21 Jun 2020, 09:30 — 4 min read
Despite the challenge of striking a fine balance between family and business, these successful entrepreneurs have set an example on why family should always come first.
Here’s a list of well-known entrepreneurs and what we can learn from their experience in raising a family while growing a successful business.
While leading the largest social media platform in the world, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, makes sure that he spends quality time with his family. When he became a dad to Maxima, he took two months paternity leave from Facebook.
"Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families," Zuckerberg shared at the time in a Facebook post.
Like Zuckerberg, the late John Gokongwei Jr., founder of JG Summit Holdings Inc., one of the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines, believes that family comes first, and his business second.
Though a workaholic, the billionaire and philanthropist always showed for dinner, exchanging stories and making time for his family.
In the book ‘Lessons from Dad, John Gokongwei Jr.’, Lance Gokongwei, the only son of Gokongwei Jr., shared that the best lesson he learned from his parents were from being with them, observing them, and listening to them at the dinner table.
“I learned about running a business from the stories my father told us – he had many adventures! We shared in his many successes and failures,” he shared in his book.
My family means the world to me, much more so than business. Being able to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones is absolutely vital
In an interview with the Guardian, Richard Branson expressed how he values his family. “My family means the world to me, much more so than business.”
His principles resonate in his company’s policy as it offered 12 months of paid leave for new dads.
“As a father and now a grandfather to three wonderful grandchildren, I know how magical the first year of a child’s life is but also how much hard work it takes. Being able to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones is absolutely vital, especially early on,” he shared in his blog.
Back when Bill Gates was still running Microsoft, Bill offered his wife Melinda Gates to drive their eldest daughter Jenn to school. He did this two days a week which gave him quality time to spend with his daughter.
In Melinda’s book ‘Moment of Life’, she shared that when Bill continued to drop off their daughter to school, it set a positive example to other fathers as well. After about three weeks, she noticed that there were fathers who are dropping off their kids to school as well. Out of Melinda’s curiosity, she asked one of the mothers in the school about this. She explained, "When we saw Bill driving, we went home and said to our husbands, 'Bill Gates is driving his child to school; you can, too.'"
While Bill, the second’s richest person in the world, could have hired a driver for his daughter, he chose what really matters to him and showed why he values his family more than anything else.
To all relentless fathers who are prioritizing their family on top of being a business owner, Happy Father’s Day! We recognize and honor your sacrifice and work.
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By Rahul Ingle
29 Dec 2020, 10:30