Episode 3 - Andy Cunningham - On Success, as a Parent, Entrepreneur

Learn more about Andy on her LinkedIn and Cunningham Collective on their website.

Episode transcript:

Young Han (00:29):
Hey Andy! Thank you so much for joining me on my podcast today. I really, really appreciate it. 

Andy Cunningham (00:33):
It's awesome to see you again

Young Han (00:36):
So fun that we get to do this in this context, and I'm like really, really grateful for you spending the time. I know how incredibly busy you are and how busy you are, and also just like how valuable your time is. And so I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me about parenting.

Andy Cunningham (00:51):
Oh my gosh. Yes. My favorite topic. <Laugh> <laugh>

Young Han (00:55):
I think it's kinda fun too, because you're so famous for marketing and your accomplishments and your, and your writing skills and all these things that are in the workplace. But I have to apologize that I, some of those questions, but I'd love to actually listen more about personal balance here. Tell the listeners here, what you do for a living.

Andy Cunningham (01:25):
So I run a small marketing strategy consulting company called Cunningham collective, and we focus primarily on positioning companies that use technology to deliver their product or service.

Young Han (01:37):
It's amazing. And what are some of the big projects that you're working on right now?

Andy Cunningham (01:42):
Oh my gosh, where we just, we just got hired to work with a really big it services and digital transformation consulting company that that's really huge in the hundreds of millions of dollars based in Ukraine. Wow. So it's going to be really fun.

Young Han (01:59):
That's awesome.

Andy Cunningham (02:00):
We're doing some cool work with some HR oriented company and semiconductor company. I really, I am one of these weird nerds that loves semiconductors.

Young Han (02:11):
<Laugh> yeah, I mean, I have to kinda break the mold of my normal interviews with you, cause there's so much depth and context into your professional career. So I I'd love to kind of go back and I know you probably have to tell the story all time, but I'd still love to hear it a little bit. Do you mind sharing with the listeners some of the major milestones, especially your time around Apple?

Andy Cunningham (02:32):
Sure. So I was really, really lucky in the early eighties to come out to Silicon valley for a job at a very famous PR agency at the time called Regis McKenna. And I was hired to run the apple account for the law of the Macintosh. So it was just an amazing time in history. And I got to spend the next two years until Steve got fired from apple working super closely with Steve jobs. And then when he did get fired, he ended up hiring me again to help him launch next and also Pixar. So I got to work with him again for another two or three years. I, I got fired several times during <laugh> lot time. So it wasn't a smooth, a whole smooth thing, but I learned so much about marketing and about strategy and about quality from Steve. It really formed my career.

Young Han (03:20):
Yeah, it's amazing that just the experiences that you've had was just phenomenal. And I think the apple story is obviously like super significant, cuz Steve is such a big marker in the world and Apple's obviously continues to be a huge marker in the world. And it's so amazing to like, know that you were such an integral part in building and building that up and, and getting its notoriety. But it's not actually the only like you've, you've worked with everybody <laugh> and I think it's really important that everyone understands that that how successful you've been. And the ability to navigate that with parenting is you do parenting in a very unique way. And you're probably the prime example of mixing the two things together and and still being successful. And so just for the listeners and I'll just say it, so it's a little bit quicker, but Andy's literally worked with everybody from the, the original OG, like Silicon valley of apple, Cisco, that whole era to all the newd ones, the softwares, and then national continue to work with all the newer ones coming out today. So it's amazing the amount of companies you've been able to work with and help build up and position them to success.

Andy Cunningham (04:33):
Thank you, young. I, I actually think that my, my portfolio of former clients is in the thousands, so yeah, I've done a lot of work with a lot of, a lot of different technologies. And as I said, I, I am one of the few people who think that the semiconductor, which made all of this possible for everybody. That's right. That's right. To me has a very special place in my heart because it was here first in Silicon valley. That's why Silicon Valley's called Silicon valley. That's right. It is the epicenter of what you can, what we can all do digitally. So anyway, I'm a little bit, it's amazing.

