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The Business of Parenting: Navigating Roles As A Father And Businessman

Episode #745

Ever find yourself caught between the demands of your successful business and the desire to be fully present for your kids?

Doug, Tim, and Arthur tackle the complexities of managing guilt when work responsibilities clash with family time, sharing personal experiences and practical strategies.

They emphasize the importance of defining what it means to be present at home, highlighting the value of quality time over quantity. They also discuss their approaches to handling guilt, offering insights into making amends and giving oneself grace.

In this episode, you’ll learn valuable perspectives and actionable strategies for navigating the delicate balance of entrepreneurship and fatherhood.

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Doug Holt  00:00

Hey, guys. Welcome back to another episode of The Powerful Man Show, as once again joined by my amazing co-host, Tim the powerful man Matthews and Arthur Magoulianiti. Guys, today, what I want to talk about is the duplicity or the complex issue of being a successful entrepreneur and a present father. And this is something that really is difficult for a lot of men to navigate.

First, you have this business that you’ve been building. A lot of men we work with have been building their business for 2030 years. And then how do you go home and be a present father? How do you balance these two roles in your life?

So, Tim, I know you’ve coached thousands of men through this situation. Arthur, I know you have as well and lived this situation as a father of two yourself. So let’s talk about some strategies of the dual pressure of being a successful entrepreneur and an amazing father.

Tim Matthews  01:04

First, two things that come to mind for me is that scenario that guys often experience where they’re at work feeling guilty thinking about the kids at home with the kids feeling guilty thinking about work.

Doug Holt  01:16


Tim Matthews  01:17

Yeah. I think it’d be good to touch on how to break those two things throughout this. But then the other thing is, I think it’d be good for us to define what it means to be present at home, because I think some guys, I get that it’s all unique to a degree, but I think some guys could get a little bit lost thinking they’re not being present when actually they’re doing a good job of being present. But maybe some thoughts still come in of work or things they need to do. So in their mind, they’re labelling it as, hey, I’m not present. If we could define that as well, it could help a lot of people.

Doug Holt  01:50

Well, start with the latter, and then we’ll go back to the former. I think the being present part to me is you’re going to think about business. We’re business guys, right? That’s going to come up. I think it’s quality time over quantity time. I think there’s an application of quantity that’s appropriate here, but it’s a matter of staying focused most of the time with the kids. So what does that look like to me? That looks like not always being on your phone, putting your phone down. Right?

Sometimes, every once in a while, I’ll get my phone, my kids will look at me and they’re presence knowing machines, aren’t they? They know when you’re being present and not. They know like, that your women are too guys. And so putting the phone away or putting it down or sometimes putting the phone in another part of the room or the house is a good way of doing that. Being present also to me looks like saying yes to playing more, right? Saying yes to playing more regardless of how old your kids are, right?

And sometimes when I was challenging one of the men in Banff, he said, I’m going to say yes every time to my kids when they say to play. I said, why don’t you just make it a goal to play with them at least once a day so that way they’re not always having to come to dad to play. The dad’s coming to them. I also told them, play with your wife once a day. See what that’s like.

Tim Matthews  03:01

Yeah, I remember that.

Doug Holt  03:03

And that could be a way of being present all the time and instigating and coming through, because in business, we plan things, right. I’ll plan my business day. Here are my three goals. My calendar will reflect my business goals and attributions. But how often do we plan as a father, here’s my priorities. Here’s my three priorities as a father today.

Tim Matthews  03:21

Here’s a question for you.

Doug Holt  03:23

Yes, sir.

Tim Matthews  03:24

I’ve not seen you, obviously, with your kids yet. Obviously, I’ve seen you a lot with Bodie and Aspen. One thing I love about how you are with them is, well, you seem very present. Right? So to me, one of the things you do is you attune very well to them and the situation. And I’m curious, within that presence, the thing you said about quality versus quantity struck home as well, because whenever I see you with them, I get the luxury of being able to be having a conversation with you about business or whatever.

