James was actually a fan of the PopLyfe and paid for his own shirt before I wrote this post!
James Oliver Jr is a husband, CEO of WeMontage.com and as I’m sure he’d tell you, his greatest role: co-founder of the world's cutest twins. James and I connected through social media online and we’ve since chatted about our philosophies on building a business, the challenges we face as business owners and some of the motivations that go into a dad’s decision to become an entrepreneur.
There’s a term entrepreneurs often employ to characterize what many would simply describe as hard work. The term is “Hustle”. It’s not a term James throws around lightly. He writes for his blog focused on Parent Entrepreneurs and has hustled to build a successful tech startup called WeMontage:
We’ve all been there. You’re looking through pictures on your phone or computer and suddenly feel a slight pang of guilt. You think to yourself, I should really do something with these pictures. After all, what’s the point of holding onto photographs if they’re just going to stay trapped on your device forever? But then the realistic side of your brain chimes in and begs the question, but what would I even do with these pictures?
The answer is of course WeMontage, a site that ingeniously solves the problem of what to do with all those old photos you paid for from your family photo shoot (or any set of pictures you have uselessly laying around). WeMontage allows you to upload your pictures and create a one-of-a-kind photo collage on removable wallpaper to hang in your home or office.
We asked James to share some of his thoughts on the surprises and challenges of fatherhood…
What’s your philosophy on fatherhood?
I don’t really have one. Every night and morning I affirm that I am a great father to my twins. And that affirmation is part of my vision board.
What’s one of your favorite childhood memories with your dad?
I don’t have the best relationship with my dad. It was great though when he would pick us up on the weekends in Brooklyn and take us to the Staten Island swimming pool.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had in being a father?
Being present is hard sometimes because I’m an entrepreneur and run a startup.
How have you managed balancing parenthood and career/entrepreneurship?
This has been a little nuts. Especially after the business ran out of cash and I had to come home and be the primary care giver for the twins AND turn the business around. It’s a little easier now that the twins are in daycare twice a week, but it’s still hard many times.
What was something unexpected about parenting/fatherhood you learned after becoming a father?
I knew it was a lot of work, but I really had no idea how much so with twins.
Are you living your dream of fatherhood or are you chasing it?
I guess I’m living it. The kids are super-adorable and doing great. They got off to a rocky start being born three months prematurely. But, thankfully, they’re great now.
What one piece of advice you would give to other fathers?
Do the best you can. And make sure you take care of you. You can’t help anyone, if you’re not in a good mental/spiritual/physical space.