Small Business owners, Corporate Execs, Managers, white-collar & blue-collar do’ers. Dads have many places in the business world. More than likely, you have had a variety of positions throughout the years.
My journey was just that. Not including my years breaking child labor laws forced to do chores…..I started and shut down many lawn mowing operations in middle-high school. (we were always moving) Eventually, I tired of building something only to be told, “Hey we’re leaving next week go tell your customers.”
In high school, I spent time in the landscaping business on weekends, a parking lot attendant, Dishwasher, Pizza Maker, and waiter. In college, I spent a summer laboring on concrete and block crews. I was an RA at WVU my sophomore year while trying to stay relevant on the wrestling team, and scrubbing pots and pans in the cafeteria basement all while pulling nighttime security shifts.
I got married, dropped out, joined my wife’s parents’ business right after an internal crime ring hammered them, and eventually left to start our own coffee distribution company after the birth of our first son. Followed by a supplier contracting business, and a vending business. We sold those in late 2019 and have been all-in on 100% Dad ever since. Managing our investments and touring the country as a family promoting the brand.
Like most Dads, I’ve been in quite a few roles. Labor, management, owner—all in quite a few different industries. That gives us quite a bit of experience to reflect on and utilize in our parenting. And vice versa. Parenting develops skills quite useful in the business world.
I have experienced the feeling that family is holding back my career. After all, I could work more, network more, be less distracted, take more risks if it wasn’t for these people at home wanting me there and dependent on me.
The reality is that fathers tend to scale the ranks faster than non-fathers. In part due to the stability a family provides, and the skills parenting develops makes you a more effective business person. Parents must have great time management skills. After all, not only do you have to get yourself ready, but you have you make sure all your minions are also dressed, fed, de-bladdered, and prepared to go. It’s amazing how Moms and Dads quickly learn to not only prep and plan for themselves but multiple other people simultaneously. And knowing the quirks that hold back or motivate each individual.
Personality recognition and management is a real skill parents learn quickly. Sure we think all kids will be carbon copies of each other…..then we have kids…and we think we did such a good job with the first that the 2nd, 3rd, etc will be a breeze. That’s when we realize how wrong we really were.
Multitasking is the norm in a family household. Laundry, meals, cleaning, shopping, bill paying, scheduling, transport, all while answering no less than 73 questions a minute…. from each kid…simultaneously…. with no less than 42 varying subjects in the questioning each minute.
Let’s be honest. Work is easier. It’s a break. It moves slower. The problems are less complex. Think you are in over your head at work, try raising 6 kids. Work will be easy after that.
Dads know how to get work done in the time they have and shift gears to go home and be a dad. They tend to be more productive in those hours than non-parenting peers. Dads are able to get along with peers and communicate better because they have extensive experience in terrorist negotiations and dealing with delusional non-rational crazed narcissists at home.
Dads tend to be more stable…. they are less likely to jump ship, not show up, or make constant excuses. Dads have a family to provide for…if they are going to move their whole family, uproot their kids schooling, maybe their wives career, then it better be a big move up, otherwise it’s not worth it. They have souls dependent on them so they are less likely to be a no-show for work. And excuses—every dad hears 4,000 excuses a day. They don’t like them either.
Dads are natural leaders because they lead at home. They know how to make decisions with the big picture in mind. They know how to make decisions for the benefit of the organization instead of the individual. They are used to people looking up to them. They are used to the pressure. Let’s be honest—leading adults is often easier than leading kids!!
Dads understand consequences-discipline for wrongs- and praise for rights. Dads understand mistakes happen and its part of the process in molding someone. We can’t fire kids—we have to continue to invest in them and make them better—same with employees. It’s not always fun to start over from scratch so failures are just lessons on how to be successful.
Dads know the importance of modeling the behaviors and actions they seek because it’s effective. Kids and employees alike don’t respond to hypocrisy.
Dads make great business guys.