a second of them growing up. Hard to do when you’re starting a new career and developing a business. Still money can’t buy the time spent with kids so if it takes longer then so be it. They don’t remember the toys, clothes and food. They remember the time spent playing, talking and being there.

  106. Congratulations on reaching this point! It is very cool.

    But wait! There’s more! My kids went forth and it was quiet for a while and then they relocated so they could be close and they had GRANDKIDS! And the Grandkids came to my house every day and sat in my lap while they watched Barney and Mr. Rogers and I did e-mail and made a living. I think I am on my last granddaughter right now and she is only 22 months, so I still have a few years before the quiet comes again I wait for GREAT GRANDKIDS!

    There is a great deal more joy to come your way. Appreciate it!

  107. Jeff
    My youngest daughter just graduated from NYU and has moved into Manhatten. My only regret in life is that I should have spent more time with my kids when they were growing up and not concentrating on making more money.

    I would give a million dollars if I could just turn back time and spend more time with them when they were growing up. I envy the relationship you have with your daughter. My advice to all is make time for your family because once time is gone, it’s gone!

    You can always get more work and more money but you can’t get back past time.

  108. I can relate Jeff. Fortunately I have one more year to go. But the “practice trips” away from home have begun. And you can brag all you want. I LOVE to hear about parents who think so highly of their children. It warms my heart, brings hope to surface. Mine is brag-worthy as well. And I just love that there are such amazing, strong young people (and let’s hear it for the new generation of women) leaving the nest!

    You are blessed, my friend. I think you’ve earned the moment to brag and brag about it.

  109. Jeff,

    Thanks for sharing this. I have a 12 year old son and yes, I don’t know how he got to be 12. Everything went so fast.

    I will definitely be watching myself over the next few years because that’s all I have until he goes to college.

    Last, but not the least – wish your daughter the very best with her goals and dreams.

    Best,
    Raj

  110. Jeff,
    It’s very easy for us to relate to your story. Our daughter Sarah just got home from finishing her first year away at college. She’s going to art school in Maine, MECA (Maine College of Art).
    The thing we didn’t realize is that on that day that she left for college, she will essentially never really “come home’ again after that. They really begin to make their own decisions and forming their own lives and all we can do is stand back and be proud.
    You’ll handle it just fine.
    ~John

  111. Hi Jeff, great post! Firsts and lasts are always extra special. But it’s the in-betweens that I need to pay more attention to. My daughter is a freshman in high school and soon she’ll be driving and then off to college. There is only 3 more summers left before that time comes. Time sure flys by fast doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing this post. It’s a great reminder.

  112. Jeff, forget the brag photo album – your post shows it’s been replaced.

    3 things I’d like to share:
    (1) When my daughter was born, “A Little Ray of Sunshine…in the shape of a girl” was a hit song – which is a connection we still share (she’s 35 now). She left home at 20 to travel and came back at 28.
    (2) They NEVER leave home. What’s theirs is theirs but what’s yours is still theirs too. There may be joyfull sadness now, but there’s so much more to come. Relationships evolve, and yours will still, as she experiences life’s processes.
    (3) As they say, grandchildren (I am blessed with 2) are the reason we let our kids live.

  113. My youngest is 17 and this time next year I’ll be feeling the same. I never knew time could go so fast! The other night she called me on her cell phone (she was in the basement) and said”Mom let’s go on a walk.” I had just gotten the carpet cleaner ready to zoom through the rooms and knowing I won’t have this opportunity for long. We had a great time!! I was so glad I took the time to walk and talk with her. The memory is so sweet. The carpet is still waiting to be cleaned but my daughter comes first.

  114. I just woke up and read this.

    Just a thought. Why college at all? Why even high school or primary school? We’ve already set to do homeschooling for my 1 – 2 year olds and I think it’s ideal for home based parents like us.

  115. I know what you mean. My daughter is 13 and will be starting 9th grade (high school) next year. She has already signed up for her classes (electives) that she wants to take beside the required classes. I don’t get the chance to fix breakfast for her except for on the weekends and she is such a picky eater that half the time she doesn’t want to eat. We do get a chance to eat dinner together. I do try to have a mother-daughter time now and then just to keep up with what is happening in her life and talk about whatever she wants to talk about. She plans to go away to college and become either an “animal cop” or a “veterinarian”. I am thankful that I still have 4 years before this happens.

