Episode 33 - Robert White - Proactive Presence

Robert White (00:00):
Learning how to, to blend business and, and parenting is, is tough, whether it's business or whether it's relationships or whether it's parenting. I mean, that, that is pivotal on being successful at whatever you're doing is you have to be honest with yourself. You know, I, I think parenting can expose your flaws in a hurry.

Young Han (00:24):
Hey guys, I'm young, a full-time dad and a full-time professional with the goal to become the best parent possible. The girl dad show is my journey interviewing fellow working parents aspiring to be both good at work and parenting. I'm gonna do this by gathering and sharing unfiltered perspectives from my a guest to join me as a research parenthood, one interview at a time

Young Han (00:45):
Robert, what's going on, man. Thank you for joining me on my podcast today.

Robert White (00:49):
You bet. How's it going?

Young Han (00:50):
It's going really good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Let's jump right into it. So why don't you tell me and the listeners what you do for a living?

Robert White (00:57):
Yeah, so I'm an employee benefits consultant, which, you know, many folks listening, maybe like my mother and have no idea what that is. But the simplest form in order for businesses to offer medical, dental vision, et cetera, as a part of their employee benefits package to their employees, they partner with a broker consultant to go out to the various insurance carriers and the insurance market procure quotes, find the best kind tracks and then select and design that benefits program for them and their employees. And that's what I do behind the scenes. So in a using kind of a sports analogy, if you will, you know, we're, the athletes agent are the, are the business, if you will. And then we work on their behalf and negotiate and secure the best contract with with the best team, which in our case is, is the insurance carrier.

Young Han (01:42):
That's awesome. And then do you have any big projects that you're working on right now?

Robert White (01:46):
Yeah, so almost 70% of employers renew their benefits for January 1st. So we've just wrapped up our, our busy renewal season. A few weeks ago, I took a brief vacation with, with family and friends over the holiday weekend. And now, you know, the big shift here for us is focusing on new business, picking up on the prospecting efforts that we've done, you know, late in 2021. And, and and looking to shift gears and, and grow the business this year.

Young Han (02:15):
That's awesome. Yeah, I'm actually pretty familiar with the, the space. I don't know if I talked to you about my time, but at limelight health, but I was in the ensure and space on the technology side trying to build software for the employee benefit space. So I definitely remember the Q4 crunch, you know, open renewal season and, and how busy it got, cuz we were trying to sell into, into brokers and insurance carriers and Q4 was like a forget about it like three months, you know, that's when we went and built our software and caught up on tech because there was nobody that wanted to talk to us during Q4. Cause they were so busy, you know, they're so busy doing opens.

Robert White (02:51):
It's definitely not that you, you don't want to, it's just, you gotta find, find the time. Right. And, and there's not much of it in the, you know, October, November timeframe.

Young Han (02:59):
Yeah. Have you always been in the space or did you join kind of the employee benefit space later on? Or what was the journey there?

Robert White (03:06):
I have actually so started right outta college was recruited outta college on the insurance carrier side I spent I guess about 13 years working for Unum, which is the largest disability in life lead management carrier. So started in Houston for four years doing that and then moved to Austin in 2011 and recently made the jump over to the consulting side. So got away from the carrier side, moved over to the broker consultant side almost four years ago.

Young Han (03:38):
Yeah. I didn't know that you were a, a carrier. That's awesome. So what was the major differences that you saw from being a carrier to the consulting side?

Robert White (03:44):
That's good question. I think, you know, on the insurance carrier side, you kind of feel like a hamster on a wheel. You know, and, and you're responding to, to a number of different brokers across, you know, a, a particular region you know, and it just, it got, it got to be very monotonous and repetitive and, you know, felt like you could have, or felt like I could have a, a much more significant impact on employers and clients. Moving over to the consultant side, which, which turned out to be true. And so on the consultant side, you know, it's much more direct client facing impact you know, being able to be a part of a business, you know, in Austin it's a ton, it's just a ton of fun working with startups. And then, you know, trying to have an impact on their business. I'll be it maybe small and their success as they grow and move into the, you know, next stage of, of the company lifecycle there.

Young Han (04:34):
Yeah. That's actually how we met. Right. Like we met at that one party here in Austin. It was like that it was like a start a venture VC party.

Robert White (04:42):
That's right. Yeah. With with early growth.

Young Han (04:44):
That's right. That's right. That's right. And so yeah, I'm assuming that's a lot more fun, right. Because you didn't, you didn't necessarily do that in Houston. Do you feel like there's a big difference in the Houston market? Is it in the Austin market?

Robert White (04:54):
For sure? Yes. I mean, you know, naturally with, you know, the level of entrepreneurship that's, that's here in Austin you know, things like getting out and meeting folks and being a part of the business community. That's definitely the fun part of the job. You know, meeting new people, meeting new entrepreneurs executives and then just learning, you know, learning what's going on in the tech space is, is, is a ton of fun.

Young Han (05:20):
Yeah, it definitely is. I, I, I definitely love Austin a lot. And I, I, I, I mean, I came from San Francisco, so I kind of came from the tech base to a certain degree, but coming here it's you could feel like the, the early stages of it just kind of like ballooning forward, right? Like it's, it's really, really exciting to just to see all the entrepreneurial spirit and all the startups seeing kind of grow here. It's really fun. Absolutely. But I do remember during dinner, we were having such a good, we were having such a good time talking about so much stuff. I even think we talked about. I know we talked about kids, which is why I invited you to this podcast, so we'll definitely get to that, but I think we also talked about podcasting. Did you also used to run a podcast? Is that what you were telling me?

