Darius Monsef – Sniper Parent, Entrepreneur
2 Cent Dad Podcast

Full episode transcript -


I'm not the helicopter pair and I like to think of myself is like not appropriate analogy. But like the sniper parent where I'm in the bushes in the gillie suit,


I can see them. Hopefully, they don't know. I can see them, so they're learning some independence and some ability to do things on their own. But I worry


about them. So, you know, for both parents and kids, it's about having the bravery and courage to sort of get through your thick illness or the injury, which they have. That's Darius Mance F. And he is the serial entrepreneur. Serial nonprofit founder Actually started a farm in Hawaii as well, very interesting guy. And he actually has a real life lightning McQueen Corvette that he drives around and visits kids that air with the Make a Wish Foundation. So to Children's hospitals, sick kids. He's now the CEO of Brave Care, which is an urgent care for pediatrics. So let's jump right into the interview with Darius and good morning. Good afternoon.

Good evening. So today we have Darius Mance F, but most of his friends would call him Bubbs. He is. He was a co founder of color lovers. Also co founder, I believe of creative Market and now is the CEO of Brave Care. But Darius has a really interesting background. Having founded multiple companies, eso has quite a lot of experience and wisdom to share their. He's a father of three kids 74 and two. Um, and it's even started a farm in Hawaii. So So thanks for coming on the show, Darius. Amen.

I appreciate it. Thanks for having me. So, um, tell me about tell me about this farm. I actually, I want to start there because I followed you on instagram and you. It was like Farmer Darius, and it was like on the farm, you know, farming with Bubs. I loved the updates, and I want to hear the background of that.


Yeah, it's an ongoing joke with my wife and I that she's kind of been ableto have multiple husbands in the nine years we've been together. Um, because when we first got together, I was just trying to make all my start up stuff work. Uh, she paid the bills. I made her breakfast every day before she went to work because I had to be at home and was trying to build my Internet things, Um, that graduated to kind of going through y Combinator and having a bit more attraction with the company and raising seed rounds and then being this ah Tek founder able to sell the company Sonam it a bigger company trying to be a professional worker guy, all the different wardrobes and things and struggles that go along with each of those chapters. And then ultimately we moved back to Hawaii, where my wife and I were from, and I spend basically a year dedicated to just sort of like farming and ranching. Um, you know, really got some some wear and tear on my Internet computer hands.

And then, you know, it's several recon dive into it. There is that at the end of that year, really living a dream life, and I think that's what gets communicated most on Instagram is only the highlights, actually was pretty depressed at the end of that and had a breakdown, and it was hard. Like, I understand all the ways in which I'm happy. I just don't feel happy. So we went through an exercise of trying to understand maybe where that was coming from. And I think where we got was that I still had more like gas in the tank to do and build and make things and create. And Hawaii is an amazing place. It's where my wife and I hear from so culturally rich. It's an incredible environment,

just isn't the best environment for doing all those things. The peer group isn't there. The access to resource is fighting with terrible Internet access. Just really felt like I wanted to do this more. And so therefore, I think we want to move back to the West Coast, my families from Portland. So that really was the city. We wanted to go to it and feel good about going back to the Bay Area. We really wanted to give our kids a normal quality of life. Um, and so we ended up in Portland. I really give my wife a bunch of credit appreciation for basically having the conversation of me where I go. Hey, so I think you and the kids were living your perfect lives. I'm not.

I'd kind of like us to move, but obviously, if all we're doing is trading, happiness is I'm all right to just go back to Hawaii and I'll suck it up and make something work. But she created the opportunity for us to do that. And then, most importantly, she's actually really happy here in Portland, and it's fully acclimated to the weather because any time it's a north of 50 degrees, I get a photo of her sunning in the backyard and is outside so good. That's that's cold. But you're clearly. But, uh so, yeah, the farm thing was every place that we've lived,

I started a garden. I like the idea of growing our own food. Um, my I grew up with a ton of privilege in life. My kids are gonna grow up with a ton of privilege. I want them toe, have the opportunities where I can create them to just be a little bit more connected to how the world actually works. Where does your food come from? We've always raised chickens. We have cattle. We still have the herd in Hawaii. You know, if you're gonna eat meat, you should know where it comes from. So in a bunch of ways, we're trying to create those opportunities for them to be more normal and not be surrounded by all the privilege that they have.


