Earlier this year I became a dad. Unless you are a complete bastard – everything changes. And it has been one amazing change after another. Every morning for the past couple weeks now I wake up to her smile – I think I have one of the happiest babies I have ever seen. She started laughing recently – absolutely the most amazing thing I may ever hear.
I have always been future oriented, even before I realized what that meant. In high school I failed one class: physics. Properly so since I stopped attending classes. Math was never a strong point and physics was plenty of math. Math, that I knew even then I would never, ever have any need for based on my interests or possible career paths. And to date it stands I was correct about physics (thankfully).
The risks in failing this next chapter of life though are far greater. I am now forced to take a long-term approach to everything for my daughter’s sake. From what I do to how I do it. Gary Vaynerchuk has a great philosophy that he wants to live his life in a manner than his grand-children will be proud of him (because everything you do, they’ll be able to find via Google/whatever replaces Google in the future). I believe that’s a most admirable goal. Sadly, one lacking in the conduct of many people today.
So AQR is certainly geared towards scratching some itches of my own. But I feel it also represents the best opportunity for me to provide for my daughter. While also ensuring as she grows up I can be there and do it all in a manner that she – (and her kids ?) – will be proud of the way I did so.
Word of Advice for Parents Tempted by (Social) Entrepreneurship
I think anyone who wants to start a business or social organization that thinks they can’t – should know they certainly can if they’ve raised a child.
I cannot think of a greater responsibility than being completely responsible for another’s life. Running a business becomes a cakewalk in comparison. And the constant adapting that is required in parenting – from adjusting sleep habits and schedules to figuring out what makes your child laugh next – is perfect training for dealing with an ever changing business climate, adapting will be second nature to you.
There’s also no better reason to start something you see capable of improving your life or that of those around you than to leave a better future for your child. All the while serving as a role model for them, teaching them only they will set their limitations in life.
P.S. – If you ever started a business and you have a husband or wife or partner, you know what amazing people they are. It continues to amaze me that my wife stands by me as I pursue one (circumstantially) insane idea after another (AQR is the now the fifth time I have approached my wife with…I’m starting a….). I keep joking that I need to start a support group for partners of entrepreneurs and maybe I should – they deserve all the support they give us in return and then some.
P.P.S. – I am also surrounded by an amazing cast of friends. Their collective talents never cease to amaze me. They too provide the inspiration and support that allow me to continue pursuing my passions in concert with them. I hope those that have and will join my family for dinner know I consider them an extended family as well.