  116. What amazes me is not the blog post, which is very beautiful, but the resonance reflected from so many mothers and fathers. We are all doing the same thing, parenting as consciously and lovingly as possible, trying to give the right support and freedom, and trusting that we’re doing right by the children we invited into our world. In sharing something about yourself you give us all a little lift, and that amazing reminder that we all belong to humanity. Thanks, Jeff.

  117. Jeff,
    We as a group and industry are truly blessed to have you as a leader. You and your family deserve great happiness. The amount of knowledge and leadership you have provided have proven priceless to countless marketers out there. I consider myself fortunate and blessed to be one of those students who has benefited from that leadership.
    Great blog, great content. Keep in touch because we all desire to hear real life events from our own celebrities and you certainly have earned that status.
    Sincerely
    Rich (PLF Mastermind Member)

  118. Dear Jeff,
    Just wanted to thank you for sharing and for all of the great folks sharing their appreciation for their families as well.
    I’m kind of envious. With a sick parent someone had to stand up to the plate and I did and so far have missed the opportunity of parenthood. I’m not complaining because I’ve so much in other ways. Who knows … maybe one day.
    Cheers,
    Angela
    PS – don’t think for one minute that once they’re off to college it’s over. Happened to friends of the family … daughter was in university for a couple of years and her parents ended up with a surprise – a son on the way. First the retiring dad was devastated, but turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. Funny though … to have grandkids and uncles the same age…

  119. Thanks for sharing this sweet moment. I really felt it when you described it. But now I’m worried. If this is bittersweet for you, how are you going to be at her wedding? Sorry, I shouldn’t have brought it up. 😀 Also thanks for your Launch course. It’s helping me!

  120. Still a few years to go until we will experience what you just do. However, every reminder that helps over the occasional tantrums we all (the ones with children) sooo “love” and instead puts focus back on the adorable, lovely things happening every day (minute), is worth a thought or two. And, brought another big smile into my face just now 🙂 Thanks for sharing your bittersweet moment and now let’s go back marketing and enjoying life 🙂

  121. I know the feeling.
    My youngest is graduating College this weekend.
    Oh HOW I remember the days.
    They are grown up in a Blink of an eye…

    Please keep both of them open and cherish EVERY moment

  122. Jeff, I personally don’t have any children myself, but have nine nieces and nephews. The last one is now finishing up university, and it’s so hard to believe. Remembering them being on my lap as babies, and playing fun kids games together. Now the oldest of them has his own child, and I’m really starting to feel a bit old! A grand uncle I am!

    My best to you and your daughter. Take care.

  123. Dear Jeff
    When I saw your face at the top of the blog I really felt good to see you . !! Your thoughts are always a welcome part of my day and your warmth comes across everytime which just reinforces the fact that you must be yourself at all times even on the net !
    I have one son away in Thailand and 3 still in high school so I know that leaving is seriously painful but with Skype etc I know more about him than I did when he was here in Ireland.
    Love having you in my life ,love PLF and making a go of it this year and cannot thank you enough for all you have contributed to me and my business already. Hopefully will meet in person oneday quite soon
    regards (would have said love ,except you might think I ll start stalking you ) !!!
    Susan

  124. Hey Jeff, what a lovely post and it confirms to me what a great guy you are. My kids are growing up fast my son is 14 and will be away very soon. I had a bricks and mortar business a few years ago and barely saw my kids, I am so glad now I work in online marketing that i get to spend all the precious moments with them. You are truly inspirational.

  125. Hi Jeff,

    We know the feeling and have passed this milestone. The Art of work & home balance is the ultimate goal to happiness. This happiness is contagious and is carried forward by your offspring touching every human being in her journey of life.

    Be happy!

    Naresh Vij
    India.

  126. Thank you for this reminder in complete gratitude and awareness, Jeff! When I first got a vision of having a completely portable business that allowed me time and financial freedom, I never dreamed that it could be as amazing a journey as it has turned out to be! My kids are involved in the business as well and learning the joys (and challenges) of an entrepreneur’s lifestyle – I can’t think of a better legacy to be building with them!

  127. Ron Swanson

    Reply

    Jeff,
    You know it’s a real eye opener.
    If you change just a few letters around…..
    A Grateful Dad turns into Greatful Dead. 😉
    Well done!
    Ron

  128. Jeff:

    My boys are 19 and 15 and ever so often I look at pictures of them when they were little and can’t believe how time flew by. I miss the days when they didn’t mind a hug and kiss from mom, when they wanted that bedtime story every night. I can relate Jeff, I can relate.