Robert White (05:59):
Yes. A good question. I wouldn't call it a podcast. So a former colleague of mine and I used to would sit down with various business partners and, and clients in, in our business or that ran across and we would record a, a two to five minute kind of interview if we will. And we posted on LinkedIn and it was, you know, really kind of the premise of the of the, the podcast, I guess, if you wanna call it, that was, you know, we'd ask three or four questions related to their business to give them an opportunity and a platform to, to, to tell our connect about their business. And then we would ask three or four fun, get to know you type questions, like you know, if you, if you could play golf with any, anybody in the world that are alive, you know, who would it be? So just those type of questions. So it was, it was fun. We started doing that in early 2020, and then you know, COVID hit, so I, that, that killed it and never really picked it back up.

Young Han (07:01):
Yeah, that's awesome, man. I think that it's like so funny because I think that conversation led to me telling you that I actually had a podcast and, and all this other stuff. Yeah, here we are. You should get back into it. Yeah. Here we go. That's right. I still think it's a great idea. I think you should keep doing that or, or I don't know. Maybe we could together, but I think that'd be really fun to do some sort of like interviewing of different startups and stuff and, and, and what they're working on, giving them a little platform. I think it's a really great idea, especially just focused on Austin. Cause there's a huge, huge appetite for, for Austin, you know, Austin growth, Austin's stories. And I think there's a lot of eyeballs kind of like looking at Austin to see what next year, you know.

Robert White (07:39):
Absolutely. Yes.

Young Han (07:41):
So let's, let's talk about it since this is a parenting podcast. Talk to me about your kids.

Robert White (07:45):
Yeah. So I've got two boys. My oldest actually turns 11 on February 1st. He was he was born two days after my wife and I's first anniversary. So we weren't married long before, before we had kids and had to figure out parenting. Nice. But Brewer's my sports junkie. He loves football, baseball, snow skiing. We actually just got back from skiing and, you know, he progressed more on the mountain this year, I think, than, than any other. And so really, really developed a love and, and passion for it this past year, you know, it's it was fun. Watch, you know, a lot of proud dad moments if you will. Yeah. he's not, he's also developed you know, not necessarily podcast related, but, but somewhat, but somewhere he's developed this passion for video editing. I think watching, watching something like dude, perfect. You know, and so he'll, he'll, you know, make record a bunch of videos and try to edit him together. He's got his own little YouTube channel and he's even done some animated stuff with Legos, which, which is fun to watch, especially at an 11 year old and, and him pick up that, that kind of passion, but he's he's my strong-willed one very, very competitive. You know, I I can think back of when, when my wife was pregnant with him and, you know, I'm sure his parents, you know, many of us have done this before, but just, I can remember back thinking, gosh, I hope he gets the best qualities of, of her and I, right. Yeah. well from a temperament standpoint, I think he got both of our worst qualities, but but you know, it's part of the parenting process is, is really to, to learn and adapt and, and figure out how to best communicate with with, with, with people. And that that's what they are. And I think a lot of times that we forget that as parents is that is, that is another person. But my youngest is, is almost exactly five years younger than him. He turned six on February 17th.

Young Han (09:41):
Wow. February too! Everything happens in the beginning of the year for you. Huh?

Robert White (09:46):
It does. Yes. Yeah. My, my birthday's in January, both their birthday's in February, so we've got a lot going on at the beginning of the year, but he's my little long blonde hair, Sweetheart loves animals, loves music, loves performing, loves people. He is never made a stranger. He's always out in the front yard, can entertain himself for hours. But talking with the neighbors as they come by. So he's a little less interested in sports probably, but, but I've kept him involved. Really for two reasons. One, I really wanted to give him the opportunity to figure out if, if, if he was really interested or not. And then two, I'm a strong believer in, in the life lessons that, that are learned through sports. And so, you know, he, he had a ton of fun ski in this past, this past weekend too advanced more than he ever has before, as you as well. And I think really developed a passion for it because he got the right instruction. So you know, that's, that's be he's he he's, like I said, fun loving one.

Young Han (10:47):
Yeah. I love that you have two boys. I have two girls, so it's kind of fun that we have the opposite experience here in that sense. But when you talk about the sports values in what that instills in them, are you talking about like team sports or are you talking about anything that's athletic?

Robert White (11:03):
Well, I think you can draw parallels, you know, whether it's team sport or individual sport. I was always involved in team sports growing up. I didn't I, I love golf now, but I didn't start playing golf until after I met my wife. And she was the one that got me involved in golf. Something should probably regrets it to this day, but team sports is really where, you know, in particular football, I just think football is the, the amount of parallels that can be drawn to whether it's business or life or parenting or relationships or what, you know, there's, there's always adversity. And usually that adversity in football is when you're taught you're hot, you're sweaty, you're, you know, it's and then have learning how to deal with that. And, and it, and respond in a positive way is you know, can be drawn later on in life, in, in, in a number of different ways.

Young Han (11:52):
That's awesome. What other sports did you play?

Robert White (11:56):
Football and baseball primarily. And then I, my, my family started taking us ski and I think when I was 11 or 12 you know, and so I, you know, those, those inherently have, have been passed down to my kiddos.

