Family First, Nothing Else Matters

Recently one of my closest friends said to me … hey I tried calling and texting you and you’re never available during work hours.

Well, sorry DAVE, I’m at work! Call me on the weekends when I’m sipping on a warm coffee ☕️

When I finally spoke to him, we chatted about how busy I am from 8-6 on the daily.

It’s no recent secret that I work a lot.

And when I say a lot, I mean a shit ton, and to be transparent, I do it 9-5 M-F.

I used to brag about the 18 hour days I worked and was def proud of the grind and the hustle, and nowadays?

I firmly believe it’s what you do in those work hours that matter the most.

For me, A five or three minute 1:1 meeting is a normal occurrence on my calendar.

I wake up at six and don’t stop working till 5 and then it’s family time and writing my thoughts like this till ten or eleven at night.

This is what works for me, and Ill never tell you to be just like me.

You should always focus on what provides you with the most value, what forces you to work as hard as you can.

But because I am always working, I get a lot of questions about my family life.

It usually goes something like this: “Hey Zarir, you preach family first, but how can that be when you never stop working?”

I’ll be honest, it’s a fair question.

The image I project of myself doesn’t really allow you to see the other sides of my life.

But that’s just the point.

The way that I storytell my life vs. the way I storytell my private life are very different. And that’s very much intended.

I play in extremes.

My son had a trumpet 🎺 concert next week for Christmas, and I will be the first parent in line for it, mask and all.

On weekends, I am all in.

100%. I’m not playing 4 hours of golf.

I’m not doing a lot of things other people are doing.

I’m all in on the kids.

I’m not trying to argue that my normal Monday-Friday weeks aren’t intense; they definitely are.

But because of that intensity, I have found my cadence with my spouse and my children that directly balances it out.

And the truth is, my wife and I have chosen to say very little about our kids in public.

I understand why people question my ability to be a good dad of three sons.

It might seem like the kids aren’t around a lot, right?

Well, Gabe, Noah and Solomon are teenagers.

I would prefer to keep that part of my life private until they can decide, although I do post pics of us on Twitter and LinkedIn and they haven’t said anything, they like it especially when I’m posting a rant video on Instagram about telling kids to be kind and empathetic.

A lot of public figures are very open about their families on social.

And that’s fine too.

But it was my personal choice to make sure this part of my career, the public image, didn’t bring them into the limelight without it being their choice first.

Lately I’ve been posting more about them and my life as a kid growing up in Mombasa and Nairobi and London and all the places I’ve lived in US.

So I guess what I’m saying is this: never assume you have the whole story.

Yeah, you see me working and in meetings and traveling and hustling.

But there is a lot you don’t see too.

As time progresses, I know I will have to adjust my schedule.

That’s part of life, and that’s just what I do: I continue to always adjust based on what is happening in my life.

Bottom line: there are a lot more things going on here than just the things you are making assumptions on.

You do what works for you, less judgement, more kindness.

Thee End.


Published by Zarir Merwanji

Empathy lives at the intersection of my family FIRST and my work space SECOND through influence, leadership, sales and technology.

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