Young Han (05:04):
Yeah. But I just, yeah, I think it's important that everyone has context that like, this is possible to also do it the way that you're doing parenting navigate a successful career and also be a good parent because that's what the whole podcast is for me. And it's just me exploring how to be the best at I can possibly be. And just like anything that you're trying to learn, a new skill in a good first step is to just research and just understand how other people are doing it. Right. And so for me, a big, for a big impetus for doing this podcast is research. And I'm hoping that my research will help other people learn as well too. But that being said, tell me about your kids.

Andy Cunningham (05:41):
<Laugh> well, this is also an unusual situation cause you know, my kids very well that's right. <Laugh> but anyway, I have a, an almost 30 year old daughter named McKinley and a 25 year old son named Cormick. So I'm kinda over the, the worst of parenting <laugh> and now the best part of parenting

Young Han (05:59):
<Laugh> yeah. What do you think that transition is? Well, what are you, what are you referencing? Are you talking about like having to like guide them to being their friend? Is that kind of what you're referencing or?

Andy Cunningham (06:07):
Exactly. You're, you're responsible for their health and safety for a long time. And then they get to a point where they become responsible for their health and safety. And that's just a beautiful moment. And if you did a good job, <laugh> on your part of that bargain, then they typically will do a good job on their part of the bargain. So that's where I am. I'm on the other side of the health and safety responsibility curve. <laugh>

Young Han (06:29):
I love that. That's a really interesting way of breaking that down. I mean, that's a much more macro view of how I'm looking at it, but that's probably because I'm, I'm at the that's right. <Laugh> that's right. So I do have a, a question around your childhood, if you don't mind sharing. Cause I've noticed as I've become a new dad and a young dad, I'm like realizing that so much of my parenting ideology and values is coming from my parents. And so before we kind of talk about your parenting concepts and values and style, like I'd love to hear about your childhood. How did you grow up? What were your parents like?

Andy Cunningham (07:06):
I am the oldest of three children and my childhood was really not that great. I tried to create a different situation for my kids, but I grew up in an alcoholic family. My father was an alcoholic and my mother was a kind of a victim person and it was very difficult. It was very difficult. And I wanted to get out as soon as I possibly could. I grew up outside of Chicago in a little suburb called Villa park, but I, as I said, I wanted to get out as soon as I could, but I will say one amazing thing about my parents is they, they gave us the three of us, the notion that you could be anything or do anything that you wanted to do in the world. And there was great potential and possibility always in front of me because of my parents. And I will always be grateful to them for that, but the road to get, there was a little challenging given the, the internal dynamics of the family, but that idea that you could do at and be anything was always given to me as a gift from them.

Young Han (08:04):
Wow. Thank you for sharing that, Andy and I, I didn't know that about you it's so far, far from what I, I just imagined you would say that answer. And so thank you for sharing that. I appreciate it. You've literally done the most unique thing, in my opinion, as it relates to parenting, it sounds like what you've taken from your child is, is like identified what you didn't like and, and what you did like, and you kind of merge it together. Now that I kind of hear the context, because what you've done is basically bring your family life into your business. You have a family business.

Andy Cunningham (08:35):
Yes. Now I do. I didn't for years, I, that just shocked me, that my kids ended up with working for me, cuz I, I started my business eight years before. No, may, maybe even more than that eight years before I had children. So I I've been in an entrepreneur and doing my own thing for a long, long time. And of course like any parent, you pretty much realize that your kids hate your job because it takes you away from them. <Laugh> that's right. And they don't know what you do cause you just sit on the phone all day, which is what I did. And, and so I just assumed that that would go on forever and they would never take an interest. Well, miraculously, about four or five years ago, maybe four years ago, my son had injured himself in a climbing accident and was kind of in recovery.