Young Han (12:07):
That's awesome. I mean, yeah, I think that it's like, it's like the same thing that I we're doing in a, in an opposite way. Right? Like your hobbies inherently become their hobbies to a certain degree, except until they tell you that they don't want it to be their hobbies. Right. Like, sounds like Bo's like, Hey, I don't really care to do this. Or at least he's deviating from that, you know, and who knows, maybe he'll turn around at 11, but at least as his six year old self, it sounds like he's already starting to tell you that he doesn't wear your oldest is like loving it.

Robert White (12:34):
Right, yeah, he's more of my my Austin, you know, flower child probably gonna be, you know, some, you know, more musically inclined, you know, he likes at church. He likes to be, you know, in the music kids, music, class, and all that stuff, so,

Young Han (12:49):
Oh, that's awesome. Yeah, that's that's, that's, that's known as speaking Mylan, which my wife's a huge sports fan. She loves she loves like, you know, team sports and she loves baseball and all that good stuff. And I, I don't know anything about it. Like, I don't know. I don't even know the roles like I was, I, I, I usually get, I usually got chosen during the kid games, you know, because I had some, some sense of like EQ and made friends pretty easily. So people would choose me just from the friendship. And then after that first game, I was the last one chosen because I didn't know what I was doing. I had no idea what I was doing. I dunno, the rules, I dunno how to play anything. But I was I was very into music growing up, so I, I'm definitely trying to push my daughters into music. And I mean, obviously I'm trying not to impose that on them, but I would really love it if they were musicians, you know, that would be like so, so amazing for me and my wife wants to send them out.

Robert White (13:41):
Yeah. It's fun to watch, you know, them gravitate towards one thing or another, you know, I mean, it's funny cuz you know, our kids are so different. My kids are so different. Everybody's kids I think are probably very different from each other, but you know, we've got one that's, you know, one to be outside dribbling, a basketball or playing football or something. I got another one that's up in his room, strumming on a guitar screaming, singing at the time. You know, and it's adorable, but it's just funny how, how different your own children can be. Right.

Young Han (14:12):
Yeah. Tell me about your childhood. How'd you grow up?

Robert White (14:15):
That's a good, so my parents, you know, we're not poor, I would not say, but, but definitely grew up very middle class. And not upper middle class, but, but blue collar family, small town you know, my mom was a, was a great mom is a great mom. You know, she struggled to think, you know, you know, with some of her own demons, you know, particularly I wasn't born at triplet.

Young Han (14:40):
Wait, what?

Robert White (14:41):
Yeah, I was born at triplet, so, but my other two brothers did not make it so, you know? Yeah. And so, you know, my mom obviously very, very hard on my mom, much more so than it on her than ever than it was ever on me. Just cuz I was too young to know the difference. Right. Yeah. But you know, you know, she, she struggled with that for a long time, I think naturally. Yeah. And then, you know, she was married three times. But you know, still to this day really admire, you know, how she raised and cared for me. Always did her best provide for me. I actually never met my biological father. But her third husband is, is who I always considered and called my dad. He adopted me when I was 11.

Young Han (15:28):
Oh wow.

Robert White (15:29):
And he owned a small construction company. He still does. Worked extremely hard, you know, I, I would attribute my work ethic from what I learned from him. And then I was also always very close to my grandparents, my mom's mom and dad really primarily cuz they helped raise me before my dad was in the, in the, in the picture. Yeah, not in the picture and so was always very close to them. Fortunately they're both still with us. My grandfather actually just celebrated his 90th birthday. 

Young Han (16:01):
Oh, congratulations. That's amazing.

Robert White (16:04):
It's it's awesome. What's even more awesome is they've been married for 72 years, which is, you know, crazy. Especially if you think about, you know, our, our culture and to day and, and how fragile marriage, you know, is, you know, just naturally. So it's really cool, great role models. And I definitely consider him, you know, one of my heroes and was, was fortunate. They, they took, they had more money than my parents did and was fortunate to be able to, to go and travel a lot with them. And that's probably where I picked up my, my passion for travel, but also my ambition and drive to succeed and, and want something more and better for, for my family. Wow. Yeah. So, and I've got, I've got a, I inherited a brother whenever my mom got married to my adopted daddy's five months older than me. And then we both had our my sister was born she's 10 years younger than both of us. So I got a younger sister, older brother and yeah, I mean that's, that's probably the short, the shorter version.

Young Han (17:06):
Wow. man, that's amazing. Amazing amount of things we can unpack there. That's incredible. The biggest one I want to unpack though for, for sure on this podcast because you know it, I think it's pretty relevant is how does that impact you with raising your kids? Like H have you like flowed any of that over or there been any like qualms about that or insecurities that come from it or things that you pull from it that are beneficial or yeah. Like how does that relate to you being a dad as you think of about your childhood?

Robert White (17:35):
Yeah. I mean, it's a good question. You know, I think for one you know, having having never met my biological father, I think probably has the most impact on very being very protective, being very intentional about being involved, being wanting to be a good dad. I think I'm probably more and, and rightfully so in favor. So probably more self critical of myself which I don't know necessarily makes does it doesn't necessarily make you a better dad unless you actually act on what you

Young Han (18:14):
Mean saying. Yeah.

Robert White (18:17):
But that's probably the, the most impact I think, you know, twofold would be you know, our kids are five years apart and, you know, making the decision, are we gonna have one kid or two kids? I would say, you know, having, having lost the opportunity to, to have two brothers definitely went into, you know, the, the desire and want to have for my oldest to have a brother. Right.

Young Han (18:45):
That's awesome. That's very awesome. And then you said your mom and dad are still here. So what, what do they think about everything and how you're being a dad? Like, have they given you any like feedback about your parenting skills?

