My journey started around 7:00 a.m. the day before Father’s Day when I was leaving my home in Houston to pick up my young daughter from her mother’s home in Oklahoma City. I usually fly to get her for the summer but I wanted some time to reflect on where I was in my life. Eight hours on the road was an excellent way to get some reflection on how much I had grown as an entrepreneur and how much I needed to grow as a father.
When I got to Oklahoma City, my daughter and I embraced like we always did and a little idea kindled in my mind. Tomorrow was Father’s Day. Could we turn around and drive back to Houston today so we could spend the full holiday together swimming instead of spending a night and losing half of Father’s day returning to my home?
The dashed lines of the road blurred on the way home; the time was inconsequential. Giggles, stories and just a lot of silliness filled the car as we drove home. We made it back before 11:00 p.m., just in time to get a good night’s rest.
We spent Father’s Day together swimming and Lego playing. It was the best day of our whole summer together.
I get 43 days with my daughter every summer. We spent amazing weekends together, but as a side-hustling entrepreneur, there were also times on weekdays where I wasn’t present for her.
In early August, I drove her back to her mother’s home. I felt deflated knowing that I spent only a handful of hours being an in-the-moment dad. The rest of the time, ironically, I was a highly successful but time-strapped entrepreneur fighting, not to put a Ferrari in my driveway but to spend more time with my daughter.
I knew there were other fathers in similar circumstances, fellow dadpreneurs that were ultra successful in both financial freedom and time freedom. I searched for mentors.and was blessed to
I was blessed to have a conversation with Marshall Sylver, an ultra successful entrepreneur and father to three. He gave me a life course on how to be successful as both an entrepreneur and a dad. Here are five mindset changes that I learned from Marshall that every dadpreneur needs to make.
1. Wives and Children Spell Love T-I-M-E. Be able to shift your focus when your loved ones want a bit of your time.
The significant mindset change that needs to happen is that we need to have the ability to switch our focus from whatever we are working on to our loved ones and then refocus back to what we were working on before. It’s not a disruption; it’s a reinforcement of our “Why”. Marshall had worried that he wouldn’t be able to refocus back on the task at hand. He found quickly that wasn’t the case at all, and that all that his loved ones just wanted a few minutes of his time. They just wanted acknowledgment. Acknowledge your “Why”. Time and presence are the only commodities they trade in.
2. Cultivate your true self. To be a successful dadpreneur, you need to be your true self to your family and your business.
We tend to portray a stoic, anti-vulnerable façade as entrepreneurial dads. The irony is we want to connect to others in our business and our family relationships. What we invest in our relationships is what we will get in return. A part of that true self is to cultivate a strong belief in yourself. Marshall talked about how we need to be observant of our internal conversations. We can choose that conversation. We can say “I am a …” and finish that sentence positively, or we can finish that sentence negatively. It’s our choice. Remember the end of Marianne Williamson’s quote about “Our Deepest Fear.” It ends “… and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” As we build our truest selves, our families, our children and our businesses will shine.
3. Design your goals so that success is inevitable and fun.
When his wife was pregnant with their son, Marshall gained weight, enough as he said, it looked like he was carrying twins. We all have a goal to be fit, but as Marshall found out, the impetus to get back in the gym just wasn’t there as it was before. We tend to think we can just hop back in the saddle as if nothing has changed. Marshall knew that in order to be fit again he had to make it fun, so he found an activity he enjoyed (beach volleyball) that would make his goal to be fit inevitable. Gretchen Rubin also eschews this as well. She talks about every time we set a goal, say a diet, as a new and unique event. We have to design a new way to get that goal achieved, re-implementing our previous effort will often lead to failure.
4. Let others do it their way.
As our time is crucial not only to our business but also to our families, we need to allow others in our company to take the reins even if they may not be able to do it exactly the way we want. We need to understand that they will do it a different way, and if we are patient and teach them when needed, we will be surprised at the result. Often, they will do things even better than what we could have done at our best as others are privy to experiences, ideas or a different way of thinking that we may not be exposed to. Growing independence in your team is vital if you want to preserve your most precious resource: your time.
5. Focus on how to make your income passively: that one and done thing that can keep paying
In 1994, Marshall spent 30 days making an informational cassette tape product, “Passion, Profit, and Power”. Since then it has generated over $100 million in sales. Even to this day, Marshall receives income from that 30 days spent working in 1994. Today, we are blessed that technology has made digital products easy to produce. With minimal investment, anyone can develop courses and have them selling in no time flat. Teachable and Udemy make the process easy.
Thanks to Marshall, I realized that you can be both a great father and a successful entrepreneur. It just requires a few mind shift changes.
You can read my full interview on Huffington Post.
You can learn more about Marshall Sylver at Sylver.com
Photo credit: Flickr/TheCampbell