Mumbition

The Podcast By Mums & Co

Episode Four: How a win for dads is a win for all

Interview with Jeremy Macvean founder of The Father Hood

Today’s guest Jeremy Macvean is the co-founder of The Father Hood and a rise in hands-on dads. This new generation of fathers is spending three times as many hours with their children as our fathers did with us.

Jeremy and his fellow co-founders felt this experience of fatherhood wasn't being represented in the media. So the-father-hood.com was born to reflect this growing movement of involved fathers for the benefit of everyone.
Jeremy advocates for a world where men, dads and father figures embrace their caring and their career.

So how does everyone win when dads win? Why is it the best time in history to be a parent? And is inventing a time travel machine the next big thing?  Listen to the episode now to find out!

Listen to the episode now to find out!

Links

The Father Hood
Clare Bowditch
Movember
Jeremy Macvean Instagram

Credits

Produced & Edited by - Morgan Brown
Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist
Guest - Jeremy Macvean

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Episode 4 Transcript

Carrie Kwan
‍Hi, welcome to Mumbition, the podcast for business owning women by Mums & Co. Where we share inspiring stories of Australian moms in business. I'm Carrie Kwan, the co-founder of Mums & Co, and I will be joined each week by our community manager, Lucy Kippist. Together, we'll discuss how our guests harmonize their ambition, livelihood, and wellbeing. Let's get into the inspiring stories now. In the spirit of reconciliation, Mums & Co acknowledges the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and the connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today. [singing]. I'm often asked about the meaning of the Co in our name, Mums & Co. While I founded the business to celebrate and support the 345,000 business owning mums in Australia, it's also very much a community that celebrates and recognizes their Co. These are the partners, the friends in our lives that help us create these amazing businesses and thrive. I have a very personal experience of the power of a supportive Co, which is grounded by my wonderful husband, Michael. He's leaned in and supported my businesses since the first startup in 2007, and has supported and loved our young family. In the early years of Mums & Co and raising two very young boys, supporting Michael and I was another incredibly important male co in my life, and his name is Uncle Net. Uncle Net, who sadly passed away this year. So I would like to dedicate this episode to him. Because we live in a world where women shouldn't have to choose between ambition, livelihood, and wellbeing, in creating that equal world, men shouldn't have to choose either. Our guest today is advocating for a world where men, dads and father figures embrace their caring and their career. While you may recognize Jeremy from the annual Movember campaign, he joins us today as one of the co-founders of The Father Hood, a movement for dads to help them survive and thrive. Jeremy, we're eager to hear your perspective of our Co in this special episode of Mumbition. Jeremy, welcome.

Jeremy Macvean
‍Hi, Carrie, how are you? Great to be here.

Carrie Kwan
‍We're really excited to have you here. Now, our first question is always to hear about what you do. Because we believe that as business owners, as advocates, we should embrace every opportunity to share our message, to make introductions and to connect. So please, may we invite you to share your elevator pitch.

Jeremy Macvean (03:07):I'd love to. Thank you. So The Father Hood was founded around two years ago, by myself and two other dads, Andrew and Luke. We saw what was happening around us in the rise of the involved hands-on dad and felt it wasn't being represented in the media. So I created the-father-hood.com to reflect this movement of involved fathers for the benefit of everyone. And in doing that, what we realized is, the greatest opportunity ahead of us is to shift things within the workforce, to shift the dynamic. And so that's why we are now focused on supporting organizations to support their dads to become more involved, because that then benefits everyone. And I'm sure that we'll talk about that a lot today in the podcast.

Carrie Kwan (03:55):Such important work. Is guy crushing a term? Anyway, normally we're girl crushing. But look, I'd love-

Jeremy Macvean (04:04):I'm blushing here, but okay.

Carrie Kwan (04:08):We can't do this alone and we do need those role models, so thank you for the fantastic work that you're doing. And we are going to dive into that. So what do you love about your business right now?

