Most business leaders and entrepreneurs envision their goals, but we often forget to include our families in them.
I recently had a good conversation with my friend Scott Landis on his podcast "The Awakened Life," and we got into the topic about fatherhood and family. As I talked about one of Iron Deep's values is for business leaders to 'reject passivity,' Scott asked me why I thought entrepreneurs become passive at home and in their family lives.
This was a good question. I answered it by simply saying, "Because it's hard." Running a business can be difficult, but raising a family is even harder. In my business, if someone doesn't respect me, I can fire them. At homes, if my wife or child doesn't respect me, I have to learn how to deal with it and work hard to shift the relationship. You can't fire your kids. You have to keep showing up.
Being a business leader can be glamorous. The more our business grows, the more money we make, the more goals we hit, the more recognition and awards we receive. But being a dad in our culture today isn't sexy. It isn't glamorous. In fact, our culture mocks dads and makes them look stupid on all of our TV shows. So it's easy as men to pursue the path of less resistance and more rewards and dive deeper into our business. But the more we slowly do this, day by day, and week by week, we end up growing distant from our families. Until they seem far away.
The reality is, nothing is more significant in a man's life than being a good dad and husband. To raise a great family is one of the most important things you can ever do. Even greater than any business goals you can ever accomplish. Look at our societal problems. They all root from broken homes, broken families, and broken fathers. If you want to change the world for good, building a great business isn't the first route you should take, it's being a great father.
I have to remind myself of this all the time. It's easy for me to build my business over here and leave my family over there. But if I want to be a great father and a good business owner, then I need to learn how to include my family in all the goals I create for my life. Whatever business goals I have, I need for my family to be a part of them.
That's why at Iron Deep, I don't want to have lots of events that pull entrepreneurs away from their families more. We want to create events for families. Missions trips you can bring your kids on, marriage retreats you can grow in, as well as giving business aid.
The other night, I was tired and was lamenting putting my kids to bed, because of the energy it takes. But then I realized, i don't "have to" put my kids to bed, I "get to" put my kids to bed. It's not as much of a chore as it is a blessed opportunity that I can enjoy and cherish. As I shifted my perspective, I had the best time reading my kids bedtimes stories and tucking them in. As men, we need to shift our perspectives. We need to recognize our roles as husbands and fathers as more important and meaningful roles than business owners and entrepreneurs. That's how we begin to truly impact the world for good and leave a lasting legacy.