Andy Cunningham (09:17):
I needed help working on a project cause I had this really big client and I had too much to do. And so I said, Hey, do you wanna help me do some of this stuff? Just because I really could use some help. And he said, sure. And so I, I gave him this project and turns out he was amazingly talented at what we do amazingly talented. And then my daughter came board to learn from you cause you were working with us in operations. And she is really into the operational side of things and considers you the best mentor on the planet. And and so she became our operations person. And but then she started doing client work and she's also very talented at both operations and, and that, so anyway, I, I had this great surprise as a, as an older adult that, oh my gosh, my kids a, they know what I do B they can do it. And C they wanna do it with me. It's amazing. <Laugh>

Young Han (10:04):
It is amazing. I mean, it's so interesting because like, well one, let me, let me tell you, your kids are amazing. They're astoundingly talented. They have unbelievable amount of talent and skill and, and passion and all those, all those things that like are unique, their abilities, but what really sets them apart is that they have the gumption underneath it, the things that you have to train for, right? The perseverance, the grit. And so it's a huge Testament to you and your parenting because certain things you could be naturally gifted to like do these things, right? Like, oh, I have a natural talent for right. Like Cormick and, and McKinley are both amazing writers. They have a very good knack for writing. And, and I, obviously those could be trained as well too. But some of that, like rigor and grit is, comes from your, from your nurturing, right? You don't just learn that you get groomed into that. Right.

Andy Cunningham (10:58):
A great question is where does that stuff come from? To be honest with you, I don't really know. The biggest philosophy that we had in our, in our parenting is really the, the notion that you should bring your children into your family, not carve your family out around your children. So there are a lot of parent situations, a lot of families that decide that the kid is the focal point and they do everything for the kid. And it's all about the kid. Our growing up was all about our family life and kids became part of it. So a big part of our family life was flying. So our kids are both pilots, not because they wanted to be, but because we told them they were going be, <laugh> it wasn't, it wasn't like a strict, you must do this. It was just an understanding that you'll become a pilot.

Andy Cunningham (11:45):
Just like it's an understanding that you'll go to college. It's an understanding that you'll be a good person. There was a lot of these underlying values, I guess you would say that we're just, we just, there wasn't even an option for the kids. Like this was, it, wasn't an option. And so, you know, while my son played a lot of soccer and my daughter rode horses. And so those things were activities that they wanted to do. And we, we pursued those with them. But as a family, we kind of gathered around mostly the flying community and the, and the flying stuff. And so they got to do their own thing, as well as participating in the family stuff.

Young Han (12:19):
I'm genuinely in the moment having these heated debates with my wife about this concept. Oh wow. Because I desperately want our kids to be musicians and she desperately wants them to be outdoorsy and athletic. Right. And so like, it's like, can we do both? And obviously we can do both, but then it like adds up. Right? Cause then like, just the other day she was saying, well, now you're saying that they're gonna go swim class. They're gonna do ballet. They're gonna do soccer. They're gonna do piano. They're gonna, that's already five things. There's like seven days in a week. Like, what are they gonna just be kids? And it's like, I guess we have to choose this thing. And secretly, I want them to be musicians and sing with. Right. I that's like my dream is like, and then how much do you enforce that? Or manipulate that, I guess. And how much of that do you let them explore? It's like a huge conundrum. And, and it sounds so interesting because you just said, this is who we are and there's these things that we just do. And they just kind of grew up assuming it. Yeah. And if you create that environment, then that kind of becomes the, and so now I'm like, not entirely sure what I'm taking away from this, but now I definitely wanna make sure they play piano cuz that's just what we do.

Andy Cunningham (13:22):
<Laugh> well, I, I think that's true because they, they don't know like little kids don't know what they wanna do. Like they wanna eat candy bars and the next day they wanna play soccer. And the next day they wanna watch TV. I mean, they'll do a million things, right. They don't know what they wanna do. So you, you kind of have to give them a structure and say, this is what every Tuesday night, this is what we're doing. And if it gets to the point where it's completely intolerable to you, that you can't handle it, then, then that's a different story. But if you make it fun, I mean, making it fun is the whole thing. You know, this band that our family started. Right. I love it. During the pandemic, we started a band and Cormick happens to be a very talented musician. So that's awesome. But McKinley's been playing the drums and I've been playing a little keyboard and little trumpet and we've created this band that we play on. We get together with my brother-in-law and we play on the back of our, of our boat here and ran, picked up the bass. So we, we are actually kind of making music and it's, and it's fun. We do it for fun.