Jeremy Macvean (04:20):I love that I think it's so important and I love that everyone benefits. So we are not a boys' club, we're The Father Hood. We are telling stories from a male perspective and championing it. We're a high five, dads are getting involved in a celebration. Celebration and support and inspiration for dads. We spend three times as many hours with our kids in this generation than our fathers did, so there's fantastic things happening out there and great opportunities for dads. And so in some ways we advocate for them from our own experience. But importantly, what I love about what we're doing with The Father Hood is we're for everyone. So kids benefit from equally involved parents and importantly, partners benefit hugely. And the way that we summarize that, we believe until it becomes unremarkable for men to play an equal role in domestic life, it will remain remarkable for women to enjoy equality in the workforce. So just to think about that, within an organization, there is this natural bias towards dad being the worker and mum being the carer. It exists today, we all feel it, I felt it as a dad. And in your community, there might not be large organizations, it's small businesses and startups to enable mums to be able to work like they want to and like I'm sure the listeners to this podcast do every day. They thrive if partners are equally involved and it opens up that opportunity. So we're for everyone. What excites me is it's just this great thing that we can work together on. We're not a boys' club, there's no mums' clubs over here, it's we can work together on everyone benefiting from shaking up these gender roles. And we have the opportunity to do it now. In previous generations, we couldn't. So we say it's the best time in history to be a dad. And we really, really believe that because dads can define themselves so much more broadly and be involved in new ways. Also, best time in history to be a mum, because mums can define themselves how they want to as well. So that's all pretty exciting stuff.

Carrie Kwan (06:19):That's so true. It's such an exciting time. I say that in terms of, an exciting time for combining our voices to be that change. And I know that whilst we are in a bit of a tough stage, the world going through the global pandemic, it's introduced different environments. The blending of the home environment, the future of work has changed. And both men and women, dads and mothers are seeing sides that perhaps they haven't seen before.

Jeremy Macvean (06:54):Oh, definitely. And from a father's perspective, we speak to so many dads that are now working from home and they're experiencing things that they otherwise wouldn't have. So whether it might be day-to-day chores or dropping the kids off at school or whatever it will be. And when we talk to these dads, they say, "Yeah. After this whole thing's blown over, I'm not giving that back, because that school drop off is my favorite time of the week." And when I'm going into organizations now, I noticed it in one of our non lockdown periods. It's pretty rare at the moment to be able to go to a workplace. But a couple of months ago, I drove into a workplace and I turned up at 10 o'clock because I'd done the primary school drop off. And I actually had this moment thinking, pre-pandemic, I would've been sweating bullets walking in at 10:00 thinking, all eyes are on me. I walked in late, it's a really bad look. Post-COVID, it wasn't a consideration anymore. How amazing is that in terms of flexible work and enabling, particularly from a dad's perspective, I've got to say. I mean, dads have got so many advantages, so we don't claim to be a disadvantaged group, that's for certain. But one thing, there is this bias towards dads being the primary worker, and so an expectation. And often as fathers, we put that on ourselves rather than work places putting that on us. But to free that expectation up on my shoulders, for me to walk into a workplace at 10:00 and not feel like I was doing the wrong thing, gee, that frees me up to be involved in new ways. And maybe that was self-imposed anyway. What an awesome opportunity with this change coming off the pandemic, where flexible work is just gone up, just increased. We've moved forward 20 years in two years, I think.

Lucy Kippist (08:24):That's so true, that moving forward 20 years in two years. And thank God for that in many ways, as hard as it's been in other directions. You mentioned before that men of your generation are spending around three times more time with their children than their fathers did. That's a phenomenal leap. I was wondering, you are a busy man, you are a co-founder of The Father Hood and you also share the care of your three daughters. What have you had to stop doing in order to make the life that you want with your family and your business work?

Jeremy Macvean (08:57):That's a really good question, because it's a battle. For anyone listening to the podcast, we understand it's not like this idealistic world where ah, dads get more involved. No, there's bills to pay and there's things to do. And as any small business owner would know, you never empty your inbox. There's stuff to do, it's tough. So for me personally, it's been some tough stuff. I work less. So what have I had to do? I've had to have less money, is the honest truth for me. I've had to change my values. So pre-fatherhood and pre-small business owner, I was on large salaries in large organizations, which required me to fly around the country really regularly and be working really long hours. I actually don't think that's an option for me now. As a single dad, I don't think I could do it again. So yeah, to directly answer your question what have I had to do, I've had to forego finance, I've had to forego attaching my ego to roles on business cards. That's a big one. That was a big one for me. Defining myself as my role. You turn up at a party and people ask ... Particularly in Melbourne, I think. Where'd you go to school and what's your job? And moving beyond dropping the big business title, working at this big organization in a really important role. And I feel great because of that. So I had to let that go and build an environment where I could work flexibly, which is a real challenge. But that's what I've had to let go of.