  129. Hi Jeff,

    Great job posting something personal to you! It is a great reminder to live our life as if it might be our last year on earth.

    I too will be sure to do more to let my daughter and son know they are special!

    All the Best!

  130. If you are lucky enough to be in my shoes, you will be working for your daughter in a few years. My son, who is almost 21 started his own business over a year ago and made 70K his first year. This year I am now working for him.

  131. Jeff –
    Relationships with teens / young adults just get better from here, despite the pain of departure. A great book for you is The Empty Nest by Karen Stabiner. It’s a series of quick essays on parents’ experience now and down the road. It helps, particularly when the only way to connect is by text! PS Remember that the true currency of the college freshman is the content of the “goodie boxes” their parents send!

    Best of luck in this life transition, Dad. – Carol

  132. really appreciate your sharing this with us. I didn’t get to have any children, but can perhaps relate a bit, as I went thru similar emotions/stages of life with my brother who is 10 yrs younger than I.

    gradually time introduces them to us as adults, but seems we never completely stop seeing them as “ours”.

    get ready to enjoy some terrific new times with her . . .

  133. rohn0512Rohn

    Thanks for the opportunity, Jeff.
    If you spend time with your kids, it’s an investment.
    In the early days, (before TV and mobile) I was listening to a radio program on PBS about child psychology and the commentator asked a panel of childhood development experts if they knew the answer to a recent survey of parents which asked, “How much quality time do parents, personally, spend each week with each of your children?”
    Most the panelists’ guessed “between 10 hours to 20 hours per week.”
    Then the commentator gave the answer to the survey’s question.
    The answer was …. 5 minutes. Yes, the quality time spent was …5 minutes.

    The surprise result was that the survey did not allow as a bona fide answer….
    “Going fishing…”; “Going to Disney World…”
    “Watching a baseball game (little league or professional)”
    “Watching the super bowl” “Having pizza together.” “Helping with homework..”
    “Going to a movie; going to a PTA meeting; going to a school concert.”;
    “Going skiing, going hunting, going swimming..”. “Coaching his soccer team.”

    The commentator explained that these are events and situations that a parent will participate in whether the child is present or not. They don’t count as quality time with a child.
    In other words, spending time with a child means spending time with a child doing what the child wants to do.
    In other words –putting yourself in the child’s shoes and doing what the child would like to do –whether the parent enjoys it on not. And it’s usually not enjoyable for the parent.

    As parents we have to ask ourselves, especially those of us that work at home and are continually seeing and being with our children most of the day –“Is time flying by and we’re not getting to know our kids?” We usually think: “We are entrepreneurs, and spending time away from our mission, is lost time. We are protective of our time. It’s either sink or swim. Quality time with a child,..? -that can wait ‘til tomorrow when I have time.”
    After I heard the radio program, I asked my wife, Jeri, “How much time do I spend with Danny each week?” She answered like the other panelists, “15 to 20 hours.”
    We both were wrong. It came out to 12 minutes.

    When you ask that question, you’ll be surprised at the child-quality time you actually do or don’t spend with your child or children.
    After I stripped away all those non-quality “events” with my child, Danny, I had to ask myself, “Was that board game occasion yesterday with my son something I did for my child, or was it something I didn’t mind doing for my child because I enjoyed it myself.?”
    What did I do? I made a plan.
    Every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. I would ask Danny, “What would you like to do this morning?”
    Sometimes he would say, “Let’s go fishing down by the lake.” I hate to fish, I don’t like killing animals.. We did it. Or he would say, “Let’s work on my model Spitfire airplane.” I’m slightly allergic to hobby glue. We made 14 model airplanes and 7 model cars and trucks during his childhood. One time he came up with a sketch of a dragon he wanted to build for an upcoming Halloween party. We made it out of papier-mâché and chicken wire. He designed the whole thing. I didn’t offer any ideas. It didn’t win the prize but we still have it hanging up in the shed.

    It’s surprising how you can learn from your child when you spend quality time with them. You learn of their frustrations and dreams, of their character, their likes and dislikes that don’t penetrate the usual civil atmosphere of the togetherness of normal family activity.
    Yes, we attended all his choir concerts, little league events, birthday parties, and school activities knowing this didn’t qualify as child-quality time. We were there because it was fun for us too or because it was socially acceptable in our community to be there.
    The family scrapbook captures a lot of our quality times together. When it’s time for him to be a father, I think he’ll look back on the times he enjoyed being with me because it was something he chose to do. -Rohn

  134. My kids are big now, but I hope to be able to travell a lot and visit my sister in Australie when my business is on the go. I wish there could be more people that can realize what this business can do for them.

