Philip Broenniman (00:00):
Your job as a parent is not to keep the kid from falling down, but to keep the kid from hurting himself or hurting herself. And don't be afraid to just watch them fail and try to figure it out. Kids are resilient. Everyone knows that. So let them demonstrate that to themselves so they can gain a more confidence
Young Han (00:22):
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 parents I'm gonna do this by gathering and sharing unfiltered perspectives from my guest to join me as I research parenthood one interview at a time
Young Han (00:50):
Phil. Welcome to the girl dad show. Thank you for joining me today.
Philip Broenniman (00:53):
Thank you. Good to be here.
Young Han (00:55):
I'm excited to talk to you today. Let's jump right into it. So why don't you tell the listeners what you do for a living?
Philip Broenniman (01:00):
So I'm an investor. My firm is Veronica capital, my partner, Esra Gardner, and I started Veronica about 10 years ago. We started out really sort of basically just as a family office. We were about coming from the hedge fund world of being long, your 60 favorite investments in short your your least favorite hunt investments. And it was about as painful, excruciating and experiences you can have, but it's a great way to make a living, even if it's not very fun, but as, and I decided we wanted to do something a little bit more interesting, get involved heavily in the companies in which we invest and decided to focus on private and what we call semi-private companies, companies are generally illiquid and given that it was just the two of us, we had limited bandwidth. So we also were gonna go for a very concentrated portfolio, really eight to 10 investments, and out of the gate, we started doing pretty well. We had an associate of mind billionaire say, you know, can I give you an eyedropper of our capital? And we we said fine, but under some rather strict conditions and again did very well for him pretty quickly. So he told two friends and they told two friends and it sort of grew not so much by design, but by circumstance. And now we have 70 LPs wow. And a portfolio, right? It's, it's been, it's been some very good decisions, some some, excuse me, some very good analysis and a good dollar of luck, quite frankly. And we've done really, really well for them. And along the way, though, we've been able to invest in the way we want to invest. We get involved in companies sort of punching above our weight. We sit on the board of most of the companies in which we invest. We act as an advisor to our management partners, helping with negotiations, helping with finances, of course helping with operations and helping with strategy. And it is proven to be extraordinarily fun. Very challenging. Of course, we've had our hiccups along the way. It hasn't all been a smooth ride, but it's been been very successful probably beyond what either of us anticipated. And that's where we sit now.
Young Han (03:14):
That's amazing. Wow. I love that journey and story. You make it sound so easy. I'm sure it was riled with obstacles.
Philip Broenniman (03:20):
As I said, there have been a lot of hiccups along the way, you know, it's a, it's a challenge, right. You know, you, we now we've grown from just the two of us. We are now taking 3,500 square feet of office space just signed the lease yesterday in downtown Denver.
Young Han (03:36):
Philip Broenniman (03:37):
I live in Boulder. It will be kind of interesting. We had a, we had sort of a, an odd circumstance where we were looking for office space, looking for office space, thought about taking something really extravagant, decided that didn't really fit our ethos so much. Though I did lose my view of the mountains, unfortunately from the, you know, the 40th floor of a, of an office tower. But we came across some office space in an area of Denver called rhino, which I think is sort of like hipster village. If I can infer correctly, I'm not quite sure and it's it's a space that Pandora completely kitted out Hmm. Fit, you know, very high end furniture desk, et cetera, and then pieced out, wow. Leaving, leaving the landlord high end drive. So we were able to negotiate a good deal. But we now have a, a, a five year lease with an option, another five.
Young Han (04:39):
And in Pandora's old office?
Philip Broenniman (04:41):
Pandora's whole office. Right. Pandora's still on the wall.
Young Han (04:44):
That's amazing. I'd just leave it, just leave it. So it's awesome.
Philip Broenniman (04:48):
We have to replace the letter of Veronica capital or at least Veronica. I think we're gonna be moving towards Veronica as a, as a mono. And it's, its pretty exciting. Looks like we're about to grow. So
Young Han (05:01):
Philip Broenniman (05:02):
Young Han (05:03):
I mean, I have to say, look at your office right now and it also sounds like you have a nice setup here too. I don't know if you're gonna be able to give that up. Look at that. Look at that setup you have back there.