Lucy Kippist (10:25):Thank you for sharing all of that. It's actually really powerful to hear someone admit that and to share it in that way because the letting go side of stepping into parenting is huge. And I think the more that we can talk about that.

Jeremy Macvean (10:42):It's an ongoing battle. It's really hard. So for me, I was fortunate enough. My parents worked really, really hard to send me to a private school and I loved my school education. So it's always been a goal for me to send my three daughters to private school. Now, as I sit here now, that's looking unlikely. And that's something I've had to face and I still confront it every day. What's important to me? Me being flexible, me being around, or me going back and getting one of those big, heavy hitter jobs where they probably could go to private school. And that's a daily battle. So that's for anyone out there. It's not easy. This stuff is not a clear cut decision. But for me, that's something I've had to really confront and face up to and work out what's really important to me and what I think is going to be most important to my kids, which is the most important thing in my life. And yeah, that's a daily battle. It's not like something I've gone, oh, achieved that, easy, done. It's really tricky. I'm sure everyone out there will be battling with similar things. Where do you spend your time? What's really important to you? And what we say with The Father Hood is going back to your own values, or if you have a partner, trying to talk about your own values as a couple, as a partnership. And so what do we want? What lives do we want to live? What lives do we want for our children? And what does that look like? Because if you've got those things, I agree they are touchstones of how you build your family life and what you go back to.

Lucy Kippist (12:01):100%. Beautifully put. Carrie mentioned at the top of the intro there that we love asking people in our community to practice their business pitch, but we also love making introductions. And as a small business owner, I'm sure that you also understand the power of that. So if there was anything right now in business or in life that we could get our community to help you with, what would it be?

Jeremy Macvean (12:21):Introduce us to workplaces that want to drive positive change for their teams, without question. So we're a struggling startup. I want to do this as my life, but it's far from guaranteed. So we want to drive positive change in organizations for everyone's benefit, like I said a bit earlier. And so we need to be talking to HR departments that want to drive this change. We are often not understood in what we do with The Father Hood. Organizations say, we can't just do something for dads, we need to do something for everyone. But I hope from what I've said today, people can understand that by driving this change and encouraging dads to work flexibly, everyone benefits. And we actually think it's the biggest thing getting in the way of equality in the workforce right now. So we want to drive this positive change in organizations for the benefit of everyone. So to answer that question directly, a little invite. Here's these guys from The Father Hood, they're doing some really good stuff. You should get them in to do a presentation. That would be amazing.

Lucy Kippist (13:19):Done. Consider it done. Sent to the universe.

Jeremy Macvean (13:21):Yes. Thank you. Thank you all.

Carrie Kwan (13:24):As a dad to three young girls and a father figure in the broader community, what do you find are some of the transferable skills between business and being dad?

Jeremy Macvean (13:37):Negotiation comes up quite a bit.

Carrie Kwan (13:41):Hostage level.

Jeremy Macvean (13:42):Yeah, it's a very interesting question, Carrie. I think with work it's kind of interpersonal skills. Isn't it? The transferable skills across roles in organizations I've had over the years, I often think it's planning and interpersonal skills are really transferable. Like the technical skills and roles. Like you're a doctor, you've got to learn certain stuff. You're an accountant, you've got to learn certain stuff. But often in the workplace, these planning and interpersonal skills are the things that transfer across roles. And I'd say the same thing across professional roles into parenting role. So whether it's planning for the week ahead, you're a small business owner, you got to work out how you're going to get these things done. Prioritizing, planning out the week are skills that I think are really transferable. Juggling competing priorities. And again, for small business owners, the thing that we have to do is be flexible. And as a parent, one thing I just think really strikes me since being a parent is it changes every week. Kids grow up. When they're little, the rub on the back to get them to sleep. Used to work last week, ain't working this week. And that doesn't stop. My oldest is now 10 and the game changes constantly. She's growing up. And so that flexibility and thought to adapt to the environment, that's a skill that I think we all have as small business owners. In The Father Hood, we say being a dad is a champions league of manhood. It's kind of next level stuff. And I'd say those skills that are handy in work go next level when you become a parent and you really got to-

Carrie Kwan (15:19):Yeah. So much respect. And another term comes to mind is adapt, improvise and overcome.

