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🏀 Zack Onisko. Distributed teams and their benefits on parenting and quality of life.

Rad Dad, hosted by Kirill Zubovsky podcast.

A Bay Area native, Zack is a successful entrepreneur, wizard of all things growth, and currently the CEO of a company called Dribbble. While some of his peers are busy cranking 14-hour days in the city, Zack is working with a fully distributed team, which enables him to hang out with kids, enjoy life, and spend absolutely zero hours commuting.

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Hello and welcome to the ride that podcast today. My guest on the show is Zach and Disco successful Entrepreneur, an issue of company Cold Dribble. Zach is working out of a little town called Walnut Creek, and while his peers are cranking 14 hour days in the city, Zach is able to have a full day of work and at the same time enjoy his kids, spend time with his family, enjoy life and spend absolutely zero hours commuting. Stick around and you're here is I Can I talk about remote work growing up in California in the eighties? What it's like to be raising kids in the city and how your life changes when you become apparent. And obviously he'll share some awesome parenting advice without further due. Zach. Welcome to the show.


Let's see, I am a San Francisco Bay Area native, one of the few still, uh, born raised yard, so live here amount in the East Bay Walnut Creek. Uh, I run dribble dot com uh, lunch community for designers. It's a place to our designers to show until the projects that working on get be back by job opportunities. Things in this. Yeah, my career started about 20 years ago. I started a Web designer. I have a design degree. And and then, over the years that evolved into product growth and leadership roles at various startups,

um helped, uh, three startups now grow from kind of infancy to successful acquisition was most recently at higher dot com there, uh, they're getting ah, uh, really d'oh I p o bound next couple years or so And, uh, you joined dribble about a year and 1/2 ago and it's been, uh, it's been a pardon on fun times. They started. We've been We've been growing like gangbusters. We've growing all the important KP eyes


is dribble the first company. Where you working remotely


full time? Yeah. Yep,


that's that's awesome. So let's just talk about this. How can you be a dead to two wonderful daughters, grow a company, grow the KP ice and do it all from the comfort of your home?


Well, it's, uh, it's a luxury, but it's actually pretty sad that it is a luxury because, um, you remember in the mid nineties it was the Sandra Bullock movie The Net, and she was like hacking on a beach man that's what it must be like. The work on the Internet, you know, Yet for 15 20 years, I was commuting to San Francisco. You know, the companies that worked for we pay very expensive rents. Uh, Francisco is this hug for tech talent. But,

you know, people get paid three x the national average salaries for their jobs rents very expensive and competitive. So, you know, it's hard for people live in the Bay area. Um, it's also hard to retain talent because people are just hopping and jumping from within the company. Um, for me personally, you know, I was community two hours a day. It's just in the last jump ordering and dribble. They don't, you know, spending 10 hours 8 10 hours at work so they could have the day. You know,

I'm I'm gone, and so I just wasn't seeing my family before, You know, with dribbles. The culture we're building here is that you know, were remote were most kind of the wrong word. Used. Distributed is a better word, I think. And, uh, it's it's great, you know, I I have my kids. My mother in law's retired. She washed.

There are girls during the day, but I get the kids ready for school on dhe. Send them off. You know, they come home around lunchtime, lunch together. My oldest daughter lost a tooth a couple weeks ago when I was here to witness that. And so I'm just a part of my family's life now, and that's that's what you're working on a distributor team has given us. And, uh, you know that the cool thing is that this is something that our entire company feels that we have. Um, we have a lot of folks with families way very, you know, because we don't paper for headquarters were office space.

You know, we reinvest that into perks for the team were able to do things like, you know, dribble has a three month, uh, paternity lee for whether you're the mother or the father fully paid. Um, you know, do things like, you know, full medical, you know, dental covers, not just for the employees, for their entire families. So doing things like that are very family forward.

