Recently I had the chance to chat with entrepreneur,
DudeBuddha.com founder and all-around awesome dad, Tuan Nguyen. Tuan entered
the world of entrepreneurship through volunteerism and committing himself to his
As a result, he was recognized and mentored by
community leaders, guiding him to a role as an entrepreneur. He’s founded several
businesses over the years, making considerable profits and eventually donating much of
it to charity.
Like many young people, Tuan decided he’d like to
start a family, getting married and eventually having a young son, Quinn.
Unfortunately, his marriage didn’t work out, and finding himself a single father in his
early forties, realized that he had to blaze a new trail, a more thoughtful and purposeful
one than before.
What follows are 6 key insights Tuan
shared with the Path Hunters audience.
1. Often insights can be gained in our darkest moments.
When Tuan’s marriage and business collapsed, he fell
into a brief depression. It was during this time that he began to refocus his priorities.
Stemming from discussions with other fathers, Tuan realized that there was very little
support available for entrepreneurial dads (or ‘biz dads’ as he likes to call them). That
insight led to DudeBuddha.com, a place to share growth hacks and business insights for
men who want to be successful in business without sacrificing their relationships with
their families. What began as a small Google hangout group has grown to a community
of biz dads who are sharing and applying the lessons and insights they’ve gained to, as
Tuan says on his website: “make a difference while also making a fortune.” Most
businesses are built on finding a pain and solving it. In this case, Tuan’s own difficulties
highlighted an area where he could serve the community in ways that benefited
2. Be open to change.
The birth of Tuan’s son was an amazing, and also
eye-opening experience for him. He quickly realized that what he once thought was
important was no longer a priority. He began to see the opportunities presented by
these new priorities, as well as understanding how the pace he was once accustomed to
had to change. When once he could hustle hard and tackle projects at full speed, as a
father he needed to be more circumspect and purposeful. The work didn’t change, but
the pace did.
3. Your business must serve you, not the
other way around.
Fatherhood provided Tuan with a powerful lesson in
ensuring that his business served him. In his earlier ventures, he was often beholden to
the business, working crazy long hours and applying all of his energy in that direction.
With the arrival of his son, however, he realized that this had to change. Now, Tuan has
more clarity about what he wants from his business, and has shifted it to be a
contributor to his life, not a controlling force in it.
4. Being present is a gift to yourself, your
business, and your family.
Tuan’s young son, like so many small children, has
taught him the power of presence, or what he calls “active meditation.” Often Quinn sits in the back of the car and points out everything he sees, applying a child’s magical
and boundless imagination to the world around him. Thus a leaf on a tree can become
a dinosaur. Applying this imagination means first being present to actually see the
world around us in all
its detail. Tuan has taken to taking a few minutes out
of each day to walk outside, just noticing everything around him. No feeling, no
judgement, just noticing the details, something we often overlook in our busy lives.
This exercise fires up your mind to be fully present, unlocking creativity and allowing
you to focus more on the people around you, and your work.
5. Entrepreneurship is a great primer for
Tuan’s approach to both business and fatherhood was
surprisingly similar. In his first businesses, he had the sudden realization of “oh my god,
can I even do this?” This apprehension is of course entirely normal for an entrepreneur,
but also common for a new parent. The full weight of the commitment hits you and
you realize giving up is no longer an option. Tuan realized that being willing to never
give up on yourself and rising above inevitable challenges was a skill he needed to be a
great father to his son. In a very real sense, his business helps him be a better father, and
his son helps him be a better entrepreneur.
6. Create space to build
When Tuan began rebuilding his business, he realized
that his old methods wouldn’t be effective now that he was a father. Many fathers may
be in a similar situation, wanting to start their own businesses, but unsure how to take
such a leap without risking their family’s happiness or wellbeing. One of the
participants in Tuan’s DudeBuddha group offered a solution: “create space to build a
bridge.” When making a transition from working 9-5 to entrepreneurship, it’s
important that it be done purposefully and slowly. Understand that there is a process to
becoming an entrepreneur, and that as a father, there are more factors to consider. The
first step in building the bridge is to communicate with your family. Discuss what you
want to achieve together determine how best to make that happen. It may require
sacrifices, and it will certainly require investment, particularly in your mind and
As you can see, Tuan is a fantastic dad and a fantastic
entrepreneur, serving the community while building a successful business of his own. A
pathhunter is someone who creates their own road, not just for their own benefit, but
for the benefit of all who come after them. If you’re a father making his way in the
entrepreneurial world, I strongly recommend checking out www.DudeBuddha.com. There you’ll find support and insights
to help you be a better businessperson, and a better father as well. The insights I’ve
shared with you here are just a small fraction of my amazing conversation with Tuan.
Be sure to head over to www.pathhunters.com to listen to the entire
What You Will Discover
In This Episode.
- How to balance a life between aparent and running a business.
- What skillsyou can learn from your child that would work in your business.
- How Tuan came out of a tough timein his life
- And so much more!
Click here to download episode ( Right Click & Save
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Tuan’s motivation video that was mentioned in the
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