& The Allen’s – “On Dad’s Birthday He Get’s the Title” – 8.5.2016 & The Allen’s” is our weekly journal of what it’s like for us to start a family, balance careers and grow a startup business.  We are Brad and Nicole Allen and we’d like to welcome you to our fun & crazy life. Hopefully our little stories will provide some positive moments in your day!

“On Dad’s Birthday He Get’s the Title” by B.A.

Riding in my Uber after a short Southwest flight to Dallas I can’t help but think about my family back in Houston. It’s my first trip away since our little one was born. It’s an unnatural feeling leaving them behind, but Facetime takes the edge off a bit. It’s also the end of Nicole’s maternity leave and we have several difficult choices we must make. I play through all the scenarios we’ve discussed until we reach the hotel.  She could stay home and I’ve always supported that as an option for the first couple years, but she’s said many times it’s just not her personality to do that. Fortunately for us, we have arrangements with my great sister-in-law to watch her. We are blessed to be down the street from family. I know it sounds like the plan is in place, but it’s our little girl…so you always second guess any decision.  It’s not easy to focus on my upcoming two day business meeting with all that we have going on in our personal lives, but I’m the “Dad” now.  I have a new respect for the responsibilities father’s like mine had to shoulder when starting a family.  “I love you, DAD!” (Dad’s click here)

To keep the ship moving in the right direction I’ve become a habitual “To Do List” maker. Whether it’s using the reminders on my iPhone, my daily business planner/journal or in Asana a fantastic project management application & website ( Almost everything we take on requires a new list…sometimes I think I spend more time organizing my lists than actually working towards accomplishing the items on them. (Hold on, I need to make list of things to do so I don’t waste time making lists.) If you’re a list maker like me, you have that one item on your list that stares you in the face daily.  We subconsciously rationalize that one so it pushes to the next week’s list. This could go on for months and it has for me in the form of the entry “Hire COO.”

I’ve reached the point that I need help to manage the day to day operations. It’s a daunting task to open up the internal processes of your business to someone. Don’t get me wrong we have a solid team developing the business and I can carry the rest of the load.  We just need to ensure we have the resources in place to manage our increasing customer base.  I’ve reached out for advice from several sources including my family as well as my great friends Zach Sabo who is an Executive with Prudential and Mark Fontenot owner of Unique Outdoor (  All the feedback I got led to the same conclusion.  I don’t need more sales people or specialized marketing staff yet; I just need another ME.  (I immediately envision the movie “Multiplicity” and remind myself not to make the mistake of cloning a clone “I like pizza!“).  It’s almost as if I knew this answer before I asked for all the advice.  I was afraid of the answer because of the things that “could” happen if I decide to do it.  I have the same feeling when deciding if it’s dark enough to go outside in my underwear.

Today’s Friday…I’m home with my family and it’s my Dad’s, Mr. Jerry Allen’s birthday.  We are definitely going to work on a “First” for Dad today.  On Friday’s, our family likes to do something we haven’t done before.  We call it “Friday Firsts”.  Hopefully you can experience a positive and fun “First” today.

Have a great weekend.