And is that something that your parents instilled in you? Or is it you didn't have that And you kind of got it. And then you're saying I don't want repeat this with my kids or explain that


a little bit. I think I had a really nice mix of like that because of the duality of my parents, My father, immigrant, Middle Eastern, successful person, very vain and egotistical, like because I'm a monster F I'm therefore better than most people like a debts just been communicated to me my whole life that were something better. And therefore we're gonna go out and do these things and be successful. And then my mom is ah, Montessori school educator, very compassionate, empathetic woman, and I got to grow up with both of those, and I think that's why I've been successful in some things. Like the nonprofit that I helped co found was that it didn't come just from a place of wanting to do good in the world. Sometimes people that kind of operating that way find one little specific area where they do a lot of meaningful work but I came with the balance of the like,

No, I want how big can get this get. How much good can we do on the biggest scale possible? So I think all along it had the mix of those things and building things in ways that gave back, um and, you know, continuing to have the opportunities to give my kids a really high quality of life. I don't want them to be unaware of all of the other struggle that other people have on. That's hard, because I do like I could be in the store. And I see something that Mike I know she's gonna like this little $4 thing, and I did buy it for, But I don't need to do that every time I see it, I don't want her to think that, like, $4 is nothing.

And that just that, you know, we can get everything that we want. So that's definitely something I'm conscious of, have no further developed plan of how I'm gonna execute that anus. Generally, what that could be. The entire summary of my parenting is I have no general plan for what I'm doing. Um, trying to just do the best job that I can and be thoughtful and conscious of what I'm doing.


Yeah, well, I think you wouldn't be alone in saying that. You know, a lot of guys saying that, you know, I don't have a plan, a big plan, because the interesting thing is, you talked about how you you approach the business problems with the nonprofit problems and you do put a plan in place to say, How do we maximize this? So I would, I would argue, probably are putting in some plans in place. But the the rub I think that I found in in Father's that are entrepreneurs is that you have like when you engage in your business, you can have all these plans and all these action items, and you know,

these growth plans, and then it's like in the world of fatherhood, it's like, you can't really have a plan you got I gotta roll with the punches. So how do you make those two things work if you're so geared towards growth and plans and everything in the business world? So


I think the other side of that, too, is I mean, I would I would say that I don't know if I'm a great one on one father in terms of engagement, like I'm conscious of that. It's hard for me like my brain is so wired to do 100 things at once that when I have to add duties and I'm just there one on one, it's that's exhausting for my brain, which normally wants to do a bunch of things that one sort of focus completely on this little kid on whatever we're doing is difficult for me. Um, and I'm not nearly anywhere on the level of my wife of that. When we spend one on one time or when she's at home with the kids, she's like doing activity. She's like creating things for the kids and like I'm gonna want, like, let's go for a walk like I got to do these things that, like, feel like we're moving in order to occupy that time,

and I don't I know that time is not hurting them. I'm aware of the fact that I could do better, which is painful for me to sort of live in. But I just try and on the other side of that be the most loving and thoughtful and caring and supportive person I could be. It's like I recognize my short falls, and I'm just tryingto give as much as I possibly given the other areas that I can.


Yeah, Do you think, though, that that is a little bit of Ah Ying and a yang with your wife's role in your role? You know that's not necessarily a father mother thing. As much as one might be more engaged in those 11 activities, other ones more like let's do these things together or let's go have a different kind of interaction.


Um, I think by somewhat of just the nature of who we are. Yes, my wife is an early childhood educator. She's a speech language pathologist, works early intervention and language delays with kids. So she's clearly great at the early years and helping kids find their voice and pulling the boards and things out of them. So that's her skill set, and we're fortunate enough that she a wants to be at home in these early years as a primary caregiver for our kids, too, and we have the luxury of being able to do that. So yes, It's definitely the It comes from those things. But like I, we read a number of these kind of, ah, biographies are for kids,

so the stories are simplified, but one of them that comes up very often for me internally is like Barack Obama's mom, who got up at 6 a.m. to teach him for an hour before he goes, went to school every day. I could do that. I'm choosing the sleep, Um, And again, some of that comes on like the privilege of my kids. They're just gonna be okay. Like I'm not worried about them like crap. Like I have to get up if I'm going to give you an equal foot in life, I get to sleep instead of doing that. But I think in every other way, like, what could I be doing for my kid right now?

That actually pushes them further in the ways in which they want to go in the world. Um and then similarly, I I spent a lot of time in terms of the internal Dad struggles around. My oldest daughter is has my wife's athletic abilities, and she's just so coordinated and strong physically, which is up. Take


a side story here because


it's interesting for me. She is awful. It riding a bike. And maybe someday, when she actually hears that she'll be better at it and she'll appreciate the story. But like, isn't it? It's so difficult for me to try and take her for a bike ride. She is so afraid of, like the potential crash or fall that she was unwilling to then get speed. And so it's like a pedal pedal up. Put the feet down, uh, like that you can't ride a bike that way. And if I try and push her, it just drives down a fear cycle. Anger things.