Philip Broenniman (05:11):
This was actually was great because living in Boulder, my, my partner lives in Denver. I live in Boulder. This is sort of what we call our guest shack. It's not a guest house. It's more of a guest shack but it's, it is 20 feet from my back door. And now I, now I have a 30 minute drive into, into Denver, which is a little bit frustrating, but it's for the benefit of the firm and the opportunity. It really not just for us, but for our social, our employees, our LPs, it's gonna make everything better. Yeah. So small sacrifice for what I think will be pretty good upside.
Young Han (05:50):
Yeah. That's exciting. Sounds like that's a huge project that you're undertaking in a big transition in kind of like changing the scale and stage that you help your entrepreneurs and portfolios with. But for yourself it almost sounds like you're kind of like closing the chapter on this stage and you're kind of going to the next stage.
Philip Broenniman (06:05):
That's exactly right. And I think that's, that's probably pretty well said. You know, to give a shout out to a, to an mutual associate of ours, it, it would not be happening without a being, being the, the catalyst for those who are watching this Ahuja is the COO of Veronica capital. Yeah. He worked for me. This is Veronica capital. It's my third financial firm. I sold the two previous ones. He worked for me at a previous company that I had. And he worked for me for 10 years. Worked for and with me for 10 years, came, went out to do his own entrepreneurial thing for five years and finally was able to lure him a way to come work for us as COO. And he has completely changed the dynamic for the organization, really accelerating our growth, our, our push into new arenas and has been instrumental in, in making us grow up as, and I, I think we, we weren't really Peter panning, but we we certainly had this element of kind of contentment around what we were doing, how we were doing it. And we now have created platform, which could be extraordinarily interesting.
Young Han (07:24):
Yeah. And that's a great moniker to give anchor, cuz if I could say one word that represents a more catalyst is a really good word for it. Yeah. I know we told you the story when we first met, but like we ended up like drinking like $300 with of whiskey and I'm like, we, what the heck just happened? How did you, like, how did we pull that off? How much do we drink? I mean, the guy is just so inspiring and charismatic . . .
Philip Broenniman (07:47):
And a fairly good drinker.
Young Han (07:49):
He's a very good drinker. Yeah. That's right. Let me ask you another question here. So talk to me about your kids.
Philip Broenniman (07:55):
So I have two daughters
Young Han (07:57):
Philip Broenniman (07:58):
Charlie is 12. Scarlet is 10. My eldest is somehow I don't know how this is possible. She's pushing five seven at the age of, of 12. Wow. And yet, and yet remains incredibly graceful and I I'm five, nine and a half after good night's sleep. And my wife and claim she's five four though. I think she's really five, three. And so it's a, it's a little bit confounding of, she looks, she's like the cute version of me though. So it's it's definitely the, the correct lineage, but it's it's really remarkable to see she's this statuesque woman who's 12 years old. And you know, kind of interestingly, you know, she's not one of these girls who who's 12 going on 16, but we are kind of battling a little bit about the makeup thing but she's wonderful, and then Scarlet is an absolute dynamo. She is very athletic. They're both extremely athletic Scarlet though. Is naturally strong. She, she at the age of eight could do 12 pullups. Yeah, no, that's like real ones too. And it's only continues. She is like super, yeah, she's got, she's got like the pipes she's a little soccer superstar and they both sing, they both ski race which is kind of an interesting experience we can talk about. And they, you know, you know, knock on wood. They've done extremely well at school and there's really good kids. I'll tell you a little bit more kind of like proud dad things.
Young Han (09:48):
Yeah. Please tell me right now actually. Yeah. I'm like, you're like, you're like I could see the energy in your eyes right now. You're almost, you're excited, but you're most more excited about your kids than you heard about?
Philip Broenniman (09:58):
I absolutely, you know, I will tell you, I I dated my wife who is 10 years younger than I, I dated for, for eight years basically saying that I was not gonna get married until I was ready to have kids. I'd been married once before and finally we had of kids and when probably very naively and, and with a perhaps mildly embarrassing bias, I thought, oh, you know, I want my first kid to be a son and we'll go play, you know, throw catch, and we'll shoot the soccer ball. We'll kick soccer balls around. And yeah, we'll do all like sports and son, dad, things. Totally. And Charlie came out and I was completely thrilled. But then I became more thrilled as, I mean, the, the, the opportunity to be a parent. It's just like, it's extraordinary to such an extent that by the time two years later Alex was pregnant again, man, I did not care whatsoever or what the sex was, you know, just 10 fingers, 10 toes. And when Scarla came out, I was just so happy. And so, and I didn't even, you know, an odd naïveté, I had never even heard of the concept of girl dad. I I'd never knew about it until probably two years ago. I never heard the term. Yeah. but now I stand proudly and, and strongly, to be a girl that, without a doubt and it's fantastic.