Robert White (18:59):
Fortunately, they really haven't. You know, and they'll, they will, if I ask, which I think is which is good, but you know, they've I cannot think of a time ever whenever they were like, you know, should you should do this or you should try this.

Young Han (19:14):
Wow. That's awesome.

Robert White (19:16):
Yeah. So they've been good parents in that, in that regard. I mean, they've been good parents period, but in particular, in, in that regard, in terms of being more of a what would you call it? A, a mentor type than a parent.

Young Han (19:31):
Yeah. It's the trick, right. I've been learning about this as I've been doing this podcast, is that like, as a parent, you have to learn how to change yourself during the stages of their growth. Right. And so it sounds like your parents were smart enough to know that they were supposed to change who they were for you as you became a parent and became more of like a mentor type. Right, right. Yeah, my, my, my parents are not like that. I mean, they, they still think I'm like 12 years old, you know what I like, you know, snot up my nose and like, you know, I forgot to wear my underwear or something, you know? Like they, they, I mean, I'm like, I dunno. So, I mean, they're great parents, I'm making fun of them, but yeah. They still baby the crap out of me. Right. Like they, they definitely treat me like a little kid still. And I'm like, you know, 'em, I'm 40 years old. Right. Like it's like constantly having to remind them that yeah. I've, I'm, I'm, I'm pretty capable of do taking care of myself and doing things at this point. But that's great, man. I'm glad that you, that's hilarious. Yeah. That you don't have to, don't have to go through that. Cuz I think there's like, it's like, you know, it's also part of our thing, right? Like can we also adapt to our kids as they grow because I'm sure you've had to change the parenting style already with if with the, even the difference between the six and 11 year old. I bet it's completely different. Yeah. The 11 year old's probably really form formulating his own self and, and identity and and where the six year old's still probably a little more eager to learn and I'm, I'm sure you're even dealing with it right now. Right.

Robert White (20:55):
Oh for sure. You know, my, my wife and I joke all the time, you know, I can remember getting married and you know, people are like, oh, marriage is hard and you know, you know, you know, et cetera, et cetera. And but we joke all the time that, you know, the marriage part's fairly easy. It's parenting is hard. Parenting is very hard. Yeah. you know, and, and, and especially with kids that are five years apart, you know, people are another question you get, you know, often get is, you know, what do you think about having kids that are five years apart versus, you know, 18 months or two years apart? I mean, there's pros and cons to everything. 

Young Han (21:32):
Right. and, and it's just actually, what are they? Cause my kids are, my kids are two years apart. Yeah. And I love it!

Robert White (21:35):
I couldn't, I couldn't tell you the pros and cons of that. Cuz I only have mine. I mean the pros and cons, I would say of having 'em five years apart is particularly when, when they're young is you have, you have a helper, right. Mm. You know, you've at one that can put on his own shoes and put on his own clothes and then he can help with the, with the younger one. And now that they're older, you know, he's getting, he's not there yet, but he is getting close to an age where, you know, he can, we can go out on a date and he can stay here versus having to hire a babysitter. You know, so those are obviously pros, but you know, cons, you know, I would say is, they're not extremely close because they're not extremely close. Right. 

Young Han (22:17):
Their development cycles are so far apart. Right. Especially at this age. Right.

Robert White (22:20):
Yeah right. And so now, now does that change as they get older? I, I don't know. To be determined I guess, and it totally does. And I know I have some friends that have, they grew with siblings that were five years younger. I mean, not my sister's 10 years younger. We're not extremely close just cuz we, we were, you know, in completely different stages of life growing up for the longest time. And you know, that's just, just kind of the way it is, I think.

Young Han (22:44):
Hmm. Interesting. Yeah. I have a six year gap with my little brother and I feel like we've been fairly close and I think as we gotten older, it's gotten easier to like you know match, you know, like kind of the lifestyle and life stage. I don't know, as you get like 40 years old, I think it just becomes less different. Yes. Everything's the same problem. Right? I, to a certain degree,

Robert White (23:06):
Percentage wise, I, I said this way, percentage wise, you actually get closer in age. Right?

Young Han (23:11):
Exactly. There you go.

Robert White (23:12):
Yeah, versus five it's 50% difference, you know, but versus 30 it's, you know, you're like closer in age, at that point.

Young Han (23:19):
That's a good way to look at it. That's exactly it. You're kind of in the same bracket at that point. Yes. Very cool. What do your kids think about what you do for a living?

Robert White (23:27):
I don't think they know what I do for a living.

Young Han (23:30):
Does anybody, does your wife know you do?

Robert White (23:32):
Yeah. I mean, you know, like I got kinda, you know, I'm not a firefighter, I'm not a, you know, I'm not, you know, building something you know, like tangible, I guess if you will. And so it's, it's difficult to explain to a, to a 10 year old. Yeah. What insurance is. Right. and so, you know, they think I I'm on the computer and on the phone all the time that's, which is I guess, fairly, fairly, and then, and, or, or not here you know, which which is probably the hardest part cuz you know, it, it does require some early mornings and late nights, you know, being away and you know, I think that's learning how to, to blend business and, and parenting is, is tough. Probably the, the tougher part of the job especially when you're trying to grow something. Right. So yeah. To answer your question though, I don't really think they understand what I do.

