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The Larger Goal

Sun 14 February 2016

The goal of all this hard work, task management, and organization is to build up something worthwhile – a family and our life. I believe that work is important in and of itself. But it’s also important to stop and smell the roses every once in a while.

Tonight, I’m taking M out to dinner. I managed to snag a reservation at a nice restaurant by logging onto their website right at midnight two weeks ago. Being a night owl has it’s advantages!

I may write about the restaurant here sometime in the future, but for now I’ll have to keep it a secret since it’s a surprise for her.

Introducing: The Diligent

Mon 25 January 2016

I’ve written a couple of posts now, I guess it’s time for an introduction. I’ll write a little bit about these two businesses I’ve mentioned and a little bit about we, the people behind them.


I’m Anthony, and I do software. By that, I mean I work as a software consultant to clients. My business is structured as a one-person S-corporation that I established in 2007.

I'm also an aspiring software product developer. I’d like to either create software that I can sell or create a software-based service. The current focus of my work is building out some ideas and testing them in the marketplace.


My wife prefers not to be named directly, so for the purposes of this blog, she’ll be known as “M”.

M basically manages operations for her family business. She is part of the third generation of family members to run a food service establishment that her grandparents founded over fifty (!) years ago.

Their business is old-school in many ways, the most important of which is their close relationship with many of their customers. They also happen to be old-school in their use of technology, which is very minimal. I’ve never met a more dedicated bunch, and I’m proud just to be associated with them.


We’ve been married for about year and a half now. From a personal standpoint, things have never been better. I can't imagine life without M anymore.

At the same time, that first year brought on other major changes to our life. We both run our businesses out of our home and we both have non-traditional working hours. Bringing those into the same household created some unique challenges.

After a bit of a rough start, we managed to put things in place and got a rhythm going. By the end of the year, we were ready with a better plan for tackling the new one.

The Diligent

This blog is the story of how we are taking care of business, at home and from the home. We’re working to build our respective companies, and at the same time build a family together.

Though our two businesses are polar opposites in multiple ways, there are two things they require in common from us: hard work and smart work. We have tools and techniques from the tech and business worlds that help us get this work done. Now, we are using them to help manage how our work and home lives intertwine.

I’ll write about those tools and techniques here, and hope that some may find them helpful!

I know I speak for M when I say that I hope we live up to this blog’s name,

– the diligent.

Christmas in January

Sat 09 January 2016

We celebrated Christmas in the mountains last week, the first week of January. My wife and I drove up to Mammoth Lakes to meet my mom, sisters, and other family for a few days of bonding time in a mountain retreat. We exchanged presents, some people got on the slopes, we enjoyed the heavy snowfall, and everyone participated in a potluck night.

Not everything went according to plan, but we all had a great time anyway! I hope an annual trip becomes a family tradition.

A Snowy Road to Mammoth

The Road to Mammoth

Why January?

But why did we celebrate two weeks later than normal? We did it for some of the same reasons I started this blog.

My wife and I got married about a year and a half ago. Aside from the wedding being a great party, it also marked the beginning of major changes to our lives. Although we had practically been living together for over a year, the reality of combining the households of two independent people still required a lot of work, foresight, and patience on both our parts.

Complicating matters further, each of our households came attached to home-based small businesses requiring additional space in our home and time in our lives.

The Dilemma

One high priority scheduling task (as it is in many homes) is the holiday season. What makes it more difficult for us is that my wife’s highly seasonal family business peaks during the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It’s such a busy time that they recruit the help of family and friends to help out every year.

Before I married my wife, I would make an annual Christmas pilgrimage from my home in Southern California to the San Francisco Bay Area – where I grew up and most of my family still lives. Today, that old plan is out of the question: my wife would be unable to accompany me, and I would have to cut my trip short.

The Compromise

So a little bit of planning and compromise led us to our new plan: Christmas in January! With the approval of my sisters and my mom, we decided to celebrate with them a couple of weeks later. To make it more exciting, we would travel to a different locale. This way, my wife could fully concentrate on her business during the busy season and I would be able to help out if needed. Afterwards, we would spend quality, non-rushed, time with my family. Getting a white, snowy Christmas in the California mountains was just icing on the cake!

This Blog

So that’s the story of our Christmas this year. But merging our lives and businesses together has required lots of other little adjustments, tools, and tricks. It is an ongoing affair.

That’s what I plan to write about on this site.

More and more people are working from home these days. And more and more couples are running side businesses for fun, ambition, or just to make ends meet. Hopefully, some of the things I write about can be of use to someone else.

See you next time!

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