Entrepreneurship is a Lot Like Fatherhood, Although Scars Are Fewer, Because the Stakes are Lower

As I build a business I am immersing myself in books, interviews and trainings with guys who have done it; men who have built successful, personal brand businesses.

One thing they all stress is that (1) you’re going to make mistakes, but that (2) okay and now is better than perfect but never.

12 years ago I was having a tough day. I don’t recall why, but I really wanted some quiet, alone time. Except my oldest kept bothering me.

“What are you doing, Daddy?”


“I want to do that.”

“Well, first I need to…”

“I want to do that.”

“Yes, but first I need to…”

“I want to do that.”

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Eventually I got him to stop bothering me, whereupon wifey quietly took me aside to say, “You know, all he wants to do is spend time with you.”

In short, I totally screwed up. Not the biggest mistake of my Daddyhood, but notable.

When I look back it still brings tears my eyes, how thoughtlessly and stupidly I rejected my wonderful little boy. Fortunately, while it must have hurt him to be rejected by his hero (Daddy), he was so young he can’t remember it.

But I can, and I bear the scar.

Being a father is a long series of screwups. A good father is one who learns from, and doesn’t repeat, them. Now my answer is, “Okay, let’s go.”

Being an entrepreneur is also a long series of screwups and, likewise the key is to learn from them.

Unlike fatherhood, being an entrepreneur allows you to experiment and deliberately screw up. All you stand to lose is time or money and the harm is just to your business.

But the key is the same as with being a good father:

  • Never repeat the mistake.