So every time I go, it's like this Ultimate. I'm carrying the bike back on my shoulder high and that she's 100 feet behind me. She's pissed, she's crying. It's like in it, and I walk away from that going like, man. My my daughter just doesn't have confidence. She's not. Chord do. She's not strong, and we had done that. And then literally, the next day we took her to her first ballet class here in Portland. So new studio,

like a legit studio compared to what we had in Hawaii. 30 other girls. New teacher. She just goes straight to the from class. She wants the front position. She carries herself so confidently and strong, and she's so according it's like a constant, literally opposite of all the things she has on the bike. So the one thing for me is daddy like, all right, I'm just really glad that I have been able to find the things in which I can see her true potential, because if all they did was give her opportunities like, write it by or something, I'm gonna feel like, Oh, she's not capable of doing these things.

But for her, it's music, dance, theater. We once read a book where, uh, somebody got stage fright just like, What is that? Why would somebody be afraid? It's like, Well, you just don't have that, Um, so you know, the driving towards what their potential is is something I constantly think about with her, because in dance and music she has such great raw material that I wanna push her as far as she can go.

I don't just need to be a prima ballerina. She doesn't need to be a professional stage actors doesn't need to be a pop singer someday. But if she has the raw potential, where if she continues to be passionate about that, she could achieve it, then I feel some sense of duty to give her every opportunity to get there. My wife and I often disagree on that. She was a competitive gymnast when she was a kid and kind of got burned out on all the pressure, too, you know, achieved something great. I don't particularly care that they get Ah metal someday or whatever the stamp stamp is on the end of the achievement. It's just if they have that potential, I want him to see if they could get there. And so that constant balance of you know how hard you push a kid. When do you give him room to just be a kid and not have a schedule? And, you know, kind of a lot of that is something I don't know the answer to.


Yeah, I think that's super interesting topic because I think there's a there's a finite time of, like zero like eight where kids are developing so much and so you can push him in problem in ways that could be really unhealthy. And you could create things that are you can easily undo later. You know, like like if you if you really harp on them, if they're not, like, geared towards math or something, you always harp in animal with heart balm. Then they hit math, even if they could have been good at it. You know, I think that's super addressing.


You just said that, and I get terrified. Oh, man, what am I doing to them now? That's gonna shape their future in a bad


way. But it's a balance. It's like either you go the You kind of gotta be somewhere in the middle because I was gonna ask you what? What in your past did you have anything like your wife's experience with competitive use a gymnastics that, you know, maybe you Maybe you didn't push yourself hard enough. And you wish you would've, you know, typically carry those things into your


kids, you know? Yeah. We're exactly executing on the experiences we had. She pushes back. I'm like, don't take him to class every day. Give him a childhood and I'm going. I am generally good at most things I never got the chance to be great at any of them because I never had support to go deep in any one of them. So I'm the seventh kid of my dad, the fourth of my mom and my dad together. But I'm the youngest of all seven. So you know, by the time you get to seven or four, there's just less time and energy going into that kid, which I do appreciate from my sort of now entrepreneurial path because I was really at a young age like, Whoa,

go figure yourself out. If you want something, do it for yourself. But in terms of of being taken to every camper being on every team like I was signing myself up for those things, I had to push to get on the team and then argue for whatever I wanted instead of having the time and attention for somebody like I see you have potential here, and I'm gonna sign you up for things that you sometimes might not want to go and do. But you're going to get pushed through it because maybe the parent has some higher level of exposure to see what's happening. Um so, yeah, I missed out on that, and I'm trying to give it to my kids. My wife had too much of that and then is trying to prevent our kids from having it. So, you know, they somewhat end up in the middle.


Yeah, tell me a little bit about brave care. And what do you guys were doing there? Because it's a pediatric urgent care, is that correct?


Yeah. Um, So the back story of how I ended up here is I've been able to build a couple consumer tech companies and did well at those, um, but I've also co founded an international disaster relief nonprofit that sets up and runs well into your centers in disaster areas. It's one of those things where, like, you know, I have the both the idea toe want to build things, but then to do it in a way that gives back or actually adds real value to the world, and that continues for me. And then when I was back in Hawaii, and probably some point relevant for this is ended up making a replica lightning McQueen car that I do a bunch of kids charity stuff with and I did that because I had seen this story about a guy in floor that had a Lamborghini and a Batman costume went to all the Children's hospitals, and I just like That's for cool. Like I wish I could do something. That and in Hawaii, don't have any Children's hospitals on my island.