Young Han (11:27):
It's the best, isn't it? I share the same. I share the same kind of story. I, when I first found out that we were gonna have a kid, I was genuinely hoping for a boy and I really wanted that relationship with the boy and be able to like do guy things and all those stuff. But I'm, I'm like, I'm like a proudest girl dad, you can ever imagine. And it completely changes everything. The moment you have a kid and just being the, the parent changes your perspective, perspective on everything, cuz it's wildly different than what you think it is. And it's so funny that you just shared that you intentionally wanted to wait to get married and have kids. Cuz I feel like it's like the common question of like, you know, do you, do you have the right time to have kids? And it sounds like you had this kind of moment in mind that you wanted it. And what triggered that? Like what was that, what business were you doing? What were, what stage in life were you where you're like, oh, I'm ready to have kids.
Philip Broenniman (12:15):
It's actually, it's actually a pretty interesting story because I had never really been very focused on, on having kids. It's never been a life of death to me. Yeah. And I I was talking to one of my closes friends from graduate school who just a absolute, you know, superstar, professionally, personally, extraordinary guy, if you will. And he has he has three children and I asked him, I said, look, cuz I, he and I are very similar, except that he's better in every way. And he and I were chatting and I said, why'd you decide to have children. And he said, you know, Phil, I, I never wanted children. I thought, okay, well me too said, I never wanted children. And, and then I got married and my wife wanted to have kids. So I said, sure. And now that I have them, if I ever lost one, I'd never recover. Hmm. Right. And that just, that really struck me. Hmm. And it, it, it sounds almost weird, but I wanted to know what he meant.
Young Han (13:33):
Oh, the curiosity of it.
Philip Broenniman (13:34):
I wanted to find out, I wanted to find out what that kind of love was and, or is, and now I do. Yeah. And I, and it really it's, it's as simple and as odd as it sounds, it really was just that it was just that he he kind of just struck something in me. So I turned to my wife, my girlfriend and said, okay, let's do it. And, and, you know, look, I I got married at 42 and I had my first kid at 44, I'm 56. So I had plenty of life to live. Yeah. And on my own. And now obviously it's much more full it's, much more interesting. It is a fuckload more chaotic. Yeah. And it is, I think most, certainly a lot more fun.
Young Han (14:32):
Yeah, a lot more fun. That's amazing. I love hearing your perspective on that. That's wonderful. And thanks for sharing that story. I do wanna know, like given the fact that your kids are kind of in their teenage years, or at least both of 'em are headed towards it, do they, what do they think that you do for a living?
Philip Broenniman (14:48):
They just sort of recently, they're only beginning to find out what I do professionally. They know I previously travel quite a bit, obviously not during COVID anticipating traveling more. They understand sort of what my business is. I can't say they're all that interested. They're more interested actually in the swag that I get from the companies I have to say. I think that would probably, I think that's probably what what intrigues them the most. Yeah, it was one come opening on whose board I set off ID, which is a biometric, a biometric verification solution. And they have a really cool purple as part of the motif. And we got the same color, Nike sneakers, Alex, my wife, Alex, my wife got a pair, Charlie got a pair and I got a, a pair and they didn't have a pair in Scarlet's feet size. So she is remains rather indignant and waiting in with great anticipation for her to get. But what, you know sanitizer t-shirts yeah. Bags, towels, anything that they can get from the companies they wanna get hold of it, particularly Scarlet Scarlet's nickname is scarer. So like if she can find something that she can squirrel away, she's gonna take advantage of it.
Young Han (16:24):
Wow. So does she, does she know that these are like company marketing materials and she just likes the fact that she's representing these, like
Philip Broenniman (16:32):
That's correct. That's correct. That's correct. She like really likes, she really likes the Veronica capital swag. Yeah. Quite a bit. That's Veronica capital. They Veronica capital water bottles and caps. And again, hand sanitizer, which Scarlet thinks is just kind of amazing.
Young Han (16:49):
So fun. I love that they like wanna represent it. That's fantastic. Yeah.
Philip Broenniman (16:52):
It, it's pretty funny. It's pretty funny, you know, they, so so they're the answer is they're, they're mildly interested, but not a lot, you know, I'm bad. I'm to Charlie, I'm becoming a little bit uncool. Scarlets Scarlet still Scarlet still loves to come up and give me a kiss and Charlie will, will give me a hug and a kiss, but I'll need private only within the household, I should say. Only within the household, not in front of her friends.
