Challenge Everything with Alfie Kohn

alfie-kohn
World Renowned author, speaker and thought leader Alfie Kohn is on the podcast. Author of such thought provoking (dare I say controversial) books as….

If you thought that telling your children “good job!” was a good thing, or if you ever offered reward to your kids… then you’ll enjoy this episode. Be ready to challenge you ideas about parenting and how you parent.

Alfie’s website
Alfie on Twitter

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11 Kids, Growth, and Revenue with Author/Entrepreneur Aaron Ross

aaron ross

Aaron Ross is a hustler, although he might not like me to use such a loaded term to describe him. He is a father of 11 children, he is an author, he is a business man and speaker. He HAS to hustle to do all this. He gives a very honest commentary on what it takes to manage all of this simultaneously. It is not easy but it is worth it. Listen up, guys like Aaron don’t come along everyday.

Where to find Aaron online
His business – Predictable Revenue
His book From Impossible to Inevitible
His Instagram (for all his familia shenanigans)

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“Everything is out of wack” with Hiten Shah

hiten shah

Hiten Shah joins the podcast. He needs no introduction for those in the startup space. He has built the following companies and is a father of two young children. He has started three SaaS companies, Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics and Quick Sprout. One is venture capital backed & the others are self-funded. Find Hiten at the links below….

Hiten on Twitter
Hiten’s startup podcast with Steli Efti

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Running Lean with Ash Maurya

ash-maurya

What does Lean have to do with family? Today the thought leader on lean, Ash Maurya, talks about just that. One of my favorite quotes during the interview….

You can’t negotiate for time with a crying baby. I needed to be a lot more efficient with my time. Now I carve out my day systematically.

Shownotes

What do you tell people you do?

I tend to give people a high level answer, and if people ask a question I’ll go in deeper. I say I’m an author, then say I write business books, and on and on.

I’ve recently read your books and bought into the principles, could you talk about writing the book?
  • Before I was an author I called myself an entrepreneur. This was never in the plan.
  • This started by being frustrated with my own processes. We prematurely fall in love with our solution rather than the problem.
  • I didn’t start by writing a book, I started with a blog. It was good timing to start joining the Lean conversation.
  • So I used to be more of a tech founder, and now what I’m doing is I work with entrepreneurs, I speak, I write books, and build software for entrepreneurs.
How have you helped evangelize this and seen the light bulb go on?
  • I began this to get clarity for myself, but began to realize people were making these mindshift mistakes.
  • As I began my research I discovered that there were people all over the world running into the same types of problems.
  • So in my new company I make sure to fall in love with the customer problem. We’re not in the book business or consulting business or software business. We’re trying to build a better entrepreneur.
Where’s the overlap with how you’ve approached parenting?
  • People ask how I balance kids and startups. I dedicated the first book, Running Lean, to my kids because I learned from them the true value of time.
  • You can’t negotiate for time with a crying baby. I needed to be a lot more efficient with my time. Now I carve out my day systematically.
  • I like to spend time early in the day getting an accomplishment done so that I can feel good the rest of the day and live a more productive life.
Would you say now that you’re out of the infant stage, how has that affected your parenting?
  • I’ve grown up with Indian parents, they tend to be heavy on the education side and STEM. Very rigorous. But with the new world you can go online and pick any skill and get good at it.
  • I learned this about myself. Most of my skills have been self taught. School teaches us how to learn.
  • We put our kids in a Montessori school. It’s kids essentially educating themselves. There’s a guide who helps them make sure they get exposure to everything.
  • We try to do that at home too. We don’t plan things for them, they’re able to come up with things for themselves to do.
  • We try to create that space.
How early did they start Montessori?
  • When they were three and two and a half.
With leaving slack time, there’s a direct overlap between how we work, is that what drove you to montessori?
  • In my early years in Nigeria I was going to a Montessori-esk school.
  • Maria Montessori developed this by studying how kids work. Kids being a smaller version of the adult mind, and with different stages of development.
  • Kids do projects and reports together at a younger age when they’re developing social skills.
  • Soft skills are very important as you get older.
  • In this education system we find out that there’s not just one right answer, which is what we know as entrepreneurs too.
  • As long as we teach them how to learn, when they ask us questions we try to make it more socratic.
  • When I work with startups I tell them my work is more behavioral psychology.
What do you hope for for the future?
  • There’s another great book. Strengthsfinder. This unique value proposition applies to individuals, too. So my tend likes math more, and my daughter prefers reading. It’s guiding them and helping them amplify their strengths (while still having enough skill in the other areas).
What’s your two cents you’d give to a new father?