Lucy Kippist (15:27):[inaudible 00:15:27] overcome, I think.

Jeremy Macvean (15:29):Are you overcoming? Can you give me the tips? I feel like I'm overcoming at the moment. Certainly. Yeah.

Carrie Kwan (15:37):Now, at Mums & Co, we're first and foremost a community, a movement, and we deeply care for, and always like to acknowledge the support of our co. So this is the parents, the friends, the family, clients, your village that support us and our businesses. Can you tell us about your Co and how they support you?

Jeremy Macvean (15:59):Well, I've called in some Co right now. My mum and dad are here, grandma and grandpa are walking around the park at the moment to give some air time to reduce a bit of background noise for this podcast. So I'd say grandparents are a really important part of my Co. Another part of my co is my business partners, where we can provide flexibility to each other and tag each other in and out. And I think that's really important, you are in a business partnership to have those conversations. Because that happens, we're all parents and competing priorities and we do allow each other to come in and out. And I think that's pretty important in what we are doing. So one of us will take a meeting. For example, I'm busy this afternoon, I got to do netball practice and the other one takes the meeting is a simple example. And the other Co I talk about is ... I'm in a separated situation, so single father. And separations, I mean, that's a topic for a podcast series, not just a podcast. But that's pretty complicated in managing. I'm only two years separated, so it's all pretty fresh relatively. But I'd say my ex-partner is a fundamental part of my Co in working together to try and allow each other time. There's regular communication between us to try and give each other certain times off to do meetings, and that is a constantly requiring communication and planning situation. Yes, my ex is definitely part of my Co. And we're having three children together, we'll be part of each other's Co for the rest of our lives. So it's getting that to a place where we can listen to each other and understand our competing priorities and work together to help each other.

Lucy Kippist (17:40):That's actually a perfect segue to the next question we had for you because as you say, being a single parent, sharing the care of your daughters. In fact, about 7% of our business owning moms are single mothers as well. What do you think that the dynamic and changes to your family life over the last couple of years has brought to your experience of running a business?

Jeremy Macvean (18:04):It's brought challenges, I'd say is the first thing to come to mind for me there, Lucy. So the challenge for me is, in being a single parent ... I think when you've got two parents under the one roof, there is this ability, particularly within a pandemic. But day-to-day, regardless of that, is to tag each other in and out. So I've got this client presentation, this meeting, can you take the kids from 3:00 to 4:00? Or can you do ... When you're under the same roof, there is this day-to-day tagging in and out in partnerships. When you're in a separated arrangement and single parents, I've really missed that. So the tagging in and out for small chunks of time is harder and you're almost tagging in and out on larger chunks of time. A few days you have the kids, it might be a week you've got the kids. There are single moms out there, they might have more than 50/50, so they've got the kids a lot more. So they'll be needing to call in the reinforcements, the nannies, the parents, or whatever they can do. The friends, the neighbors or-

Lucy Kippist (18:04):Anyone.

Jeremy Macvean (19:00):Anyone, that's true. Anyone. Have that network of tag out because we need it, we all need it. You got to pay the bills, so you got to be doing ... You got to allow that. So I've found it hard as a single parent, the day-to-day tag out becomes a lot harder. So setting up frameworks around yourself to allow what we all need has been really important for me.

Lucy Kippist (19:23):Thank you for sharing that.

Carrie Kwan (19:26):So Jeremy, you play a pivotal role at The Father Hood in terms of being open and sharing your personal life experiences. And this is so important. You need to be able to see what you can be. I'm just wondering if there's something about Jeremy that we might actually not see on social media and LinkedIn. Is there a side of you that we haven't seen?