And then you got to switch quick because they’re walking through that ranch door and that’s like reaction time is boom, switching modes. There’s no tapping of the game time versus playtime thing. There’s no changing of clothes that we’ve spoken about in the past. All these different anchors that we say to the guys to have. There’s situations outside of that that just happen. Like I say, kids running in through The Ranch door, daddy, daddy. So I’m curious, what goes through your mind in that situation and how do you do it?

Doug Holt  04:32

Yeah. So I’m very deliberate in, I want my kids, my family to know that they’re a priority. And it’s not just lip service. So the analogy I use is if you have a Labrador, right? And I actually heard this as a story, and maybe I can go back and tell the story. I will tell the story. It’s going to take a little bit longer. I’ll do my best not to butcher it, but I heard the story.

So this guy is sitting in his office and his dog’s laying on the floor, and what have him. And his wife walks in. The dog gets up, shaking his tail, greet his wife, but he’s in the middle of doing something, and she asks a question. He’s like, not now. I’ll get back to you later. And she closes the door, and he goes back to work. And the dog lays down, and his wife comes back in a little bit later. Dog gets up, wagging the tail, and it’s only been like five minutes. And his wife goes, sorry, just one more thing. He’s like, come on, I told you I was busy. And the wife leaves, right?

And then he realizes for a second, wait a minute, right? This is what happened. Then the door opens. The dog leaves, and the dog’s tail is wagging. The wife’s excited to see the dog. He comes out of the office with the dog. Dog’s excited to see the wife again. The wife greets the dog, pets it and everything, and kind of ignores him. And it dawns on him that even if he goes in or out of the door, the dog is always there greeting him and happy. He’s like, only if I was more like the dog would my wife and I could be better together.

Now, I butchered the story and I paraphrase it, but you get the example here. So I want my kids to know that they’re a priority and works not. And it’s not that when you or I are in dialogue, Tim, that I want you to think that you’re less of a priority. But I also know you’re a grown man and that the filter through which you see the world is very different than theirs. And so when they walk through that door and they come in running. Daddy, daddy, daddy. And they jump into my arms, I want them to know that they are a priority and that my love is real for gives, because I want that to be a firm understanding of I will always be there for them. And that’s not just lip service.

All guys say, well, if an intruder came into my house, I would defend my family. And Tim, one time you said, well, what if you’re the intruder in the house? And that’s true. How many times are we the intruder in our own homes? As men, we put off things a little later, I will spend time, cats in the cradle, I’ll spend time later with my kids later. And I get guilty about this all the time.

So when my kids are in my presence, I give them the present of my presence. I become present. I go down. I mean, we do the same thing. Every time my daughter runs, she jumps because she knows she’s going to get caught by dad. She knows I will catch her. And it’s that reckless, fearless love and bond that we have. My son, the same thing. He’ll do the exact same thing. And I want to keep that going for as long as I can because it’s not going to go on forever.

Arthur Magoulianiti  07:20


Tim Matthews  07:21

That’s the podcast right there. The topic, seriously, right? Because it’s not about time, quality, the rules by which you’ve set for yourself, the way in which those rules anchor in not caring so much about everybody else, letting them take care of their own interpretation of what’s going on, they’re grown people and making those moments really count and matter and last.

Doug Holt  07:44

I want to add one more thing to that, if I can, before you come in, is I also am very blessed, right, in that scenario that you gave that you and I are talking about business and kids come in and I just immediately switch off and go to the kids. I also am blessed to be very rooted in our relationship that I know that you’re cool with that, right?

The same thing Arthur said the other day, and I’ll paraphrase, know, I was like, oh, sorry, the kids are here. I feel like I’m being pulled in all these different directions. And Arthur was smoking a cigar, sitting outside. My daughter was hanging out with Arthur, telling him, take his shoes off, telling him all kinds of things he needs to do to better his life at three years, at three years old. But Arthur looked at me and said, we’re family, and this is what family’s about. And if your family should be around, we’re all family.

