Discover more from Strollers to Startups
The Dadpreneur Diaries (Issue #1): When My Little Boss Taught Me Patience
Juggling startups and stickers: a Lesson on patience from the most unexpected teacher.
Welcome to the 25 new subscribers who joined this week.
Being an entrepreneur is like attempting to ride a unicycle for the first time. It's wobbly, uncertain, and one wrong move could result in a spectacular face-plant.
Now, add in a four-year-old into this circus, and you've got a picture of my life: a dadpreneur trying to juggle business and bedtime stories.
Thanks for reading Strollers to Startups! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Our little family CEO, as I've lovingly dubbed her, is currently going through her 'rebellious phase'. This phase involves defying instructions, launching oppositions, and developing an uncanny knack for doing precisely the opposite of what she's asked. I don't know if you've tried reasoning with a four-year-old recently, but it's a bit like trying to convince a cat to go vegan.
One evening, I found myself in a high-stakes negotiation with our family's 4-year-old CEO. Bedtime had long since come and gone, but she was deep in an important meeting with her collection of toys and showed no signs of clocking out. Every attempt to usher her to bed was met with dramatic declarations of 'Just five more minutes! ' and stubborn stomps.
In a moment of utter frustration, I lost my cool and raised my voice. The outcome? My tiny night owl burst into tears, and I was left standing there in the wreckage of a failed negotiation, feeling like the world's worst dad and CEO combined.
Sitting down, I looked at my tearful little one and then at my inbox full of unread emails. I was torn between the two worlds I was trying to balance. I realized then that I was failing at a crucial aspect of both roles - patience.
Patience, as it turns out, is not just about waiting. It's about maintaining a positive attitude while waiting. It's about understanding that not everything will go according to your meticulously planned schedule, whether that's your startup or your kid's bedtime routine. My mini CEO was not being difficult just for the sake of it. She was learning, testing boundaries, understanding her world - and it was my job as a parent to guide her through this journey, not rush her through it.
Similarly, in the entrepreneurial world, patience is a virtue often overlooked. We're so focused on hustle, grind, and speed that we forget that some things take time to grow. Your startup is like a plant - you can't force the seed to sprout faster or the fruits to ripen before their time. You water, you wait, and most importantly, you keep your cool. You learn to savor the process, not just the outcome.
Since that day, I've been trying to practice more patience, both as a dad and as an entrepreneur. I'm learning to take a deep breath and tackle one challenge at a time. Whether it's negotiating peace treaties over toy sharing or negotiating business deals, I remind myself to stay calm, composed, and patient.
And you know what? The results have been pretty incredible. Not only do I feel less stressed, but I also notice a shift in my little CEO's attitude. She's more open to listening, and our daily tug of wars have significantly reduced. Even my small team has noticed a change in my approach. I am more open to discussions, less hurried in my decisions, and more accepting of the unpredictability of the startup world.
So, this is my story for today, dear fellow dadpreneurs. The lesson here?
Sometimes, the best business advice doesn't come from self-help books or the latest entrepreneur podcast. Sometimes, it comes from a four-year-old refusing to eat her veggies.
Here's to more patience, less stress, and the wisdom to learn from our little ones, even on our busiest days.
Remember, we are dadpreneurs, not just dads or entrepreneurs. We have the power to shape not just our startups, but also the future generation. And that's something worth being patient for.
So, stay tuned for the next issue of 'The Dadpreneur Diaries', and don't hesitate to share your own parenting-business balancing acts on Twitter with me. I promise to listen patiently!
Until then, keep juggling!