Jeremy Macvean (19:52):The rockstar side? I wish there was a rockstar side. A side to me you haven't seen. Heaps, for sure. We all have our inner monologue. I just try and live what I believe is really important, is that we try and have these conversations. In the work that I do with Movember, we talk about men having the courage to admit they don't have the answers. Kill those harmful masculine stereotypes, you got to be strong, you got to be stoic, the strong, silent type, and encourage the sharing of experience, which helps us all. So I try and live that, which is why I'm happy to share experiences on a podcast like this, because I think it's really important for all of us to have that shared understanding, particularly for blokes. But yeah, there's heaps of stuff going on behind the scenes. A couple of days ago ... I got a daughter that's really sick at the moment. And so yeah, my inner demon was going, okay, so you failed in your marriage mate and your kid is in the hospital at the moment. You're failing her as well. Hey, go on champ. So I was in a monologue going a couple of days ago. So I think we've all got these things behind the scenes that are pretty ugly. And part of our challenge is to not listen to them and try and move past them and get on with our lives without having these. So yeah, it's got to be a dark answer to that question, but my answer to it is there's things going on behind the scenes for me. Absolute lack of confidence at times and questioning what I'm doing and all sorts of stuff. Fear around where things are going. But we've just got to trust ourselves and push through that stuff.

Carrie Kwan (21:22):Thank you for that vulnerability and sharing that. And I think that that is part of ... I'm fascinated. I was listening to a talk about the concept of masculinity and where that has come from and where that's been shaped and the role models that you've had in terms of masculinity. As an advocate, you've got a couple of layers of that too. Don't you? You're doing it for everyone else, you're doing it for yourself. And no, I just appreciate that honesty.

Jeremy Macvean (21:52):Oh, thanks. It does lighten me up, this topic. I got brothers in my ... Who knows why. I don't know. I got brothers in my family, so that's probably part of it. I lost a couple of friends to suicide, a couple of my male friends from high school, that pivotal moment in my life. So yeah, I feel really passionately about this. And like we've been talking about, it's for the benefit of everyone. There's some pretty awful things happening out there with men behaving badly and we need to address those things for the benefit of everyone. And yeah, I don't come at it. I think it's not at all helpful to come in and say ... Even the phrase toxic masculinity, I've got a real problem with, because it's sort of saying men are broken. But that's not true. Men aren't broken. We need to take some of these things that have been born into us and use them for a really good thing. So strength and courage are fantastic values, they're just not good when they're interpreted as strong, silent type. But the strength, for example, to have the guts to go there in conversation, the strength to call a friend and ask how they're really going. I mean, that's a beautiful thing. So we've got this, again, fantastic opportunity to open these things up for the benefit of everyone. And they're beautiful traits, they're fantastic traits. Courage, resilience, it's awesome. It's just pointing them in the right direction for the benefit of everyone.

Carrie Kwan (23:12):Here, here. Now, The Father Hood is a celebration and advocacy of men and advocating for that change that we want to see and the type of support for parenthood and children, families in Australia. I'm interested to hear, what has this meant in terms of your approach to the idea of risk in your business? So are there any processes? Are there any measures? How do you view risk and what do you put in place to protect your business?

Jeremy Macvean (23:40):Probably not enough. Sorry. Not enough. There is a lot of risk, there's a lot of unknown in what we're doing with The Father Hood, that's for sure. There's this entrepreneurial spirit that I'm sure your listeners would share in doing what they do. We speak regularly and it's hard staying on the plan when you're in a small business and there's opportunities popping up, and more importantly, challenges popping up. Revenue is not where you want it to be, maybe we need to pivot, to use that overused term. So yeah, we're not de-risked enough, to be frank. I was having a conversation with Luke, one of our partners, directly before this recording of, here's an opportunity that's come up, do we go for it? Do we jump over here to try, and to be frank, to keep our business alive? It's not a nice, pleasant kind of, oh, here's a nice opportunity. It's like, no, no, we need revenue. We need to keep this thing going. And maybe that's the opportunity. So we're certainly not de-risked enough. And we are just now trying to find a play for The Father Hood to put us in a position where we can thrive or can exist, to use a more frank term, for the next five years.

Lucy Kippist (24:49):Jeremy, you've given us such an incredible overview of your passion for what you do at The Father Hood and also what you guys are aiming for. I'd like to bring those things right down to the granular level in terms of the dinner table conversations. So if there was one thing that you would encourage us all as moms and dads at the moment to have around the dinner table in regard to making a change in this area, what do you think that would be?