Young Han (17:17):
Yeah. And then do they, are they showing any inklings of like interest and passions or like, have you seen noticed any like changes in them as they're starting to get into their teenage years?
Philip Broenniman (17:26):
So as I said, Scarlet's the little soccer superstar and she also likes to ski, right? She's beginning sort of debate, which, which she likes better. Charlie was extremely graceful dancer both modern and ballet. Nice. Decided to move more towards ski racing though. They both have been skiing. This is their ninth year of skiing in the Rockies, Charlie at 12 and Scarlet and 10. Awesome. So they're both very, very good skiers. This is a first year of racing. However, we just moved to Boulder in, in August of 2019 from we're we're refugees of 20 years in, in Brooklyn.
Speaker 4 (18:10):
So you're not, you're not from Colorado?
Philip Broenniman (18:12):
No, no, no. Not at all. Not at all. I, I, I moved to New York, my then girlfriend now wife and I started dating in 1999. I moved to New York and in 2001 to be with her. And that was my second stint in, in New York. I, I started at Solomon brothers in 1987. After graduating from college, I was there for four years and then went to graduate school. And then was with a family office down in Texas and then started at my first financial firm, then moved to New York, started my second and hated every single day of living in and is such a wasteland. I, I cannot stand the city. I probably dislike New York more than anybody. I know I was there for 20 years first because of the job. Then we got married and then we had kids and the kids were in a good school and et cetera, et cetera. And then and then finally in in 2017, we have a summer house in Northwestern, Michigan, New York city called traverse city. But outside on a beautiful lake, we go there for the full summer. And in 2017, my wife said, you know, I don't think I want to go back to Brooklyn. And I stuck my foot in that, in that door. Nice. And I never, I never let a close. And we went to Seattle, we'd been to Austin 20 times for music festivals. We went to Nashville. I, you know, I, I mentioned Oklahoma city before she smacked me upside the head. basically cities this is not quite fair, but sort of tertiary cities. And I only say that as in terms of size, if you will, now all major cities have amenities, not necessarily all major sports teams, but I don't really care very much about that, but you can get great amenities for a lot more value and a lot better lifestyle than having to live in Chicago or New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco. And then, so we were in Denver, in a shopping area called cherry Creek and we were looking around and there was Lululemon a Tesla dealership. And back when it was around in even Marcus, and I said, babe, we could be in any city in the country except their mountains. Way, way off in the distance. Yeah. And she said, okay, well, let's go to the mountains. And we we drove out to the mountains within 15 minutes in Boulder, we were looking at homes AB like in a heartbeat, we knew this was the place to be gorgeous. The right nestled up against the foothills of the Rockies had access to five world class ski mountains within 90 minutes, easy access to an international airport. The housing, the schools, everything was great.
Young Han (20:58):
Yeah. Everything lined up.
Philip Broenniman (20:58):
And then we we bought a house. And this was, so this was 2018 in June in 2018, we bought a house. And then in July we were in Michigan, sorry for the story to go on, but it you'll probably be a little bit entertained by it. We bought a house in, in, in June of 2018 in July, we're out in Michigan. And we sat to tell the kids then eight and 10, that they were, we were gonna move to Boulder and they had only known Brooklyn. Yeah.
Young Han (21:28):
I was gonna just ask that. So you gather, cause they're New Yorkers, they grew up in New York.
