How I find balance — January/February 2015

How Andrew Pitre balances his career and family life.

Andrew Pitre, 37, founder and co-owner, PDC Business & Tax Chartered Accountants, Kelowna, BC

I love my job but I love my family even more. I want to see my son and daughter grow up. That means usually being home for dinner, and I try to work only four days a week in the summer.

As a business owner, I never really turn off. I often sit at my kitchen table later at night and do the little things that can eat up time in a day. We use a cloud server so I can work anywhere there’s an Internet connection. We camp a lot in the summer and I can keep up with emails while away.

When I started my practice shortly before James was born, my plan was to grow the business and hire staff I could really count on. My wife, who is also an accountant, works with us part time except when she’s on mat leave. As PDC has grown and demands for my time have increased, I’ve turned down work that can’t be done efficiently. It’s important to me to spend as much time with my clients as possible. That’s probably my biggest challenge these days.

I often bike to work from May through September. I leave about 8 [a.m.], after getting James fed and ready for daycare. It’s a 20-minute, 12-km downhill trip and it takes about 35 to 40 minutes to get back up at the end of the day. It not only cuts down on fuel consumption, it’s great training for longer rides.

If you ask me, you need to do whatever it takes to spend time with family — work less, live on less. You only get one life and kids are only young once.

As told to Lorie Murdoch