Thoughts on Fatherhood (and Entrepreneurship)
As some of you know, 8 weeks ago I became a dad. It’s been an amazing ride already and only getting better. I’m still processing what the hell happened, but a few learnings about fatherhood are starting to surface.
I realize this may be just sleepless delusion, but they seem to be closely correlated with my learnings about entrepreneurship. So here’s Dmitri’s List of Knowledge about Fatherhood (and Entrepreneurship). Please note, I have no illusions that fatherhood can compare with motherhood. If men had to bear children, human kind would die off a loooong time ago.
Sperm (and ideas) are easy to produce: Seriously, they aren’t worth much. Don’t take too much credit. What happens after is the hard and meaningful part.
Your wife (and cofounder) deserves way more credit than you expected: They are doing all the work. Especially if you’re still giving yourself credit for the sperm (or the idea).
You need a team: My wife and I don’t have family nearby, so it’s been harder, but it helps to have a solid support team. That doesn’t mean you need to cram all your relatives in your house (or hire a bunch of people before you know what they need to be doing).
You need mentors: This is a big one, especially for first time parents (and entrepreneurs). The amount of mistakes that I avoided by listening to smart people is astounding.
You need to make sacrifices. Period: Sleep is #1. Social life is #2. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a fact to be dealt with. It will come back to you once things are rolling but don’t expect to be going out 5 nights a week if you just had a kid (a startup).
Everything takes time: I used to think this is bad, now I learned to appreciate it. Everything follows the principle of a seed. Certain things you cannot speed up (can’t have 9 women give birth to 1 baby in 1 month).
Its really fun to watch her/him/it grow: Seriously, it’s amazing. Simple but amazing.
Prepare to deal with shit: 'Nuff said
Fail fast: If you fail, just give up and make a new one. What????
You can do it: This is the most important one for me. I’ve had doubts about my ability to be a good father and entrepreneur. Everyone does, it’s normal (or so I’ve heard). The good news is I’m not the first, and there is a ton of support, especially today where you can learn from others online. When doubts creep up, I remind myself that each of them were in my shoes and had the same worries. It’s very important to dissipate any doubts quickly before you go crazy.
That’s it for now and I’d love for you dads/enrepreneurs to add to the list.
PS: Nadine, you’re amazing. Thank you for everything.