But, um, you know, the freedoms we get from being able to work remotely, um, is really just the foundation. It's, uh, just kind of gets under one the freedom to to work the perfect day. You know, if you need to go coach soccer practice with someone on the team who is a soccer coach, you know, if you need to go to the post office, you need to go to the grocery store. You know all the things you wanna do locally. You know,

you have an ability to do that. And, you know, the software's caught up right? So now we have slack and Google docks and zoom and things like this to allow us to work really from anywhere in the world. Our head of product is taken off in a couple of weeks to go speak at a conference in Balmy, you know, and she's gonna be working from balling for a week, which is, uh, you know, it's the way that it should be. You know, we all work on the Internet and, uh, you know, you shouldn't have to commute and then holed up in an office space and there's a better way.


But you in San Francisco isn't big, beautiful glass office is the thing, you know, Badge of honor.


I think it's good for the ego. It's good for the investors to see where the money's there being spent. But dribble where bootstraps were profitable. We have no outside and, you know, investors, um, never taken, you know, outside capital to inject capital of the company. So we just don't think about business that way where we need to have a fancy offices, too. You know, for a lot of startups, there's not. It's not like you're entertaining clients in your office. Is it or,

you know, using office space to close sales. It's really just to you retain talent, which is kind of crazy when you think about it. Um, you know, spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars to build out, you know, elaborate office spaces and pink bomb tables and foosball and beer kegs. And you know, all this fancy stuff is kind of an incentive to try to keep people you know in the office. And


it doesn't mean that you attract a different category of talent of dribble folks of prioritize things like family outdoors and whatnot.


So my last company, we were about 50 50 in San Francisco, about 2 50 employees well over 100 Lauren Sanchez go in the restroom, distributed across around 17 cities. And, uh, and what I saw is that, you know, we paid this really expensive red. You know, this fancy office based on market street with shirt, the same building with uber and square, and but we fought to get in the conference rooms. You know, there's only so many conference rooms, and then once everyone kind of got into that conference room, everyone flipped open their laptops and just loved opposite,

um, so the remote folks could join. You know, we're all like working through slack in this office as well. So, you know, we're using the same tools, but the inefficiencies air there because, you know, there's the office banter and a water cooler talk and, you know, shoulder tapping and interruptions. And, um, what we found is so with dribble, we've what kind of designed the perfect work week as well,

way really are very, uh, meeting. We're mindful about how many meetings we hold a week, and we actually have ah policy for no meeting Mondays, Fridays. And I guess everyone really that quality heads down time when they can really focus on their work. and we've seen that you know what would take, you know, 34 days to get done at my last company. That dribble that takes 34 hours.


That's awesome. Right here. You're saying that you've seen this work and yet so many people don't actually believe that you can build a company that works that way and artificially value of face time as more important doing that. Like you said, in your experience face time, you'll be your old Open up your phones and lap times that set in the same room looking


at it right. So I think that's the big fear, right is that people think that you're gonna feel very disconnected and isolated. But with zoom with slacking with these technologies, you know, it feels like you're all sharing the same room. Uh, you know, we do weakling team calls, You know, there's like, 33 of us now, and, you know, it's just giant Brady bunch grid and zoom and you know, it's like we're all in the same room together. We see that everyone's faces in real time and people can have conversations and reacted laugh and,

you know, it's very natural, organic, but you know, to that we also twice, at least twice a year we do meet in a city in a different city. Um, and we hold a design conference called Hang Time and that also doubles for our team to get together for a week and actually hang out in person together. So we do have actual physical face time as well. But But that's more for just, you know, eating, drinking and going into events, museums and stuff together. Just kind of having a fun time together. Not necessarily.

You know, having would wanna meet in person and then I'll just get desks and go heads down together. What, actually, you know, enjoy each other's company?


Yeah. I mean, that sounds wonderful. I was just reading a book called Principles by Ray Dalio. Yeah, and he talks about how he was running. His company is a big family for a while, and everybody was working out of the same barn for, you know, years until they made enough money to get a fancy office, like, Why not? And I think with there's so much pressure and Silicon Valley to also maybe appear like a startup, right or not necessarily pressure, but everybody kind of place. That game, while is just really making a business that works and makes money is should be the priority first and then never seen your second.

