#1 DAD

Little startups that pay in love are a blank canvas that comes to life through you.

By nature, parents want to provide the means for children to go beyond their potential. As entrepreneurs, when we see the best of ourselves in someone we care so much about, a sense of renewed purpose often emerges. To celebrate Father’s Day, here are a three parenting tactics I’ve found especially interesting.

You’ve Got Mail

Secure an email for your little one, then use this communication channel to write to them as they grow up. Whether you start writing before they are born or begin this practice later in their life, imagine what a gift an inbox full of thoughtful updates will be in the future! This new email can be shared with family and used for future account setup if you want, but at a minimum, you will have created a personalized time machine.

Along with all the sentimental content you’ll deliver someday, your kids will appreciate having a solid address to use as their primary email someday. Such a preferred email address may not be available years from now, so I’d suggest securing something they can use long after childhood. For example, firstname.lastname@gmail.com is a safe place to start and while you’re at it? Perhaps it’s a good time to register a domain in case they ever want to build on their name.com.

They Grow Up

Similar to how death can inspire us to live, recognizing that kids will grow up, reminds us to enjoy everything about each moment. Everyone tells us to cherish the simple joys of life, but it may be worth getting a little extra creative. One way to enhance your family’s ability to relive memorable moments, is by using multimedia marketing skills to tell family stories in a way that makes memories easier and more fun to revisit. Most people have an endless collection of photos/video on their smartphone, but scrolling around a digital device doesn’t translate into something a group can enjoy together. As we all know, it’s easy for good things to get lost when there’s so much noise as well.

Your future self will thank you when you spend the extra effort to organize content outside of the latest social media platform. This attentive, pro-active organization will also make relics easier to craft. Whether it’s a photo slideshow you put together each year, a fun collection of audio recordings, something printed that sits on the shelf, or a video edit that highlights your adventures, the time spent compiling these legacy projects will rarely feel wasted.

Avoid Routine

“Time flies” and “they grow up so fast” is accurate, but I’m convinced that avoiding routine may slow down time. The freedom to be spontaneous is a privilege and everyone will define such freedom differently, but a proven path to explore such a reality is entrepreneurship. Boundless hard work, dedication, and resiliency are what it takes, but our own suffering provides a stronger sense of purpose and the chance to enjoy more treasured time doing things that make us happy.

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What’s your go-to parenting tip? Share it as a comment or hit me up!

The time and energy family life requires is immeasurable, but as the love from your kids somehow unlocks more hours in the day, new perspectives form and fresh motivation is released. Perhaps a reward for parents who lead by example is the opportunity to share everything with those who matter most.

Career Nirvana

Career nirvana is achieved when your community, work, and personal life are in harmony. This state of mind comes from happiness, health, and wealth emanating from the freedom to do whatever you’re best at with people you care about.

There is little holding you back from achieving such splendor. Start by doing remarkable work you enjoy. This creativity earns attention and delivers intellectual, human, financial, network, cultural, physical, and institutional capital. As we learn from The Startup Community Way, the Seven Capitals keep you building by using what you have, to attract what you want.

Let passion fuel persistence, then fuse your career portfolio into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. As you connect into community, be generous by accelerating others and use the trust that creates to do it more often. When this becomes routine, your generosity will leave a legacy. For innovators looking to change the world, such a legacy grants enduring satisfaction and furthers the sense of euphoria.

As a fulfilling career is composed, it’s easier to find work-life balance. Remember, we work to live. We don’t live to work. Nobody looks back wishing they had spent more time in the office. Use the freedom you create to embrace those you love while doing more things that make you happy.

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“The peace and satisfaction of building what you truly care about is one of life’s greatest gifts.”  –You Don’t Need This Book

This may sound idealistic, but it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. This approach to work requires creativity, immeasurable time, immense ambition, and advanced efficiency. As discussed in the Side Hustles chapter of YDNTB, an acute awareness of your personal bandwidth is essential to optimizing when and how resources are utilized. It can also be tempting to spend too much time on things that are fun but may not have real potential. Be humble enough to recognize what you have and what it will take to evolve your idea(s) into reality. Managing multiple “hobbies that pay” takes serious effort, but the reward is extraordinary work you love talking about and an inner peace that provides transformative happiness.

If you achieve career nirvana, be thankful, but recognize that things will always change. What you have today may not be the same tomorrow. Keep building to enjoy the moment, then make it last with generosity that recycles a sense of abundance for others along the way.

