Building a successful business has meant long hours in the office and on the road. 10 years ago I started Capture Integration out of my home by securing a second mortgage and putting my life savings on the line. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I did know what NOT to do. I have always lived by a simple philosophy. Treat the customer with respect and honesty, and in order to succeed, work harder than your competitor. It is that hard work that has meant long nights at the office, weekends out of town, and traveling the globe. It all sounds wonderful but with one caveat. The harder you work at your career, the more sacrifices you make at home. And this aspect has been the most difficult part of owning a business. I don’t share a lot of personal things online, but those who know me understand how important my daughter has been to me in my life. I have been a divorced father since my daughter was a year old. This has had its own set of challenges that we won’t get into here. However, the hardest part is not being with your child on a daily basis. You come to cherish the little things like watching your child peacefully sleep, making them their favorite breakfast, or waving goodbye at the morning bell at school. So it has been important to express to my daughter how significant she is in my life and to find little ways to show it as much as possible. One year while in the Newark airport I found a rack of Ugly Dolls……..yes that is what they are called. This little pink one with one eye named Oxy stood out to me, and I decided to bring the little guy home as a present. Needless to say, she loved it. It quickly became a bedtime essential for a little girl’s sleep. And now to why I am sharing this story. To express to my daughter how she is always in my thoughts, I have taken that Ugly doll with me on many of my business trips. I have then sent her an e-mail with a picture of Oxy in some of the incredible places that I have been fortunate enough to visit. Telling your loved one that they are always with you is one thing, but actually showing them in pictures that a piece of her is always with me has meant so much more to my daughter and I. Here is a quick inside window to a segment of my life as a dad. I hope you enjoy. I have received many funny looks from both strangers and co-workers when they see these funny ears poking out of my briefcase. Getting some sun at the Burj al Arab in Dubai Our day with Big Ben Outside the gates at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The Bean in Chicago A wonderful canal ride in Amsterdam On a Hong Kong subway A quick stop to discuss foreign policy….. : ) Oxy found a friend in Belgium Taking a Leica shot with his one good eye And then one day my life completely changed. I met someone who I didn’t believe existed. An intelligent, witty, sarcastic, and beautiful woman who could put me in my place when I needed it. And many know that I need it often. She quickly became my best friend and gave me everything that I have ever wanted in life. And best of all, she had two beautiful children of her own to complete our family. Our beautiful children So what do I do now? Well that’s pretty simple. I get a bigger briefcase so I can bring 3 “pieces” of my family with me on my important trips! Not as easy to fit in the overhead compartment anymore but I make it work!!!