And it was one of those things that I think I’m very blessed that the men that I choose to be around also carry the same values I carry. So when I go play with the kids or leave with my wife or anything, you guys aren’t hurt. You actually encourage it and you elevate it. In fact, the guys listening should know is you guys reached out to me and said, hey, look, can we watch the kids so that you and your wife can have a little bit of time together. And I thought, well, for the safety of you guys, not my kids, you haven’t met my daughter yet.

And it’s that kind of thing. I surround myself with those kinds of people now, people who don’t share the value of family or haven’t yet quite connected to it to a deep level. What tends to happen with them is they feel immense guilt. No one ever gets mad when I turn to my kids and play with my kids ever. It’s what happens is at least the guys that we work with and they all share the same morals, if anything, reflects upon them where they feel they’re lacking.

Arthur Magoulianiti  09:32

Yeah, I love that. Values is key. And just going back to being present, for me it’s all about capacity and focus. How much of your capacity are you bringing to bear in that moment? And your focus as well. All right. And you mentioned the phone story. I mean, this is my pet peeve, because having a phone near you straight away takes you out of it, disconnects you because your mind is on that. What’s happening over here?

And so a lot of the coaching that I’ve done with guys about being present is getting rid of their phone because that’s the biggest connection killer so that you can be present. And I think this leads into the other thing is the way to be present is to have a cut off and say, right now I’m with my family and that’s it. A lot of the times I advise the guys to have a cut off reverse alarm. So if you’re getting home, you want to be home at five, you set your alarm at four and you start working backwards to make sure that you leave at five and not start packing up at five.

Tim Matthews  10:37

How do you handle it, though, when it’s just a random situation? Because it’s okay saying we have a cut off at this time, but surely Harry or Maria must come in at some while they’re at school. But you get the point, right? They must come in at some points during the day. How do you handle that?

Arthur Magoulianiti  10:54

It depends what’s going on. Obviously, they know I’m usually on calls and the doors closed. If the door is closed, they might just open it, peek inside. If I’m talking or something, they’ll close it and I’ll disappear.

Tim Matthews  11:03

Either quiet — [Crosstalk] — kids walk up.

Arthur Magoulianiti  11:09

Yeah, but when I’m not on, my doors open, so I am available to them, but I don’t sit there. I mean, I give them the time. And if I’m on my phone upstairs when they come down, I always put it down in that moment. Just to give them my attention. So it really depends on the moment. If it’s work time, then I’ll give them two minutes, answer their query, they’ll go away and that’s it.

And if I’m chilling upstairs, then definitely when they’re not around and they do come down, because they’re teenagers, they’re not always around to your point, it’s like, enjoy the time that you have because they’ve got their own lives now, and so they talk into their friends in their rooms. They only come down when they want something or they’re hungry usually. But when they do come down, then I’ll make sure that I am present for them because of that or I’ll take a walk into the rooms and sit down and have a chat with them.

Doug Holt  11:58

Here’s another thing that can be a pro tip for the fathers out there. That works well for me. This works for any relationship. So when my kids being three and six, they want to come see dad, they don’t understand. Well, they do now, but the door is closed because I have to reinforce that rule. But what will work was, hey, guys, I’m busy. I will come up at X time or I’ll be available at Y time. And it’s closing a loop. It’s just like we tell the guys about their wives. If you can’t finish a conversation because you’re too heated or something, say, hey, look, I need to step away this conversation and we can talk about it tonight or, and we can talk about it tomorrow because you’re closing the loop for the person.

And when it can come, and my kids really get that, hey, dad can’t play hide and seek right now, but I’ll play with you in 2 hours. Then they’re like, cool. We don’t know what 2 hours is, but they know dad’s coming again and it closes the loop for them and doesn’t leave it open. And that’s something I’ve learned along the way that’s been really effective for me as a father, to be able to connect with my kids and also let them know that they’re important enough that I am going to be playing with them, even if it’s not just at this moment.