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Cheers to everyone who made last week’s book launch a huge success! Signed softcovers were shipped nationwide and more orders continue to pour in. As you dig into YDNTB, I’d love to see photos, hear what resonates and explore fresh ways to accelerate your work.

Love Triangles

As we celebrate our love for one another, Valentine’s Day felt like a heartfelt time to reflect on building a business with and around members of your family.

The permanence of family leads to many business partnerships. Some operations pass from one generation to the next. Others spawn when family members decide to start something new. Still more businesses come together as people create new family bonds and merge their work into love triangles.

It seems obvious to start something with those you love. In some cases, the convenience makes it easy. In other cases, it can become a necessity to turn the family into a team. No matter the why, transparency and trust within a family is hard to beat. This allows family members to wholeheartedly lean on one another. Such an unwavering ability to count on each other is why family businesses always have a chance.

While family businesses can thrive for generations, there are dangerous downsides as well. Not everyone who loves each other should work together. Home and work are often like night and day. The difference between the two makes each one better. Living and working with family makes it hard to separate the two. This can lead to arguments that extend far beyond the office. These inescapable emotions can damage relationships and bleed into the broader team. While you’ll spend the most time with your family, building a life together doesn’t mean you have to work on the same thing. A healthy amount of individuality allows each person to do more and space makes coming back home even sweeter.

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Do you work with family? If so, share your best tips in the comments! Also, did you know Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor wrote an entire book on this, called Startup Life?

Whether you build a business together or not, family dynamics affect all entrepreneurs. The most direct impact comes from your significant other. Your co-founder in life has a huge influence on your ability to thrive as an entrepreneur. Almost like separations of power, each person can provide contrasting perspectives, honest feedback and valuable support to balance the time, financial and emotional responsibilities of life.

Co-founders in life who share authentic trust give each other stability, fewer restrictions and more opportunities. If you find the love of your life, help them be their best. Admit they are the better half and be humble enough to let them return the favor. Such motivation from inside the home fuels a deep sense of abundance. The result is a more determined mind, body and soul eager to learn from the person who knows you best. This constant support brews loving vibes that spill into your work. Two people who push each other to be better than they would have been alone is the ultimate gift.

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To love is to share life together,
to build special plans just for two,
to work side by side,
and then smile with pride,
as one by one, dreams all come true.
The Meaning of Love – Krina Shah

Pure Wonder

Children embody a state of wonder that entrepreneurs can learn from.

They wake up each morning without a plan. They have no preconceptions. No judgments. No worries. A lack of expectations allow kids to naturally live in the moment. They get excited about the little things and cry over nothing. Their states of pure wonder is fascinating.

Now, fast forward 20 years. The world hardens us. We want to impress and make our mark, but life can feel exhausting and the need to make ends meet adds constant stress. Our experiences make us more intelligent, capable and aware of our surroundings, but they also limit our ability to feel pure wonder.

As you’re building a business, release from the daily grind by thinking like a child. Pretend you were born yesterday. Be silly once in awhile. Forget the agenda. Color outside the lines. Get weird to solve problems. Laugh at your mistakes. Play in your sandbox and have fun getting messy. Let a child-like sense of wonder shrink your ego to make room for what’s next. What you’re building matters and if your work allows you to feel pure wonder, be thankful and pass it on.

The Holiday Walk

We’ll keep the stories around here focused on entrepreneurship and community-driven economic development, but passionate work is fueled by personal experiences and those we share our lives with. Let’s give these reflections a little heart by sprinkling in some personal experiences and plenty of fun.

I’ll start by sharing an emotional moment I felt today. As our little family got cozy by the fire to finish a magical Christmas day, we enjoyed watching Soul. The ending reminded me that one of the greatest joys in life is the opportunity to infuse the very best of ourselves into those who follow our footsteps. I felt the gravity of such purpose and let my eyes water as I whispered a few loving words to my little startup that pays in love.

As we spend time celebrating the holiday season with family and friends, below is a seasonal cocktail to keep things interesting as well. Eggnog is a seasonal drink that’s too thick to drink by itself, but the trick is adding Diet 7up. Here’s a fun compliment to your next stroll around the neighborhood looking at holiday lights.

The Holiday Walk
  • Full Glass of Ice
  • 1/3 Captain Morgan Private Stock
  • 1/3 Eggnog
  • 1/3 Diet 7up
  • Stir, then add a dash of cinnamon