This week I am super excited to introduce to you all Mr Daniel Cross from @entrepreneur_dad. I came across Dan's account while following his gorgeous wife's Megan's account @among.my.wild. I was really impressed by his bio stating that he was a dad first and then everything else. It made me smile. Dan is a hard working, successful business man and entrepreneur. He shares with his followers his lifestyle of a successful businessman and how he tackles family life and proves that you CAN have both. I know you are going to love this weeks #showtherealyou because weather you are a stay at home parent or juggling work and family I know you will learn something from Dan.
Favourite hot drink?
Im writing this at night which makes me think of Tea but I know my whole day just doesn’t work without my morning coffee so lets go with that, I’ll have a Picolo with honey thanks.
Can you tell me who the REAL Dan Cross is?
I’m 27, living in Brisbane with my family Megan, Nala and Fox. I have always wanted to win; at everything. My background was in rugby league before a series of major operations cut my career short. With an overactive mind and a competitive spirit I found solace in starting my first business at 21 in the marketing space. Finding success over my first few years I had caught the business bug and have since become involved in many other business’s that span across property, sports merchandise and memorabilia, promotions and cafe’s as well consulting for individuals and business’s. I have no sense of contentment when it comes to creating business’s, I genuinely love the thrill from succeeding; and the bonds that you create by overcoming challenges with great teams. I think the real Dan is equal parts soft and hard, scattered and relaxed. I was raised by a single Mum that instilled a huge amount of strength in me and was constantly making me feel bigger than I was. I think all parents tell their kid’s they can do anything but for some reason even to this day when she says it, I believe her. Growing up with with all girls for most of my life gave me a level of empathy and respect I often don’t see from other men and whilst I hated it as a young boy, I remember clearly my Mum telling me I’d thank her one day. At my core I want to help others and always feel at my best when I am focused on lifting someone else; that doesn’t mean I’m always in that lane and I’m sure I could be better. People close to me would say I’m in my own world most of the time, I don’t get caught up in the day to day conversations of most people. I find myself wander as soon as I here people drift into negativity and I mentally start escaping the conversation. I think complaining about a problem without actively seeking a solution would be my number one frustration and that is probably what portrays me as hard sometimes. If you spend time with me you will here a million ideas in a short space of time, sometimes it would be nice to turn it off but its also that imagination that makes me Dan. I once read that to be successful in business all you need to learn to do is think like a producer not a consumer, I’m the definition of this. I can’t buy a Coffee without wondering about where the beans came from, how they were imported, roasted, extracted and now being served in a trendy Cafe and sold for $4. I guess that thinking is how I have ended up in so many different industries. My ideal day would be spent in open spaces – either the land or the sea with my family, some acoustic music, a good book and a beer.
Tell me about a day in the life of Dan?
Well I stopped setting my alarm because my trusty friend Nala arrives pretty close to the 5am mark each morning. She brings her pillow, bunny rabbit and lion with her each day and announces herself by yelling at the top of her voice “its morning time!”
We all have a cuddle for a few minutes before the day kicks off. After our morning yoghurt and ABC kids session I head into my office with a goal of getting in before anybody else. We’ll have over 100 contractors in and out of our building between 7- 10am so I try and make it for 6.30 to have my coffee, re-go over my days to-do list, get myself in the right headspace and I’d normally scan over my longer term goals to give myself some energy. Between 7-10 is what I would call my prime time, 90% of my companies production will be determined by what happens in those hours. Its a high intensity period so I follow it by normally taking 30 minutes to myself. Then I have a team huddle with my backend office staff to go over the day and address any issues before I'm normally booked up with conference calls, client meetings or recruitment workshops. If its a day care day I will normally go and grab Nala, she always looks forward to what surprise Dad brings so I normally have something up my sleeve. Then its about an hour of play time before dinner, which is always together and at the dinner table. Its worth mentioning because I feel like its an old tradition which is lost in some households. Then its a bath and book before bed, which is hopefully all achieved by 7.00pm and fingers crossed Megan has nailed a similar routine with Fox. Then we get to spend some time together before Megs hit the hay early, knowing she will probably be up to feed Fox in a few hours. When the house is sleeping I normally start again. Jim Rohn said “don’t start tomorrow until you finish it today” so I like to get my day mapped out the night before so I don’t have any anxiety when I wake up and lose my productivity time to planning. After that I normally take a walk and make some calls before coming home to read or podcast. At the moment I finish each day using the app ‘Headspace' to get a quick meditation in before going to sleep.
Congratulations on the launch of your new Instagram page @entrepreneur_dad
What drove you to create the account? I guess I got frustrated hearing the same questions… How do you manage? Where do you find the time? So I started searching for ways to help answer them. I figured why not start by documenting not only how I manage my family and business, but how I find Joy in the challenge and that if you look harder enough you will find they both compliment each other. I have watched lots of people throw away their own personal ambitions due to a limiting belief that says if I want to have a partner or a family I can’t have this. My goal was simple, I wanted to let people know that you can have both!
You say your a daddy first and everything else second? How do you juggle this as I know run quite a few businesses?