But so So how does all this tie into your parents? And you know, I remember seeing this photo on your instagram How I think you stepped away. You were working from home or something. And then you stepped away for a second to play with your daughter and then in a blink of an eye, like your walls are covered in paint or something that's just playing


lipstick. Oh, Thio to get in that my my wife stores and the good thing about lipstick, it actually wipes cleanly away from most things. You wouldn't think that was the case, but it Zo actually pretty easy to clean up. We've since, uh, gotten a lot of washable Kranz and markers. Thio tell about that as well, because she's she's very much into finding her own canvas.


That's all someone sounds like. You're the parents who let it be because I've talked to some periods would say, Well, our furniture is white or our walls, the white, you know, If we give her like a crayon, we gonna have crayons on the wall. So I'm like, Yeah, paint the


entire house. You know, we have a very modern aesthetic and lots of, you know, uh, clean lines and corners and, uh, you know, but kids are kids, and they're going to write on walls. So just you got to get the Mr Clean Little Wall scrubbers. Listen, it's worked like a charm. Magic Eraser area


does it. It'll impact your work when you need to focus in all of a sudden, your kids and knocking on the door want to play with?


I tried to take breaks throughout the day. I think, if, uh if I didn't give them attention through the day, that they would probably inflate and explode. You know, my oldest is five. Uh, and you know, she comes in the office and we'll, we'll draw on my desk of up to the side. I'm having, you know, zoom mediums of different folks on the team, but I'm pretty laid back about it. You know that that poor guy on the BBC with his his kids relate in a life on a live stream that happens to me. You know,

multiple times a day. I do have a lock on my door, but, uh, my office door. But the, uh, the door's made out of glass, so they just bang on the glass, so I just just let them in if they want to come in. And then they could just see how you know what? We're working on a deal.


Little benefits, Actually, we're talking about your office. You at some point also did it build. Didn't rebuild on the house, right? You and your wife or maybe Yeah. How does that work? Is that something that recommend?


Well, it was a big project. It was I think we have three original walls from the original house and everything Roof, uh, exterior on. And then we added 1000 square foot addition in the back. Um, which, you know, I designed the house was an architect so that we can live here. So that was something that we looked into the the cost of the remodel. Like I don't want to pay. You know, you read the house and want a creek is like $5000 a month. It's crazy. Something we gotta live here during the construction. We're just,

you know, it's it's gonna be nine months of hell, but we're gonna live through it Turned out, is only six months that a really great construction team. But but I designed it so that we can live in the main house. Well, they built the addition in the back, and then we move into the addition before they open up the wall between the two, uh, structures. Uh, once, you know, once they got the main house actually moved on the walls and everything is completely different from waas. Um, so that was the plan,

and it turned out that they had to open up the wall almost immediately after the edition was made so that they can lay the the wood flooring seamlessly throughout the the building. And and so there was just kind of sheet of plastic between, you know, what was finished construction and what was like, you know, hard hat area. And I'm like, my daughter is 11 and 1/2 of the time wherever and, uh, you don't turn my head for one second. She's like, has a nail gun in her hands were like a hammer or, you know, so something really bad And, like, panic attack.

But, you know, when we lived through it, you know, way, you know, in the addition is where master bedroom is now. And we have, Ah, big master suite bathroom. And but that was a kitchen. And we had a microwave set up there. We just isn't camping for six months back there. Only, You know, all four of us were in our master bad every night.

Actually, we haven't shucking shaking that. We're still still trying to win that one off. I think most nights everybody ends up in our bed because the construction was awesome. I mean, we have kind of a dream. Oh, now you know, a lot more space. We we bought a starter home on a really big lot and, uh, in a really great town location. ELISA, Great area, 10 out of 10 school district. Um,

and, you know, we stopped the bullet and decided to build. And, you know, now it's great with


No, it's it sounds amazing. And I I know quite a few people who live in a woman Kraken, especially if you don't have to commute to San Francisco every day goes right. It's almost on hour each way, but it sounds really Xan. But did you grow up there as well? Did you grow up in


another town? Half my wife grew up in Lafayette, Which the town right next door. I grew up kind of all over northern California. My parents divorce really young, and so I kind of flip flop between them on and they kind of moved all over growing up 12 different elementary schools. Um, but, uh, I went to high school in back of Hill. That's where my grandparents live. So that's kind of I was always kind of home base, But my mom moved, Uh, you know, San Francisco when I was probably seven or eight. So I go spend the summers out there. So San Francisco always has a soft spot on. Always feels like home. I went to college there and lived in the city proper for 15 years.


