Lessons fatherhood taught me about business


Here’s something that you’ll hear rarely — running a business is like raising a child. While this analogy may be strange, I believe it holds true.

There’s no business person I know out there that doesn’t hold their business close to their heart. That’s what happens when you spend ten, twenty, thirty years of your life and millions to build a company. It becomes your baby.

But the funny thing is, only when I became a dad did I understand how similar both are. In the rows below, I’ll share my thoughts on how being a dad and a businessmen compare to each other.
One of my biggest revelations was that to be a good dad and a good business person, you have to know what you truly want.

Growing Fantastic Services to a £40,000,000/year company in 10 years wasn’t an easy feat. Back when we started, in 2009, we had a rough idea of what we wanted to achieve with the company, but let me tell you, that vision was quite… broad.

We knew we wanted to make the easiest place to book services for the home. But we never imagined it would’ve been as big as it is today.

To be successful in business you have to know exactly what you want. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time chasing ideas around and never get to materialize anything.

How does that overlap with fatherhood? Well, for starters you should know what you want to teach your child. For me, it’s always staying true to yourself, and consistency. Those to me are the most important aspects of life.

Translating this to business, knowing what you want means that you have clear goals, targets and a roadmap to achieve them. A team needs a clear vision and goals in order to be successful. To set those, you have to know what you truly want to achieve as a business.

For this to happen, you need to be patient. Just like you are with your kid.

Any parent will tell you that patience is the golden ticket to successful parenting. You just can’t rush things when it comes to raising a child.

They need to learn on their own. And more often than not, kids take things at their own pace.

It’s exactly the same with teams, employees, and well… business. Quite often, it doesn’t matter how much you push your team or employees, they will take things at their own pace. And that’s okay.

As a leader, you have to realise that and accept it. There’s no rushing learning a skill, or understanding a niche. It comes with time and experience.

You have to support that team and your employees throughout the different projects and stages your company goes through. Only then you will be able to go grow a company that’s a force of nature.

But most people don’t talk about how much of a mind-game running a business is.


Now that you know how important it is to know exactly what you want to achieve with your business and the setting of clear goals, it’s time to talk about the whole mind-game that comes with entrepreneurship.

Trust me, raising a kid is hard. So is growing a business. But when it comes to keeping your head straight and working hard, it can be challenging.

See, as a businеss owner, you have to give up a lot of things. Not only that, but even if you make a million you may end up with not enough money to pay yourself. Here’s where a lot of entrepreneurs on the internet don’t give you the full picture — revenue and profit are completely different things.

Finally, being in business is very much about building your dream world.

Most of us spend at least 40 hours a week working. So, why don’t you make it awesome? Raising a kid is pretty much the same. You have to create a magical world for them too.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an obsession with Legos. Mainly because you can create anything your mind imagines. With business, it’s the same. It’s your small world and you get to do things the right way.

Whether it’d be ensuring your employees build amazing lives, or you help make the planet a better place you can do it. There’s this saying I love “Everything you can imagine, you can create”. I always remind myself that. And I’m always reminded of that whenever my son and I play with Lego.

The teams within your company, your goals, the culture, the experience — they’re all a part of that dream world I’m talking about.

To wrap things up, my advice to any entrepreneur (or parent) is to act the way you want your company to act. Lead by example. But I digress.

Rune Sovndahl

Rune Sovndahl, is the co-founder of Fantastic Services – an international brand with 10+ years of experience that combines technological innovations with bespoke customer care to deliver services for the home, office and garden. Rune, who is Danish, moved to London 20
years ago to study for a BA (Hons) in Business Information Systems Design at South Bank University. Following completion of his degree, he was accepted onto a graduate programme with British Telecom. In 2003 he also established the European Young Professionals committee in London and was involved in its website’s creation as well as in the recruitment of more than 200 new members, also working for lastminute.com as Head of SEO before establishing Fantastic Service in 2009.

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