Speaker. Entrepreneur. Author.

Why I Do Not Go on Dates with My Daughter

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Plan dates with your daughter or son all you like. I will not be calling our trips for ice cream, dinners out, or afternoons at the movie the same thing. I do not date my daughter.

There's a more extended examination of the naming of all this that could really dive deep into issues of patriarchy or heteronormativity. I'm not qualified to jump into that end of the pool, and I bet you're not overly interested in my thoughts about that. 

But what I will tell you is that when my daughter and I leave the house - just the two of us - it's never referred to as a "date". Not by me, not my her, and not by my wife.

I'm in complete support, mind you, if you want to date your son or daughter. I'm not waging a war against social outings with your offspring, and I won't be writing my elected representatives to put such an issue on the ballot. Just know that your date night hashtags and purity balls aren't common topics of discussion around here.

But even without the innuendos and gender stereotyping, there's a much larger reason I don't go on dates with my daughter: I want her to know that our relationship is on a level where she doesn't need an appointment to access me. Special events aren't needed for me to to show her she's special.

If she wants me all to herself, a trumped up occasion or trip is not required. She needs to send no calendar invite weeks in advance. She has me and my attention the moment she needs it. 

To me, that's what parenting is. It's being available. Being honest. Being there. 

Sure, some outings will be more expensive, take longer, or be a bit out of the ordinary. Some will require advanced planning, reservations, and time to be set aside. And when all that happens, we won't be on a date. We'll be on a journey as parent and child. 

(We also don't call it "Daddy Day Care" at my house. Mainly because no one calls it "Mommy Day Care," but also because we just refer to it by its original name: parenting.)

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Benefits and Demands

Added on by Sam Davidson.

This statement challenged me when I heard my friend and pastor Alan Sherouse share it:

We want the benefits community offers without the demands it makes. 

That coincides with something I heard my wife say a long time ago:

The price of intimacy is vulnerability. 

Nearly everything - every product, every service, every company - promises us ease today. The notion of making life easier is a valuable marketing opportunity, it seems. When was the last time someone tried to sell you something that was guaranteed to make your life harder?

But that's exactly what family does. And entrepreneurship. And work with meaning. And travel. And friendship. And legacy.

These things are difficult to maintain. But through their difficult maintenance we achieve the maximum benefit. There is no shortcut to lasting love, deep relationships, or meaningful community. The only way to earn all those have to offer is to slog through the mire when it comes up and trudge through the low points.

And if you're not willing to do that - to deal with the demands - then you'll never be worthy of all the promise it holds. 

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What Entrepreneurship is All About

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Last week, I was a guest speakers for the current session of CO.STARTERS, being hosted at The Skillery here in Nashville. I was asked to come share my story about starting and growing both Cool People Care and Batch

It was a great time to share with local, like-minded dreamers. Here's some of what I said:

  1. Entrepreneurship isn't about creating a job for yourself. It's about creating a life for yourself.
  2. That said, the point of entrepreneurship isn't to build a company, sell it for beaucoup bucks and then go sit on a beach. Trust me - there are easier ways to make it so you can go sit on a beach. In fact, the best entrepreneurs I know, especially those who have had successful exits, do anything but sit around at any point in time.
  3. If you're not willing to pack a box, sweep a floor, deal with an angry customer, stay up late, fix a toilet, or fold some shirts, you're probably not willing to do what entrepreneurship will require of you.
  4. Passion alone will not create a company. You need skill, too - a real talent and knack for making something.
  5. But even passion and skill together won't mean you have a business. For that, you'll also need customer validation. Will someone pay you for the thing at which you are skilled? 
  6. Your concept and your company will be very closely linked to who you are as a person. Dream and behave accordingly. 
  7. And lastly, are you really sure you want to do this?
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Acting Like a Neighbor

Added on by Sam Davidson.

This time of year, I have to water my plants each morning, at least if I don't want my hydrangeas to droop and sag by the time dinner rolls around. When I finish drenching those bad boys and topping off everything else in my backyard, I also give a drink to one of my neighbor's plants.

She, too, has a hydrangea in her back yard, right next to the fence where I turn on and off the water and roll the hose back up when I'm done. So before I finish and put everything away, I water her plant, too. 

"You should charge her for what you're doing," says the Capitalist.
"Your tax dollars should pay for a water relief program," says the Democrat.
"It's her job to water her own plant," says the Republican.
"The government will water everyone's plants in the same way," says the Communist.
"Everyone will be required to water everyone else's plants," says the Socialist.

Meanwhile, while everyone else was talking, the neighbor has watered the plant, put away his hose, and begun his day. 

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This is How We Do It

Added on by Sam Davidson.

The way you're doing things right now could be a lesson for someone else. Therefore, your processes and plans that are helping you win could be used to help others win, too (and maybe make you some money). 

Here's what I mean:
Over the last year (almost), we at Batch have shipped closed to 13,000 boxes. We're not the only people who do this, nor are we the absolute best in the world at it, but we're pretty good. We can pack things quickly and efficiently, and our overall volume gets us great rates on things like shipping fees, materials costs, and other things in the packing and logistics world.

And we want to keep getting better. But not just for our sake - for the sake of others, too.

This is why we now offer storage and packing services for local makers. Many of these people, whether they're pouring candles or mixing spices or stirring up delicious treats, love what they do. They love creating products. But they hate taking time to put things in a box and mail it. On top of that, because they're not shipping lots of things every month like us, what they pay to get something to a customer is expensive, possibly prohibiting a sale at worst and deeply cutting into profit margin at best.

So we stepped in. Now one thing that Batch does is use our packing expertise and discounts to ship things for our purveyors. Everyone wins because we leverage how we do something to a greater good (and commercial opportunity).

I bet you can do this, too, whether or not you're even officially in business in a particular area. You make the best beer can chicken. Who else wants to know? You've discovered how to better plan your day after years of wasting time. How can you share that? You're a great artist but you also know the ins and outs of taking an original creation and mass-producing prints to sell. When are you going to teach someone about that?

In many cases - like a teacher or coach - you can turn this knowledge into income, especially if people can see the passion and skill behind it. You don't have to, nor can every process or morsel of knowledge be monetized. But, if you don't at least consider what you know and who else may want to know it, you're leaving money on the table.

I bet you know something no one else does. Don't keep it that way. Let your excellence shine.

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