Young Han (14:19):
It's amazing. Yeah. I definitely look at, I look at you and your family as you know, as like a goalpost for me, right? Figured out a way to be successful in business and have a very successful career in illustrious career with both money, fame and accomplishments, all the a there's a trifecta of success, right? What we societally qualify as success, but you've also done it with your family intact. And you've always chosen to do that intentionally. And, and a lot of, I mean, I didn't know that they didn't always work for you. I I've always known you with them in intact. So I've only seen them with you as part of the business, but it never really occurred to me to merge the two things. It's always been a contention of time. Do I spend time with my kids or do I spend time on growing my career? And it was always polarizing until I met you. And I'm not saying that I can do what you do, but I definitely appreciate the, the fact that it's a novel way of approaching this problem, that a lot of parents face. Cause I talk to other successful parents and, and societally successful at work. Right? It's always this contention of like, where do I put my time? I have, you know, 40 hours in a week or I have like 80 hours in a week or whatever. And they have to divide it between their family. That's

Andy Cunningham (15:30):
What I, before you met us, that was, that was the situation. My kids were adults before they came to work. I mean, serious adults before they came to work with me. Like they didn't grow up working with me. We didn't have them working in the office over the summer or any of that stuff. Yeah. But I think the, the real, the real secret for me anyway is that my husband ran is amazing. And he, he, we made a decision early on in our kids growing up because, because he had a big career at a startup. Well, first he was, he was not at a startup. He was at a very big company. He was a vice president of research and development. And then he got into a startup. So he was like working a million hours a week. I had my own startup, I was working a million hours a week and we started to notice cracks in our, in Henley's behavior.

Andy Cunningham (16:13):
<Laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> and it was a big warning sign, right? Like big, not only just the behavior, but her emotional wellbeing was starting to crack. And so we did a whole bunch of things to figure out what was going on here. And, and really at the end of the day, what we figured out is that we were, we were never with her <laugh> and it turns out kids need a parent, right? So we made a bunch of changes in our life. A bunch ran, quit his whole career and stayed home with the children. We ended up I stopped doing the international travel that I was doing. We decided to have breakfast and dinner together as a family, every single day. And this all happened when Mickey was probably seven, seven or eight years old. And literally within two weeks she became a different person. It was a, it was believable to change. So you can, you can fix little mistakes that you make, but we all make mistakes. But we, we looked at the warning signs and, and addressed it.

Young Han (17:08):
Wow. I'm learning. So this

Andy Cunningham (17:14):
Right. <Laugh>

Young Han (17:15):
Yeah. So that's how it happened.

Andy Cunningham (17:17):
Yes. Yeah. S

Young Han (17:19):
So that was a very intentional and crafted and strategic decision you guys made as parents. 

Andy Cunningham (17:26):
Yeah. Absolutely. Because you guys mapped it out. Yeah. Cuz we were both over, over our ears in in our careers and we had these two children and and one was very tiny Cormick was probably only three at the time, but, but it was obvious that that things were not going well. And so instead of letting that continue, I mean, we had two, two and a housekeeper. We had all the, all the, the things you, you think you need. Right. But NA's raising your children. It's not the same as you raising your, your children. Right. They, they, they will never be you. So anyway, when we started to see these things happening, we, we really stopped and we figured out what was going on, determined what it was and made drastic changes to our lifestyle in order to accommodate the fact that we actually were parents.

Young Han (18:15):
<Laugh>, that's amazing. I didn't, yeah. That's really cool too. And I I've been like talking to Amy a lot about this as well. Right. It's like finding more time and like, do we hire help and to, to accommodate the growth of your career? Cause like, it seems to all always come down to like sacrificing cuz we all have the, we, it doesn't matter how smart you are. We all have the constraint of time. Yep. We have this constraint of time. So it's like, how do you wanna allocate that time? And then what's the right balance that you need to strike because certain things I, I believe in outsourcing, right? Like that's actually really helpful. Like if you can outsource it, like we, we have never hired a nanny, but I, I would love to explore that option because there's a part of me that wonders, like, could we even be more successful if we had more time? And then what is the cost benefit of that? It's like a really interesting thing that you went down that road and then you, you saw different things that you couldn't address and you, you corrected it because it wasn't worth it. So did you keep, just, just had a, just outta curiosity, did you keep the nanny and then also spend more time? Or did you guys do a hard switch?