Philip Broenniman (21:32):
To saying we were apprehensive. Doesn't quite cover it. Yeah. So we gathered them in front of the TV cuz I had a, I queued up a video of the house. Nice. and just, I'll give you a quick aside. We, at one point in, in Brooklyn, I just got very lucky on a real estate purchase, but we lived in what I probably was one of the nicest apartments in Brooklyn and it I'm not being hyperbolic. When I say that yeah. Was 2300 square feet, 20 foot ceilings. It's a duplex. It was in a facility, had two gyms, like a movie theater. It was all like completely kitted out. I bought in 2011 doubled in price for three years and I, I woke up in may in 2014. I told my wife, we were moving and she said, okay. And we sold a apartment and she, and we, she, I said go to park slope where their kid's school was, which is a hour drive from where we were in Williamsburg. So she to save the drive. Yeah. And she went and she went and chose a 1200 square foot, third pre-war third floor walkup. They didn't ever wash your dryer. Oh wow. And I, I said, wait, wait, why? Yeah. And she said, well, it's of blocks from school, half a block from the park. And within 10 blocks of all the kids' friends. And I said, you sure you okay with that? And she said, yeah, we figured we need be there for a year. Yeah. We were there for five. Oh wow. We were there for five years. But the, the point of this is that there were they never wanted to go back to the nicer apartment. It, they didn't care that it was not that great apartment. It was a great, it was great for them. Right. And they had what they needed and who cared. Yeah. So anyway, so I had the video queued up knowing they were gonna hit the roof. And to say that my that my anticipated that my anticipation of their reaction was was off base. Didn't quite cover it. They hit the roof. Like I, I was shocked at how upset they were. Oh, Thought you were leading to a good, bad, really bad, you know, like recriminations of, oh, I, can you taking us away from our family? This is a nightmare. I hate you like the whole oh wow. The whole, the whole series of the things that, that, that you hear in the worst case stories. And I decided at that moment, I turn on the, the video know and then all of a sudden they just kind of shut up. And then, and the they're like the, they're looking at the video of the house and the house to be very fair. It's not big. Yeah. It's 2300 square feet. Main house. The guest house is 600 square feet, but it's, it's nicely pointed. But best of all, it has an amazing piece of land on which we said, yeah. And they said like, that's ours.
Young Han (24:33):
Philip Broenniman (24:34):
The very next day we flew them, from traverse city to Boulder. We stopped at the local pizzeria pizzeria loca, which is this really nice pizza. Very much like New York that they're accustomed to. And then they took them to the house. We took them to the house and they walked in and they start running around like, oh my God, look at this. Look at this space. Look at that space. Scarlet, look at this room. You have that room. I'll take that room. No, let's switch, they ran into the yard, we got a yard. Oh my gosh. Then they ran through the guest house, like, all right, guest is ours. We own the guest house. And then they came back and then they came back in and they're walking through the kitchen and they go through a room at the back of the kitchen and then they, they disappear for a second. Then they both came back out and said, we have a garage!? After, after one watching us do like the, the Brooklyn dance with, with cars on streets every day, the idea that we actually had a place to put a car permanently or without having to deal with the traffic or the cops was extraordinary to them. So then we, we we moved a year later. We let the house sit fast for a year. We moved a year later and still to some, they had, you know, some apprehension and disappointment about leaving. And then about three months ago, Scarlet was walking out of the door on her way to school. And she said, dad, the move to Boulder was the best thing that ever happened. And then Charlie and Charlie didn't hear that. But then Charlie, a month later I was hanging out with her. I think we were probably working on some math together. And she said, you know, I can't think of my life without Boulder.
Young Han (26:29):
You did good dad. You did good. I think those are the moments, right. That you need to know to understand that you're on the right track. Right? Like you get the cause. I mean, they're kids. I mean, how much validation are they giving you? Right. And you're also figuring it out as you go. And that's amazing. I can't wait for my kids to tell me that cuz I moved them to Austin you know, last year and I'm like, oh, I hope I did the right thing. And I mean, they're really young. So they don't really know much, you know, much about, you know, you know, the, you know, the bay area that we lived in. But I can tell you that they're quality of life is like skyrocketed
Philip Broenniman (27:03):
Young Han (27:04):
I mean, from like these tiny little houses, like these that were right next to each other to like now we have like land and we have like a yard and we have neighbors and like, it's just, it's just amazing. Right.
Philip Broenniman (27:15):
So I've been, I've been taking up all the airspace. Tell me about, tell me about your kids.
Young Han (27:19):
Oh, I have I have a three year old and a five year old Lily and grace, it's so fun listening to you talk about all this stuff because very similar journey in the sense that I was very reticent of having kids until I turned like 35 and then I don't know if it's like some sort of internal clock or not, but like I just like went from like being scared of having kids and commitments to like immediately like wanting to have kids as rapidly as possible. So we got married,
Philip Broenniman (27:45):
The prime director kicked in.
Young Han (27:46):
I don't know what happened. Like metabolism like slowed down. I don't know what, what it was, but like something just like triggered in me and, and then we did everything really fast. We got married, we had kids like all kind of like slammed in a year and a half and just started like going down that road. And
Philip Broenniman (28:01):
How long had you dated your wife?
