Father’s Day is just a few days away! And we hope you’ve made reservation, plans, gifts and all that jazz. But before your celebrations, we’ve got some amazing articles brewing that’s been waiting for your attention since yesterday till this Saturday!
Fathers are like pillars to a child’s behavioral-building.
For a girl, a father is her pillar of relationships and emotional support. And it will shape her way of forming bonds as well as what she will look to, when she looks for a partner. For a boy, he follows in the footsteps of his father that will shape his core values and behavior, into the man that he’ll eventually be.
In the days to come, Sevenpie will be releasing stories from Malaysian fathers from all corners and walks of life. Within these articles, they share about life in a non-stop commitment to their bundle(s)-of-joy, and how they have coped with in no matter the circumstance.
Entrepreneurs are the businessmen of the future, with a tenacious work-drive and a killer mindset to work ethic- they are always pushing and moving onto projects that can better themselves as well as others. But what if you throw a baby into the mix? What happens to the fast-paced life then?
In today’s article, Sevenpie has gotten to sit down the entrepreneurial dads, Adrian Cheong—founder of The Apothecary Malaysia, and Sung Lin– founder of NOMAD, who both know what it’s like to balance life on the fast-lane. If you’re wondering how these dad’s balance out diapers, wet wipes, while own a business in an era that’s ever-evolving and constantly on the move, give this one a read.
So get comfy, and grab your dad because these few articles are reads that you don’t want to ignore. Take a glimpse into the lives of these unsung heroes as you discover that a father’s love knows no bounds despite having jobs that require their utmost attention.
Adrian Cheong – Founder Of The Apothecary; Father of One: Valerie Cheong
Apart from fulfilling daddy duties, Adrian has also got his hands filled perfectly crafting solid colognes in Malaysia’s local brand – The Apothecary Malaysia. He’s the perfect example of a modern father – creative, humble and spirited. Read on to see how he keeps his sacred time with his family while juggling his work!
1. Hi, Adrian! Please give us a brief introduction about yourself!
Hi, I’m Adrian Cheong, founder of the Apothecary Malaysia, a grooming goods company that specializes in solid fragrances. I’ve been running the Apothecary since 2015 and we are currently sold throughout Asia, Netherlands and the US. I am also a father to Valerie Cheong, who is turning 3 this year.
2. How has fatherhood been for you so far? Was it what you expected it to be?
Well, it’s been pretty good actually. To begin with, I did not expect much from fatherhood. There are both up and down times. But, mostly up!
3. Can you share with us what are your best memories of Valerie for you?
It was the time when my family celebrated my birthday in Japan. Valerie had a long day, so she fell asleep right before dinner and my wife was prepared to go back to our hotel. This would mean I would be having a lonely dinner since I really wanted to try a ramen shop below our hotel.
Then, just before we arrive at our hotel, Valerie woke up and said she wanted to hang out with me since it was my birthday. My wife, Valerie and I all ended up eating one of my favourite ramen shop together before the day ended. That was very memorable for me.
4. What is your favourite father-and-daughter time together?
I treasure our bedtime story the most. Valerie doesn’t miss any of them.
5. Can you share with us what are the struggles you’ve faced as a father and how did you overcome it?
As a father, I am naggy and protective over Valerie, to a point it became restrictive. I am still learning to give her space while my wife would often ask me to calm down. As a business owner, work can be demanding. I would need to make the extra effort of spending time with Valerie without my phone, and to tell myself work can wait when I am at home with my family.
6. Can you share with us that one uncompromisable value you’ve built in your family?
It is to be responsible for our actions – right or wrong. This means we need to always be ready to apologize, even if it means lowering my pride to apologize to my daughter if I have wronged her.
8. How has fatherhood changed you as a person?
Being a father has taught me to be grateful for whatever I have.
9. Years from now, Valerie would be reading this! What would be your message for her?
My dear Valerie, always remember: never regret the decision you make, and be responsible for whatever things that come your way. That way, you’ll learn to move forward instead of looking backwards at the “what ifs”.
10. Any pieces of advice for fathers who are also entrepreneurs out there?
Always keep your sacred moments with your kids. Our choices will also reflect the compromises that follow from it. So, pick your choices responsibly. Never compromise your kids for work and be grateful for what you have.
2. Tan Sung Lin– Founder of NOMAD; Father of One: Judah
Although being a father, Sung has raised the bar high for fathers out there! Founder of one-of-a-kind co-working space, NOMAD, Sung has a thing or two to say on how to be the coolest dad anyone could ever have.