Jeremy Macvean (25:17):It's tough. Gee, that's a good question, because there's so much we need to do. I'm going to hit you with a really hard one. Again, I'm through a marriage that's ended, so I guess that's why I see this with such an acute lens. It's open conversations. It's providing safe spaces across the dinner table or maybe one-on-one in partnerships, whether it's a business partnership or if you're in a marriage, open, honest conversations in a safe environment. That is so hard to do. That is really, really tough. In the work that I do with Movember, we do a lot of work on that, helping men. We hold space for each other. So have an emotionally vulnerable conversation where the heart starts beating a bit more, the sweat is on the brow. You think, oh, Jeebus, we're getting into really tough stuff here. We're getting into the real stuff. We're not talking about footy anymore, we're talking about a difference of opinion or we're talking about how someone's relationship is going and holding space. You don't have to be a counselor, you just have to be able to hold space and stay there for that person. And the same in any partnership. So being able to say, whether it's a business one, it's an easier one to talk about, oh, I didn't like the way that meeting went last week. Having an honest conversation and holding space for each other is really important. And nowhere is it more important than in a family life. And that's something I'm going to be trying to get better for my future, because I'm sitting here as a person with evidence on the scoreboard of where I haven't got it right. Being able to have those conversations in the moment so resentment doesn't build. And you can then work together as a team to adjust things where you might need to based on how people are feeling. So providing those safe environments to say what you're really thinking and then not take offense and all that sort of stuff. Hold the space for each other. It's so important.

Lucy Kippist (27:08):I love that and I wholeheartedly agree. And I'm also thinking, listening to you talk about that, that it's actually also important to keep having them. You can't just have one, unfortunately. You've got to have more than one. But I think what I'm hearing you say is, well, once you start that process, it's almost a neurological thing in a lot of ways. Just encouraging yourself to step out of that fear, have that first one and go right back and have the second one and the fourth. So-

Jeremy Macvean (27:38):I've noticed myself embracing a little bit as you say, it's hard, it's really hard. And what we do with the Movember work, I'll talk about it because it's easier to think from a guy's perspective, we encourage people to dip in and out. It's not like life becomes really serious, all of a sudden you're having these big deep meaningfuls. So you're having an open, honest conversation, and then you can go back to talking about the footy and cracking jokes five minutes later. And like you're saying there, Lucy, it's building an environment where it's safe and you can do it. It happens regularly. That's actually the goal, where it happens regularly and that resentment doesn't build. So yeah, I totally agree. It's not the once a year tick, we had our team meeting. Thank you everyone. It's tough stuff, but great stuff.

Lucy Kippist (28:17):Love it. Thank you for sharing that. So you've described a pretty busy life right now for you with lots going on and lots to pay attention to. What are you doing to look after yourself? Is there something that you use daily or weekly that really grounds you and helps to enhance a feeling of wellbeing?

Jeremy Macvean (28:35):Yeah, there is. So one thing we talk about in our presentations with The Father Hood is you can't pour off an empty cup. And I know I got this wrong as a dad early on. As parents, the most important thing in our lives, just about every parent, is going to be our family and our children, and so we focus on that. And when you're a small business owner, there aren't many hours in the week. So I sacrificed ... like a lot of parents do, so I'm not claiming to be a hero. But I sacrificed a lot of my own stuff, more like cup filling stuff. For me, running was a really big thing before I was a parent and it kind of evaporated out of my life. Music, I play guitar. And so that's one thing that I'm doing now, I wasn't doing years ago. I play, I got my guitar in the living room and I pick it up regularly and really enjoy that. And another one that's a bit of fun is a surf park that's opened up in Melbourne, it's called URBNSURF. And back in the day I used to surf a bit and I just hadn't picked up a surfboard for a long time, and I've been going out to URBNSURF. That's my thing. I go out there, I get an hour session. I can't do it in lockdown, unfortunately, but I'm trying to make the time and be disciplined. I go right on Thursday, I booked a session at URBNSURF and it's at two o'clock. And that's my cup filler. So for people out there, I'd certainly encourage, make time for yourself, because if you do fill your own cup, you become a better business partner, a better parent, a better partner. But for me, music, a bit of exercise, and some surfing.

Lucy Kippist (29:58):Sounds great. Hopefully you get some time for that soon as well.

Jeremy Macvean (30:01):Yeah. Hopefully.