Young Han (24:30):
That's awesome. My my kids don't understand what I do either. Like my, my oldest she's gonna be turning five, so she's four right now, but she's almost five and she'll make, she'll like, she'll like mimic me and she'll like basically pretend to push buttons outta keyboards. Like look at me. I, I working, I'm like dad, I'm working and yeah, it's pretty funny. And like, they'll like, they'll just come into this, like my office and just like jump in and start talking to people that I'm talking to. Like they just like have no context. Right. Just like so hard to explain at this point,

Robert White (24:59):
My wife asked me for this, you know, for the interview, she like, should I, should we, should we be here and have, you know, have the kids come jump on your lap in the middle of the interview? And I was like, like, I was like, well, I don't know how it hold my concentration. 

Young Han (25:13):
I gave up on even trying, I've noticed that by not closing the door, the percentages of them interrupting go down. So it's like, when you close the door, they're like, oh, something's going on in here? And they like, they have to come in or if I keep it open, they're just like, oh, I can hear 'em. I can see 'em and they'll come in. But it's just much less frequent. I don't know. Have you noticed that or?

Robert White (25:35):
Yeah, it makes sense. Well, in my home office, there, there is no door, so I don't

Young Han (25:40):
It's always open!

Robert White (25:42):
Yeah, it's always open. I probably need to get a door. But you know, usually if it's usually if it's something where I need to close the door, I guess if you will, or, or gonna have a meeting, then I'll, I'll wait to go in into the actual office or, you know, go in another room or something like that and close the door.

Young Han (26:00):
You have a brick and mortar office.

Robert White (26:03):
We do.

Young Han (26:04):
Yes. Are you guys, are you guys doing hybrid or are you guys doing what does that look like?

Robert White (26:09):
I mean, it's just like everybody else. Right. It changes every day. So you know, every time we, we get a plan, we get punched in the mouth. Yep. But I, you know, I think, you know, hybrid for the most part, you know, as for the consultants, salespeople we've been able to go into the office at a certain capacity. I'd say, I think going back to maybe June 20th.

Young Han (26:33):

Robert White (26:34):
You know, and so I didn't really start going back consistently or often until probably earlier this year. Maybe summertime nice. Probably a little more, little more frequently. So I usually go in, I'd say probably two to three days, a two, three days a week, if I've got meetings and, and things that are going on in town. Yeah. Then I'll go in, I'll go in. I usually don't go in just to go in cuz it's, you know, 45 minutes an hour and a half of drive time. I could be doing something productive.

Young Han (27:06):
Yeah. Like hanging out with your kids or exactly out or something.

Robert White (27:09):
That's probably a big silver lining of the pandemic is, is the time being able to spend, you know, with the kiddos and stuff that wouldn't have probably otherwise.

Young Han (27:19):
Yeah. Do you feel like that's actually helped you be a better dad, but that time not commuting and at increased time with the kids or has it, has it actually hurt?

Robert White (27:27):
I'd like to think so. I guess I'd have to ask them, But

Young Han (27:32):
Yeah, that's probably the best way to do it, but I mean, in your perspective, it sounds like you have some inkling that has been better. Right. It's been beneficial. Yeah.

Robert White (27:38):
You, at least you at least you know, here's yeah. I guess kind of a key, you know, key point takeaway, you know, is, is there's a difference between being here and being present. And so, you know, being present today in a, in a digital world where, you know, you got an iPhone and you know, you're always on screen time and those type of things it's sometimes it can be hard. Even though you're physic they're already mentally there. So I, I would definitely say physically been here a lot more. Right. Mentally, mentally here, you know, sometimes that's probably where, where I struggle.

Young Han (28:17):
Yeah. When it goes back to what you said, right. Like you, you're trying to build something and you're trying to make more, more than you had growing up. And so that requires a little bit of sacrifice and it's hard to communicate that to kids, you know, like explain to them, like, especially when you're sitting at home on a computer, you know, just like talking to people, they're like, what the heck? Like my kids, you hang out me instead. I, I mean, it doesn't show in this manicured view here, but like literally two feet here, there's like magnet tiles, like all down here, castle right here. You know what I mean? Like, there's just like a littering of toys that like, you could see where my kid like trailed out as she was going out this way. You know? So it's, it's part of, I think like just the new things that we've been learning. Right. You know, as being parents and working and like you said, trying to grow things. So I have to, I, I do have to ask about growth thing though. So as you're trying to grow and build, what does that success look like for you? So what are you trying to grow to? Like, what's your, what's your goal there? Are you just trying to make more money, more career like title? Like what do you, what do, what does that mean to you?

Robert White (29:22):
Good, good question. You know, I guess define success right. Is there's so many different ways. I think he could answer that. You know, you know, one for me is, is making those around me, helping to make those around me better and to help them reach their goals, I think is, is a big part of what drives me, you know, whether it's a friend and helping their business, whether it's a partner, you know, in the marketplace help grow their business or help connect them to someone that's gonna be a big win for them. Whether it's someone, you, you know, a colleague you're, you're trying to help them grow into a new position and empower them. You know, those are the things I guess, that are probably the most rewarding you know, for, for me in business, you know, two is you know, not to make the same mistake twice to better, you know, could be the better, better today than I was yesterday. You know, Rome wasn't, wasn't built in a day, you know, it's, you know, one brick at a time is how you built an empire and, you know, kind of how I approach, you know, day to day. You know, another one for me I guess, is, you know, goal attainment. I think, you know, I've always been a big goal setter. I know there's different various opinions on, on goal setting and whatnot that, but, you know, I think, you know, spending some time to create an annual business plan have small and large goals, daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, quarterly annual and then as you accomplish those check 'em off and then create a new one. You know, and then you, you ask about growth, you know, I'd say you know, probably as a, as a leader, as a mentor you know, as a, as a resource for others is, is where I try to look to grow the, the most, and then, you know, I'm in a, I'm in a business really that, you know, success is, is easily defined for you. You know, it's a highly production related business. So you, you can tell real quick, you know, if, if you're being successful or not, you know, both from a production standpoint and financially, but you kind of all the above, I would say, you know, the, the money part obviously is important for, for all of us, right. I mean, that's, that's really why we go to work every day. But I think that comes, you do all the other things, right? You, you do all the blocking and tackling and all that stuff, that the money that, that reward comes in the back end.