Andy Cunningham (19:17):
We kept one of the nannies. So we got rid of one of 'em kept one and then, and kept the, the person to clean the house because that was, that really is an outsourceable

Young Han (19:25):
Thing. <Laugh> totally, yeah. 

Andy Cunningham (19:27):
Outsourcing a parenting is, is really, that's not what you'd doing. You're just outsourcing babysitting. So we kept, we kept one, two, you know, to take the kids to events and things like that. But, but ran ran really became a, he was, became a stay at home dad. And so he taken care of the kids. And then we, you know, over, after a year or two, we ended up getting rid of that nanny as well. So we only really kept the nanny for another year or two after, after ran, quit his job.

Young Han (19:58):
This is like really great. So I, I have like a million ways to slice this, but I'll just ask you in more of a root cause kind of questioning here. Cause we're kind of like peppering around it. How do you qualify successful parenting? What do you, what do you think a successful parent? It is?

Andy Cunningham (20:14):
Well, I don't think, you know, and if, if you've been successful until your kids are grown up, but if you, if you can create a human being that is confident, independent, a pleasure to be around a good friend, caring, those are the things you're looking for, but you don't know if you get there until they're till they're older, you know, it's so funny. I know this, we went through this thing too, our, this whole question about what school should your kids go to? Right? That's the big question that parents face and they sign up for some of these fancy school before the kids are even born, you know? And, and they they're like this trajectory to go to Harvard or something like that. Well, I can tell you, our kids went to a really fancy school, really fancy private elementary school. And we thought, you know, it's the best school around. They should go to that school. Doesn't matter what it costs doesn't matter anything. Well, it turns out it wasn't the best school for one of our kids. It was, it wasn't the best school for her, for McKinley. It was, it was a great school for Cormick but not a great school for McKinley. And so, but you don't know this until they're out of it and done with it. <Laugh>

Young Han (21:21):

Andy Cunningham (21:22):
So it's, it just takes time. It's like baking a very long cake, what you have. So it comes outta the oven.

Young Han (21:31):
<Laugh> that's, that's a really, that's a really Sage answer. It's kind of like goes back to the whole adage of the older you get, the less you, the, the more you realize the less, you know. Right. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Because it sounds like you've probably gone through many iterations of qualifying success as a parent. And then you come to the over many years of like, Hey, you just, you just have to try your best and, and see what comes out at the end. And that's how you judge it on it, right? Yeah. Like there's no markers in the middle. Like you just do what you can and like, kinda do the best that you can with what you have.

Andy Cunningham (22:01):
Well, it's really all about being there for your kids, right? Being there for their emotional needs, their physical needs, their health and safety needs and just being obvious to them that you're there. And I know you are there for your kids. You are more there than most dads are for their kids.

Young Han (22:19):
<Laugh> well, thanks for saying that. Yeah. I, I definitely try to do that. Right. I try to be there for them as much as I can be and, and try to like teach them the, the values that I want them to have. The problem I have is I also heard this, like I was listening to this podcast with Tim Grover on it. Have you ever heard Tim Grover? No, I don't know. He wrote, he wrote this book called relentless, but he was like the coach for Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So some pretty high performance athletes. Right. And he, he made this comment about one aspect of the podcast was about parenting. It was really interesting. Cause he said, I told my kid, you know, she said, I, what do you, you know, she was emotional. She was upset. And she said, I just want more time with you.

