Absentee Father

There’s a trend going around all over social media and with “talking heads” proclaiming that you’ll find nirvana if you just hustle harder and work more.

We get up earlier and earlier.

Stay up later and later.

Crush it at our main gig and then move on to our side-hustle.

We’re men. That’s what we do. We hunt and bring back the kill. Right? I mean, that’s what men do. Right?

Have you ever stopped and asked why you’re hustling? Who you’re doing it for?

All too often I speak with businessmen who take pride in being busy. I certainly used to.

I wore it like a badge of honor.

How are you doing Doug?

“Ah… Busy!” (or tired, which is code for busy)

The businessmen I speak to bust their butts day in and day out until they look up and find out that they’ve just become a bank account to their children and most likely their wife.


Their “sacrifice” is all too often in vain. They start off with the story that they are doing it for their family, but in the end, the truth is they end up doing it for themselves. They do it for their ego.

Months of grinding it out turn into years and years turn into decades unless they burn out or end their lives.

Morbid, I know, but it’s the truth. Just do a Google search, and you’ll see how staggering the statistics are.

Odds are pretty good that if you’re a business owner, you’ve thought at least that it would just be easier to end it all.

Your kids don’t know you because you’re never around. Even when you are around, you’re on your phone, or you’re tuned out and not present because you’re exhausted.

That spins into a feeling of guilt which is usually followed by another drink.

Then you do it all over again.

Groundhogs day.

You keep reading the books and listening to the podcasts that tell you that you just need to put in more work, so you do.

And before you know it, it’s too late. Your kids are grown up, and you don’t have a relationship with them.

Ever heard of that song Cats in the Cradle? If you’re a father and a business owner, I dare you to listen to it. Double dog dare you.

There’s another way.

It too takes hard work, but it’s a different kind of hard work. It requires you to face up to your demons. It requires you to face yourself and do so with love and grace, which can be extremely hard. It requires you to put in the work.

For most business owners, it’s easier to simply do what they know – grind it out and hopefully, you’ll hit payday. Then things will be different.

But we both know that’s not true.

In the book, the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, not one regret had to do with wanting more money, more things, or wishing they had worked more.

Be courageous and choose differently. Step up and do the internal work. That’s where you’ll hit the real payday… and those around you will love you for it.

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