Work and Family.  Family and Work.  I could write about the importance of “balancing work and family” but that would be way too cliché, overdone, and well, a little boring for my taste.  And I figure if I’m going to bore you along the way, I might as well do it with a new concept and content that I find less overcooked.  So I won’t tell you how or why you need to “balance work and family” but I’ll let you in on what that means to me, Ryan D. Miller, the Business Development Manager of the fastest growing branded browser company in the world, Brand Thunder.

Before I fill your cup with my exciting revelation, there some significant items I should point out.  I’m not married, I don’t have kids, and my idea of family may be different than yours, but Family is Family.  The truth is, if I don’t figure out how to “balance work and family,” I probably won’t have either any time soon.  I do however plan on being married to my significant other soon, find myself raising a needy Labradoodle, continue to be involved in my lovely nieces’ lives (one turns 13 today, and the other turns 15 ten days later), stay close to my brothers and sister, and of course honor my mother and father, who deserve to be parents of the year, every year.

It’s the friends and family that keep me happy with my home life.  It’s my happy home life that gives me a drive to succeed.  It’s the drive for success that allows me to pour my sweat and tears into the growth of the company.  I have found that a “balance of work and family” isn’t a 50/50 split (or any other split for that matter) where you completely separate the two.  It’s revelation time.  I have learned that a “balance of work and family” is managing the overlap between the two.  It’s that little gray area that so many try to avoid seeing and push the two as far from each other as possible, it’s that area that I embrace.

First from the side of Family.  It’s inevitable that I’m going to talk about work outside of work hours, pick and choose your battles (great advice Mom), and that’s not a battle I’m going to fight with myself.  I share my success stories and my war stories, when appropriate and in moderation of course, with my family.  They become my mentors, my sounding board, my career coaches, and a great source for leads.  Yeah, leads, who would have thought?

Brand Thunder builds custom themes or skins for your web browser, bringing your favorite brands to the bland gray area above this web page.  I spend hours strategizing and uncovering as many of the thousands of top brands we approach including professional sports teams, universities, social networks, and online gaming to name a few.  In a recent conversation about some potential targets, they brought to my attention that I needed to approach Cosmopolitan and People Magazine, Oprah, Food Network, and others.  You would think these are no brainer brands to approach, but none of them have been on my radar until now.  My family, the consumer, the end user, a voice from our target audience.  It’s this kind of positive mesh between my work and family that aids in my success.

Now from the side of work.  I’m with a start up company, boasting under ten employees, and we all eat, sleep, and live the colors of Brand Thunder.  We have very different roles, but ultimately the same goal.  It would be hard to argue that a family isn’t the same, a group with very different roles, but ultimately the same goal.  Like any other company, I spend the majority of the hours I am awake interfacing with the team.  The team at Brand Thunder isn’t just a group of colleagues, they’re Family.  I’m not 100% business; I talk about my home life with my team just as much as I talk to my Family at home about work.  This is my “balance of work and Family.”

Everyone knows how important my family is to me, whether it be a Family determined by blood or by common business cards.  This is what I’ve learned to be a “balance of work and Family” and Family is the basis for my drive to succeed.

You can now follow my Brand Thunder progress on Twitter! @RyanDouglas24

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