Big goals take big energy and that energy in life or business can often be defined as purpose. In my experience I have found that the strongest purpose you can have is not associated with self serving activities. We all know there is more joy in giving then their is in receiving and it is harder to give up on someone else than it is ourselves. Unfortunately, although we know this to be true we tend to have self gain at the forefront of our mind in our day to day activities. Its as if self interest is the default setting until either life happens or you set an intention to think outside of yourself. For me, Life happened. When I found out I was going to be a Dad for the first time it was the clearest I have ever been on what I needed to achieve and more importantly who I needed to become. Being a Dad is a constant reminder that its not about me anymore.Its about my family and the best thing I can do for them is to be a great example and that’s blurrier than it sounds. I think most people are mistaken by thinking that being an example is about how you act, where as I have found that it is in how you react that you normally let yourself and those around you down. When times are tough, when the house has had no sleep, when someone cuts you off at the intersection or your staff make a costly error, its in these moments that you need to be an example through your reactions. A great thing to ask yourself is, how would I react in this moment if I knew my kids are going to react the same way? Thinking this way means I’ve always got my Dad hat on, no matter what the deal is or the meetings are, I’m thinking about making sure I’m a role model through all of my decisions. That one question has also been the catalyst that has made me not quit at things when they get tough. I guess by saying first I’m Dad then there is everything else is my way of acknowledging that if I didn’t have the responsibility of being a Dad then perhaps I wouldn’t have everything else because I wouldn’t have developed the same thought patterns or drive to be successful.
When it comes to juggling I could right for days about this one question and by no means do I think i’m an expert and I’m sure Megan would tell you I’ve still got some improvements to make; but if I could give everyone one tip it would be to use “flight mode” on your phone. I’ve been doing this for about 9 months and its been a game changer for me as a parent. Set yourself time zones when your phone is no longer an option, by using flight mode it means no social, emails, calls, texts – anything! In the past I found myself constantly being dragged to my phone like my time was at the mercy of notifications. After reminding myself the difference between whats urgent and whats important I took the leap and now my phone doesn’t come off flight mode in the morning until I’ve left the house. This means bedtime’s and breakfast can be phone free!
Can you share a favourite #dadlifemoment?
Nala was recently asked “where’s Dad today?” She quickly responded "his hitting his goals.” I loved this moment when Megan told me about it because ever since Nala was born I've never told her I was going to work. Every day I leave the house and Nala asks where I’m going I have 4 varied responses. Hititng some goals, following my passion, building the business or helping some people. I figure if my kids grow up thinking that when you leave the house you go in pursuit of one of those 4 things they will be in for an amazing life.
You are a successful entrepreneur, can you tell us a little more about this lifestyle?
Well it’s a roller coaster and as a family we ride the highs and lows together but the benefits are always there. At the end of the day we can create my schedule together and I can always be there for Megs in those s#@t hit the fan moments you have as a parent. We have been able to combine business with pleasure and often turn a 1 day meeting into a 5 day holiday across the country or overseas. The best thing is we have choice and we have control. I recently posted that I’m not an entrepreneur because I love money but because I don’t want to ask someone else for permission to spend time with my family. That is the greatest lifestyle benefit I can imagine.
What is your favourite quote or mantra?
"If you sleep with Dogs you get Flee’s” I’m a huge believer in the law of association and that you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the majority of your time with. I think its important that people look at the categories of life they are trying to achieve in and then intentionally seek out the best five people they have access too in those areas.
Something you practice everyday?
Alone time. It’s never long but I make sure I get it, normally though a late night walk.
What advice would you give to other people out there wanting to start a blog/business/social media account?
Whether it be a business, blog or social media I think you need to understand that you will be rewarded based on the value that you add to the community you’re engaged with. The value that you add is limited by the value within; so focus on your own growth as often as you can. You will find that as you get better the game gets bigger. Secondly, be a good boss to yourself, imagine the greatest work environment in the world where you are given recognition, support, encouragement, resources, forgiveness, autonomy, competition etc and than be sure to provide all those things to yourself. I have found over the years that the most common form of self harm in business is self talk. Be kind to yourself.
Lastly, what would be your ultimate date night look like with your gorgeous wife Megan?
"Ultimate" is a big claim…Megs has made a lot of sacrifices for our family and no doubt I wouldn’t have been able to achieve a lot of what I have without her in my corner. So the perfect date night for me would be to somehow give it all back to her and I reckon rather than dinner and a movie it would be something like this. We'd start out in a hot air balloon and after an amazing flight we start the decent onto a beautiful wide open space. We can see horse's grazing on the rolling hills and a beautiful old white timber house with wrap around veranda’s. We see the smoke coming from the Chimney and Meg’s spots an Easel set up on the back deck as if someone is about to start painting the picturesque views. Just as she’s thinking how perfect this place is and how it has everything she has always wanted she spots our kids running around in the paddocks. As they see the giant Balloon they look up to wave and by this time Megan has spotted our animals are all in the yard too. As she turns inquisitively towards me all I say is “welcome home”.
Thank you so much for reading. If you wish to connect with Dan you can check him out on social media or his website listed below.
@entrepreneur_dad – Instagram