The joy of fatherhood is one that most will say you can’t begin to understand until you have your own children. Through all the stress of responsibility, uncertainty, and chaos that can accompany the arrival of a new child, the general consensus is that it opens up a capacity to love you never thought possible.
Today, many fathers are managing not only the challenges of starting a family, but also balancing the spinning plates of entrepreneurship. In honor of Father’s Day this month, we spoke to our very own Asa Sealy, co-founder of Miami Under 40, and Carter Brown, Pastor of Crossbridge Church in Brickell, to get an inside look at the interaction between fatherhood and business in the lives of these young professionals.
Balancing Work & Home
One of the most important things to master, it seems, is balance. In his typical day-to-day, Carter shared with us the delicate dance that goes on between work and family to keep things flowing for Crossbridge Brickell, AND keep him up to date on his baby boy’s latest shenanigans.
“Heading out for work is always one of the most difficult parts of the day,” says Carter. He makes sure to fit in time while working to make sure he’s not missing out on the important things. “There’s always the occasional FaceTime and conversation with my wife on how [my son] Roman just did something hilarious or ridiculous.”
A key thing to maintaining this balance, on which both Asa and Carter agree, is fighting to protect the time set aside for family. While making sure to prioritize the needs of your business, it’s important to seek out those windows of time that allow for family to be the sole focus. Once those are carved out, keep this precious time free from other distractions!
The trick to help you do this? Carter says he and his wife plan out their quality time weeks in advance. “My job includes nights, weekends, and sporadic schedules throughout the week. Monday is my day off, and I work hard to protect that day at all costs.”
Dedication as a Driving Force
It’s hard to get anywhere without dedication, just as it’s hard to dedicate yourself to something for a long time and not see any results. It’s essential, and the fruits that it bears are plain to see both in the business world and for a growing family.
For Asa, this is important to know and practice right from the start. “If I could tell my younger self one thing about starting a business, it’d be to pick one thing, one lane to stay in and dedicate yourself to that until you’ve mastered it. Then you can begin branching out, rather than scrambling to do ten things from the get go. I’m still trying to follow that advice to this day,” he says laughing.
Family-wise, dedication manifests in the little things done to stay present, stay involved, and go the extra mile, especially during those crucial first years of a newborn’s life. “Knowing what I know now, I’d probably go back and have [my daughter] Sofia sooner.” Asa’s family has grown a second time with the addition of a baby boy, with which he plans to apply those indispensable tidbits of wisdom early on.
One final and resounding theme that came up while chatting with both fathers was the golden virtue of patience. Asa’s first word of advice for entrepreneurs becoming new fathers stresses the value of keeping calm and collected. “Everything is gonna be fine. A lot of people like to tell you how hard it’s going to be and that it’ll drive you crazy and you won’t sleep. But once you’re a father, you realize it’s not that bad because you want to do this. You want to do what you need to do to be a good dad, you were made to do this. So I would say, not to worry and to stay calm, you will figure it out.”
For Carter, this is something he applies to his work life as well. “Discouragement and setbacks are just part of the process. What matters is how you respond.” In raising Roman and in leading his church, he’s found that practicing patience is part of what helps move you forward. “Progress never comes without patience.” It’s what allows for successful partnerships as well, which he’s learned are key. “Partnership is much more fulfilling than independence. For me, part of becoming a better father is recognizing the importance, value, and incredible spirit of my wife, Roman’s mom.”
While it’s definitely easier said than done, our dads shared a few life hacks to help in the patience department, as well as other aspects of fatherhood, while building a business. An occasional change of scenery and the more basic (read: quiet) toys are the best ways to keep you level-headed and the kiddos entertained, taking time to schedule your time actually SAVES you time, and lastly… magic erasers. Carter believes they’re a must-have!
“They take all sorts of stains off the wall, like those of an ill-timed blowout. If you don’t know what a blowout is… you will.”