Young Han (31:43):
Yeah. That's a really good way to look at it. It's, it's definitely one of those, like things I can put, like your picture with like the, the view of the ocean in the background put like a quote in the front, it'll be very Instagram worthy. Yeah. I love it's very good. I I will say just on a personal note, I, I feel like, you know, there's this thing that I've been learning, I've always been inside, you know, like a W2, just kind of like in the tech side, I've been on the tech startup side as an operator and kind of being a consultant the last two years, I've realized that like, very similar to what you said, like, you know, the, the proof is kind of in the output, right? Like, you know how well you did, because you know, the, the more money you make and the more, the more and more clients you have, like just shows, you know, where that is and what, what I, what I like turned around the, his corner, and I was like, kind of doing my self reflection for 2021 and like planning for 2022. Cause I'm also a big goal setter as well. I started realizing that I don't know necessarily if I, I started to quantify what that actual success was and I probably crazy thing to do, but it's too microscopic maybe in a certain degree, but I'm actually like, I'm trying to figure out like how much, like, I, I actually want to grow, you know, both professionally and like start increasing my growth as a dad, you know, like, cuz I think that I may have AC accidentally veered a little too hard last year, this way instead of this way in retrospect. Right. And I'm trying wanna figure out, I don't wanna go to the opposite pendulum, but I wanna like figure out that balance, you know? And I don't know if you've ever had those kind of thoughts or like you've ever like sat down and like had some retrospective or introspection on the balance between how much you build your business versus how much you build your dad time. But I'd love to hear like what you think of, of that, that idea and that concept. And if you've ever had an experience like that,

Robert White (33:20):
I think you're a hundred percent correct. Yeah. I mean, it's, you know, you said one thing, you know, in that comment, you know, self-reflection right. And, and self-analyze, I think whether it's business or whether it's relationships or whether it's parenting, I mean that, that is, I think pivotable, pivotal on being successful at whatever you're doing is you, you have to be honest with yourself about how well or not well you're doing at whatever that particular thing is. And so, you know, I constantly self reflect that whether it's, you know, professionally, whether it's as a parent as a spouse, you know, as a friend, whatever it is is, is, you know, should I be doing what I'm doing should be doing it differently? I, I constantly lean on mentors. You know, I think you have mentors for, for all of those different pieces, right. And all those different things. And I'm, I'm not an extremely creative person, but I will, I will steal other people's ideas and apply them to my own life as, as much as possible, you know, I I'll lean on folks that, that I, that I respect and admire and do it well. You know, I can think of instance, you know, constantly as, as a parent, you know, I'll watch someone, you know, interact with their, their kid in a disciplinary, you know, situation and be like, wow, you know, that was really cool how they did that. I, I, I wanna apply that next time I'm approached with a similar situation. So yeah, I think self-analyzing, you know, whatever it may be, whether it's that, that time you're devoted towards, towards work versus towards family or, or how you approach particular situations is extremely important in, in being successful at whatever you're doing.

Young Han (35:02):
It's awesome. And I think you kind of already answered it, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. So if I did ask you pointedly how do you qualify success in parenting? What would you say?

Robert White (35:13):
I would say again, there's, I think there's a lot of parallels between business and, and parenting. And I would say I answer it probably in a similar way is, you know, how am I helping my kids achieve their goals? Am I, am I teaching and coaching them to respond to different situations in the right way? And then, and then are, you know, when those situations come up again are they responding, you know, to that instruction? And if not, then how do you change? Or maybe, you know, how do you change the way you approach it? That, that would be, you know, one way, and then, you know, how do they respond when we're not around? Or how do they act when we're not around, you know, around other adults with other friends in school. And know, I can think back, you know, first having kids and, you know, you think back on your childhood and the opportunities you had to make decisions that were either really good or really bad, and you know, I, I, I think some of it, and a lot of it is based off of, you know, your parents and, and, and how they taught you. But I think a lot of it's luck in who you hang out with and choose to be your friends. You know, that's probably the scary part as a, as a parent is there's, you know, there's, there's only so much you can do as a parent to, to build that foundation. And then you kind of have to hope that they choose the right friends to be around and then make the right choices growing up for them. So, so that they don't either a make the same mistakes you did, or go down a different, a completely different path that could be even more destructive.

Young Han (36:46):
Yeah, no, that's really, really smart. And I think that that's so accurate about like how you can du O so much, but really like who they hang out with is gonna really help form form that. Right. So important. It's like so funny, cuz remember I remember growing my mom always saying like, who you hanging out with is who you become, like, you know, careful who you choose your friends, you know, like all those things, right. And now it's like, oh, it's so true. You know, like you gotta watch out for that stuff. And now I'm gonna be quoting my mom as, as my kids grow up, you know, because it's so accurate, it's so accurate.

