Lessons Learned in Parenting and Entrepreneurship

When we asked EO members to share how their entrepreneurial and parenting endeavors inform each other, we heard from Matt Doud, a member of the EO Baltimore chapter and co-founder and president of Planit. Matt shared what he considers a must-have for both areas of life.

“The parallels between parenting and entrepreneurship are countless. There are no playbooks for either endeavor, so you must enter both believing in yourself. This is not necessarily the same as having confidence.

You must know deep down that you can do it and no one else can instill that self-truth but you. Having said that, it’s also important to have humility and a willingness to fail. As long as you fail fast and learn from it. In both roles, I have learned more from the failures than the successes.

The skills necessary are aligned, too. At the kitchen table or on the soccer field or in the boardroom, being an entrepreneur as well as a parent requires wearing many hats, including those of an evangelist, a cheerleader and a coach…as well as expert, servant and practitioner.

And lastly, as a 25-year entrepreneur, husband of 20 years, and the father of 16- and 15-year-old sons, I would offer one bit of advice for anyone starting either of those paths: You need to be ready to go all in; otherwise, don’t do it at all. Running a business, like parenthood, is a 24/7, 365 endeavor. You need to be passionate about what you’re doing. Passion makes things possible. It can never be about the money.

My kids taught me early in their lives about the rewards of being firm and decisive, while also being adaptable and open to feedback. To be a good listener. To trust my gut. I incorporate these into my entrepreneurial life on a daily basis, too.”

A veteran of the Baltimore, Maryland, advertising marketplace, Matt Doud is the founder of the advertising agency Planit. He was named one of the Baltimore Business Journal’s 40-Under-40, one of Smart CEO magazine’s Future 50 and named one of the Most Influential Marylanders by The Baltimore Daily Record. 

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