In this episode, fathers/entrepreneurs Mike Bruny and Jeremie Miller join Charlie to talk about how they’ve learned to balance entrepreneurship and fatherhood. In addition to being fathers, both Jeremie and Mike have been pursuing entrepreneurial projects. In this episode, they talk about some of the challenges of being a dad, being an entrepreneur, being a hyper-creative, and juggling multiple different projects.
[3:35] - Currently, Mike is working a full time gig, working part-time to get his MBA, and is father to a three-year-old son, Emerson. Before his son was born, Mike was working for Intel as a manager, and when it shut down and his son was born, he started working on projects and staying home to help raise his son. The biggest thing he noticed about fatherhood was a divide between a dad’s contributions and a mom’s.
[5:22] - Jeremie is dad to a nine-year old son, Finn. He had the unique opportunity to be involved in the feeding aspects of his son’s life, and he ended up spending more time at home than “normal,” and instead of going back to a full time teaching job, he started his business and is currently a mix of entrepreneur and dad.
[7:45] - One challenge comes from balancing work that makes money versus doing work that supports the family non-economically. There may still be some bias that the male journey should be focused on making money, and identity can be attached to that. Both Mike and Jeremie have struggled with “the way things are supposed to be” in terms of traditional gender roles and also some insecurity from a financial standpoint.
[12:35] - Time versus money: Jeremie and his family discuss whether their family needs more time from him or more money. Though there is understanding from his wife, it is still a struggle to accept that she makes more money than him. Mike talks about how he struggles with feeling like he needs to give more of both, and how he will be able to do that.
[15:20] - Charlie brings up the fact that they are pursuing their entrepreneurial ventures on less time than some of their entrepreneurial peers. Jeremie talks about the struggle of comparing his success to others who may be able to focus more of their time on their entrepreneurial ventures.
[20:53] - How can child-rearing minimize, constrain, or affect creative cycles and the rate at which someone can create something? There is more at stake when there are other people (wives, kids) depending on your success. Mike talks about finding “smaller times” to get things done when he can, as well as practicing creativity in his interactions with his son; his struggle remains aligning who he is with his work.
[25:30] - Jeremie found that when he began to compartmentalize his creativity and the time with his son, he was better and more focused on each. The experience for every dad is going to be different.
[29:40] - Charlie and Jeremie talk about the difference between society today and how things have changed since the time they were raised. Mike adds how he has focused on some different language techniques, so Emerson can see the value of effort. And remembering these aspects for ourselves, not just conveying them to our kids, is very important.
[35:30] - Once we’re aware of these aspects, it is important to create space to recognize and celebrate those things. In this space, we can work on growing and manifesting what’s possible now.
[38:55] - We can’t be the best at everything all the time. Jeremie, Mike, and Charlie all talk about examples where one (or all) of our roles may fall slightly short of our expectations.
[43:24] - There are several aspects of parenthood that don’t always get discussed. These types of things are most important to talk about and be honest about, even if the conversations are uncomfortable to have.
[51:40] - It is important to understand that everyone will have different shame triggers. How you solve these particular challenges will be very fluid and different depending on the set of circumstances surrounding it. Finding your way of processing, discussing, and embracing these questions and challenges is the better way to go instead of not asking those questions.
[53:20] - Final words from Mike and Jeremie: every day is a day to learn something new and you can do it! To all the dads out there, you’re modelling something unique and amazing for your kids. Even when you don’t feel like things are going right, you’re still bringing value tp your failures by sharing that with your children.
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