Carrie Kwan (30:04):At Mums & Co, we talk about harmony as this triangle of ambition, livelihood and wellbeing. It's trinity. Could you describe the shape of a good life for you?

Jeremy Macvean (30:17):That's a beautiful harmony, trinity. I think we're all working towards that. Aren't we? For me, what I'm trying to do is build a life where I have a passion for what I'm doing in my work that pays the bills. Not work for money, which is I think where I started my career. Early on in my career if someone had said, oh, Jeremy, we've got another job over here and we're going to pay you 20 grand more or 30 grand more, I would've done it. I was at the barometer of success in work was the salary. And so for me, that trinity is around being lit up and role modeling that for my kids, is an important part of this as well. So doing something that's really meaningful that I love in my work and having that successful enough that I can pay the bills, which is a life. And by pay the bills, I've got to define what my own values are on that. It's not drive a flash car, I can tell you that much. But where does that sit for me? Still working that out, still wrestling with that. What income is required to lead a happy life for me and for my children?

Carrie Kwan (31:15):Yeah. And how you described it in terms of that work of meaning. I think having these amazing little people in our lives, that does put a lens on that. Doesn't it? You drill down into what's really important.

Jeremy Macvean (31:31):It does. And we're role modeling for them. So for me, to have their dad lit up doing work that's meaningful to him. And I think it's really important that I don't come across as really preachy. I don't think that needs to be working for World Vision to be work of meaning, it's work of meaning for you. And that might be, I really love being an accountant. And I just pulled that out of thin air as the first thing that came to mind. Because I really love helping people sort their numbers out and it's a great service I can provide. I'm really good at it, I get a lot of satisfaction from it. And that's a wonderful thing. So work that's meaningful, that you really enjoy, you feel like you're providing a great service and using your skills to make the world a better place. That's awesome. And that doesn't have to be solving climate change, that can be whatever lights you up. And so for me, it's been adjusting that a little bit rather than saying what lights me up is what's got the biggest salary attached to it. Well, no, not necessarily. What lights me up is what I was saying a bit earlier, but balancing that in amongst the day-to-day battles of financial requirements. And it's a stress, housing prices are going up. It's not easy.

Carrie Kwan (32:33):Yeah. I love how you define your own metrics of success. Now, to those that are considering starting a business or a more community-minded social enterprise type that advocates the way that Father Hood does, what is the most important tip you'd like to share with them?

Jeremy Macvean (32:51):I would say, for anyone thinking about doing it, there's opportunities out there that you don't see now. When I was working in organizations ... I'm a pretty risk averse personality, I think. And before I went and started I became a consultant first. I was really afraid of leaving full-time job, because you can't say what's ahead of you. And a friend said to me ... a really smart friend of mine, a guy named Brooke. He said, there is a saying, jump and the net will appear. As I said earlier, we haven't got really the risk matrix sorted for The Father Hood, got to go write that one. I don't want to advocate for being crazy, but there is a little bit of ... What I've found in being a consultant, self-employed and then startup, is when you get out there, these opportunities pop up. These conversations happen, like this conversation, and that might lead to another one. It's like Seth Gordon, who's an unreal marketing guru talks about all the time. His thing is, publish, do it. Don't overthink it, get it done. So get your website up and go for it. And so that's been the thing behind me, is I'm a real over thinker. So get it up and adjust, get up and adjust. And that's where it's impacted The Father Hood. We started as a media business. And two years down the path, forget that. We've got our blog and stuff, but we're a workplace support organization. That's where we're going to drive the change. And that only happened because we got out there and showed ourselves to the world and then they went, oh, great, love what you're doing. You should be over here. And the world came at us. Organizations coming at us saying, can you guys come and talk to our dads? And so I'd say to anyone out there, leap and the net will appear kind of thing. Have a crack, get out in the world and you'll adjust your business model and adjust your pitch by pushing yourself out into the market.

Carrie Kwan (34:42):Great advice. Stepping into that unknown, but also knowing that when you share your vision, people will actually start showing interest and you'll start to figure out who exactly is your customer. And you might have thought it was the end user, but you then realize actually it's more of a business to consumer model. You got to find that path as people get to know your story.