It’s taking it one day at a time. There’s nothing you can do to prepare. It’s life changing in a positive way. The first few months aren’t as interesting, it’s a lot of work, and then once they start to interact with you those are very exciting times. Every age is a great age.
You can learn so much from kids, even about yourself.

Topics
Lean
Entrepreneur
Montessori
Self-learning
Developmental
Education

Links

Strengthsfinder
Running Lean Book
Scaling Lean book
Ash homepage

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Feeling Like Machines Living Together?

Credit: Shutterstock

There is a point that I arrive at with my wife that I hate and it’s routine. Not the good kind of routine where you are building positive habits…

It’s the time when I feel like we are going through life helping each other simply get done what we need to get done. When we feel like we are just co-workers at a factory and putting out fires.

And oh are there fires when you got three kiddos under 5 in a house.
(But you already know that)

The thing about it is, I don’t see it coming until BOOM! It’s happening. I just realize that I feel like I have not talked with my wife at all on a deep level. I have not really talked with my kids on a deep level either. I am just being. I am just working.

And fatherhood takes serious work!

I am sure that you have been there. If you haven’t then either you’re not human or you have some super perfect marriage (which means you’re not human). When it start to happen I try to figure out how and why we got to the place that we did.

Was it that fight we had that was not really resolved?
Was it the finance discussion about some purchases I made that were not in the budget?
Was is the lack of sex we have been having?

Yes yes and yes. But that’s not the core of the issue. The core of the issue and the key that always fixes this funk. The secret “hack” if you will?
Talking to my wife is the number on thing I can do to make this not happen.

Does it correct itself overnight? No
Does it make our marriage perfect? No
Does it make the kids behave like angels? No

What is does is repair the relationship. We are not machines and we need more than text messages back and forth. We need more than to-do lists that we are working together to check off. We need someone that really knows us and supports us.

My biggest weakness is not sharing enough with my spouse and the biggest area that I fail to share openly with her is with my work life. When I am contemplating a decision or had a bad day or can’t get something out of my head, I internalize it. I don’t share it. Why? Well the list is pretty long but a few reasons that come to mind are…

  • She won’t understand.
  • She doesn’t care.
  • I have to take too long to setup the context of the issue.
  • I don’t want to “bring my work home”.
  • I don’t want to think about it myself.

These are stupid excuses. What I need to do is share with her. My work /is/ my life. Is it my entire life? No. But to refrain from sharing it with her is to hold back on what I am going through what I am excited about, what I am worried about. It’s the personal side, the relationship. The thing is, she craves it! She wants to hear about everything, all the things that are going through my head.

Yes, it is hard. It takes practice and intentionality. But, it’s worth it.
Best of all it’s free! Try it today!

I’ve found the most success when I come home from work. Quick 3 step guide.
1. Turn off phone. Like fully off.
2. Sit on couch with my wife. Ignore kids unless someone is on fire.
3. Talk.

Not much more to that other than to make it a habit. I fail, we all fail, but getting back on the horse is the only way to a chance at success.


If you found this useful let me know in the comments, or share it with someone that would find it valuable. We’re all in this together.

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Reuben Gamez of BidSketch

Ruben Gamez is the founder of online proposal software BidSketch. We explore his work habits since starting his own business and “the resistance” which is a concept introduced by Steve Pressfield in his book The War of Art.

ruben-gamez

Ruben’s 2 Cents…

Parenthood is like practice and every opportunity with your children is an opportunity to practice and get better

 

Resources mentioned

 

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Meaningfulness with Ben Toalson, Father of 6

Ben Toalson joins the podcast. If he sounds like a legit podcaster, it is because he is…he is on the Seanwes podcast as well as a podcast on parenting that he does with his wife.