What was San Francisco like back in the day?


Way different man. It's, uh, it's changed. It's changed a lot.


I mean, s o. You know, would you consider yourself one of those people who were kind of missed the old San Francisco and really want to bring you back Or


yeah, of course. No, absolutely. You know, I think that there's there's good and bad, you know, with the tech boom. You know, we have better restaurants and there's just better infrastructure. And, you know, there's things just being built that makes you no more livable, and more people could live there, and all this stuff is being invested into the city. But, you know,

what we lost is, you know, that bohemian culture that really that special thing that made Sanchez go this kind of really unique, Uh, you know, community, for for the arts, where there was always, like, live music or there was, like, art shows or there's like So, you know, the the new economy is really pushed a lot of those artistic creative people out of the city. Um, I think a lot of moved Oakland originally,

and now it feels like, you know, now Oakland's, uh, big I mean, you know, a fluent and pushing a lot of one of those types out as well. So, um yeah, I miss those days. But that said like, I remember you know, the Soma District now is like, you know, super nice and cool, you know,

fancy loss and, you know, office space. And but he used to be like a warehouse district, and it was like, super, super sketchy. Um, but they were like warehouse parties in like rays. And like all this crazy stuff used to happen And Sanchez go, that just doesn't happen


anymore. I talked to another interview in the podcast Parker Thompson, who, uh, also moved out of kind of downtown San Francisco when they had kids. And he's taken this was that in downtown your kids would end up going to school with, you know, billionaires and millionaires, which is a bubble in itself. And, ah, Figel further, you can kind of find quote unquote normal people. Is that what you guys experiencing? And great.


So my wife and I moved to Oakland when we got married When I was working to start with the time and, you know, we paid for the thing ourselves, and so we saved up, and then once we we got pregnant, we decided to move back. That's sitting like, you know, we're gonna we're gonna be those city parents. And once my daughter was born way, never left the neighborhood and kind of just weak. You know, eight restaurants there, you know, rent was was expensive, but then we started to look at, you know,

I think that my daughter was approaching our first birthday when all of our friends like, Well, are you on the waiting list for preschools? Like she's like, not even one yet. But it was one of the few have waiting lists, and so, you know, it's very impacted Everywhere you look, there's also a lottery system for schools. Um, you know, we had some friends who are, like, you know, living in and like Hayes Valley and had to commute to the marina to take their kids to school,

which is like, you know, it's just, um, huge anti commute guys. So, you know, that just didn't sound like, sound like fun. And then, you know, we had a great private school that was, like, right on our block of sorrow, but it was like $40,000 a year for kindergarten tuition. Whether or not we wanted our kids to be mixed with,

you know, a fluid people like way have a mix here on a creek there's regular people. There's also, um you know, there's some fluid people here as well, but, um, more so it's like, Can we live a happy life? And, you know, uh, yeah. I mean, a normal life is great. I look at what we've built here in Walnut Creek over the last year 34 years or whatever.

You know, leaving the city for me was like a big adjustment. It took me about, you know, a good six months to alchemy, like, needed to get in the car to go get groceries. Like I used to just walk down to the market. You know, Francisco, you know, said so some of that was was an adjustment. And also, you kind of lead your single friends behind when you when you start a family. And so that was kind of adjustment was kind of building our new kind of friend network out here. Woman Creek.

And that was through preschool really like way could have singled out the cool parents at the pretty school and turned out a lot of them lived in our neighborhood, you know? So now we get together, we you know, barbecues and stuff. The weekender or hang out. Wait now completely transitioned and embraced suburban life. And yeah, we really love it out here.