  135. thanks for the share ! It goes to say you are a compassionate person, yes ! a loving family man. A good example to anyone aspiring for a successful relationship…

  136. Jeff:
    We are one year away from doing the same with our daughter.
    Blessings to her as she moves on. Blessings on you for being
    a dad who was there.
    Sincerely,
    John Arnold

  137. Hi Jeff, I enjoyed your post and it me to reflect on the things that are truly important.As has been said..”The Tide and Time wait for no one.Give my congradulations to your daughter.I have a niece that will be graduating on Sunday also.I liked analogy they used pertaining to success so I would like to share this with you. Success is achieved both by dreaming and by doing, by inspiration and perspiration.Success is the satisfaction of knowing you have earned what you have acheived………..Happy Biking…

  138. My daughter is graduating from highschool next month and will also be going off to college in the fall. I am having major mommy nostalgia. I find myself almost grieving over the time that has passed. I keep remembering how sweet and adorable she was, (still is). I feel so fortunate and proud to have such a great kid.

  139. Jeff, what a delightful post. To hear dad’s bragging about how wonderful their children are is something to be proud about. I coach single parents after divorce and my heart goes out to the children suffering the effects of split parents. It is inspiring to hear all the comments left and know how many children have had wonderful family lives and supportive parents.

  140. Hi Jeff,

    My daughter is right here in my arms, just going back to sleep, she only hit 2 last month so we still have all this to come.

    When I look at her I know I need to put any fears aside I may have about moving my business (idea) forward so I can benifit my family.

    Could get PLF 🙁
    I didn’t have the money for PLF but I’m trying to build with the few things I know and the little time I have each day before heading to office. I do like my job but it just about covers the bills.

    Anyways, thanks Jeff.

    Anything planned for the UK any time soon?

    Shayne

  141. Jeff: Me da gusto tu comentario, porque aunque todavía no soy papá, es bueno estar conscientes de que el tiempo pasa y debemos disfrutar y compartir con nuestros seres queridos lo más que podamos, sino el tiempo nos ganará y entoces hay que convivir con ellos frecuentemente.
    Saludos.

  142. Thanks for sharing Jeff! We have launched 3 children into the real world (ages 34, 26, and 19) with one more at home (age 16). I plan to use your wisdom and counsel to be able to spend more time with this last daughter. Thanks in advance!!!

  143. Reading this gave me chills. I can see the truth in it. My son Parker is 16 months old now, he’s my first, and I think at least once everyday ‘I can not believe how quickly he grew from a little 7 1/2 pound newborn into this walking, talking, I-can-do-it-myself-mom toddler’. Every part of me believes it is my responsibility to prepare him to think and act self-sufficiently, to realize his own dreams, and use reason and experience to develop his own personality and belief system. But seeing his growing independence, for me, is already bittersweet.

  144. These moments in life are precious. My son is 18 and a few weeks from graduating. The day he got accepted to college was one of the greatest days of my life.

  145. Man, Jeff, that just hit the mark!

    I have 3 gorgeous girls and they are indeed my life. Making sure, they eat the right things, do the right things, treat people the way they like to be treated, that I love them unrequitedly and heck just being dad’s taxi is a full time job…and some.

    However, with my eldest girl just arriving at 13, I am dreading the day when she and her sisters are not ‘children’ anymore. I already dread the word college.

    So the lesson is, max your time everyday, make sure you are being the best parent you can be.

    I wish you both all the success in the world!

    best regards

    Wayne

  146. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for sharing your daughter’s big milestone (and yours!) This was a nice break from the usual topics and also one I can really relate to. My daughter is 2 1/2 and I also spent 15 years working in higher ed, so I have been there on move-in day and can tell you that is also a hard milestone. I’ve been doing a part-time career coaching gig at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA, the first college chartered to give degrees to women, and at last weekend’s graduation, I got to reflect on all the great accomplishments these young women had during their time in college, and what an amazing sense of sisterhood
    and community they have. I want that for my kids, more than anything, because I’ve seen more than my share of both successes and disappointments that college students experience over those years.