But also, like the Batman was not the right age group for my kids. I have seen the cars movies a 1,000,000 times like, Oh, that'd be really cool to do this with Lightning McQueen. So because of that, I got, you know, closer to the Make a Wish Foundation, and it's like the heaviest thing I can process. And I often find moments where I It's just like that, the back of a thought of like, what would it be like if I lost one of my kids? Or that they were that ill? And I like, I really can't hold that thought


for very long. It's


in the sickest Phyllis thing, so to imagine families that have been going through that for years is like mind blowing to me. I can't even process it, so it's just like more and more I want to do things with this like kids and their health and families that are going through that. And when we're here in Portland, my son launched himself off a rampant by park. It landed on his face. And so he's got blood everywhere. And I was lucky that this pediatric urgent care clinic was nearby. And that's our first emergency experience with our kids. So I had some level of fear and in discomfort, but I was like, I know stitches. Air coming. Most boys have the under the chin stitch line, but it was like, Oh,

this is really cool. This is a pediatric focused, urgent Cared what I was worth the yard. How long I'm gonna be The last time I spent the night in an e. R in San Francisco is like awful experience. So I want to take my four year old son to that. No, um, I went to this clinic. It was a great experience. I went home the next weekend. My one year old had croup. And what I found out Strider, so just not able to breathe. And she's getting allergic. She's not getting oxygen.

My wife was out of town both weekends that I had these patient, so not scoring dad points. Um, but that clinic was a kind of inconvenience where I live, but I thought, you know, that's the environment. I want to go back to its comfortable on bail. No. And so we went to the clinic and got really great care. And there's a couple other things. I stop value from that experience, that seated what we're doing now. But he ended that visit which was much more emotional for me because I didn't know what was happening. Like Is this basic? I knew something was serious because even the way the Doctor fish was not my cofounder Cory looked at her was very different than how he looked at my son was like this one serious,

so serious to me. And the unknowing was very scary. And in my emotional state, I'd sort of asked him at the end of the visit of like, This is a really great facility. I just could be a weird question for you because it could be competitors. But, like, what are the other clinics like this that are closer to where I live in Portland is like there aren't That's why I created this place and I want to open more of them. It's like like that we got to do that. So I had asked him for his phone number because he was sending the home with my daughter. Sochi, like, on the cusp of being in a bad place. Use taking the treatment. But it's like,

Look, you gotta look at her belly tonight and see if I'm like, I don't know what. I'm not a doctor, and I don't want to be responsible for knowing what that looks like. So can I just text your photo tonight if I'm concerned and you can let me know? And so because I had his phone number coming away from that was like, Wow, I love kids. I'd rather hang out with 2 to 5 year olds. I'm the dad that goes to a birthday party and all the other parents, I think I think that I'm, like, not nice or you're kind of a jerk because I don't I would rather be with the kids like I'm gonna play you all talk about whatever you're talking about. I'm with the kids.


That's my style at the party studio.


Yeah, This is where I get value. Um, and so the guy I love kids, I've built things before around things that I liked. But that's very different than what I truly love in it for a least the next 11 years. 15 years I'm gonna like my primary. Most important thing is having kids at home and taking care of kids. So to be ableto find an opportunity to build something in the consumer attack. Digital product. Space around Kids was what I knew I wanted to do. And so after a few meetings with Cory, it became clear that he wants to open more clinics. These clinics really are important for people to have his options that we should do that together. I'll run the business side. He provides the care. And then we brought on a PSA,

another founder who is able to build all of our digital products so that you know this team and then Miriam is also a friend who's joining like the four of us really care about. Kids have kids and want to build a better care experience for them in situations where the alternative is really going to an E. R, which is very expensive. It's a longer worst experience that urgent cares are better for 75% of those situations, then what you need to have is a pediatric urgent cares all over the country and or in places where the density of kids won't ever justify having official clinic. What can we do with Tele Medicine, too? Extend a lot of the reach of the value of the staff in clinics. Two people in more rural areas so that for the minor kid things common kid things which are minor pink eye or ear infections. Things that kid keep kids out of school or should keep kids out of school. Um could be treated remotely, which, you know, lets kids get back into school and parents take less time out for work. And recently I distorted what I tweeted about it today was just again.