Young Han (28:02):
10 years. That's what I'm saying. Like, it's like really funny to hear your story because there's a lot of like parallels and I'm like, oh my gosh, we're both girl dads too. It's awesome. And yeah, so they're great. I mean, I, I think the biggest thing for me is like, just like, as I become you know, a dad and like really falling into this role, I enjoy it and I love it so much. And I think there's a lot of things that come with being, you know, a parent, you know, and an entrepreneur. Right. Cause I think that there's certain commitments that come with being an entrepreneur that are hard to justify and really trying to figure out like, Hey, in order to build something, you do need to sacrifice more than I think, you know, typical w two to obviously there's scenarios that are not the case, but for the most part, building things takes concentration and focus. And you know, I don't want to give up this idea of like being there for my girls and my kids and being a good parent and just like, how do I like marry these two things that I don't want to give up? And society keeps saying like, you have to like decrease your desires to be more present or you have to do. And I'm like, I don't really want to like subscribe to that. And so the, the number one thing I do when, whenever I try to build a business is research. And so I started a podcast researching other people doing it so I could like learn from people like you and how you're doing it, which is a great segue to my next question, which is how are you doing it? Like, how do you, how do you, how do you measure your success as a parent and as an entrepreneur?
Philip Broenniman (29:25):
Well, I, I think the first thing to say would be, and, and I say this without being platitude Inness is that my wife allows me to be a really good dad and a good businessman. She is extraordinary. Not always, but has tends to have extraordinary equanimity and balance. She is super chill, super fun, and really, really caring. And then the best part to your question is that around the kids, she's incredibly well organized, like remarkably. So, and that's a trait she inherited from her her mom. I won the mother-in-law lottery by the way, without a doubt. And and so it's her ability to really kind of keep the kids moving forward. And in this is not to say that I'm parachuting in, I'm very involved in their lives. I'm very involved in, in the daily lives, in, you know, I'm, I'm responsible for making sure Charlie practices her piano, I'm responsible for making sure Scarlet practices, her bass electric bass.
Young Han (30:49):
You have some rad girls. That's awesome.
Philip Broenniman (30:52):
This is pretty now. Charlie's, Charlie's been playing piano for seven years, Scarlet bass for three. And they're both extremely good given respective years at it. They're both very good at it. And I'm involved obviously in, in, heavily in their skiing. Well, both of us ski, I've been skiing for 40 years, Alex for, for 30. And I help them both with their, their studies, but it's really then Alex, who gives me the flexibility to do what I do professionally, to travel as necessary to to leave early, stay late when, when necessary doesn't happen a lot. Yeah. But she really picks up the lack when I can't provide the consistency that I would prefer. Now that said I've been able to build my life or in a way that is very family centric. Yeah. I am not on the road a lot. Both of us, Alex and I, we're not very social because we'd rather be with our kids, you know, we don't go out. We don't go out a lot. Yeah. We don't do very little without them because it's just really sort of more fun to be around them and to do things and to have experiences, even if it's just simple as like hanging out and chatting, we listen to music a lot. We're still trying to educate them about the things that, that we like. And they look at like parent music as like what but we, you know, we want them I'm really into the national the band. And so I wanted to steep them in the, in the national I've seen the national more than 30 times live. And that was a gift from my wife. She introduced me to the band in 2008. Alex is really into the red hot chili peppers.
Young Han (32:59):
Philip Broenniman (33:02):
You know, whatever I saw on Twitter, I think a great description of the chili peppers is as really great musicians playing bad music. And I would, I that's what I kind of said, but you know, like Pantheon of, of whether it's, I'm really into be rock jazz or indie rock or hard rock through the sixties, seventies eighties, I could pass almost entirely. And and then the nineties, when, when Alexandra was kinda listening to, to, she was growing up and listening to more music. So we're trying to educate that on that. But so I got a little digressed a little bit, but the, the bottom line is that it I've been able to, to design my life around my family and still be successful at my job now, to the point you were making about sacrifices, there was a thing famous investor who said, if you wanna be successful, don't get married, don't have a family. And, you know, it's a rather realistic perspective. And I'm I'm glad I didn't, I didn't listen to what I think is pretty crappy advice.
Young Han (34:12):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, statistically speaking, I could see where he is coming from. Right. You understand the logic on it, but like the reality is like how is there ways to like, marry that and like constantly be fighting that battle. Right. And just kind of like working through it. So I'm glad you didn't take that advice either. Cuz these stories are amazing.
