It was a miserably hot and sticky July afternoon.

Earlier that day, we had discovered that our house, a triplex located in a not-so-good part of town, needed an expensive repair and that one of our tenants upstairs wasn’t going to make her rent payment … again.

We had been putting eighteen-hour days into our business, and our nights were completely given over to the demands of our firstborn son. Just one month old, he wouldn’t sleep for more than forty-five minutes at a time, had a voracious appetite, and was developing a terrible case of colic.

And the house—our office—was a complete mess.

So, of course, it happened.

Just moments after getting him settled—at long, long last—

and sitting down at the desk to deal with some desperately urgent customer service issue, our baby started up again. Our sweet, innocent, gorgeous little gift of a boy wailed …

… And Chandra shouted in frustration.

Naturally, Terry then yelled at Chandra to knock it off. He was short on sleep, was trying to work on some programming bug, and she had just shouted about a baby.

We both stared at each other, aghast, for a very long time. This was not how things were supposed to be. Was it?

The media would have you believe a lot of things about being an entrepreneur.

If you’re under thirty, you have probably come to believe that it involves hoodies and all-night whiteboard scribbling sessions and espresso-fuelled coding marathons. A few months of ramen noodles and then presto-bingo! Growth hacking. Scaling. VC funding. A multi-million dollar acquisition.

If you’re over thirty, well, there’s always the Richard Branson model. Jet planes and private islands. Corporate takeovers and really good scotch. Motorbikes and mansions. Ooh, and government bailouts!

Entrepreneurialism has become a lifestyle. The word freedom gets tossed around a lot.

All the cool kids want to do it.

Parenthood looks pretty shiny and awesome from afar too. Motherhood is all about being perfectly made up and coiffed, gazing down adoringly at your angelic little tot in the early morning light. And fatherhood is clearly all about having heart-to-heart talks with your preteens, out in the fresh autumn air, while raking the leaves and smiling. There’s usually a sweet dog boinging around in the background too.

Facebook. TikTok. Instagram. Or whatever is currently hot as you’re reading this. These sites don’t help matters much when it comes to perceptions versus real life.

I just had an AMAZING dinner at Rocky’s. The dry-aged steak was out of this world! #grateful #ballin’

Gorgeous celebrity-grade photos of perfect weddings.

So proud of Sarah! A+ on her math exam. Loving life right now!

Yeah man! Just cleared my inbox to ZERO and am OUTTA here for a week in Maui and two weeks in Greece!

Sepia-filtered shots of urban tourist attractions. A sidebar filled with ads about banking a million bucks with no effort. Passive income, baby!

Everyone seems to have it all together … while there you sit at a desk littered with bills and Lego® pieces and baby bottles and wondering if you can put in Just. One. More. Hour … before crawling into bed.

The reality is that starting a business and making it a success is one of the most challenging things you can do, career-wise. Meanwhile, having children and raising a family is one of the most difficult things you can do personally. So it would be absolutely insane to try to both at once, right?

But thousands of us do, every single day.

Some of us even do this as single parents, or with special- needs kids, or with ailing parents. Or all of the above! It’s tough; no, wait … it’s exhausting. But—and here’s where it gets really crazy—even with all the blood, sweat, and tears, the guilt and the doubt, you wouldn’t have it any other way, would you?

No, we didn’t think so. And neither would we.

That’s why we wrote this book. We wrote it for you, the unsung heroes of the business world, who are out there on the front lines, following your dreams and passions. You’re the ones out there trying to get it done and do right by your family.

We want to show you that it is possible to do both and still maintain your sanity.