Tim Matthews  13:02

Here’s a question for you, too. So obviously there’ll be times when you aren’t as present as you want to be, right? One, how do you handle that? Like, what do you do in the moment to get back to being more present? Two, I imagine guilt comes up as well when you realize, crap, I am not being or I’ve not been as present as I could be. How do you handle. So those two things?

Doug Holt  13:29

One I can answer clearly. One I’m still struggling with. So the guilt, one hits me hard. Guilt and shame. When I’m not being as present as I should. What I do to these, how could I be more present? Like, next time? So a quick example is, coming back from Banff, I was just exhausted. I felt like I was being pulled in five directions. Wasn’t as present as I could have been. So I knew I needed just a few minutes by myself, a few minutes to reset the batteries, so to speak. So sometimes I’ll do that.

Another thing I’ll do is I’ll use the lottery ticket analogy that I like to talk to the guys about, right? It’s kind of like, so tired. I’m exhausted. I’m like, hey, if someone handed me a billion dollar lottery ticket, I just want a billion dollars, would I go to bed? No, you’d be dancing on the table, going crazy. So that energy is within sight of you. You just have to reset it. And I’ll do the same thing with presence sometimes.

Tim Matthews  14:19

So how will you translate that to Bodie and Aspen then? The lottery ticket thing?

Doug Holt  14:23

Yeah. So I’ll forward pace. Like, I’ll be. Man, do I want to play freaking hide and seek again. My kids go. I mean, they’re like, not yet. All right, come find us. You’re like, dude, I can hear you exactly where you are. It’s not exactly exciting for me. And I run around, I do the same thing. I can hear them giggling. They’re not in the oven. Interesting. Playing the same games with them, and I hear them giggle. That’s fun. But then I just get to remind myself that I don’t have that many of these moments again. There’s not that many more of these times to come. And that allow me to be a little more present.

And then also, sometimes, knowing that I need a break, I’ll say, hey, guys, I’ll play two more times. Then dad needs a break, right? And then, of course, they get bummed, but they also understand, again, I’m closing a loop for them, and I’ll use the best of my energy for those two more times that I can.

Arthur Magoulianiti  15:11

Yeah, I made a switch a while ago between being irritated when my kids came to me when they were young. I was all over them and all of that, because I just love kids. But as they grew older, when they come to you and all that, I started getting irritated because I had stuff to do until it clicked in my mind. It’s like they’re looking for connection, right? I get to give it to them. And as you said, as they get older, those opportunities are going to get less and less.

And so every time they do come looking for something and they understand the situation, they understand we work from home, so they respect that. But every time they do come for seeking something, I give them a connection because it’s not going to be that often, that soon before they leave the home. And so I also get to say yes a lot more. So, like Harry says, oh, can we go clay pigeon shooting? I’ll think, I don’t want to go waste my Sunday morning. I’d rather sit home and have a cigar. But no. Yes. Now it’s a yes. Let’s go. He’s seeking that connection as well. And so it’s yeses more than no’s.

Tim Matthews  16:14

What about the guilt and shame? Like. Well, I didn’t say shame, but the guilt. Let’s say you realize you’re not present. So before you made that switch, I imagine you must have experienced in some kind of feeling. Maybe it was guilt. I don’t know. How do you deal with that guilt when it comes up that you feel like you could have been more present and you’ve not, and I’ve done it again. How do you deal with that?

Arthur Magoulianiti  16:34

Well, I’ll go make amends straight away. If I’m feeling guilty that I haven’t done something, then I will go seek them out, sit down, spend some time with them. I’m not going to harp onto it, but because I felt guilt quite a few times, because we’ve been in the conversation over the years, because we got to offer reset. We think like that. Hearing it over and over again has just drummed it home for me over the years. And so I don’t let opportunities go like I used to.