I see the world from a certain way, and I just know like, oh, that that experience was really great. I appreciate it was good from a kid. The cost was less, but I was able to afford it, so didn't particularly matter to me. But learning more and more about like how fragile most families. Financial positions are where a large, unexpected expense can really cause damage to them. But then you combine that with the idea that parents won't take time off with work of work, too, to be with their kid at home or to take him to the, you know, to care,

because then they risk losing their job or not getting the income in which they need. So the sick kids go to school, which just potentially gets more kids sick. Who's then? Families are at risk, Um, or then when the parent is able to take that person, it's in the night evening, hours after work. And if you don't live where there's an after hours, urgent care. Any urgent care would be better than going to the e. R. Pediatric Care is even better that the parents low income parents are five times more likely to take their kids to an emergency room and then experience thousands of multiple thousands of dollars of costs, which is gonna be such a awful position. So it's this unfortunate cyclical thing for them,

and so it's like not only do I just think this is very obvious in the value that we can provide for families. There is all this other secondary layers of like preventing financial collapse of families and then the ethos of the brave care ideas that you learn the most if you're doing something that's challenging, so if you're doing something easy that you've clearly mastered that thing, that's easy. But riding the bike the first time, climbing up the thing you're not confident, like getting the courage to do those things. Kids need to be brave to do it, but they're also gonna likely fall and hurt themselves or do something along the way, where they need to learn that lesson of getting back up and having the bravery and courage to do it again. And that is also directly at the parents as well, because you don't let them climb. The thing arrived the thing in a way that they get hurt, like where I have it, too. But I'm not the helicopter pair,

and I like to think of myself as like that is not an appropriate analogy, but like the sniper parent where I'm in the bushes in the gillie suit, I can see them. Hopefully they don't know. I can see them, so they're learning some independence and some ability to do things on their own. But I you know, I worry about them. So, um, you know, for both parents and kids, it's about having the bravery and courage to sort of get through the of the illness or the injury in which they have. So, yeah, I'm staked about what we're doing.

It's, you know, product Founder Fit is deep, and I believe there's also the market fit. So it's like the Holy


Trinity for Yeah, that that sounds really cool. So you're the guy that was running a clinic that did you see have kids, too.


He doesn't hate, get he and his wife committed both of their careers and lives to healthcare. And then it's about taking care of everybody else's kids, which I appreciate because he's taking care of three of mine now. So, you know,


three tough. So, um, I think that's what that's a really cool business idea. I'm real excited. Thio, you know, follow along that journey because it sounds like just getting started. Um, one thing I do want to get on before we end is, um you know, you you had several startups while you were having kids, you know? Right. Is that correct? Like, you know,

your kids, as you were kind of going through that journey, and now you have a seven year old, and then you're starting kind of another. Another run at this. You obviously are coming into that with a lot of wisdom from you. No trial and error in a lot of ways, and especially how to balance the home life and the start of life. Can you share a little bit of nuggets that things that, you know, you feel like, You know, now that you would tell yourself back, you know, when you first started to have kids, Um,

how to do that better? Because I think people just, you know, step Dad just don't know. And then they end up sacrifice and you know, their kids on the altar. Success. And that's not good for anybody.


Yeah, I mean one. It's definitely survivor bias. So whatever advice I give, it's like simply because it worked for me in some way. Um, I am 100% aware that my success was largely driven from luck because I've seen my friends work just as hard as me and not achieve success. So a huge amount of luck there and then somewhat it's, Yeah, I could go back in time and tell myself things, but it's also just like things I continually to tell myself that maybe have not fully sunk in. Or maybe it's just useful for Dad's to here. So one of them is I love my kids. You could look at all my social and it's all my kids, Um, but I actually don't really connect with them very much in the first year of their life. And I think some people feel like,

Oh, that's a bad thing or I'm supposed to really connect, and I love them deeply and they're my Children. But they're like a soon as the after one, and I'm actually getting to start to do in interactions with them is is much more when I connect. So for another dad, that's like, I don't know if this wrong that I'm not, like, deeply connected to this thing yet then no, I mean, obviously you love it and be a be around and be supportive. But, um, you know, for me,

I didn't I don't deeply connect as much as I do after the like, you know, one and 1/2 a drink. The other thing for I still do this. I'm aware of that. I would say most of the difficulty in a marriage with kids comes from one person just wanting to get recognition or appreciation. But the other person receiving that is like, Well, if I do that, then I'm not getting recognition appreciation for me. So exactly where it will manifest for us is like my wife coming downstairs. The whole topic we can talk about we sleep in separate rooms is for her to go. Man, I'm so tired because Saatchi was awful last night and like my default is to go, Well, I I'm tired.

I didn't need to do that. But I just want to record like there's somehow like, Well, if I recognize she's tired, then I can also be tired and just that doesn't need to happen. It's like it's not a competition for who's the more exhausted parents? Uh, oh, man, I changed so many diapers yesterday instead of going now that I mean, I appreciate that you do that. It's like I changed a lot too. That constant thing happens.


I don't know that never happens in my household. Ever know solely for us? Only? Like what? A week, Maybe once a day. Okay. Every couple hours. Yeah.