1. Hi, Sung Lin! Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Hey guys, I’m Sung, 28 yrs old this year. Married for 3 years now and have a son named Judah who is about 11 months+ old. I’m the founder of a co-working space called Nomad, which is the world’s first co-working space to accept exercise as a form of payment.
2. You’re almost reaching a year of fatherhood! What has been the most exciting thing about fatherhood for you so far?
The most exciting thing would be discovering more of what Judah could do every day. As a new parent, it just amazes me how this small human could understand us – our face gestures, voice intonation, and simple words. It’s really surreal and pretty fun knowing Judah could understand us, when my wife and I also try our very best to understand him. Most of all, him wanting to be near us and to be carried. Every day is a new discovery.
3. Can you share with us your best memory of Judah?
There are many great memories with him. So far, it would be the time he started crawling up the stairs.
4. How has the life of a father been different for you compared to your life before?
Being a father means there’d be more commitments: more baby stuff to do, cleaning, cooking, tidying up his mess and the list are endless. There’ll be chores everywhere, meaning you’d be sacrificing a lot more, time and precious sleep! It was a frustrating transition because my wife and I were so slow juggling between work and also taking care of the home.
But that process has taught me to be more patient and to see the beauty in details. I must say, the lessons from fatherhood has even helped me in my business: to plan ahead, think better, subconsciously get ideas and solving problems. And my wife and I are working so much better now in parenting.
5. Being the founder of NOMAD Malaysia, how do you balance your time as an entrepreneur and as a father?
My priority has always been and will be, my family. I’ve always held onto this sentence: “You will never wish you had more money on your deathbed. You will wish you’d spent more time with your loved ones.” As a man, it is our natural state to want to provide for our family, making it much harder to stay home and be with our loved ones.
But, the valuable lessons I’ve learned about being a father has also benefited me in my work. To have a heart and empathy towards others made me able to understand my customers better and to be as genuine as possible. In return, we see a big difference in our customers’ and partners’ loyalty. We’ve had companies at our space since the beginning who have also stayed until today, and have also partnered with Maybank, CIMB and appearing on all major news site.
As an entrepreneur and also a parent, you can never expect to work a 9AM-6PM, Monday-Friday job. Sometimes, your child gets sick, you have an appointment pass 6PM or on weekends. Now, at every opportunity we find, we work. The desire to do more has always propelled us to keep connecting with our customers.
Although I’m not physically at work when I’m with my family, I get to think more which often times are neglected by entrepreneurs. We just want a quick return and troubleshoot, later on. Being a father has taught me to look far and form our purpose – both in building the home and at work.
6. How has fatherhood changed you as a person?
It has definitely shifted my priorities to value relationships more. In our modern times today, constantly being surrounded by social media, it’s easy to feel pressured to be ahead. But we often forget that it is our community and loved ones that help us get to where we are.
Parenting is surely the hardest thing anyone could do. It’s strange to say, if you can do fatherhood, you’re unstoppable – at work and at life. Suddenly, I could do without sleep and get chores done – I have even more energy and focus than ever before. When you’re a father, you’d find out that no issue is big enough to stop you from going on. Really.
7. What are some of the uncompromisable values you’re building in your family?
It would be God, hands down. It is scary to imagine my kids growing up godless. Our biggest ambition would be for our kids to be fearless in chasing after their own dreams that God has given them.
8. Where do you see yourself in another two years’ time?
Being young parents with more kids, so you would probably see me with one more kid. I have also a few projects in mind, so perhaps other ventures that you will soon find out.
9. Years from now, Judah would be reading this! What would be your message for him?
Be the best version of yourself and never stop chasing your dreams.
10. Any advices you can give for new fathers out there?
You have what it takes to be a father. I for one, never had the best example. I started out feeling super scared needing to raise a fragile baby, but I came in with the mindset that, although I may not know a lot (heck, I know nothing), I was determined to learn, hustle and do everything I can to build this family because who else is going to help you build it, much less, raise your kids?
Learn from other good fathers, ask questions, read and communicate with your wife. I’ve kept on asking questions from changing diapers, to making milk. Remember, children are God’s gifts – so be thankful because there are many other couples out there still praying for one.
I’ve seen and heard of fathers who have given up completely without even trying, and parents who try too hard which resulted in being burnt-out and being lifeless. If God gives you a baby, it means you have what it takes to be a great father. You have 9 months to prepare your mindset. You can either choose to be a mediocre parent, saying things like “Please enjoy your honeymoon before you get kids, or you won’t enjoy it anymore”, or the coolest dad your kid can ever have, able to do anything your eyes set on.
I could never imagine having kids. Now, I can never imagine not having them. As small as they seem, they leave such a big mark in our lives.