Jeremy Macvean (35:08):And it's probably guaranteed to change, I reckon. I can't think of a business that starts and then ends 10 years later and goes, oh yeah, we were right. Our business plan was bang on. I got all this definition. Got it. It's going to change and that's the exciting part of it, I think. So yeah. Well, that's been my experience. And if I could talk to myself 10 years ago, I'd be saying those type of things to myself. Have a go and things will pop up.

Lucy Kippist (35:37):Wouldn't that be great, if we could actually talk to ourselves from 10 years ago. [inaudible 00:35:42]. Someone needs to invent that, that's a good business idea. So Jeremy, to round out this great chat with you, typically we ask our next question in the spirit of women supporting women. So today we're going to have two parts to the question. Who are the mumbitious and daditious? So that's the parents that you know, who are unapologetically blending their ambition and their fatherhood or motherhood that you would like to give a shout out to.

Jeremy Macvean (36:09):I am really lucky. I have some friends that I met at school that are still my friends today, and they have shaped me in a huge way. So I shout out to all my crew, my mates. And what they've done is they've done exactly what you're talking about there, Lucy, blended life and family. So they still do what they love, whether it's a writer or a musician or whatever it might be, and blend that with their family life. And for your listeners, someone that is a friend of mine that they would know, to give them something to hang onto, is a singer by the name of Clare Bowditch. She's a mate of mine. Actually, Marty, her husband, I went to school with. And they've just done an amazing job, the two of them in partnership, of, he's her producer. He's the guy behind the scenes helping to record her music and get her out there on tour. And they've managed to do that as being parents. They started her career really when Asha, their first baby, was just born. And I've got a memory. I'll never forget it. I was at the ARIA Awards many, many years ago, and Clare was up on stage. I was there actually when I was an exec within a radio business. I was at a corporate table trying to be professional. Clare is up on stage singing, winning best female artists, and she sang and she was pregnant with their two twins. So huge tummy, about to give birth to two twins and she's up there singing. But what a beautiful image of someone living their life and balancing being a mother with pulling off best female artist. And I was at my table balling, oh my God, trying to keep it together. So yeah, I'd say my crew, and that's one that people would know. But there's many more of my friends that are really good at staying true to themselves and balancing the challenges.

Lucy Kippist (37:51):Thank you for sharing that, Jeremy. And thank you so much for this really lovely, insightful chat. I feel like we've learned a lot about you and a lot about the work that Father Hood are doing. So thank you. And thank you everyone else for joining us today and your company. We hope you've enjoyed the podcast. And if you'd like to follow Jeremy, you can find him on Instagram @jeremymacvean. And if you haven't already, please come and join our ambitious, supportive movement of thousands of Australian business owning women, just like you @mumsandco.com.au. Okay. Say hi to Jeremy, he's here.

Little Co (38:29):Hi Jeremy.

Jeremy Macvean (38:30):Hi. How's it going?

Little Co(38:32):Good. What's your favorite thing to do with your kids?

Jeremy Macvean (38:37):Lots and lots. How long can we talk for? I love hanging out with my kids. They're my favorite peeps to hang with. And we are doing a lot of it at the moment, because we're all locked down together, which I actually really like. And so I would say now, the favorite thing for me do with my kids at the moment is to watch TV together. So rather than all go off and watch our own shows on our own devices, we get together and watch The Voice on telly at the moment, which I'm loving. So after dinnertime, get together and sit down because I love music. And so for me, I'm really into it. And my girls really like it too. They're 10, eight and six years old and we watch the auditions and try and predict which coach they're going to go with. I reckon she'll go with Keith, team Keith for sure. Yes. And so we love that together. And yeah, we get a bit excited. We try and pick who's going to win the whole thing. So for me, my favorite thing at the moment is Voice time together.

Little Co(39:35):Thank you.

Jeremy Macvean (39:36):That's a pleasure. Thank you.

Carrie Kwan (39:38):We hope you enjoyed this episode of Mumbition by Mums & Co. Head over to the show notes for a full transcript of the interview and any links we have referred to. Mums & Co is Australia's most caring business network for women. Join us today for just 30 dollars @mumsandco.com.au. This podcast was produced and edited by Morgan Sebastian Brown of Brown Tree Productions and hosted by Carrie Kwan, co-founder of Mums & Co, and community manager, Lucy Kippist. We love hearing your feedback. So if you haven't already, please share, rate and review this podcast and we can reach more business owning mothers just like you.