Yeah. So that's it? Yeah. That's still happening for us. And then the other thing that I just mentioned about, even like our sleeping arrangement early on for us when we were, like, when? While it was one. And we moved back to San Francisco raising money, trying to do the business like it was really hard. Um, it never made sense for me that white. Both of us shouldn't sleep at night. It's like, Look, somebody's gonna lose sleep in.

That sucks. So I'm going to go sleep in, like, on the couch or in the living room, because I actually need we just one of us should get sleep, and I'll alternate with you if we need to. But for both of us, not to sleep doesn't make sense. And then, like, seven years later, we're still just sleeping in separate rooms because one every few years, it just added the kid to that mix, and then I went back out of the room again. But over time we just sort of recognized that sleep for us is really optimizing for sleep. And I she would say,

I snore. A jiggle, my feet, Um, I sleep in a different temperature. There's like all these things that we just sleep so differently. It's like, Well, we should just sleep in separate beds And it's just the point, really. We should be in separate rooms because we're just up a different hours, and we have a very loving affection at, uh, like good life in many areas. One can interpret of things that happened in the bedroom, but we just we just in separate rooms.

And I've mentioned that toe other families. And it's interesting when one of the spouses kind of lights up like that could be great. And the other person is like, I can't believe you just said that this cannot happen Like you know, some people don't sleep well unless you know their partner or spouse is next


to him. So but it's good for you guys communicating about that, right? You know, you're like, Hey, let's talk about this and this works right for us. You know, it's that That's why this is important because like,


yeah, so that's good, You know that we've always been good about being able to communicate. We have different communication styles as everybody does. Um, but we we can argue or disagree, but we never yell at each other. Is no name calling? There's no swearing. I mean, those things are hard to recover from. This person is the most important person in my world. Why would I want to say something to her that would actually hurt her? So, you know, I come from some logical place for that. But,

you know, sometimes it's I could be upset about something enough that I have just like, I need to actually just walk away from this because I need to go process this and come back. It's the other thing people tell Mary. People like never go to bed angry. My advice is you should go to bed angry because likely you're mad about something that's pretty trivial, that you're not even going to remember in the morning, too. Nobody's really, really good at communicate, and then equally few people are good at receiving critical feedback or communicating, so you're most likely gonna end up both going to bed angry or end spiraling into something that's way more than it was. So I go to bed. If you're still upset about in the morning, then take the time to figure out language that you could use to actually bring up your concern or issue in a way that isn't insulting to the other person.


Right? Right? Yeah. Don't don't bury things, you know, I guess, is what they're trying to say, right? He's like, Don't just push it because I feel like that for me, I'm more one to just bury it. My wife always wants to talk about it, and I think I always get myself in trouble if I don't if we don't have a communication about what the real issue Waas you know, And I think one of things that we try to do enough you guys just It was like if we do get into an argument, especially the kids around, like making sure we make up in front of the kids to, you know,

like that they don't see that we're just fighting and then they don't see any resolution As a result of it. We don't yell at each other or anything like that. But if we are having a disagreement, it's like, Okay, we got a model that this is how you work it out because I'll be honest. I don't think my parents did that really well. So if you ever saw them bickering like you never saw kind of any resolution. So it's never modeled, like, how do you actually resolve this conflict? Right, you know, And that was really detrimental. I think personally for me, which is really hard.


I'm definitely the bottler as well because, like even as it mentioned earlier, that sort of that breakdown I was having the end of last year. I think what's a challenge around depression is that we think of it is like and it is, you know, and for a lot of people it can be a systemic like illness that goes over a long period time. But sometimes it's just like if you go to the gym and you exercise your muscles hard, you're gonna have to have recovery time for your muscles. If you are challenging and pushing yourself in some emotional way, likely you're going to need recovery time of that, and so for me, that depression is often like some kind of recovery time and because I was running the company and always it's wearing a face that all is OK and bearing the struggles. And I don't even particularly want to share those struggles with my wife because you know those air difficult things. All I'm gonna do is extend my pain and fear and anxiety under her. There's not really anything she can do to fix it. So all I'm doing is hurting her along with myself, like I'll just bear this burden personally.

Um, so the years of that, I think, just build up and then with my entrepreneurial brain, If I'm sad or depressed, it's like the problem solver spins up. There's nothing to solve. Sometimes it's just like to kind of process the emotion and let the muscles of recovery and the emotion to flow out. And so that thing that happens for me is like, Oh, I'm sad to press So I'm spitting up all the mental processes to solve this problem, and there's nothing to solve. So it's like chain signed water. I'm just burning this engine and tell eventually it just burns out, and there's just sort of like a release, but I am really resolved anything.