Robert White (37:16):
It is, it is. And I think it just reinforces the importance of, of a strong community that, that you surround yourself in as you know, your, your friends and then their kids and et cetera. You know, I think those just become extremely important to help. You know, I guess, you know, instill those values or whatnot into your own kids.

Young Han (37:38):
That's right. Hey, just one microscopic question here. Do you also say at goals for your parenting and like your kids? Cause I know you said there's a lot of parallels to businesses to parenting. I wonder if you actually have like an annual goal for your, for your kids.

Robert White (37:53):
Yeah, it's a great question. And I I'd say this is one reason why I like having these conversations is, is cuz you learn different things that maybe to answer your question. No. Yeah. I don't and then you, you kind of think back and like, well, why not? 

Young Han (38:06):
Right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I'm like, oh yeah.

Robert White (38:08):
I either never thought of it or no, one's asked me the question like you just did. So you know, I do think it's, it's a good idea and it's something that you could do. I mean, I, I have just like everybody, you know, you think about new year's resolutions, there's, there's personal, you know, resolutions, you have, you're just given that were in January, you know about, Hey, you know, I'd like to spend more time with, you know, with my kids doing certain things or, or whatnot, you know, I think one thing I've learned is from, from people is my, my calendar drives like my day, right. I mean, it's, it's not on my calendar. It's probably not gonna get done. Yeah. So carving out specific time on your calendar, right. For family or, you know, I I've asked myself, you know, a lot, I mentioned it earlier, a lot of my, my businesses early mornings, late nights, you know, at events like where we at. So you have to ask yourself, well, do I need to be in an event every night, this week? Is that particular event gonna be worth my time or worth sacrificing the time that I could be spending with, with, with the kiddos at home. And so I think you had to be intentional about putting that time on your calendar. So that would, you know, one way that's not really a goal, but something that I, I, I try to do is, you know, be home two nights a week during the week week weekdays. And then if I'm not home, you know, at least being home in time to, to put to bed or, or, or something that, that you know, where you can be, where you can be there and be present.

Young Han (39:36):
It's awesome. Yeah. I didn't mean to put you on the spot. I mean, I don't have goals for my parenting kids either. You just gave me the inspiration yourself. Actually, you're the one who inspired me to inspire you. Yeah. Because I'm like, I like the answer about like, oh, I treat it the same as work. Right. You just like, Hey, you have these same goals. And it's just the parallel of being a leader at work or being a leader at at your house. Right. And really adapting to building up the people in your, and they you're interacting with. And, and I just like, oh yeah, but you also mentioned goal setting. And I'm like, oh, I wonder if he's actually like manually building a goals for his kids and his parenting. So now I'm gonna do that. Cause I think it's a great idea cause I, yeah, I put out goals too and I, I go knock it out. Right. I go, like, I just back into it, I make it happen. But if I did the same thing with my parenting, you know, I'm sure I would treat it the same way. I'd be like, Hey, here's some tangible goals that I wanna achieve. And here's some actions that I'm gonna back into it. Like I, I would probably go knock it out. Yes. You know, and instead of just being this superfluous, be a better parent this year, like what does that even mean? Okay. Here's what that means for me this year. Right. Like back it out. Right. Like that actually might a,Yeah. You gotta define it. You know what I mean? You know, so that's, that's one example of where I've done something, you know, probably fairly well in the business world, but not  fairly well as, as a parent or, you know, another one is, is I typically don't make the same mistakes twice, you know, in, from a professional standpoint, but I make the same mistakes.

Young Han (40:56):
I know, I know. Yeah.

Robert White (40:58):
So, you know, it's, you know, it's, it's tough, you know, again, I think parenting is probably one of the most, one of the most challenging things in life and, and those that, you know, you admire from afar that are really, really good. Parents are, are ones. I, I have a tremendous amount of respect for, and definitely hold in a very high regard. It's, it's, it's fun to, it's fun and rewarding to watch someone who at least from afar seems like, you know, a really, really great parent.

Young Han (41:26):
Yeah. I, I know what you mean. I'm like, wow. That's, that's a, that's a professional parent right there. I've seen those moments too, where I'm like, wow, they're doing a really, really good job of holding their temper. I'm I'm losing mine over here. Just watching it. Yeah. It's awesome. Yeah, exactly. There's some really good parents out there for sure. Okay, cool. Hey, I do wanna be cognizant of the time. So I wanna make sure that we wrap up with my rapid fire question. So I have five questions that I like to ask every guest and I wanna shoot the come off right now. So we have some symmetry to all the, all the, all the episodes. Okay. Okay. All right. What advice do you have for other parents and soon to be parents?

Robert White (42:01):
This is a rapid fire question.

Young Han (42:04):
Yeah. It's okay, to talk a lot.

Robert White (42:06):
There's a lot. I would, I would say oh my gosh. One would be, I say for new parents is don't forget about your marriage would be one, don't forget about your spouse.

Young Han (42:20):
Is your spouse sitting right there across?

Robert White (42:23):
No she's not. That would be one. I mean, it's easy to do, right? Cause you have this other life that all of a sudden just got thrust into your life. Yeah. You have to take care of it. So one advice that we got whenever had our first one was two months after the baby's born plan, a plan a night away without, without the baby, whether it's a stay staycation one night, whether it's a weekend, whatever it may be reserve that time for your and your spouse and then carry that forward. You know, whether it's weekly or biweekly or, you know, date night, you know, or monthly, monthly, whatever it may be. Know your, don't forget about your spouse. Cause if you forget about your marriage, then your marriage is gonna suffer. So that'd be one.