No, that's that's what It sounds great. And you know it. Just the other days with it. There was an article about how our generation is having less kids because we're all broke, or at least the younger generation and people up until it's time to have kids. People don't realize just how expensive it could get to have kids. And you mentioned right private school tuition $40,000 a year, like some people make $40,000 a year, period. And, um yeah, yeah, it's ah, so kudos to you guys in the company that you can do it remotely, And, uh, it's really too bad that more companies don't do it because it really enables you to have a high quality life while not spending millions of dollars doing it. Did you see anything that can help or kind of push this distributed work forward so that more companies adopted like Do you think if you were to go back and the companies he worked for, there's anything you can do to convince them to say give up that downtown office and really just let people do their work wherever


you know. I think this could have worked in the past with a lot of companies. And the reason it doesn't is because there's a lot of lack of trust for distributing team toe work for means to be a foundation of trust. We need to get, you know, hire good people that do good work. And, you know, experts in their in their functional, uh, you know, functional focus. And, you know, it's really easy to see as well when when people aren't pulling their weight. Uh, you know,

and you can course correct with those individuals are where you no need to make adjustments. But for the most part, we've had only one turnover and in two months, measurable, which is which is pretty unheard of, you know, So, you know, but giving people these freedoms, you know, respect the responsibility comes with that. And, um, yeah, I mean, I mean,

I'm surprised more companies don't Well, actually, we're on this, like trend we're starting to see. There's a big companies. There's envision, there's there's automatic, there's elastic. Get hub. Um, buffer. Um, zap easier That there's a There's a bunch of growing companies who are 100% distributed. You know, I think if you look at that, you know,

even the San Francisco of all those startups, you know, I'm sure that a good fraction of their worth forest is remote. Um, well, where were bullish is you know, I think the partial remote is, um doesn't really work because things happen in real time in a faster pace. And there's less documentation when there's a headquarters, um, having a remote team, that kind of forces ever want to be extra communicative. And the document, you know, things that are happening so that everyone stays in the same page. Um,

you know, that's where things break down with with, um, kind of the hybrid distributed teams. But I think we're on a trend. Matt Mullen leg from from Automatic. You know, he has a quote where he says, I'm paraphrasing, but he says something like, um, you know, it's not gonna be the Googles or the Facebooks will have 100% distributed teams, but the companies will replace them. Will be there's just so many more efficiencies. Cost savings,

you know, I run the P and L. Now there's there's so many upsides and beyond. Just the perks of having the freedom and the flexibility to make your perfect day free of, you know over exhausting meetings were having meetings for meeting's sake, making sure people have time to do work but also having time to do life, you know, and spend time with family and actually clock a 40 hour week and not, you know, a 60 hour week so you can have time on the weekends doing out with your friends and family or just do whatever you need to do. Another thing we do is have. Our team is in, isn't Canada Uh, half our team is in the US, and so we just celebrate both U. S.

And Canadian all it is. So it gives everyone a, you know, a handful of extra three day weekends throughout the year, you know, which is which is nice toe. You know, go get stuff done or, you know, go do whatever it was for us. It was it was weird when we'd have, uh, you know, a Canadian holiday. Half the tea just wasn't online. And the US folks like, well, I was not able to get this much work done. So


yes, so it sounds like it just requires a little bit more attention from management and probably restructuring the way you're thinking about management. But it's, ah, it's totally doable. And if only more people made an effort to move into this direction, it's It's completely possible, right for people to be like, happier and more engaged at the same time. So when you're not at work or in those breaks throughout the day, what you know, what do you do with your kids? There's three and five raise. But what would your three and five year olds do for fun?


Uh, we do. A lot of we have a park nearby, you know? I mean, there's that's the nice thing about the suburbs. There's a lot of playgrounds and things to do outdoors. Um, there's a couple amusement, huh? Uh, tight places that have riots, permanent rides that we like to visit. There's a place called Fairy Land that's in Oakland. That's it's been there forever. It was actually the place where Walt Disney you got the idea for Disneyland, but,

um, but that place is fun. There's you know there's animals. There's, uh, rise and slides, merry go rounds and things like this. It's, uh it's pretty cool. Bm And we try to just, you know, um, you know, on the weekends, we tryto get outside. We have have a I wouldn't call it a It was like 1/2 a bike that's attached to my bike that cruise around the neighborhood with my five year old.