And sometimes I'd only do it. I just shoved it further down where someday these pains will be uncovered. Um, but yeah, gonna just going through that process was letting it it happened on trying to shelter the other people in my life. I didn't need to burden with it. Um, the other thing that you mentioned is interesting because I ended up in a weird path. That topic was, you know, the the ways in which kids have models in their life that doesn't necessarily guarantee that they learn. And then they repeat those models. My mom, um, her parents, my grand parents.

We're the perfect model couple they like were deeply in love. My I didn't see Excite was too young, but like my mom would say, you know, my grandfather would goose my grandma in the kitchen 40 years, you know, it's like they just were in love their whole time. And they showed my mom and my aunt and uncle like what that great marriage could look like. None of them for that generation ended up with a marriage like that. Um, so they had the perfect model didn't end up that way. My mom and my dad were actually both married before they met each other. They were married for long enough to have all four of us, but never had a great relationship or a marriage. But I feel like I've ended up with my grand parents weren't without having seen that. It's like sometimes I think it's about,

you know, not worrying that if you didn't get a model that therefore you can't have it. It's just trying to work towards what you most want and and finding the support group and the other people that you know can guide you on that. Yeah, maybe that's why you have this podcast, which


I appreciate. It is exactly where this podcast this is. How can you be ugly and wisdom from one another? Because because I don't know what I'm doing, you know? So,


yeah, the other thing, you know, the what I appreciate about the podcast in ways for let letting people tell their story and for other people that sometimes just here either echoed back that some of the things I think are there and I'm not crazy for thinking them or just the fact that other people struggle. Because again, if you look just at my social media feed, you think Ella's perfect. Um, and I don't You know, I wish there was better ways for me to share some of the things that were a struggle, but I don't particularly want to live in those moments longer than they need to either. But what can happen is people feel like in going back to brave care why we have that, that parents feel bad every time they come in to urgent care would like a hurt kid like as if they did something wrong. Kids will get hurt. It's okay, but nobody shows the like painful things on social media. And so they parents feel bad about normal parenting things.

So just getting the here that other people struggle, I think it's important. Um, the other side of that, too, is having riel people share advice to other people that want to hear it like I parodied. Ah, you know, Morning productivity has been recently because of the one that I was parodying was just not landing on a lot of people. It's like if you're a single high net worth person. You can do whatever you want with the first hour your day. I don't control the first hour of my day. I have a bunch of other people that control it. A, um so, like trying to give it.

I almost feel in some ways you could have some things end up where you have this podcast. You ask somebody who's never been apparent, doesn't have kids, To be honest, I guess that could be interesting just to hear what somebody's perspectives are. But if the whole point is for that person to be giving advice on how parents should parent, it's like I appreciate where you're coming from. You should wait a little bit. Just write those all down and then come back because I have a ton of things I said I'd never do his apparent. And my kids get screen time. Sometimes they give them sweets like it just


happens. Yeah, that's great. Have you found that, um, kind of related to that? Have you found kind of a network of other parents that air in the similar stage as you to help you be a better parent? And the reason that where this is coming from is I feel like there's a tendency amongst parents to just kind of lament in negativity like the common thing that really ticks me. Officer Mrs A. That you say you're the playground with your seven year old, your four year old Auntie Rosie. Yeah, well, wait till, er teenagers. Then they're really gonna suck. It's like That's like someone that doesn't change the oil in their car and says,

Wait till the engine goes out. It's like so I mean, I've never had teenagers, so I don't know what that's like. And I'm sure there's all these other struggles that air emotional and not as physical like we have now. Just keep it. I'm fed and you know everything. But at the same time, that seems like crap to me to just have this, like, negative attitude of, like, let's instead to see how we can do better, you know? And I'm not saying we need to put on this instagram face that everything is perfect and I hear what you're saying, um,

of sharing stories about how everything's not perfect. But I think one of these I struggle with sometimes is how do you get that network of people around you, And that's partly that's why I started. This podcast was like, Do you have honest conversations? But say this is where it's at and this is what I'm trying and maybe this will work is what didn't work. Um, in the in the real world, I feel like sometimes that's hard because there's a There's a comfort in negativity, right? You know, there's a natural for most people. It's a natural, like, just kind of sit around and complain, you know, it's I don't know.


Yeah, I don't particularly enjoy doing that. Nord Spending time around people that only complaint. It's fine if there's a complaint, because it's like I need to share this and move on from it. But there's just some people that just constantly live in a place of negativity, which I'm not going in some of that, too, Like the honest side, it is somebody who says, Oh, wait till their teams to the suck. It's like it sucks a lot right now. It's not all great. It's like my wife and I like we just talked sometimes about we have, you know, we have the luxury of her being at home with the kids.