Young Han (23:05):
And I, and he said, most dads would've folded. They would've melted, folded and said, yeah, I need to make some changes and like be there for them. But he said, what is that sending? What message am I sending to my kid by doing that? I want her to grow up knowing that I am gonna win and I'm gonna go and go achieve great things. And that's worth her knowing that, knowing that I'm sacrificing this valuable time to go. And I'm like, oh my gosh. That's like, it sounds terrible. But then I'm like sitting there thinking about it all day long and just like marinating on this concept of like, it's just a choice. I actually don't judge him for making that decision. At first I had a lot of judgment, you know? And then I'm like, maybe as I get older and wiser, I'll realize that I have less judgment. Cause I'm like imagining my kids at 20 years old going like, oh, they, they didn't have the gumption to go sacrifice something to go do something bigger because I was always there. I don't know. And what do you think about this? This is like a crazy concept. Cause it sounds really extreme, but I, I, I, I can't like wrestle. Like I can't like grapple and like figure out how to like put this in my mind. Well,

Andy Cunningham (24:06):
I don't think it's such a digital thing though. The, the, the issue is you can't be like a leach on your child's life so that they're, you're always there for them. Like you're every time they trip and fall, they're, you're right there behind them to catch them every time they need a dollar you're right there to give it to them. That's not what I mean when I say being there for your, your kids and there's a, there's an in between state, right? Your kids have to know that you have to do things that, that are for you and, and for your well, the health and safety of your family, you know, you have to do things, but I don't think that first of all, I don't think children understand the concept of success at all. I don't think they underst stand that until they're well into their twenties.

Andy Cunningham (24:47):
They don't even know what that is. And success is many things, right? I mean, now that I'm 64 years old and today success for me is the fact that I'm, I'm healthy and I have a happy family that is still intact. That's my success. Right? Yeah. It's different. It's different at different ages. So very difficult to a child success is, you know, even with their grades and even with schoolwork, right? So they, they do something, let's say they get an, they get a B on it and they come home and you say, why wasn't that an a right. Well, maybe to them, that was as successful as it could have been. Right. It's just, it's everything is a judgment calling. It's very difficult to, to really be so granular about it. And so digital about it.

Young Han (25:34):
Oh man, I love it. You're like giving me permission to, to not, to not stress out so much about the right the right mix and the right amount. Right. I think it's also important for everyone to know that, like I do know your kids and I will tell you right now, both your they're also very, very ambitious. So I mean, Cormick is insanely ambitious. And so it's not that he doesn't know that. So even when you say like, Hey, I, I was there for them. It's not like you didn't instill upon them. This level of ambition kind like drive because they're both very, very ambitious, the way that you raise your kids through the environment can to that level of ambition understanding. And, and I think that there's this kind of like for me, this struggle between like, what's the right amount of parenting versus teaching versus like environment, you know, environment creating. And, and I'm probably just worrying too much. That's probably what it is. Yeah. I'm probably just sitting here like stressing out about something. That's, they're probably not even thinking about, you know,

Andy Cunningham (26:28):
Sure. They're not thinking about it, but you know, you, you do, you do think about it. You're cause you're constantly questioning, you know, did I do the right thing there? Did I not do the right thing? It's hard. It's very, it's difficult to know. But I think as you watch your kids make decisions, that's kind of, those are the clues, right? Those are the clues that you have as to, as to whether or not you're, you're doing well. <Laugh> what are the decisions? Well, who are the friends they're hanging around with, right? Yeah. And this is, this is gonna be an issue you're gonna run into with your girls when they get older, they're gonna make friends with people you don't like, and you don't want them to with, and friends are very, very, very influential to kids. So you gotta do your best to navigate that in such a way that you're not forcing them, not to spend time with those kids, with those friends, but that you are encouraging them to think more strategically about who the friends they're needs to be their decision. That's

Young Han (27:22):
A really good way to think about it. It's like goes back to the classic thing of like nature versus nurture and it's all of that stuff. And maybe I just need to like, kind of like relax on the expectations I have for myself on like how to be perfect for this situation. And, and just kind of like lean into the fact that I'm there, but I wrestle with it because like, there's things that I do that I know that are gonna be really bad for my kids. Like, and I can't stop it. And I try myself so hard to stop when my kids want something. I just like want to give it to them. Yeah. And like, Amy's like, Amy tells me all the time. She's like, you're, I, I have like three kids. You're like, no, a kid, you know? And like, I'm like the only parent that actually creates boundaries and roles and I'm, and I'm not entirely sure if it's bad, but I'm pretty sure it's bad.