A designer by trade he shares the journey that took him to full time design freelancing and tons of nuggets along the way.

ben toalson family

Ben’s 2 Cents…

The piece a lot of men are still neglecting are themselves and the other areas of their life suffer because of it.

 

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The Tinder for Parents, Soam Lall of Kinnecting

Soam Lall, the founder of Kinnecting  the app that can be summed up as the Tinder for parents, here is the story….

When a father was left to fend for himself with his 15 mo. old daughter for nearly a week, he realized he was at a loss. He didn’t have a network of parents, let alone parents with kids of similar age near him. Random encounters at a playground. A passing nod on a stroll. There were parents everywhere, but they were not accessible.

There had to be a way to help parents meet each other. If popular dating apps were using algorithms for matching singles,  why couldn’t parents use the same logic for being matched with other parents for playdates, advice and recommendations? Take a parent’s location, their mutual friends, interests, children’s age and gender….

Less than a year later, Kinnecting was born.

soam lall

show notes

Soam’s Medium post about founding Kinnecting

 

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The Unspoken side of Fatherhood, Jason Fried of Basecamp

jason-fried

Jason Fried the founder of Basecamp and NYT Best Selling author of Rework and Remote talks about freaking out when he became a father and why it should not be taboo.

As a well known figure and thought leader in the business and tech universes, and most importantly as a guy that always seems cool and collected, it is fun to hear his humble take on parenting. He admittedly freaked out and was nervous for the first weeks and recalls learning a side of himself that he didn’t even know (in a good way).

Jason is adamant about telling new fathers that the first weeks will “punch you in the face” and you may not connect with your new child immediately, thats OK, it’s normal. It takes some time, so don’t feel like you have to fake it. Hearing him preach this advice hit home for me, as I assume it will for most new fathers. It is important to realize that silence in these situations is detrimental. Speak up and share the things you learn, we are all in this together. 

Now for the interview with Jason…

Jason’s 2 Cents…

The first few months suck, the first few months are incredibly hard and they will knock you in your face basically. Then 4 months in your son/daughter will smile and little bit and it will change everything


Show Notes (time stamps approximate)

1:30 a good manager was the foundation of his working career

3:00 the first software product he sold was a program to organize his music collection

4:30 if you’re hiring someone then you should automatically trust them, not assume that they are going to steal from you. If you’re doubting them then you should not be hiring them.

6:00 started his business small and grew very slowly,  the momentum

6:45 growing quickly leads to cutting corners

7:00 making friends analogous to hiring, you don’t take on too many close friends

8:00 grow like a tree, don’t let your ego get the best of you

10:15 growth being fueled by ego is not a new phenomenon, instead ask yourself “why”

13:00 being there for your children early on is huge, they change so much in the early months, exciting to see his son connect words

14:30 being flexible to new parents is baked into how they work at Basecamp, working remotely and flexible with work timing

18:00 “Punished by Rewards” book was recommended to him by DHH

19:00 learning to hold himself back from being overly cautious was a interesting adjustment for him

22:00 the similarities between hiring adults not micro-managing and not being a helicopter parent

23:30 it’s fun to discover more about yourself after becoming a parent

24:00 you learn more about yourself and it is impossible to simulate being a parent. Discovering a part of yourself that you never knew at all.

25:00 a tidbit of knowledge heard when he got married was   “life begins at marriage” and the same he found to be true when he became a father

27:00 the first few months suck and will knock you on your face, and you might not even feel anything. It’s ok. Don’t freak out.

The first few months are incredibly hard and they will knock you on your face and a couple months later your child will smile at you and it will change everything. You might not feel anything. It is hard to connect. It’s ok, don’t freak out.

Quotes:

It’s the greatest thing in the world but it sucks for a little while, don’t freak out.

3 weeks in I didn’t know what I was doing and I was nervous.

You should absolutely do it. It is ultimately the best things ever but it sucks for a while.

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