So we do family bike rides, you know, and, uh, and cruise around, you know, have picnics, the park, just your regular family stuff. You know, I don't think we're we do anything too crazy or, you know, what about, uh uh, I'm not a crazy, uh,

homework parents. So I mean, our kids are super young, like my oldest is in t. K. But but we try to, you know, encourage, uh, learning to be fun. Uh, my mother in law was was in the back room with my two year old when she came back to the kitchen by a five year old had written out 13 100 on a piece of paper for funds, which is just cool to see, so yeah, I mean, way do kind of normal parents up. We read your kids at night. We try toe, get them out of the house during the day, run them tired and


well, actually, what is normal parenting stuff? Let's let's put yourself in the shoes off. Say, mid to late 20 San Franciscan who is thinking about having kids. You know what What changes. I mean, everything is changing, but what's


it gonna be like getting does change, you know? So I think e when I was 35 when I and even then it was real scary for for me, just, you know, financially, psychologically, just kind of getting ready for, like, once you have kids, you're now have hero status for that one, even being in the world, you know, And you don't wantto have negative be cast in a negative lens for that person. So you start to think about, you know, should think about your upbringing.

You know what you liked or didn't like about the way that your parents raised you? Um, you know, But I'm thinking about having kids. I mean, I think the old adage is that there's never the right time. I think that's true. But, um, if you live in the Bay Area, it's expensive. If you have kids, it's really expensive. I do have friends who are still in, like, you know,

the the one bedroom flats and Nob Hill. And they have, like, you know, a nursery built into their walk in closet, and that's totally comfortable for them. But, you know, for us, it was a nice little move out to the east day and have a yard. We have four redwood trees on our property, so it feels like we're kind of, you know, a little mini Tahoe here. We have a private plane where the kids can ride their bikes without worrying about trafficker cars. Are strangers coming on the property?

And, uh, so, yes, I mean, that kind of stuff is important to me and those of the decisions that we made as parents, too, you know, kind of build a better life on more stability, you know, for kids. I mean, I grew up, you know, I mentioned parents divorce very young. I was raised by my dad primarily.

He was an altar newer. Who was You're always working, and, um, you know, it wasn't always, uh you know, peaches, butterscotch. It was, you know, kind of a rocky road growing up, there was a lot of uncertainty, Um, instability. So for me is as a dad, my goal is to provide some level of normalcy and stability for my kids. So they just have less to, you know, to worry about stress and just live a happy


life. Can you tell us more about what it was like growing up with your dead? Because I feel like it's in the way a little bit unusual. More from you hear about kids growing up with their moms off the divorce, then with their dads.


Yeah. So my mom had me at 18 so she was really young. And then when they split, she was just, you know, immature for toe to raise a child on. My dad had a had a business. That's the money coming in. And so there was custody battles for a few years, and the court decided that I live with my dad, and so that's that's who raised me. But that said it was, you know, it was very rocky. That was, you know, we lived very much and poverty growing up there was sometimes where we were in between places to live and,

you know, had to sleep out of the van for a few nights. Well, I got to figure things out, and, you know, he made it kind of fun, like we were camping and but kind of looking back like and that's, you know, it's not a great environment Put kids in. That was also just, you know, my dad did the best, you know, he was He was 23 when when I was born. So he wasn't that much older than my mom.

But, you know, he was trying to do to do his best. And but it was rocky for sure, growing up. But there were times, you know, there were times where, you know, we had Thio take welfare from the state and you know it government cheese and and that there was no, but they were picked their short periods, and I feel like we would have kind of there were just times already I couldn't find work and so that just those were rough times. But we made it through, and


in a nod way, I'm happier say that because there's so much conversation about, um, sort of the Bay area been now built around the affluent. Right, How you are no longer able to sleep in vents in the Bay Area and, um, people have to commute for hours and then to get to their work and in the way here. And you say, this is like you struggle, but you were able to Will you that in the case, right? You were still a kid, but your dad was able to get back on his feet and kind of raise your all by himself. Well, do you think if the same was happening today, you'd have to move somewhere like that? Opportunity still exist


because it depends on the profession. My dad ran a chimney cleaning company. So, you know, that's kind of Ah, very blue collar job where, you know, we definitely would live in the Bay area. But even when we were back about which is getting out of the valley where homes are cheaper than even back then like the eighties, it was still, you know, it was a struggle to find, you know, be able to afford a nice place to live. And it's tough. You know, growing up in that environment has also driven me.