Young Han (28:12):
Right. Because there's like, you know, some things that are gonna be good from that. Right. Knowing that they can always come to me that I'll always listen, that I'll always be there for them or give them what they want or like help them at least try to get what they want or talk them through it or whatever that may be. But there's also bad things with that. Right. Cause there's like the boundaries, the perseverance, the other stuff that may come with that. And so I just gotta like temper that with what I, what I want outta this relationship. Yeah. And, and then to talk about what you said about the influence of your friends. My mom always said this. She always said this to me and it to didn't actually resonate with me until I was 40 years old. Like literally last year. Cause she always said she wasn't as nice and diplomatic as you, you were, or you were, you're saying about this situation.

Young Han (29:00):
She literally told me when she didn't like someone that I hung out with and she told me explicitly why she didn't like them. Yeah. Well and that's oh, you did that too. OK. Yeah. OK. Good. Good. OK, cool. So, and, and now I realize that the reason behind it is that our human brains are wired to basically be the sum of the average of the sum. If you hang around with right artist, you will start becoming an artist, right? If you, you associate yourself and you continually associate yourself with business, people you'll become a business person. Like our human brains are very resilient is I think is the right word. But like we have adapt and malleable that's thank

Andy Cunningham (29:43):
That's who we're. Yes. And if

Young Han (29:45):
Thank you, Andy that's,

Andy Cunningham (29:47):
If your kid is hanging around with a bunch of, you know, drug dealers, it's highly likely they're gonna get involved in that industry so to speak. Right.

Young Han (29:55):
That's right, right. That's exactly it. Yeah. And so it's like, it's so funny because my mom has been saying that to me forever, hang out with who you wanna be like, hang out with who you wanna be like, and, and it's like, and I just like, you're absolutely right. It's you're so influenced and you can't see it when you're younger and you probably don't even see it through your twenties and thirties, to be honest. And maybe I should. Yeah. Now it makes me wanna go call McKinley. Cormick your kids and tell them like this lesson right now, I'm like be intentional about who you hang out with. Cause if I can go back, even in my twenties and thirties, it's still applicable. Right. Cause now in my forties, I'm sitting here going, I gotta be more intentional about, about like who I associate myself with because there's so little time that I'm socializing with other people. Yeah. Cause all my time is work kids. And now my time to spend with social is so small that it's even more important that I associate with people that I wanna be like,

Andy Cunningham (30:46):
Yeah. Exactly. And to make sure that your kids are doing the same thing. I mean, just to give you another story about McKinley, I feel bad here talking about her when she's not around, but this is <laugh>. But there was a big moment of pride that I had with her with, with this. So we, we had moved away from the bay area for four years. We lived up in the country up right outside of Yosemite. We were in a very small town, which was of course very charming on the outside. But under the covers of this small town, there was a lot of the, a lot of the bad stuff that happens in small towns, no education, lots of drugs, lots of single parents, lots of parents that, that lost responsibility to care of their children. And those kids were living with their grandparents.

Andy Cunningham (31:25):
A lot of poverty, a lot of these things that were going on. And so she was in the local public school. So she's hanging around with a lot of these kids that there were a few of them who were amazing kids and they were, they were amazing over overcoming the issues of their environment. But there was a handful of them that were not, and she was it around with these people more than we would like, but what could we do there? Weren't no other kids up there, right? Yeah. That was the situation. And I kept saying, let's move back to Palo Alto. I'd like to move back to Palo Alto because that's where you're gonna get direction about education and all, all of these things. And I said, it I've been said it to her for over two, three years. Right. And all every single time, no mom, I, we love it up here.

