From that crucial sales projection meeting to playing dinosaurs in the garden, working fathers cram so much into a typical day. One minute you could be practising a pitch or meeting a supplier and the next explaining how a car engine works – so you need to be adaptable above all else.
Positive Mental Attitude
If there’s one thing that sets people who are successful in business apart, especially entrepreneurs, it’s that they have an ability to believe in the best possible outcome in a very pragmatic way. And there’s no better training ground for this skill than in the arena of parenthood. You don’t know anything about Jedi mind tricks until you’ve tried to coerce a reluctant two-year-old into putting their pyjamas on – they can be the toughest of CEOs. Practising a ‘hard sell’ becomes a daily routine. So just think of those problematic suppliers as giant toddlers who need to be coaxed along with smiles – it goes a long way towards keeping you upbeat in challenging circumstances.
The Power of Food
Sweets are a useful bribery tool for kids when all else fails, but this rule can also apply to your boss or trickier customers. There’s no better gateway to a harmonious working relationship than a full stomach, so if you ever have a tricky day ahead, arm up with a few sweet treats on your way into the office, and you could soon be winning friends and influencing people left, right and centre. Asking for a pay rise or tackling a hard conversation can be done in a more relaxed setting over lunch or dinner. And never underestimate the power of a few ice creams on a hot day for winning over co-workers and children alike.
Thinking on Your Feet
Kids can be unpredictable, making bizarre demands out the blue and asking for minute detail on arcane topics – does that remind you of anyone at work? So parenting can offer you a lot of skills when it comes to creative thinking and responding quickly to the latest micro-crisis, whether that be a dropped lollipop or a wave of bad PR.
The obvious gain from playing dad is that you learn a lot about how to manage your time better. You get used to multitasking because that’s what family life demands. With kids running around, you can’t take your eye off the ball for a second, and that can be massively useful when you run a business. Part of being able to juggle so much is knowing when to outsource – that could be finding someone local to help take care of the ironing, hiring quality IT support services to keep your business running or delegating some of the meal prep to older children. Think about ways you can transfer whatever isn’t ‘mission critical’ to someone else to keep the wheels turning.