And it's been kind of Ah, my focus for my studies and professionally and what I wanted to do and where I saw opportunity. Um, it's really kind of pushed me to build a better life from from experiencing, you know, kind of the bottom.


Sounds like I mean, we're talking about I'm fluent. But you did pretty well for yourself by doing really good for the companies that you work with, right? Greater markets hired and now dribble. And I'm sure the others in between. But, um, it sounds like just this experiences gave you a whole bunch of yeah, humility to be able to relate and just kind of live a life. And, uh, I don't see you driving. Ah, blue Lamborghini and talk about the start of successful the time, right. You're You're cool, Dad. Doing this thing, which is admirable and quite awesome.


Yeah, I try not to take, uh, take myself or or even my career too seriously. Even kind of my value as a CEO. Trouble is really too. You want us to provide a lot of value to the to the community? Yeah, We need a maintain a maintain growth in a profitable business. And, um, and also to be a positive function and support for Colonel Teen. That's it, you know, and that's that's really my job. And yeah, I mean,

I love that we're able to build a culture where, you know, end of the day that I could log off and go have a normal life Where, You know, I see a lot of friends who exited their companies and became millionaires, and they still grind it out. And they still, you know, are addicted to that. That lifestyle of the world, Alex, you know, and then it always chasing Theo, you know, the next big win. But for me,

uh, my family is my my big win. And in general, too, You know how time with them is.


Have you had any really challenging parenting moments where it made you question your abilities to be a parent or really scared you? Yeah.


I mean, both both pregnancies had hiccups. You know, I think with with newborns, you know, they're so fragile. And, uh so when there are medical issues, scared the hell out of me, you know? Then probably the scariest part of being being a parent was kind of drawing during those stages. And thankfully, both kids are happy and healthy. And getting through that kind of stuff is eyes. It's definitely challenging. And, um,

then, you know, emotionally, psychologically, really wanted to handle it. It's kind of the paternal unit. You have to be perceived as a strong and holding everything together. But on the inside, I just kind of like, you know, turmoil of uncertainty. And you know what's happening and all that.


I'm glad you mentioned the paternal unit. How do you and your wife find time for yourself now that you have


two kids? That's the hardest part, right? We, uh we still have both girls coming into our bed every night. And so, you know, that's for obvious reasons. That's that. Can't go on forever. So we have a ah, starboard on the fridge for like, Okay, well, every night you when you sleep in your own bed and stay in there, we'll give you a star. You get 20 stars,

and you could go down the target and pick out a toy, you know, But, uh I mean, no way. Try to do date nights once a week. Way this way. Have a roll index of neighborhood sitters. Uh, we use from time to time, but yeah. I mean, it's important. Tiu still find time to be together. And you have dinners or go out for a drink. Sir,

you know, we also have could befriend circle of other parents in the neighborhood who will, um, we'll do co opting centers and, uh, you got in town together.


I don't know if you realize, but since your profession is growth, in many ways did you realize you just game ified your child's behavior with gold stars, and it works any other tricks like that to get your kids thio to do things they don't otherwise want?


Todo way. Always keep ah, bag of Trader Joe's lollipops whenever we travel. Um, especially on planes. That's always kind of the time where they decide to scream or a fit or something. And so, always having like a lollipop reservoir, we'll keep them at bay, keep the rest of us playing from giving you evil stares.


At this point, we switched the subjects a little bit and that can I talked about music and how his kids learned to play. And, um, apparently, when these kids were pretty young, he got him a little baby piano. Ah, it's like an $80 piano, the link to which I'll just put at the podcast episode. But now his kids love experimenting and playing with this. And here's what it is I get to say,


Yes, we play together. My oldest is, uh, you know, learning songs.


