Happy Father's Day: Celebrating All the Self-Employed Dads
Happy Father's Day to all of the amazing fathers, grandfathers, and other fatherly figures in our day-to-day lives! To celebrate, we'd like to take a moment to spotlight an incredible independent worker, Harry. Harry Campbell is a former Boeing Aerosapce Engineer and founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, a blog, podcast, and Youtube channel for Uber and Lyft drivers. He’s also the author of a new book titled The Rideshare Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Driving for Uber, Lyft and Other Ridesharing Companies.
What inspired you to be self-employed?
I think I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit, even from a young age. My day job after college was an engineer. While I didn’t hate my job, I didn’t love it either. I think I just knew it wasn’t something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The thing that inspired me to be self-employed was the search for something more rewarding that I would be passionate about. I looked at the pros and cons of my day job as opposed to doing blogging and freelance writing projects on my own. The differences made me realize that I would be more fulfilled being self-employed.
How has being self-employed made a positive change in your life?
The biggest thing is that being self-employed has given me a ton of satisfaction. I really enjoy what I do. Every morning when I wake up, I look forward to working. Whether it’s checking email, managing my team, or creating interesting and unique content, I enjoy what I do. If I don’t like something then I don’t do it or hire someone else to do it. Being self-employed has also allowed me to really enjoy my personal life, especially family life. I have a 16-month-old son so being able to spend a couple of hours in the morning and evening as well as weekends with him is really special.
What advice would you share with fathers who work for themselves?
I would encourage other fathers to really take advantage of working for yourself and running your own business. What I mean by this is you don’t want to work for yourself in the same fashion as a day job. Take advantage of the fact that you can create a schedule that works for your family. I can take my son to Disneyland on Monday, and on Thursday I can take some time to play golf. Flexibility doesn’t mean I’m skipping out on my work. I may wake up a bit early to clear out my email inbox that morning, then do a little work when I get home. That is the beauty of being self-employed.
Has being self-employed made it easier or harder to balance working and being a dad?
I actually think being self-employed has made it easier to balance work and being a dad. I’m in a bit of a unique position now since I have spent the past 4 or 5 years building up my business. I wouldn’t say that I’m on cruise control, but I’ve got a lot of systems in place. I have built up a team and I’ve learned a lot during this time. If I had my son 3 to 4 years ago, it would have been a lot tougher to create this balance. Children are demanding, so self-employment gives you the flexibility to schedule your day in a way that works for your family.
How do you manage the busy schedule that is being a dad and self-employed?
Well first off, I have a lot of help from our family. Our grandparents babysit our son 4 days a week. That’s a huge help not only financially, but it also gives us peace of mind. What I personally like to do is work around my son’s schedule. Kids need immediate attention in most cases. That’s where flexibility comes in. I try to be super-efficient in the hours that I am working, and when I do have time to do things I make sure to only do the things that really matter.
What is the best parenting advice you have for working dads?
I would say that being self-employed actually makes parenting a lot easier. For example, my son takes a two-hour nap now. On Fridays when I have him all day, we will go out and do something in the morning and he will take his two-hour nap when we get home. I don’t get much work done during his nap, but I can cross a few things off of my to-do list. The best advice that I can give is to create a schedule that works for your family. It doesn’t have to be pretty, as long as it works.
How does your son inspire you in your work?
I feel a greater sense of responsibility to provide for my family now that I have my son. Running my business is something that I’m passionate about, but I also understand that it is a business that provides a good life for my family. I want to take advantage of all the opportunities that come my way because I know my son will enjoy the benefits of my hard work. I don't know that my business will always be this successful so while it is, I want to take advantage of that and set my family up for our future.