What Becoming a Dad Taught Me About Making Money Online

There are very few events that are quite as life-changing as becoming a parent for the first time. You experience much more of a dramatic shift than when you move out for the first time, when you get your first job, or when you get married. Everything changes. And going through this experience with Adalynn (yes, she has her own blog) has strangely provided me with renewed perspective on the professional front too.

Everyone Has Opinions and Advice

Is co-sleeping a good idea or a bad idea? Should you force your baby into a specific feeding schedule or should you watch for her cues and offer on demand? Should you bathe her daily or will that dry out her skin? Ask a hundred people and you’ll end up with two hundred different opinions on how best to take care of a baby. And a lot of this unsolicited advice will come from parents and non-parents alike.

Making money online really isn’t all that different. Everyone has a pre-conceived notion about this industry and if you were to ask a hundred “experts” for guidance, you could end up with hugely disparate opinions on how best to earn a living on the Internet. And that’s okay, because after you listen to what everyone has to say, you just have to choose the parts that work best for you and your situation.

What may have worked for earlier generations may not be as appropriate or applicable today. My dad never changed a single diaper. I’ve changed more than I can count. Gender roles change and so does the nature of Internet marketing and online entrepreneurship.

You Gotta Keep on Your Toes

Especially for the first few months of parenthood as a work-from-home dad, I found myself being pulled away from the computer on a moment’s notice because of a crying baby or an emergency diaper change. It was (and still is) difficult to gather together a few moments of reprieve. I have to continually adapt to the situation.

And you’ve got to be ready to leap into action on a moment’s notice. Earning your living on the Internet works in exactly the same way. Things can be going smoothly for a while, but perhaps your mail server just got hacked. Or your website is down. Sometimes, you just have to drop everything to keep the business going.

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When You’re Focused, Nothing Else Matters

I can be tired. I can be worn out. I can be frustrated, sleep-deprived and angry. But when I hear my little girl giggle and see her smile, none of that matters. I realize that all this hard work and all this effort is worth it.

While I wouldn’t be so quick to equate human life to an online business, it is true that your online business can feel like your baby sometimes. And when you put in all that effort and you get so focused on growing it, seeing those little glimmers of hope, happiness and success remind you why you’re keeping your eyes on the prize.

Conventional Work Hours Don’t Apply

Newborn babies typically need to be fed about every two to four hours. That means they also need to have their diapers changed every couple of hours. That also means that they’re probably crying every couple of hours too. This wreaks havoc on any semblance of a normal sleep schedule for new parents and it means you need to be creative in figuring out when you can get in some real work time.

I found myself waking up early to get some work in. I found myself staying up late to get some work in. I found myself skipping lunch to get some work in. The concept of a regular nine-to-five just doesn’t work when you’ve got a newborn there.

And guess what? You may not need to “feed” your online business every couple of hours and it may not be “crying” for your attention, but you can be awfully creative and flexible in when you choose to work on it too. That’s part of the beauty of the dot com lifestyle, really, because it means you can run your errands and do your regular life things on a Wednesday afternoon when everyone is at the office. Then, you take care of business on a Sunday morning when the malls are overcrowded.

Just When You Think You’ve Figured It Out…

To be fair, I’ve only been at this “new dad” thing for a few months, but I can already tell you that the learning curve has been steep. And every time that we think we have figured everything out and we’ve established a reasonable routine, things change. She doesn’t like being held that way anymore. She doesn’t sleep that way anymore. She doesn’t want to eat that anymore. So, you adapt. You change. You adjust.

I don’t need to tell you how quickly things change on the Internet. With Google algorithm updates, new social media best practices, new affiliate marketing strategies, new online products and services, and so much more, you have to be prepared to change. To adapt. To adjust. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow.

But it’s oh so rewarding when you get it right. Just like fatherhood.

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14 thoughts on “What Becoming a Dad Taught Me About Making Money Online”

  1. Joydeep Dam says:

    Michael,

    I think you have summarized properly on both aspects, i.e. become a father and make money online, that, if things are done properly, they are rewarding. I find myself to make a schedule like when the baby takes longest naps, do a certain amount of work. I do not force myself to finish. And carry on from there from next time.

    Nice read indeed.

    Cheers,
    Joydeep

  2. Cute little one Michael!

    I see having a kid as about the most freeing and sometimes uncomfortable thing on earth, pretty much. So I imagine having children would teach you endless lessons about how to make money online and how to succeed with the venture.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Ryan

  3. Hi Michael,

    What a cutie Adalynn is. I have to say having a baby and trying to make money online is like drinking out of a fire hose! My son Evan just turned 16 months old and its an adventure every day. With the newest thing being he wakes up every day at 4:30 a.m. and thinks everyone else should be awake. I would not change it for the world. Having a baby definitely increases productivity as you have a very short window to get a lot done and you have to make it happen.

    Thanks for sharing – this post definitely resonates with me.

    Kurt

  4. faisal says:

    It’s just like blogging

  5. Razaq says:

    What I learn from your article.

    1. I rather choose the best advice and opinion that work according to my big dream and goals.
    2. Out of no time or difficult situation come may I have to find time for my passion..
    3. I can work at my pleased and comfortable time anywhere with dot com lifestyle. And with dot com I will be free from poverty, free from time and free from location.
    4. In every situation I have to adapt, change and adjust.

    Thank you John Chow.
    My best Regards

  6. VERY Cute!

    My daughter is 7 months now so I hear ya.

    It’s been an adjustment and just when things look like it’s settling down, new things pop up!

    Routines? Throw that out of the window! 😀

  7. johnsonbaby says:

    so cute
    your website article is very good . I love a small baby .

  8. Kevin says:

    Aww, cute kid 🙂

    I’m about to become a dad and to be honest, thinking about future finances kind of terrifies me. So much that can go wrong and I have this feeling that there will always be something I can’t predict and have to learn from experience. Although, thinking about the little one soon kind of also helps to put everything in perspective 🙂

  9. Sara Young says:

    I agree with you that you have to do what works best for you and your situation…with your family and your business.

    Everyone has an opinion, but sometimes you gotta figure stuff out for yourself on the fly to make things work. Enjoy the journey.

    Great post and adorable picture of Adalynn!

  10. sathishw r says:

    I think you have summarized properly on both aspects, i.e. become a father and make money online, that, if things are done properly, they are rewarding. I find myself to make a schedule like when the baby takes longest naps, do a certain amount of work. I do not force myself to finish. And carry on from there from next time.

  11. Beautiful girl..

    Becoming a parent is a life-changing event, there ups and downs. but what children bring to our life, It is something beyond price.

    Alison

  12. SAJID says:

    Awww….cute baby you have john chow…

  13. James says:

    Not being able to work to a routine has to be one of the hardest things about doing business when you’re a dad. Before I would plan meticulously what I would do each hour of the day because that’s what worked best for me (I procrastinate if I’m not completely focused and know exactly what I’m doing).

    Of course all that’s changed now that I have a 9 month old! My day is full of constant interruptions now (good ones of course – except for the nappy changing).

  14. Yasin Rishad says:

    Hi Michael,
    Become a dad is one of the adventure for a man. It totally changes life and parent never become tired once they see their babies face.

    Having a baby increase productivity more. It changes life. Your daughter is very cute.

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