Doug Holt  17:00

Yeah, I do the same thing as I go clean it up as soon as I can and reclaim it, I also give myself some grace. I’ve been able to do that more and more over the years is give myself some grace because I’ll come home from an Alpha Reset where we hear all these stories of men who either grew up with absentee fathers or become absentee fathers themselves. I give my wife a lot of credit because she’ll tell me, like, you’re a great dad, like, you are a great father.

And I hear it from guys that get to see me when I’m not looking right. And that’s where it’s really important. When you have your peers, when they don’t know that you’re watching and you’re dropping everything, they know you’re stressed. They know you’re stressed out. You got a lot in your plate, but then your kids come, you drop everything for your kids, and my wife, for that matter, because it’s important for me to show the people that I care about that I value them, right?

And I think I give myself just a little bit more grace of like, okay, I can’t be all things to all people, and that includes my kids. And I’m a better man when I’m fulfilled, when my batteries are fully charged. I’m just a better man for everybody, including myself. Give myself a little bit more grace during those times.

Tim Matthews  18:05

I’m curious. I know how powerful it is for me to be in that Alpha Reset every few months and to be in the reflection when you hear the guys share and what’s going on for them and how life is being for them. I naturally reflect on how I’m being with Amelia or the relationship with my parents or whatever. I’m curious, with you guys having kids, what’s it like for you guys, been in the reset so frequently, and how does that impact this particular thing we’re talking about?

Arthur Magoulianiti  18:35

For me, it’s major. And as you guys know, at my reset, there was a real big section about my son because we had a difficult. I mean, when he was small, he was really difficult. But each time I’m there in the conversation, it just makes it a deeper, deeper connection. And as I say, that’s what’s made the shift for me. With Maria, it’s been easy. We’ve had a great relationship, so it’s much easier with her. I didn’t have to try as hard, but with Harry, it was really about being in the conversation and having the mirror held up continuously. Am I showing up as best as I can with him? So, yeah, it’s just being reminded and being conscious of what I wanted and where I was and what the gap was.

Doug Holt  19:23

Yeah, for me, there’s that for sure. There’s also, whenever I go away, even if it’s small, my kids daddy don’t go, and they want extra huggies and kissies, right? And all these things. I think it’s also because my kids, at young age, my daughter was born during COVID so we’re just together as a family unit. My son’s favourite thing to do, be at home with the family or just be with the family. That’s all he cares about. As long as we’re together, he doesn’t care what we do. He cares. But anytime we’re together, that’s all he wants. And my daughter’s pretty close to that, so very tight family unit.

So when I leave, they want it now. I tell them I’m going to leave to help other daddies be better daddies, and they kind of like that. And now that they get to come and meet everybody, they meet my friends as they know them, and the men become my friends. They enjoy that portion. So I did a face-time with them at breakfast or a couple other meals, and they saw people they knew, like Jay, Jared. They remembered a lot of the guys that had been here to The Ranch and had met them. And they see, we have, I’m coming back to the point here, but we have our TV, and our TV is on a lot, but we have Google photos, rotate pictures.

And so they see you guys, they see other men that are in the movement. They know them by name, and they’ll ask questions about them. So there’s integration there. And when I’m out in Alpha Rise, I can feel some guilt, ah, I should be with my family right now, right? And at the same, also, it reinforces the patterns and the behaviors of being the best father I can possibly be. Right. And that’s why my wife Erin loves for me to go to these things. Like, it’s a love hate thing. She doesn’t want to solo parent the kids at the same time. I come back a better husband every time.

Tim Matthews  21:12

Yeah, I can imagine. I can only begin to imagine what it must be like. It’s such a gift. Been in that conversation every few weeks.

Doug Holt  21:22

Yeah, it is. It absolutely is. When you work as hard as Arthur and I do, it becomes.

Tim Matthews  21:28

Well, we have less skill. You have to make it up with effort. Right?