Young Han (43:00):
So Sage. Yeah.

Robert White (43:01):
Yeah. I'd say time management as, as well, which, which we hit on, you know, multiple times and then, and then find something, find activities that you and your kids enjoy doing together.

Young Han (43:09):
Oh, that's a good one. I love it. Very good. So what's if you can go back and tell your self one thing before having kids, what would you tell yourself? Pre kids?

Robert White (43:21):
You are extremely selfish and like the patience seriously. You know, I, I think parenting can expose your flaws in a hurry. So I'd probably tell myself just, you know, again, I could go back car, carve out time for, for your kids and, and, and be present when you, whenever you are, you are having that time.

Young Han (43:43):
Nice. That's good. That's good feedback to yourself. I love it. What's the most surprising thing that you've learned about yourself after becoming a parent?

Robert White (43:52):
Probably the same answer. You know, I, I always thought I was pretty patient person, but I'm not. Yeah. So that would probably be the most, the most surprising thing.

Young Han (44:03):
Yeah, you learn a lot about yourself for sure, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I, I thought I was this super cool skater dude until I had kids and I'm like, oh man, I'm really uptight.

Robert White (44:12):
You're now you're uptight and driving to minivan.

Young Han (44:14):
Exactly. What's your all time favorite business book?

Robert White (44:19):
So honestly I'm not much of a reader at all. It's so I learned a few years ago that, you know, the average CEO or CFO reads something like 80 books a year. So in 2020,

Young Han (44:30):
Is it 80 a year?

Robert White (44:32):
It's something ridiculous. 

Young Han (44:33):
I thought it was like 20. Oh man. That's amazing.

Robert White (44:34):
No, no, no. It's it's it's 50 or 80 year. It's it's a big number.

Young Han (44:39):
Man, I'm really behind then. I gotta like up my, up my game here.

Robert White (44:43):
Right? Yeah. So, you know, in 2020 I made a resolution to, to, to read 26 books in a year. So one, every two weeks which before that I've never you know, I don't think maybe one or a year would be how much, how much I would read.

Young Han (44:56):
Yeah, yeah.

Robert White (44:58):
And so it started out great cause I, I don't really read, so I started out, I'm gonna do this and I'm gonna listen to an audio book on the way to work and back. And then in March we couldn't go to work anymore. So I stopped reading and never really took it back up. But to answer a question, I would say it's not really a business book necessarily. It is for my profession, but the price we pay I found to be really fascinating. It's, it's a book on the author is a John's Hopkins, physician. And he traveled around America and really identified all the detail issues with Americans at the American healthcare system.

Young Han (45:40):
Oh wow.

Robert White (45:40):
And all the moving pieces that have created inefficiencies, you know, I think the government, a lot of people like to point the finger at insurance carriers, which to a certain extent is, is true, but our doesn't get this flawed if, if the hospitals and the physicians and the pharmacy companies and the government are all not part of the problem. And he does a great job of outlining where all those various entities have contributed to, to the problem of our healthcare system. And so it's, it's a very fascinating book at highly recommended its long, but it's, it's extremely detailed and, and will peel back the onion, you know, probably more, even more so than you, you may think is possible.

Young Han (46:21):
No, I believe you, I, I mean, my short stint in insurance, it's like, it's insanely complicated and twisted and there's so many layers to it, you know? And it's not as simple as people may even like, like, oh, why don't they just do this with the insulin? Or why don't they just it's like, it's all like so messed up. And there's just so many more players and variables than people realized, right? Like the whole system is just a big jumbled piece of like yarn, right? It's like just, it's all intertwined, you know, it's so bad.

Robert White (46:51):
It is, it's all interconnected. And you know, were like, well, if you just do this, it'll solve this. Well, if you do, you have to learn the co he does a great job about laying the cause and effect of each of those pieces. That's right. And then that's right. You know, even goes in into ACA and, you know, the inner workings of what happened behind the scenes and how those, how those decisions impacted different decisions. And it like, like I said, it's facet it's long, but it's, it's fascinating if you can,

Young Han (47:16):
I'll check it out. Yeah.

Robert White (47:16):
Great. Check it out.

Young Han (47:17):
I will last question. Robert, so when you're not building your business and you're not being a super dad what do you do for fun?

Robert White (47:27):
I love to golf. Love to golf. It is the one area or the one thing I think I can do that can completely, you know, the release, I guess, if you will, where I can get my mind off of life, cuz you kind of have to when you play golf. So I love to golf. I love playing sports with my kids. You know, when, when they're playing football or baseball, love to snow ski and then love to go out on the boat on lake Travis and and spend some time. So spending time with friends and, and, and doing some type of activity is, is kind of what drives me.

Young Han (48:02):
That's awesome. Great answers, man. I love it. Very cool. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on my show. And I really appreciate you sharing so much of your story and, and, and your parenting life.

Robert White (48:13):
You bet. This was was an honor. Appreciate the invite. And that's a lot going forward.

Young Han (48:19):
Yeah, I'm sure we'll see each other in one of these future.

Robert White (48:22):
Absolutely. We sure will.

Young Han (48:24):
Yeah. Talk to you soon.

Robert White (48:25):
All right. Have a good one.

Young Han (48:26):
Thanks for tuning into another episode of the girl dad show. We really hope you enjoyed that interview. And as always, please take a moment to review, rate and subscribe. We'll see you next time.

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