What is your occupation and how do you split your time between the business and your primary occupation?
I am a full-time Anesthesiologist. My time is split 90/10 on most weeks and 80/20 on some weeks. With our business I am fully in charge of all the bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, logistics, etc. This allows Becky to concentrate on the fun stuff. Luckily we have a great accountant and I have been passing more and more of the bookkeeping and taxes off to them as we have increasingly become bigger and bigger as a company.
How did you choose the field of Anesthesiology? What do you love about your specialty?
As a medical student we have rotations in many different specialties. At that time I had a chance to ask questions and see what life is really like for those physicians. I discovered that some fields that I thought would be interesting and fun, turned out to be boring and monotonous for me. For instance in my Internal Medicine rotation I felt like we sat talking and planning and never did anything. I enjoy doing procedures (epidurals/spinals/central lines) and seeing instant results. When I give a medication, we see the results within minutes – not weeks/months like in the clinic. In short, I chose the field of Anesthesiology because I enjoyed it most.
Now that Project Life is HUGE in the scrapping community, it probably seems like it was an easy bet to everyone. But when you and Becky first acted on the idea, how did you weigh the personal risks (ex – your finances, etc.)?
When Becky made the decision to leave Creating Keepsakes magazine we faced a major crossroad. She had to decide if she wanted to retire from the scrapbooking industry or start a company and produce this product she believed in. We felt that there was an unmet need. We believed that Project Life would help people get their memories into scrapbooks with ease and style. I knew that because Becky believed in the product – and herself – we could make it happen. I figured if it didn’t work we could at least break even, so the finances/personal risks were based on that assumption. Luckily once we started the ball rolling we didn’t have much time to really sit down and think about all the risks.
We started this company with the objective to create one kit per year. We thought that one product only once per year would allow us to maintain a simple company with little time commitment. We did not anticipate the evolution of the product. The full kit made less and less sense as we progressed. (Side note: The problem with a full kit is that you rely on one company to produce all portions of the kit. The factory may specialize in paper materials but not in plastics or metals. If you divide the portions apart you can use factories that focus on one type of material and therefore decrease defects and improve quality.)
What are three of your favorite things about Becky… and does she really not eat Raisin Bran any more?
1. She is beautiful, not just in looks but also in personality and attitude. 2. Her work ethic is incredible. She does not cut corners to make things easier on herself. The problem with this is she is also a control freak and has a hard time passing things over to for other people to do. 3. She is an awesome mother to our 3 kids.
She will rarely have Raisin Bran. She did eat it daily for years and years though.
Tell the truth, do you have your own Project Life binder with your own journaling?
As Becky has said in the past she does Project Life in the Shutterfly photo book format. She has been using the Clementine Edition this year. I will occasionally journal for a picture if I took it or it is directly related to me. I love Project Life. I love looking though our older albums, but to tell you the truth I am involved directly with scrapbooking about as much as most of your husbands.
As a man, do you have any advice for how I can convince my husband of the long term value of Project Life & scrapbooking in general? He just doesn’t seem to get it and says it’s just my hobby, nothing more. How would you sell Project Life to a man that thinks it’s just photos? Trying to convince my hubby why I love it.
When I was reading though the questions I kind of laughed when I saw this one, because I have talked about Project Life at work and tried to “sell” it many times. However, when I really think back on it I realize I have only “sold” Project Life to female colleagues – the female doctors and nurses. I have described the product concept and business to male colleagues but have never really tried to sell it to them directly.
I feel that this issue is a big difference between most women and men. Although I love looking back through the pictures and stories of our family I do not feel a responsibility or obligation to record it personally. It seems like women feel that responsibility for record keeping more than men. I am not sure why, just an observation. To make the point, I have talked to busy women who work (while their husbands are at home with the kids) and it is still the woman that feels the obligation to document life – not the stay-at-home dad.
I do understand why Becky and many, many others love it. I also understand that scrapbooking is much, much more than just photos. I look as it being a photographic journal. With each picture being worth more than a thousand words many of you are leaving an family history library for your loved ones. My mom and dad both lost their dads when they were teenagers, so I have never met or really heard much about my grandfathers. It would be absolutely incredible to find a Project Life type of scrapbook with everyday photos and stories of my grandfathers. I would love to know more about who they were and how they lived. Instead we only have a few precious photos and stories that have been passed down. So although I don’t “do” Project Life personally I understand and fully support Becky and others who are trying to pass on a legacy to their children.
How much creative input do you have with the design of Project Life?
I actually have more input than anyone except Becky. Even though I don’t scrapbook (Would you if you had Becky doing it for you?) I understand the problems and frustrations that scrapbookers have. I appointed myself as Becky’s harshest critic over the years. I am never afraid to tell her if I think something is terrible. I also have a feel for the pulse and needs of our customers. I have stayed up late with Becky on multiple occasions, many times with a ruler to help get the measurements of the Photo Pocket Pages perfected down to the millimeter. I read the comments and pass on and point out things to Becky just in case she missed it. I am also very involved with the business aspect of the company.
What is it like being married to a ROCKSTAR???!!! What’s it like to be known as Mr. Becky?
I am assuming you are talking about Becky? She is just like everyone else. She still does put her pants on one leg at a time unless she is stumbling around after 3-4 hours of sleep. I guess from that perspective she is a little like a rockstar in that she stays up late, but usually just emailing and taking care of business stuff left over from the day. So much of the work in our house gets done after 8 pm once the kids are in bed.
The only time I am known as Mr. Becky is at scrapbooking conventions (and I’ve only been to a few over the years). Most of the time I am just Dad / David / Dr. Higgins / Dr. Happy Juice / the candy man / gas man / epidural guy / my-best-friend-in-the-whole-wide-world-because-I-don’t-feel-this-baby-tearing-my-pelvis-apart.