Philip Broenniman (34:28):
If you're benchmarking your value by your, by your net worth, I suppose he is. Right. But in terms of being able to make people happy and leave the place a little better than when you arrived it would be the earth a little bit better than when you arrived. Pretty much doing that with kids is about as best as it gets, in my opinion.
Young Han (34:54):
That's awesome. That's probably the best answer of measuring success that I've gotten so far. I love it. That was really great. Phil, let me jump into to some rapid fire questions. I like to ask all my guests that we have some symmetry in all the episodes. So what advice do you have for other parents and soon to be parents?
Philip Broenniman (35:13):
Oh, I that's actually easy. There's one piece of advice I actually got from a gentleman named Mark Eker, who was one of my professors in graduate school, which ordinary man academically astute beyond a wonderful, wonderful teacher and just a nice, nice guy. He actually lives in in Austin. I should put you in touch.
Young Han (35:34):
Great guy. Love to meet him.
Philip Broenniman (35:35):
He told me, he gave me a piece of advice that I convey to every soon to be parent. And I, I really, I reiterate it again and again, and it is the following, particularly this is specific to the father and that is take every opportunity to feed your baby late at night, early in the morning. When there's just the two of you and you are doing nothing but focusing on your baby and taking care of your baby and feeding your baby and then you are all he or she sees and she knows, or he knows that you're taking care of her. And those are the moments. They are very, very fleeting. Those are the moments that impact you as a parent and actually impact the child as well because there's, there's bonding that atypically occurs between father, child, right. And it is one of, one of the things that I really listened to when mark told me that was incredibly impactful and, and wonderful. So that's, that's the first thing. And then the other is to remind parents particularly first time parents and, and you're probably familiar with this, right? That that need to, to hover and to not let your kid fall down. I said, my advice is your job as a parent is not to keep the kid from falling down, but to keep the kid from hurting himself or hurting herself and don't be afraid to just watch them fail and try to figure it out. And those are probably the two biggest pieces of advice. Kids are resilient, everyone knows that. So let them demonstrate that to themselves so they can gain a little bit more confidence. And, and we did that with our kids and I, I don't know how, you know, what nature nurture that the argument, but both our kids are, are, are confident in a way they have confidence that I never, never had until much later in my life. Wow. And I really I'm, I'm pleased for that. And I have to say I'm sort of envious of it. I was, you know, full of insecurities when I was younger that to see them comfortable with being goofy, comfortable with their personal flaws, comfortable and confident in their capabilities. I don't, I, I, there may be a little bit of parenting there, but I think it's really just who they are, but the way we allow them to discover who they are. Yeah. So those are the two pieces of advice.
Young Han (38:27):
Great advice. I love it. If you can go back and tell yourself one thing before having kids, what would you tell yourself?
Philip Broenniman (38:35):
One is feed them even more, I think the other I'm actually, I'm very happy with the timing and the way things have worked out. I think I'm a little bit lucky in that. Having kids sooner might have been probably the, the piece of advice I would here it is. Don't, don't be so apprehensive or fear it so much. I didn't, I didn't love my childhood and I didn't really want to recreate it. And you know, you're not simply because someone went through a tough period. It doesn't mean you're destined to, to impose that on someone else. And it's in in thinking, being very, very active in thinking about mistakes that were made when I was younger and then doing sort of the thing, that could have avoided that. But you know, I think I feared it a lot and that fear really delayed. What what, what has been an amazing experience, the other piece, and, and I say this to my wife, if she ever watches that is have more kids
Young Han (39:54):
Philip Broenniman (39:56):
After number two, she, she shut down the factory on me yeah. But you know, I, I would have as many kids as I could afford if if given the opportunity. Yeah. So so I think now we're gonna get a dog
Young Han (40:12):
Oh, that's awesome.
Philip Broenniman (40:16):
Don't tell my kids.
Young Han (40:17):
They don't know. Oh, sounds good. I won't. And this will come out for a few weeks, so hopefully you're getting us the next piece.
Philip Broenniman (40:21):
This is just a secret between us and all the listeners.
Young Han (40:27):
What is the most surprising thing that you've learned about yourself? After becoming a parent
Philip Broenniman (40:31):
Patience. Oh yeah. Patience. You have a lot more patience. Patience, patience. Yeah. I'm sort of an impatient father. Yeah. And it's, you know, something that drives me professionally and is, is helpful, but it's kind of a bad thing to have bad thing to have as a parent. And I I am much more, it's just what everybody says, who knows me. I'm so much more empathetic.
Young Han (41:03):
You're almost like a Teddy bear with your girls.