    The hardest thing to do isn’t letting them go, it’s letting them fall, knowing that you’ve raised them well to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on. And college students, for the most part, are very resilient about such things. So be sure to practice falling a little yourself, and resist the urge to save your daughter during school. Support and encourage her instead, and both of your lives will be richer for it.

    Sean

  147. Hi Sean and Jeff,

    I agree very strongly with Sean’s comments about letting them fail. I have seen too many cases of children not being ready to leave home even when they have graduate degrees and are in their mid- to late-twenties because the parents were so protective that these young adults never had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

    It is amazing how much credibility a parent gains when he says, “Here are the options. These are the consequences. You decide,” Then the child goes against the advice and fails. If the parent can say rather than “I told you so.” But “I have made that kind of mistake myself. Don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    The art is in giving them an opportunity to fail at something that will not be catastrophic!

    Doug

  148. Ai. It’s definitely nice to look back. It’s a good nice. And there are more milestones to look forward to. Lots more.

  149. That is a lovely post Jeff, good for you for prioritising the most important things in life. Totally agree, so thankful for the internet and its leverage 🙂
    Laura

  150. Sounds like you’re on to the next phase…and yes- aren’t we lucky to have the internet to create a lifestyle. Thanks for the post, Jeff!

  151. thanks ! I am from Switzerland, where your very first customer comes from !
    Hi Jeff
    Hearing you on the call yesterday, i saw again that really wealthy people are so humble – and well – just like you – so I’ve becom a new subscriber to you ! Well – is http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/de/ good for listbildung or which one do you recommend ?
    THANKS for having heard you on Brendon’s call !!

  152. I am here for the first time and really I can feel the warmth emanating from the comments posted by people. It is amazing how the internet is molding everyone to embrace simplicity at the same time as we endeavour to increase our wealth. Wealth is a by-product of believing in oneself and pushing oneself harder to fathom the ways of the world and how things operate where people like Jeff who have been there and done it are torch-bearers for the rest of us. While the real happiness comes from simplicity, nurturing relationships…I am no expert in this…the kind and warm words in this forum urges me to explore more meaningful relationships in my life. Thanks guys… it feels great to be here.

  153. So true. I have 7 children ages 19 to 2 years old and in a blink of the eye they grow up and the time has flown by. Cherish each and every day for there will be never be another moment quite like it.

  154. Oh I know exactly that feeling – I have a son who’s coming to the end of his school days as well – in the middle of exams as I write 😉

    Bittersweet I agree – he is so grown up but it only seemed like yesterday he was a tiny baby. Glad too for the internet letting me stay home more these last couple of years.

    Cathy

  155. I think is pretty awsome that you know how amazing your daughter is. I am starting my business and I can tell you that one of the things I apreciate most is the fact that I can spend time with my kids, they are still pretty young but I do know what you mean, 9 years ago I held my oldest one in my arms for the first time and now he is growing :-).

    As a single mother I can tell you that I treasure everysingle second since they are my greatest love and inspiration. I am hoping that my business takes off and the years to come take their own sweet time so I can enjoy everysingle moment with them.

  156. On Thursday, my daughter graduated from Pre-K and she starts kindergarten in the fall. She actually wore a cap and gown and I sat there looking at her and for whatever reason, I kept picturing myself at her HS graduation. And I did everything in my power to keep myself together. Your post really hits home for how incredibly fast time goes. I am working crazy hours to get my own business online and I really do have to slow down before I miss it all. Thanks so much for the reminder!

  157. Great post Jeff! Thanks for “keepin’ it real”. My youngest daughter just graduated from college but since it was local to us, she was still at home. In two months, we’re moving her to Dallas from the Tampa area where she will attend Seminary.

    I’m already dreading it, but there is no slowing down the wheels of time nor the inexorable development that we all work so hard to build into each of our kids.

    I’m so blessed to have my older daughter and her husband both working for me (at least for a season). He just graduated too (dammit) :-), so they may be moving soon.

    Nearly everyone reading this is headed toward this time, is enduring it now, or has come out of it in the not to distant past. Thank you for reminding us all to pause, count our many blessings and remember that who we are and the relationships we have are much more important than what we do.

    Keep up your outstanding work. See you in Scottsdale.

  158. Jeff,

    I have 3 children ages 7, 5 and 3. I can feel exactly where your coming from. I know my wife is going to be a mess when our 3 year old goes to school! But it’s exactly like you have said “It’s a bittersweet thing. Make sure you savor the time you have with them”

    Time stands still for no one…..

    Jason Rushton

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