Andy Cunningham (32:07):
I love it up here. Ran, loves it up here. We we're gonna keep doing this one day. She asked me if we could go to dinner together, we went out for dinner and she says to me, mom, I wanna back to Palo Alto. And I'm like, what? And I'm that my life up here with these people. And I think if I were hanging around with different people, it would change my feeling about that. And I'm like, oh my God, what a moment of pride I had for her that it's like, she made that decision on her own. I didn't force to Palo Alto. I encouraged her, but I didn't force it. And then she came to the conclusion and her little analogy at the time was all my friends are on this one highway going to this one direction and I've decided I wanna get off that highway and go a different direction.

Andy Cunningham (32:53):
Oh, it was amazing. Amazing. Yeah, it really was. So I think if you try to force kids to do things, they just get angry. Right. If, if I had said family we're up and moving back to Palo Alto, she would not have been happy with that solution, but the way it, that it turned out, she got to experience the negative stuff and then made the decision on her own. Yeah. And so she wound up with an amazing group of friends in Palo Alto that she's still friends with today. And these are not the wealthy kids of Palo Alto. The, the fr people that she chose to hang out with are normal people from normal families. And they're her best friends today. And they're wonderful human beings. I love every one of them. <Laugh>

Young Han (33:33):
That's incredible. Yeah. And, and she's great. I mean, you know how much I love your daughter. She's like by far one of my top of people in the world. Yeah. So like, I, I absolutely adore the adult that she's become and all the things that it, it is just hilarious actually talking about her childhood, to be honest with that. Yeah. It's I have, have the show she, after this interview about this and she's like, can you interview me? So I, my side of the

Andy Cunningham (34:01):
Actually really a great thing

Young Han (34:02):
To do, that would be, yeah. So you'll see, you'll see that coming up soon here. I'm gonna cause I know we're outta time here. So let me, let me rapid fire my my closing questions here, if that's okay. What advice do you have for other parents? And soon to be parents,

Andy Cunningham (34:15):
Every child is different. You can't treat every child exactly the same.

Young Han (34:20):
Great. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before having kids, what would it be?

Andy Cunningham (34:27):
Oh boy, I think it would be, you gotta spend time with your kids. I mean, yeah. Everybody wants to have everything right. And I wanted everything too, but I just, you know, launched into my life thinking I could have everything and, and then we had these issues and we had to deal with 'em. So, you know, it would've been great if I didn't have those issues, but having those issues, I learned a lot from it. So there you go.

Young Han (34:51):
All right. What is your all time favorite business book?

Andy Cunningham (34:55):
Well, of course my book is my favorite 

Young Han (34:58):
There you go. <Laugh>

Andy Cunningham (34:59):
Which is called, Get to Aha for everybody, wants to learn about marketing. But other than that, really, I, I have to say that my favorite book is blue ocean strategy because it's a book about developing new ideas in new markets. And I just love, I just love it.

Young Han (35:14):
Yeah. And Andy I'll link both of them in the YouTube as well. Cause it is a really good, I love, I love your book. I've I like literally have changed so many, so many of my business philosophies because of that book. What is the most surprising thing that you have learned about yourself? Being a parent,

Andy Cunningham (35:33):
Let's see that, that I actually can have a great relationship with my kids. See, I didn't have a great relationship with my parents. Wow. So I now know that I, now that I'm the age I am and my kids are the age I they're. Wow. I, I have a great relationship with my kids and I'm super proud of that. And I did, I didn't know. I could do that. I didn't know. That was even possible. <Laugh>

Young Han (35:54):
I love that. Thank you so much, Andy. That was really, really great. I know I'm like a minute over on your time. And Richard was very clear that you had a tight schedule today. So I appreciate you spending an extra minute here to talk to me about your life and your children and parenting

Andy Cunningham (36:08):
So much fun, Young. I love this podcast. This is a great idea. <Laugh> thank you.

Young Han (36:13):
I appreciate it. I really appreciate your support, Andy know, I'll be sure to share it with you as soon as it comes out. Please

Andy Cunningham (36:19):
And, and you are, you are a great parent. 

I can tell. 

Young Han (36:22):
Oh, thank you for saying that. I appreciate the cheerleading as I, as I go on this journey. <Laugh> <laugh> Thanks Andy.

Andy Cunningham (36:29):
All right. Thank you. Young byebye.

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