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I was always someone that was ambitious as a kid. For whatever reason, I've been driven most of my life to succeed. Maybe it comes from being fairly poor as a kid. When my parents split, I was about 7, and my brother, I and my Mom lived in a spare room for a few months of a friend before she got one of my Dad's rental properties to live in. We were "house poor" in that my Mom owned 3 houses, but we didn't have any cash. Literally we lived on 2 or 3 staples of food for a long time and I remember more than once scraping change together to buy bread and hamburger or peanut better and live off sandwiches.

My brother, 3 years younger, lived through the same thing, but was never as driven as I was. Over the years I've often worked 2 or 3 jobs, keeping myself busy and ensuring I always had a good stash of money for emergencies. When I started in this business, I was still driven, happy to work 80 hours a week or more to learn and get ahead. It paid off and as I approach 40, I've been very successful. And that's with slacking off somewhat over the last 2-3 years.

So I was interested to see how today's editorial on Ambition would be received. Seems like a good split of people agreeing with me and people thinking that work is important. What I'd love to know is how many people disagree that don't have kids or are under 30. I think those two events more than anything have changed the way life works for me.

I'm still for working when things really need to be done, but I find that less and less they "need" to be done now. Most could wait an hour or a day. Heck, I still remember shutting off email at JD Edwards, a company of 6000 people, and we survived the day or two it took to eradicate businesses. We might have taken some hits in revenue, but I doubt it. More likely our customers were fighting the same battles.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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