Doug Holt  21:32


Tim Matthews  21:33

Have more skill, less effort.

Doug Holt  21:35

So a couple of things guys can do, and this is something I did more than seven years ago, I’m thinking, with my wife, but now with my family because my kids are young, is I schedule time with my family. Right? I have 04:00 p.m. family time on my calendar. I don’t hit it every time. In fact, a lot of times I don’t. But my plan is to unwind by then. And I start early in the morning. Also, I try not to attend any meetings. So we have an international company. So 08:00 a.m. my time is 04:00 p.m., UK. So it gets. It’s late there, but I also want to wake my kids up in the morning or when they get up, I want to be there and I want them to see me when they get up and they come cuddle on the couch and we spend that quality time first thing in the morning. And I put them to bed at night, play with them in the afternoons, and I’m able to take breaks throughout the day when I can to really effectively be there for them and with them.

So I think I will always say, show me your calendar and I’ll show you your priorities. So I think for guys that want to be great entrepreneurs and great fathers, start scheduling in time with your kids. I told Erin, starting next week, I want to date my she. So of course she says, why do too said, great. Thursday night, we have date night. Why don’t we do Tuesday night? I’ll take Bodie out, my son, you take Aspen out. We can just do it at the same time. She was thinking it was exclusive. I was like, no. And then next week we’ll switch. The kids will always get one parent to hang out with and they’ll get solo time with their parents. And so that’s something I want to incorporate starting next week with my family and get that on the calendar.

And of course, things can come up right, like, oh, we have an alpha resets coming up in another week from now, so I won’t be able to do it then. That’s fine. Give yourself some opportunity to change and shift, but get these priorities on your calendar. If you say you want to be a great father, then where is great father on the calendar? Right? Where is that?

Tim Matthews  23:31

Yeah, I think some of the guys in the inner circle and that we work with one on one, they often talk about those daddy dates as been the favorite times and one of the things that has shifted the needle the most in the connection they have with the son or daughter.

Doug Holt  23:48

Yeah, I can think of a story right now is one of our guys who was actually with us in Jasper. The story almost brought tears to my eyes. For some reason, he’s been very successful financially. He took his daughters to Hawaii. They went out to a nice dinner, right? So their daughters are all dressed up in these nice dresses and what have you. And I want to say his daughter is five and nine, eight. And they’re young, but my world, not super young. And they’re walking home from the beach and one of the girls got like their feet wet or what have you, and they’re like, oh, dad, can we go in the water? He’s like, yeah, go for it.

So the girls, can you imagine how giddy are in these nice dresses are splashing in the ocean and getting soaked and wet and being kids, right? I love that dad moment. And then they walk back to the resort. It’s a nice resort they were staying at. Very intimate, very small boutique, very high end. And the girls ask, dad, can we go in the pool? Go for it. And there’s people around watching, and you have these two girls just being. Just being girls. I picture my mind’s eye, right? I don’t know what’s in there. Jumping in the pool and swimming and laughing and giggling. That had to be infectious throughout the whole area.

And I think about that as being a dad of, like, when do you get to have those moments where we strip the rules down, we let the rules go. And I think that’s really an important factor to be a father. One thing that I do that I think is somewhat unique, maybe not very unique, but I think somewhat because of the work that we do here, is as a father, when I screw up, I sit down and talk to my kids about it. I say, yeah, sometimes as a dad, it can be tough, because sometimes, ahh, do you ever get stressed or you’re really tired and you kind of really want something, but you can’t get it? And I’ll sit there and try to explain it the best I can and that I can get frustrated, I can get stressed, I can feel guilt and shame, and I explain that I’m feeling it.

And then I relate it to a learning lesson of, like, when have you felt that way? And it brings more connection, right? If I’ve yelled and I snap and I yell, and I do all those things that we’d never want a camera seeing us do, right? Never anything horrible, but not the best versions of ourselves. But I sit down with my kid, even my daughter, who’s three, and I sit down and talk to them about it, and they always say, you’re the best daddy ever. And they’ll hug me and kiss me, and we’ll turn into, like, a moment of connection, just like I would do with my wife. It brings us closer together, but it also gives them a moment to see that their father’s not perfect. I get to be vulnerable, therefore they can share their feelings. It’s safe.