We have the ability to get a baby sitter for her often so that she can have substandard tea and have some time for her. Were very thoughtful about like we every Wednesday night, we have a dinner date where my mom comes over, Baby sits at every Sunday, We have a lunch time like we're just time together like we spent. We make time for ourselves and we have the ability to do all that. And we're still exhausted on most states, like it's not easy for us. So for the single parent who's working and doing all that, like, I just can't imagine how they make it through,


I've known that. Just blow. It just doesn't compute in my head.


Yeah, I don't wanna I don't understand. I literally can't. It's difficult for me now in everything that I have. So I wouldn't maybe not be successful with that, Um, and then what's interesting for me about surrounding myself? So however, it happened for me where I could generally do love and adore my wife and I public about that one time I met somebody and we visit us like a social gathering thing, and he's like, I think I know you. You're the guy who, like, really loves his wife, right? And I was like, Yes,

and I own 100% want that to be my description like, if that's how it known that I'm doing something That's right And I've heard that in a bunch of other things where the way that I show appreciation for my wife, um, I can see other women appreciate that. And I think for other guys, I've heard that they appreciate like seeing that bottle. So in some ways, good or bad, I instead of surrounding myself to give me the positive I have, like a external self inflicted. I need to be better because I'm consciously a role model for some people. So I want to continue to be a great father and a great husband, because I know some people look at me as a model um, which I don't need to have that as a burden. But I take it as a positive, which I appreciate, and then try and continually use that lens to get better and better at what I do


and it's in. It's energizing in a way to say, like, Hey, it's a positive feedback loop to say, Hey, what I'm actually doing is obviously resonating, and it's it's sending a positive message to the people. So I need to up my game, So you're kind of hold yourself accountable.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm constantly every day. I would say, I think about what am I doing? What could I do to make my kids happy, to make my wife happy? Like, that's something I think about every day. Um, and I, you know, shared it a couple times before, Like, Valentine's Day is not something we're big about on Lee, because I don't need to wait for once a year to do something really special for my wife,

Um, one guys, you make it easier on yourself instead of having like shit. That's February 13th. I need to go do something. If throughout the year you've showered her and showed her appreciation and love and adoration, it won't matter as much that there's the one day that you have all the pressure himself years. Not every spouse is gonna let you fly with the like Well, yeah, I did it all year, so I don't I don't have to do it this year for this day, but I think it just makes it like it's less of a need to do the thing. Or the event that everybody else has said is the one day where you show your appreciation if you just do it all the time.


Yeah, I wrote one of the first block post I wrote when I was doing the podcast was it was titled How to Find the Best. How did how to find the best price on flowers or something, Getting the best deal on flowers. And it was like basically tonight by your wife flowers. Because if you just do that all time, you'll have to buy this big thing once a year. It's gonna be a lot more our ally out of it. If you're doing it just out of the blue,


I think also like if you just constantly exercise that muscle, it becomes just it happened. So I'm in the habit of doing nice things for my wife because I just naturally do it and order. I done enough for now. I naturally do it, Um, so if I'm walking somewhere and I see a flower, she might. So I'm gonna pick that flower. If I'm at the grocery store, like, Oh, what's something? I could get her a small, but I think she'd appreciate it if I got it. It's the reason why if you do something enough times, it becomes a habit.

So, yeah, the more that you do that, I think you're your life will be better. Your spouse will be happier, which often makes your


life better. Which that's a good parallel with, you know, the parallel with, like the the work life saying, you know, they're in the work Like all the experts that would say, like, it's process over, you know, like a big goal. It's like habits over some big thriving Moonshot. It's like same applies at home. It's like, you understand? I want to have a great marriage and have great kids. It's like now you got to do these things every day and and then we're gonna add up to this, You know so well. Anything else? You want to leave us with Doris before I let you go?


Mmm. Um, yeah, maybe. Just that, uh, you know, if you're concerned about whether or not you're doing a good job. I think you're doing a good job because that just being aware that you might not challenging yourself to think that you could do it better than I think you're on the right path. Wherever you are on it, you're headed in the right direction and nobody's got all the answers. We're


all we're all trying to figure it out there. You know, that's a nice closing. Thank thanks so much for being all right. Really appreciate it. Appreciate it. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode. You confined Darius mostly on Twitter at Bubs bu B s. And if you're not sign up for email list. Head over to two Cent dad dot com, the number to send dad dot com. You can sign up and you'll be notified whenever new episodes come out or block post or any other resource is. If you found this valuable, I'd encourage you just to send it to another dad who would find it valuable. That's really what this podcast is about. It's about helping other dads in this journey of fatherhood. So send it to a dad that you think would find it valuable. And if you have any feedback or anything you want to share. You can email me at Mike at to send dad dot com. Thanks for listening.

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