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Family Values: Business as a Dad

June 14, 2019 — There is business, and then there is business as a Dad. Life/work balance? These such acrobatics are worthy of a circus act. It’s no doubt that parenthood changes us and the way we conduct business – often, if not always, for the better. We learn and grow as we ride the undulant wave of life, raising our tiny humans. In honour of Father’s Day, we are lending an eye into how this looks for some of our cohort alumni as they share firsthand how fatherhood serves as a source of inspiration in business conduct.


David O’Connor – Genuine Tea

Being a father has completely changed my outlook on life. I used to get very restless and concerned with growing Genuine Tea, with acquiring new customers and I would worry about competition. Now, I find that I’m far more patient and relaxed when it comes to business. The pie is big enough for everyone to have a slice and it’s best not to get distracted by competitors but rather focus on your own strengths and on what makes you unique.

I used to wake up dreading the sound of my alarm clock. Now, I get a pacifier whipped at my head from across the room and I wake up to the sound of a giggling baby. My day starts off with a smile and filled with love. This absolutely inspires me to be the best man, best father and best business owner I can possibly be. It also inspires me to be more aware of myself and my own behaviours – what behaviours do I exhibit that I would not want my son to have? How can I change these behaviours? How can I be more positive? How can I be more caring? Seeing a mini version of yourself is really the best way to practice self reflection!


Malcolm Saunders – Light Cellar

Being a father has been a major influence in how I conduct business, especially when interacting with clients who are also parents themselves. As a parent I feel a deeper connection to kids who may come into the store with their mom or dad and I always try and make that connection and include them in the interaction.

I also know the joys and the challenges of being a parent, especially when it comes to nourishing your family. My customers are predominately women who are the primary decision makers around food in the household, who have the awesome responsibility of keeping everyone healthy. I feel I can speak to them and offer them nourishing solutions that have worked in my own life, that they can easily apply themselves.

My child continues to be an inspiration for me to always be my best. I provide the example of how one can show up in the world. To be caring, thoughtful and of service to the community.


Ali Asghari – PilotsFriend

Parenthood is a fulltime job with no retirement. A joyful undertaking that never ends. As an entrepreneur, that’s exactly the relationship you build with your brand. You commit yourself to its upbringing like you would a child. It’s an emotional, financial and physical commitment. At points, I ask myself if I am discriminating between my children! Finding that fine balance is an artwork and you develop that skill overtime, if you are conscious. You want your child to be a true reflection of yourself but better. The rewards of parenting are of course more ineffable than the daily challenges.

My children inspire me every day. In our home, our children love PilotsFriend and its philosophy as much as I do. They care and always offer their support wherever they can. I am lucky to have a smart and talented daughter whose reflection adds color to our life, and on our brand designs and presentations. Our son is an active athlete with brilliant ideas which he candidly shares with me. Their love, smiles, and perseverance throughout our entrepreneurship journey is a constant source of energy to keep us moving forward, reminding me of the fundamental reasons for it all!