Philip Broenniman (41:07):
Oh yeah. Like the, the people really know me well, like, wow, dude,
Young Han (41:15):
Philip Broenniman (41:16):
You know, I'm not sure of means I was a raging before, but I think empathy, empathy, and patience, without a doubt. And I and in response to that empathy and patience and lack of judgment our kids are very comfortable being honest about their foibles and mistakes to us.
Young Han (41:45):
Philip Broenniman (41:46):
We don't judge them. We don't judge them on that. That's great, and they all grew up in a very, very, very judgemental household and, you know, again, sort of like thinking about doing the opposite. And so when Scarlet has a, a tough thing occur at school, she'll say, Hey, dad, let me tell you about something that happened and we'll chat about it. And Charlie will, will have what she calls her Charlie confessionals. And she'll talk about things that she did or mistakes she made or experiences as she had. And there's you know, it, we, as much as we can try to be open and receptive and, and non-judgment to it. So empathy, empathy and patients
Young Han (42:36):
Love it. That's great. And then all time, favorite business book or book in general,
Philip Broenniman (42:43):
There are many varied ones. Gosh, the probably God, I have a whole list of books and I guess I, I wasn't expecting enough to choose one. But there's a book by a gentleman named Schlansky called getting the best of it. It's all about optionality in games and in life. And because we're confronted every day with, with probabilistic dynamics that we have to understand to, to be successful. And I, I think it was Charlie Munger who said, you have to be just a little bit more rational, just a little bit more rational than most of the people to be successful and that little bit more rationality comes around probability. And so that book, I think was probably one of the most important books that I read. Mm. And so that would be my, and I, I love probability. I love, I, I don't love gambling, but I'm intrigued by games of chance. And I'm, I'm fascinated by, by how casinos make money being the house is a huge advantage. If you can figure out how to be the house, that is how you make a ton of money while managing the risk in an appropriate way. So getting the best of it by clients.
Young Han (44:22):
I'll check that out. I'm really excited to read that actually. Very good.
Philip Broenniman (44:26):
I have, I have a whole, I have a whole list. I have a whole list of books.
Young Han (44:28):
Yeah. I mean, if you could send it to me, that'd be great. I'd love to add. 'em to my list. Yeah. So last question to close this out here. When you're not being a super dad or building the next era of Ron capital what does Phil do for fun? What's your downtime activities?
Philip Broenniman (44:42):
I have a, a severe chest addiction and I, I kid you not, it's a, it is problematic. I have, have probably played, I don't even want to say how many thousands of games in the last 10 years. I mean, it's insane. But chess.com is a well worn URL for me. Nice. And then I, I have been taking guitar lessons if I'm gonna make the kids play piano and, and bass, and he, even, my wife now takes piano lessons. I have a guitar teacher named Charlie white, so I'm going, I'm gonna pimp him a little bit for just a second. Charlie white, just put out an album on Spotify and apple called fate. And it is, it is extraordinary. The guy is to musician as a songwriter, as a composer. He is absolutely fantastic. He's local here to Boulder and it's it's been fabulous. I've always loved music. I played piano early in my life, and then I played baritone and then I played saxophone, all of them pretty poorly. And then I picked up piano again when I could have to pay for lessons in my twenties. And then in graduate school I picked up a guitar and I've never put it down. Nice. So guitar, guitar, and chess, and then trying to keep myself, trying to keep myself in shape. But, you know, I was a, a very, I was actually a very good tennis player when I was younger. And then I competed triathlons for 15 years and also played soccer. But then at 44, the wheels just completely fell off. So I I bike and swim and, and try not to get hurt
Young Han (46:25):
Those are good aspirations, but I love those goals.
Philip Broenniman (46:28):
It's plus limit in Boulder where they set the Arians have have six pack. It's a little bit of a, it's a little bit of a an ethos.
Young Han (46:37):
Yeah. That's a great ethos to have. I think we should have that ethos everywhere. I feel like it's like something that we should all aim for and aspire for. Right.
Philip Broenniman (46:44):
It's a challenge,
Young Han (46:46):
Phil, thank you again for taking the time outta your busy schedule to talk to me about parenting and business. It's been really, really fun and enjoyable. I appreciate it.
Philip Broenniman (46:53):
I appreciate it. Thank you very much for your time.
Young Han (46:55):
Nice to see you too. Take care. Thanks for tuning in to 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.
Episode 41 - Philip Broenniman - Raising Resilience
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