Time Over Money


Too busy to keep control — here is how we are spending the last three weeks of 2018.

After two months of big changes, Brandon and I are very much overdue for a little babbling.

For 60 consecutive days, I wrote in my daily journal every morning after waking up and every night before bed. I protected this time to frame and reflect on the day — it’s a sacred moment to gain perspective on the significant people and events that shape our world. It’s no coincidence that I stopped writing in this journal around the same time we wrote our last BBBABEL post on finding something true.

We started October working on all the things that will help BBBABEL grow: personal routines, professional relationships, systematic processes, and passion projects. Defining our value proposition and updating our website helped us see new opportunities every week.

By taking most of them, we made a profit:

  • I moved to a cheaper apartment in San Francisco

  • Brandon invested in equipment for the studio in Los Angeles

  • We began a brand identity project with a fashion tech startup

  • We began a content campaign with a wellness tech startup

  • We began a product strategy project with a Fortune 500 company

  • We started building relationships with future partners

With every new opportunity, we didn’t expect how pervasive the feeling would be for BBBABEL to do more:

  • How might we get bigger projects?

  • How might we get bigger clients?

  • How might we get bigger budgets?

And only after everything has settled and the year has wrapped up, we have time to evaluate these questions for BBBABEL. It’s clear to see how our studio has grown, but it’s our personal lives that have taken the blows. If you asked Brandon and me how we were doing, we would probably say, “We’re busy!”

There is a bigness in busyness.

Just like being big, busy is troublesome. They both feel thoughtless, out of control, and can easily become a fallacy in self-importance. But the more big or busy you get, the more space or time it takes away from you. Two months of subtle changes and constant client work had quietly prevented us from connecting with each other and from working on the projects we believed in:

  • An original BBBABEL content series to find our voice

  • A work portfolio for showcasing our impact

  • A service roadmap for what to improve

  • An interactive guide for how to babel

Busy doesn’t always mean productive. So we’re taking a step back before taking a leap forward. For us to start doing the work we care about again, we need to be responsible for the change that we can control — personally and professionally. This means rethinking how we spend our time, individually and together as BBBABEL. We’re not growing this business to have a luxurious life with no time, we’re doing this to have a full life with time.

We can’t afford to be busy, but we can afford to be little.

Individually, we’re focusing our time in our physical health, mental wellness, and relationships with our friends and family. We believe that by investing into our personal needs from the onset, we will naturally spend our time doing more meaningful work.

Together, BBBABEL’s goal is not big, but growth. This means building creative confidence for our clients through our services. We will take the next three weeks to explore the steps we can take to deliver on this value proposition:

  • Confident Decisions — How might we help companies translate complexity into creativity and gather the context needed to make confident decisions?

  • Confident Teams — How might we help companies unify goals, play to their strengths, and be confident in their product and brand teams?

  • Confident Voice — How might we help companies create powerful products, bold brands, and a confident voice that people want to share?

As we take our step back from busyness and bigness to refocus, we hope all our friends and family can do the same. Give yourself permission to do something that’s just for you. We wish you a happy holidays and see you in 2019.


Alec BabalaAuthor, Managing Partner at BBBABEL
Brandon TysonEditor, Creative Partner at BBBABEL

Babblings is a journal series about the development of our growth studio, BBBABEL. This is our mission to discover our identity, both for our studio and for our personal lives, and we want to share whatever we find along the way. This is not a definitive guide for starting a business. This is an honest journal on change and identity.

BabblingsAlec Babala