Rad Dad Podcast by Kirill Zubovsky

Galen Ward

Raising kids vs. running a company. What would a CEO do?

Raising kids vs. running a company. What would a CEO do?
May 22, 2019
Seattle, WA
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Galen Ward

Raising kids vs. running a company. What would a CEO do?

May 22, 2019
Seattle, WA
Subscribe in your favorite podcasting app. It's free.

Episode Summary

How do you stay on track of your daily life and find time for kids?

To be able to stay on track with kids and work Galen keeps a schedule. He goes home early to take care of dinner to be with kids. On weekends he tries to match up their schedules to do something together. Having kids go to school can help put your whole family on schedule, more or less.

Protip here: to save time cooking dinners, it helps to prep everything in the morning and have it all ready to cook. This seems like a very popular bandaid solution across discussion boards too.

There are always more things to do with kids and knowing what your family role is can help parents to stay motivated and not go insane. Galen brought up a great point that as a dad I might be doing most of the active and physical work, but my wife ends up doing most of what is called "emotional labor" of planning for our family. She does all the scheduling, all the research on doctors, schools... etc. That is true, I do not love planning if I can avoid it, and it is definitely worth recognizing this and remembering.

How do you get a reliable nanny that works well for your family?

Put ads on Care.com and UrbanSitter.com and various Facebook groups, then wait for people to apply. For part-time nanny, you gotta realize they have other things going on, so it is going to be harder to find the right fit, and you just have to plan for it. Talk to them on the phone, talk about your parenting style and theirs, listen about how they hung out with the kids, call their references.

Do you personally change once you have kids?

Galen became a lot less interested in novelty. For example, travel to new and difficult places with kids became a lot less fun, as travel needed to be more predictable. The act of traveling itself became 3x harder with kids and most of the time just not worth it.

CEO vs. manager of your kids, what's the difference?

As a CEO Galen sets strategy and goals, tracks metrics and make sure everyone is on the same page. Each now and again he talks to each person in the company to figure out what is going on on every level. His main job is to help the team get work done, remove low priority work out of the way, and focus them on areas that will grow revenue the most.

Being a manager of adults who are good at their jobs is different from managing children.

Being a dad though is different. Children require a lot of manual effort and they are distractible. A lot of people excuse the behavior of their children, particularly if it fits into the gender stereotypes. It helps to learn to identify a roof of the problem and then addressing it with your kids. Outside of that, Let kids play in the mud. Get dirty, live a low-stress lifestyle. That is really important. Let them get bored and figure out how to entertain themselves or to socially interact with each other. Empower kids to understand things and give them an ability to continuously grow.

Will you encourage your girls to be CEOs of let them be artists?

Being an artist is hard to accept because it has a really-really chance of success. The world is very open to opportunities, but in a highly capitalist society being able to make enough money to afford necessities and then a little more is a way to increase happiness, up to a certain level. At least get a goal that has a backup option; doing a startup, for example, you can at least go get a job eventually.

What about giving your kids a pile of cash to live off? After all, successful startup CEOs might end up with a small pot of gold? Galen says “no.” Giving your kids enough money to live forever is horrible for kids. They will not learn how to appreciate life and will spend their 20s wondering without a goal. You can do a lot with money to make a world a better place, instead of enabling your kids to relax and perhaps never find a meaningful satisfying life, at least that is Galen's view today.

What about sexism in the tech industry? You have two girls, how do you think they ought to be raised in order to deal with it?

Navigating sexism in the industry is something women have to do, unfortunately. Galen will raise his girls self-confident, confident in their own skin and not seeking approval from others. Ignore assholes. 

Advice to new and expecting parents

(1) Formula is feminist. When you don’t use formula, it’s brutal on the woman to have a newborn. If are a man, whose partner is breast feeding, do everything else. Get out of bed, change the diapers, take time off to help out at home, do it. 

(2) Find someone who can help you, grandparents/nanny/friend ..etc, take it. If your wife just gave birth to a child, it’s not a great time for her to go back to work or to do everything around the house. Birthing is taxing on the body, so help her recover.

(3) Sometimes it’s okay for your child to sleep in swing and/or car seat. As a parent, you want to get some sleep, and if your kid can’t sleep flat, then do the car seat, you need to be rested too. “Google that , or ask your doctor.” 

(4) Double-swaddle. A way to still swaddle your kid without giving a hip displacement.

(5) Find a way to relax.

Links from this episodes

Galen Ward - the man himself. Toddler vs. CEO - Around the 10minute mark we talk about sexism in the tech industry and toddlers running the companies. This is the blog post which was referenced in the conversation. Estately - Galen's real estate company. DoubleSwaddle - so many choices on YouTube!

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Rad Dad Podcast is created and hosted by Kirill Zubovsky