And then I get to learn more about their world. Like, oh, yeah. At school, Johnny doesn’t play with me, and it makes me feel bad, too, like, oh, yeah, how do you handle that? And now it becomes a learning experience.

Tim Matthews  26:33


Arthur Magoulianiti  26:34

I think it’s key that we spend long times with a great deal of time with our kids. And obviously that’s not going to happen day to day because we work and all of that. But I think you mentioned, and it’s saying yes to long periods of time with him. So taking your son for a hike for maybe 2, 3 hours with just you and him, or a date, 2, 3 hours where they know that they got you, you don’t have your phone on you or you switched it off, so you’re not checking your phone, and they just got you. Because initially, kids won’t open up. Right?

And they definitely won’t open up if they know they don’t have your attention. But over a period of time, they’re going to relax, start talking, and then you’ll get to know so much about them or what’s happening in their life, which is what you want, and they’re going to know they’ve got you for that time period. So we get to make it non-negotiable, which is another thing you mentioned, Doug, putting it on your schedule. You put it in, and it’s a non-negotiable. It doesn’t get moved. Then, you know, you move from there.

Tim Matthews  27:31

Have you considered taking a trip with Maria?

Arthur Magoulianiti  27:34

I have. I have. And that actually came from one of the guys in the movement. He says he’s taking his son away. And I thought, like, hey, why am I not taking my son away? And what could I do with my son? So that’s coming up. I’m not sure what it is yet, but definitely looking at that.

Doug Holt  27:48

A trip to the ranch.

Arthur Magoulianiti  27:52

Why not? Why not? Exactly. So, yeah, something to look forward to.

Doug Holt  27:58

Something I’m considering doing. And I came with this idea one of these nights. I couldn’t sleep very well in the last few nights, actually, is I thought, how cool would it be? Because I want to be more handy with building stuff. I didn’t learn how to do that as a kid, is with my son building a box. Right? With a lid on it and having my daughter help paint it, what have you. But being a thing where if daddy’s too much on his phone in the night, you can ask me and you could pick up the phone and having them ceremoniously put the phone.

Tim Matthews  28:24


Doug Holt  28:25

Yeah. But what I mean by that is it is ceremonious, where they know unequivocally, or I can just hand them my phone, say, put it in the box, that then they know that they got my attention. So it gives a trigger or an anchor for them to actually know that.

Tim Matthews  28:41

They’ve got me building the box.

Doug Holt  28:43

What’s hard sometimes kids will be playing or doing their own thing, and you’re kind of like, okay, they’re playing trucks or whatever? I’m just going to go check the phone, check some messages, knock a few things out so I don’t have to do them later. But they know you’re being present. One of the things I’ll do is my son loves cart. I mean, most kids love show. My daughter doesn’t seem to care much, but my son just. He’ll just zone out.

So what I do is I consciously go sit down next to him and just put my arm, and then if I sit down next to him, inevitably he’ll be leaning to the left on the couch, if you can imagine, and I’m sitting up, and then within a couple of minutes, he floats over and he’s leaning on me, watching the show. He’s cuddling me, but he’s still watching a show, but I’m enjoying something that he enjoys with him.

Arthur Magoulianiti  29:28


Doug Holt  29:29

And he loves that.

Arthur Magoulianiti  29:30

And I think that’s key. If you’re going to spend time with your kid, do something they enjoy, not something you want to do, because it’s their time.

