How to Be a Good Dad and a Successful Entrepreneur - ManageWP

How to Be a Good Dad and a Successful Entrepreneur

Vladimir and Petra.

About 13 months ago I became a father to a baby girl, Petra. A couple of days later we officially launched ManageWP. In two days my life completely changed and I had to adjust to these new circumstances. Luckily, this is what entrepreneurs are good at.

I can’t say I am an expert on the matter now but I learned something that has been of immense help to me and I think can be to you in the similar situation. Even if you do not have a child I may be able to show you how you can be a better entrepreneur.

Quality Always Beats Quantity

My job requires that I usually spend about 12 hours each day working. To have a chance of being with my daughter I usually get up around 6am and spend a couple of hours with her before I go to work. Since I was feeling guilty for spending so much time away from her, from time to time I would skip work and stay at home. But there was always something happening that demanded my attention, while at the same time I was trying to completely devote to Petra.

As a result I was sucking at both — I could not complete everything I needed at work which made me feel miserable and I was not spending quality time with my daughter which made me even more miserable.

The solution is a bit of wisdom that came from my wife. It does not matter how much time you spend with her, she said, it is the quality of the time spent that matters.

That completely changed things. I was no longer trying to do two things at the same time. I stopped being unhappy for not being able to do them both as best I could.

I learned that when I am with my daughter she should have 100% of my attention — there should be no interruptions, no other important things to do, nothing but her and me. And the same principle applied to my working hours — when I’m working on ManageWP I am 100% attentive to its needs. In this way I can offer the kind of quality attention that both Petra and my business deserve without compromise.

This morning, I was strolling by the riverside with Petra. She picked up a stick and started digging up the earth in the way that children do. We spent around fifteen minutes at the same spot, her doing the same thing. An old lady walked by, looked at us and said, “Only a dad could have such patience.”

When we spend time together I feel fulfilled and I am sure she feels the difference.

It is Okay to Be a Parent and an Entrepreneur

I really, really love my daughter. And I really, really love my job. My daughter makes me happy, fulfils me, gives me a purpose. And so does my job. It is perfectly fine to have both and not be ashamed of it.

I hope that my daughter’s life will be better because I am successful at what I do.

I hope that one day she will have passion for her work in the same way that I do, because I believe that having balance in your life and devoting everything to whatever you are focused on is the key.

 

Vladimir Prelovac

Vladimir is the Founder of ManageWP, and is a frequent contributor to the WordPress community - in the form of numerous plug-ins, tools, WordCamp talks and a book by the title WordPress Plugin Development.

20 Comments

  1. Cotton Rohrscheib

    Being a new dad myself, this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Nick Graff

    Agreed! Quality time is super important. I have also noticed that quantity is important too because those lasting memories seem to be the times when we went camping, mission trip, or something that took a lot of time.

  3. Carol Lamoreaux

    This is a great post! So many of us who are parents feel that guilt of not spending time with our kids. I know I have! I have been trying to “be where I am” and fully engaged with my kids when I am with them and trying not to think about what I should be doing for my business. It takes effort, but it sure makes a big difference!

  4. Ivica

    Very helpful post to all dads :-) Here it is another one, another interesting perspective/methodology:

    http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/17YnWh/voiceboks.com/how-to-effectively-be-a-work-at-home-parent-while-keeping-your-sanity/

  5. Erica

    A bit late, but congrats on becoming a dad and parent entrepreneur! I know for us, our biggest excitement, is as our boys get old enough to work with us…even when it’s just letting them “man the camera” :)

    1. vprelovac

      Thank you – I am expecting Petra to be more clever than her dad, really kicking off the family business :)

  6. karlevid

    i can only total agree! now i need to get better in the pratice. vladimir thx for sharing.

  7. Jason

    My 5yo daughter was just in bugging me to play with her when this article popped up in my email. We read it together and she really liked the idea (except the getting up at 6am part). Thanks for the good timing. :)

    1. vprelovac

      The 6am is sort of a must in my case anyway – that’s when she gets up :)

  8. George Bowser

    Great article. Definitely needed, as I was not sure how to balance the two.

  9. Richard Dietz

    Awesome post Vlad. I am a father and entrepreneur as well and this was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. I will occasionally slip back into bad habits of trying to spread myself too thin between both, but I just keep reminding myself how much better it feels to do it well instead.

    Thanks for the reminder and I hope it helps other new fathers focus and spend that quality time with the kids.

    1. vprelovac

      Thank you Richard! Entrepreneurs has everything that it takes to be great fathers – we just need to find the best ‘converting’ method’ 😉

  10. Darnell Jackson

    the one vaccine that will cure the world of all it’s ills is Fathers.

    This is an excellent inspiring post and I hope people read it and share it.

    1. vprelovac

      Thanks Darnell, I hope to write more of my reflections in the future.

  11. David

    This post really resonates Vladimir…

    having two young kids I know it can be difficult to give the time you want to both them and work your business (that you need to do to support them), but whatever you’re doing it has to be 100% focused.

    This becomes even more important as they get a little bit older and want your undivided attention, not just your time! Also don’t let them down by making promises you might have to break!

    Great post – love it. Thanks (and for the t-shirt that arrived today!)

    1. vprelovac

      Thank you! Glad that you (finally) got the tshirt!

  12. Ray Flores

    Vlad –
    100% of your attention to your children (even if for 15 minutes) is more fulfilling and rewarding than any less percentage because of ‘life’ getting in the way of that attention.
    Most entrepreneurs try to multitask, and end up dropping the ball somewhere…something always has to give, break or completely die to get the full attention.
    Great to be aware of that now, then when it is too late and you have lost ‘their’ attention.
    Ray

    1. vprelovac

      Multitasking does not work with children, I learned that lesson. And even if it worked you’d be still missing a lot. That why you don’t multitask fatherhood.

  13. John Saddington

    love this. i’ve got 2 girls and it’s quite possible to have a decent life without sacrificing the business or family. love it.

    1. vprelovac

      By all means. We just need to be fully aware of the challenges in place.

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