So your five year old is using in $100 piano to write songs already? That's incredible. Yeah,


I think they're actually both kids will play it. Uh, even like my two year old will kind of like play the he's and kind of go up and down, um, up and down the keys and sing along to it and sing songs. And so they're both musical and I My my dad was very was a very great musician, and he left me about ticket horrors and stops We, my office, that much of a talker is hanging up. We'll have jam sessions. The girls had a little drum set, too, and I could play uh uh, microphones and things like that.


Do they think that do they pick the instrument. So was there. Did you pick something for them?


No. I mean, we haven't have the philosophy where we kind of just put stuff in front of them. And if they like it, though, we'll take it up versus kind of pushing things on them. Um, my my wife, her dad is a really great car player, but when she was little, she had the car lessons, like, really pushed on her. It really turned her off from guitar lessons. Now she's like, regretful shouldn't stick with it. Uh,

but I think if she really was passionate about it and really kind of explored it on her own, um, you know, she would've stuck with it. But so what kind of do that with everything from like, you know, soccer, gymnastics, painting, singing class, like all these things like, Let's go try a bunch of stuff. You like it. We'll continue to go if you don't like it. Well, you know,

um, my daughter didn't like soccer when she was, you know, floor, whatever. Now she's going to do summer soccer this year, so kind of ebbs and flows like she wasn't into it at first, but now she wants. Give another chance.


Okay, that was good. I've heard this philosophy from other parents before,


and it seems to work. You just got, I think ideas, like once they get into junior high or high school. Hopefully, they found something that they really passionate about. And you know about trying some different things. You kind of get to, you know, taste a bunch of different stuff before you fully commit. I grew up playing drums and, uh, love playing drums. And then in high school, I just stopped kind of overnight moved over the guitar. Um, you know, so I still play guitar, you know, daily or whatever.


Well, so knowing what you know now on DA having having dipped your feet into parenting, what would you recommend to upcoming parents To make sure that they're happy Parents and the their kids get the most out of them as parents.


Um, don't take parenting too seriously. That's my advice. Um, you know, when we had our first baby, I had a stack of, you know, expecting father books on my nighttime standing like red breath name like, super freaked out, but every little detail, you know, um, with their second kid. You know, she eats dirt now, like,

uh, whatever. You know, she'll live. You know, it's, um kids are resilient, and and I come from the flossy of, you know, we don't need to, uh you know, there's a lot of helicopter parents is, uh, is what they call it. We're just kind of watching every move. Um,

we want to give our kids Cem, Cem, freedom Thio be themselves and really figure out, you know what they like and also for us is his parents, too. There's only, you know, there's only so many things to worry about stress out about life, I think just taking a more, uh, lenient and relaxed approach to parenting. It's better for everyone in the end. I mean, you know, as a kid, you think like,

oh, wow, like my dad knows everything about life and, like, that's your perspective. But, you know, the truth is, we're all just figuring this out, You know, every day and, you know, life Throw some curve balls at you sometimes, and you just, you know, figure out howto how to hit him,

you know? So, um, yeah, I mean, that's kind of the the reality for me is that, you know, we're we're all just figuring it out. And, you know, if you talk to apparent and they think that they really nail it down while they're really good at, uh, mechanisms are taking it, fake it till you make it well taken. Totally make it. Uh,

yeah, I think you know the being a dad is, uh, it's not a job, it's a duty, right? And there's no turning back, you know, so thinking about the quality of life that you want individually to have a swell a ce, the quality of life that you want to to give to your family and your kids and there's a financial are that there's also, you know, for us the emotional side is and, you know, and psychological side. This is just much more important to us.


Thank you very much for listening to this episode of the ride that show if you want to get in touch with Zach or apply for a job at his company. I linked Thio all of that on the podcast website at Zach's episode. And if you want to get in touch with me, do email editor at rad dad show dot com. And as always, if you have a friend who could benefit from listening to one of these episodes, do let them know and I hope to see you soon Have a good one Goodbye.

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