Doug Holt  29:37

Yeah. My dad used to take me on errands everywhere and he made it fun, to his point. But that was kind of what we did, is we went to the dry cleaners and my dad was a businessman. We did all those kinds of stuff, but he didn’t spend. I don’t recall him spending a lot of time doing those kinds of things that I really like. Just the things that I liked in those kinds of moments. We threw a football basket, played basketball. So to be fair to my father, we did a lot of those types of activities. But the quote, more boring ones, maybe not as much.

Tim Matthews  30:06

One of my favourite memories as a kid with my dad was him taking me up to the local field just to play football. Right? I was goalie and he was crossing the ball and jumping out and catching it. I loved it. That only happened a handful of times, but the memory sticks out. I loved it.

Doug Holt  30:25

Yeah. Awesome. You’re smiling. Here to here.

Tim Matthews  30:28

Yeah, I loved it. Yeah, it was great. The weather was terrible, but having so much fun, I didn’t care about that stuff as a kid.

Doug Holt  30:33

Yeah, right.

Tim Matthews  30:34

I’m sure he was probably thinking, oh, my God, it’s raining. It’s this. It’s muddy. It’s that. I was just loving it. Loved it.

Doug Holt  30:44

That is cool. I get to do a little more of that, which would be great. So, I mean, there’s some practical action steps if I were to give one thing to the men listening to this. I’ll go back to. Show me your calendar. I’ll show you your priorities. Get your family time or your fatherhood time specifically onto your calendar. Do it now. Open up friggin outlook, Google calendar, whatever it is. If you’re on your phone, pause this, go over there and schedule at least one calendar activity for your family only.

And that gets to be put in the tooth brushing category, not the massage category. What I mean by that is most of you guys probably brush your teeth every day without having to think about it and you don’t skip it. Whereas a massage you can do every. Not you, Tim. [Crosstalk] But most people, they’ll get a massage when it’s a gift or whatever. That’s not the case here. It’s not what we’re talking about. We’re making this like a mandatory time that you don’t take off the schedule and start there. Start there and having that time as a conscious time with your kids.

Arthur Magoulianiti  31:45

Yeah, I’m going to go with the phone. Get rid of the phone. That’s such a connection killer. Whether it’s your kids or your wife, just put in another room. That’s the best.

Doug Holt  31:54


Tim Matthews  31:55

I’m thinking, give yourself some grace. You’re going to mess up, you’re going to make mistakes, but the faster you can attune to it and just give yourself some grace instead of making yourself feel guilty. I think the quicker you will course correct and get back to just. I think also what you said. You’ve got a rule, right? You’ve got a rule of what it looks like when the kids walk in through The Ranch door. You do. Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb.

Doug Holt  32:19

What’s my house door, too, at home?

Tim Matthews  32:20

Yeah, whatever. But there’s a standard that exists, right? And that standard is a non-negotiable. And I don’t think there’s much of a standard that exists for a lot of the guys that we speak with. I think in the movement there is in the guys in the beginning there isn’t because I’ve never thought, I mean, whoever talks about creating a standard and a rule like a minimum standard with your kids, a minimum standard of connection, you just don’t hear it. Right? So I think coming up with that minimum standard of connection of what it looks like, the rule that you operate at and the standard you refuse to drop beneath, and then giving yourself some grace in living up to that. Right? Not delusion, but grace.

Doug Holt  33:06

Yeah. And I’ll just end with this if I can. And I talk about this a lot. Also at the offer reset, I want to be the father that my kids choose to call as an adult for advice, right? That the ones they call for wisdom, that they can trust, they could talk about anything, drugs, sex, whatever it is. And they’ll know that. They’ll be greeted with love, firmness, and honesty. Right? Firmness is important to me, clearly. But they’ll be greeted, and they’ll know what they’re going to get, and they know they can turn to dad with anything. And I will be there for them. Right? I’ll pick up the phone. I’ll be there. Anywhere in the world they are. Every dad wants that. Very few dads do the action steps to get there. And I’m just in a very blessed position that I get to talk to thousands of fathers on a regular basis and take the culminary of all that information and do my best to walk that path.

Tim Matthews  33:59