I’ve founded many startups. I’ve been a CEO. I’ve succeeded immensely. And I’ve failed miserably.
I’ve been an entrepreneur. I’ve worked for others. I’ve freelanced. I’ve mentored startups. And I’ve even invested in high-growth companies.
Now, at the age of 31, I can look back on my life thus far and say that I’ve accomplished much more than I could have ever expected — and all the great memories I’ve created make me all warm and fuzzy.
With all of my prior adventures behind me, I have positioned myself to begin a journey into the most highly anticipated and exciting job I’ve ever created for myself…..
I’m going to be a DAD!
The range of emotions I’ve come to experience over the span of my wife’s pregnancy has made me realize how significant I am about to become to somebody in this world. Prior to this, I’ve only created indirect value for others in the form of ideas, designs, campaigns, or written content.
All of that work seems so insignificant now.
Now that I’ve found myself incubating much more than a concept or a business strategy, I look in eager anticipation toward the most important role and responsibility of my life and career.
The best products I’ll ever design are slated for launch in a few weeks.
In case you failed to notice, I said “products.” As in, plural. That’s because we’re expecting twins. One boy and one girl.
Much like when launching a product, my wife and I have had a several month runway to prepare. I wanted to make sure I was more than prepared to become the best father I could possibly be. So, I immediately took to reading and studying the art of fatherhood. I asked for advice. I talked with my wife about how we’ll parent.
We got into the trenches.
Expecting two children is no joke either. Take the typical tasks fathers-to-be must tackle in preparation and double it. I built two cribs, purchased two of every single item on the registry, and did so all while attempting to meet my pregnant wife’s expectations. It goes without saying that you won’t find a more difficult customer to impress than the embodiment of your better half preparing for her lifelong dream-come-true situation.
Everything has to be perfect.
Especially to her. And because of that, I’m happy to say it is. Or, at least I like to believe it is.
A large part of our parenting strategy focuses on differentiation. Having twins means we’re building two lives simultaneously. They will, undoubtedly, experience many of the same things at the same time. This makes it even more important for us to ensure they each establish their own individuality and unique personality. This will inevitably be tested after birth, but we’ve already laid the necessary foundations for them to mold their own identities over the first few years of growth.
I have many predisposed notions on how my children’s developments are going to go. Everything is based around our own parenting goals and genuine concern for their futures. These are things that we can be uber meticulous about, or merely set them as guidelines for the kids to follow. Either way, it’s an organized structure — and it makes me feel sane to have some sort of plan for them growing up.
Since daddy is a musician, entrepreneur, and athlete, the ambitious side of me expects them to pursue all these endeavors in order to decide what they enjoy best. Where I may have failed at not focusing on one specialty, they have the platform (and my mistakes) from which to piggyback.
Our Key Performance Indicators
In no particular order, here are some of the aspects that I believe make up a healthy and beneficial early childhood:
- Creative Thinking: Children should possess their own unique perspective on everything. While it’s healthy to learn to do things directly from their parents, their unique quirks should be celebrated in a way that leads to pride and confidence. If an elephant needs to be blue for them, they should be empowered to make blue elephants a thing. Without confidence in actions such as these, a child carries on through life never believing their original ideas carry any worth.
- Sociability: Because it seems almost all my peers are having kids right now, my children will grow up with a lot of friends. Exposing them to this early allows their social characteristics to mature more holistically. Personal relationships are essential to caring, sharing, and overall trait development.
- Problem Solving: If not everything is perfect, then there is something to be improved upon. This is the fundamental groundwork to all entrepreneurial thinking. Children should proactively identify what makes them less than 100% happy and figure out the best ways to close those gaps (with our help, of course). When you carve their personal situations in this way, children quickly learn the importance of being persistent (while not becoming spoiled or greedy).
- Make Art: I believe kids should be given tools to create things very early on. You better believe my children will be handed pens, paintbrushes, and instruments often. I will encourage them to write, draw, and release whatever versions of their personality they have locked in their tiny little bodies at any given moment.
- Activities: Family walks, playtime, or catch — I can’t wait to be able to expose them to the miraculous capabilities that the human body possesses. Guiding them toward a physical passion is critical. However, never would I want to force them into a sport or extracurricular activity they aren’t passionate about.
- Responsibility: Whether it’s behavioral or financial, a major part of becoming a free-thinking individual is accepting the responsibility to make decisions on your own. It’s a parent’s job to make sure our youngsters are always thinking maturely and acting responsibly. This can best be molded by demonstrating (and emphasizing) social norms and value over time.
I’m the Cool Dad
It might not be a paying gig, but it’s going to be my favorite one yet. Like I said earlier, this is the job that makes me feel the most proud and indispensable.
And although, they aren’t even born yet, it’s already the greatest feeling in the world.
I also look forward to somehow incorporating my children into my entrepreneurial ventures in the future. I already have an educational venture called Lil Mogul slated for launch sometime next year — which falls in alignment with their own real-world development. (Ping me if you’d like more information.)
And as for their own tiny adorable digital footprints? Well, that’s a topic for a much longer (and more controversial) blog post covering touchy subjects such as internet privacy and legacies. I’ll have to save that one for another time.
They’re Digital Natives
I’m aware and accepting of the fact that my kids will have a much more public life than I did as a child. I’ve embraced this notion so much so that I’ve already built their online brands for them.
An online presence is better than the best resume.
Therefore, you can follow my kids’ lives on their own personally branded websites (and social profiles).
Yup, I’m that dad.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.