Shownotes(Content is summarized and paraphrased. Timestamps are approximate.)
00:20 JD Graffam:
– One of my boys doesn’t pee a lot
– One kid who’s really physical, and doesn’t want junk food. He wants salad and grilled chicken.
– The other kid only wants club crackers.
– The healthier kid pees like a racehorse Mike Sudyk:
You are a father of three, and a father to a ton of different companies. Tell me about yourself and Simple Focus. JD:
– I started Simple Focus in 2009 because I had been moonlighting as a designer since college in 2000.
– I had a good day job, but I was making more money moonlighting than at my day job.
– It made more sense for me to leave. I had always wanted to be a business owner.
– I was fortunate that the business made money
– Now Simple Focus is a user experience firm, and also has a portfolio of SASS businesses. I also have various other business investments.
– Ten years later I have 11 different companies under Simple Focus and 3 kids. 6:30 MS:
So what are your kids ages? JD:
Daughter in Kindergarten who is 6, and twin boys who are 4.5 MS:
Having those kids while you’re building your business, tell me about that, about the risk. JD:
– I’m probably more courageous now with experience
– Someone asked if I would go back and do it all over again, and I said yes. If it were still ten years ago.
– Before I started my company an entrepreneurial person gave me some advice. He said you don’t have a family, and now’s the time that you can take a risk.
– You’re either born with a bug to be an entrepreneur or you’re not. If your kids need to see you take chances, then need to see their father be willing to compete. If it doesn’t work out, they need to see what it’s like.
– I don’t buy that early advice so much anymore… MS:
The other risk is you have regret later. JD:
– Sure, but zoom out and make it about more than just you.
– My father always has these great ideas, and he has an itch, but he and I are cut from a different cloth.
– Now he has a lot of “what if?”
– If you’re the kind of person who’s like, I’m going to do this or I’m not going to feel like I did everything I could. It’s also about setting the example for your children so they can see you chasing after your dreams.
– I’m assertive with my entrepreneurial spirit, but I’m also doing it for my dad. 13:00 MS:
When you talk about regret and fulfillment, I think that makes you a better dad and husband. If you’re full of “what ifs” you’re not operating at the efficiency you should be, and that’s going to cascade into other things… JD:
– About a year ago we had to let some people go to save some costs in the business…and it was tough. I had to lay off my mother-in-law.
– when the kids learn about this one day, we need to tell the truth and tell them business was tough.
– Those are important stories for them to have as reference points in their own careers.
– Because I was so careful about doing things the right way, I was able to go home at the end of the day and be present. I could leave work at work. 18:00 MS:
What are some times where you’ve seen those things out of balance? What are the pitfalls? JD:
– I talk to my therapist about that regularly.
– I can lose my cool and grab my kid by the arm too hard, or raise my voice, and I feel terrible about those moments.
– The thing that gives me hope is something my therapist shared…she asked about what about when my parents did stuff like that? I asked my dad about those moments when he felt bad…my therapist said that kids are resilient, and you have to be consistent and show them love. Some of these moments will standout more to you than to the child.
– If you don’t show the step of conflict resolution, then they won’t understand that step.
– Not being perfect is ok, but they need to know for later in their lives how to resolve conflict with other people in their lives. 24:00 MS:
My wife’s parents were a little better at that than mine were, and recognize that in myself. My wife taught me to be able to resolve some of those conflicts. JD:
– It’s important for the kids to be able to understand that it’s not about them.
– I’m 37 years old and I’m still trying to learn that with other people…if they snap it’s probably not about me. 27:30 MS:
You mentioned therapy, I wonder if you were reluctant to doing that at first… JD:
– I’ve been going for 6 or 7 years now consistently every week and every other week when I’m in town.
– She asked me one time, “How do you feel about that?” And I said, “angry.” She told me it didn’t sound like anger. I said I was upset, and she said that wasn’t a feeling, “how do you feel?” She ended up showing me a chart of basic feelings. She helped me pinpoint my feeling. And suddenly I realized I was unable to articulate my feelings.
– You may not know as much about how you feel as you think you do. If you can’t articulate them, you can’t process them.
– Therapy helps me in business because I can learn from the way my therapist helps me.
– I also take care of my body in other ways, but I was also talking to my therapist about this feeling in my chest that was anxiety. My blood pressure had been affecting my brain. 37:00 MS:
Could you talk about mentors you’ve had along the way, and any key principles that have stuck with you? JD:
– My business mentor has given me some good nuggets over the years.
– Sit up straight at the desk…
– Running a business is more common sense than you would think.
– When you’ve got a chance to get investment money from someone, get as much as you can.
– As a father, the best advice was what people say about really good doctors. Sometimes when you’re in the waiting room you’re frustrated that the doctor isn’t showing up. But when you’re in the room you’re the only person in the world. It’s about showing up and mindfulness.
- What if
- Conflict resolution