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Having a child should be a joyful experience - but for Eric Ungs, it threw his life into chaos.
Ungs and his wife owned and managed a women's boutique in Marion. Before the birth of their son, it had always been her dream to own a boutique, and he loved the feeling of entrepreneurship.
After the birth of their son, the couple's priorities shifted. The business went on the back burner, and then started to slip. Their relationship suffered, Ungs often felt short-tempered, and a physical pain was brewing in his chest.
The stress and anxiety impacted everything in his life.
"I knew something needed to happen. Something needed to change inside me, instead of pointing fingers," he said.
That was a year ago, and after selling the business, Ungs went on a personal journey to find balance again. A deep commitment to a daily ritual of reading, writing and meditation helped him to reflect.
Now, the Cedar Rapidian has launched a new website discussing his journey and released his manifesto as an e-book at unlessyoucareproject.com.
The site launched very quietly in November - more for himself than for an audience, Ungs said.
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"I wanted to just create a place for owning your flaws, accepting your flaws, and being very very honest with myself and others, just being very transparent about self-growth," he said.
The Unless You Care Project focuses on three main area: Self improvement, meaningful work and personal productivity. At the center of these three overlapping themes is growth, Ungs believes.
"Whether it's a cubicle, whether it's your own business, having the mindset that it's yours - you can define your job."
Ungs hopes that sharing his story can help others to go on a similar journey. Eventually, he hopes to create additional resources and guides for people who want to find greater meaning and balance in their own lives.
"We all have our vulnerabilities - so it's a choice to suppress them deeper, or to express them, feel them and take action on them," he said. "My hope is to give people confidence to do that themselves."
- Find Ungs' blog and e-book at unlessyoucareproject.com
- Follow Will Lenzen Jr., another Cedar Rapids-based entrepreneur and friend of Ungs, as he writes about living a healthy life as an entrepreneur at founderhealth.co
- Share your story: drop me a line about how you stay balanced as an entrepreneur for a future story on We Create Here.