Facing Your Fears: Parenthood and Entrepreneurship
By EO member Ben Welch-Bolen
Fear is a basic human instinct bred into our DNA to help us avoid danger. Without a healthy fear of falling, fire, spiders and clowns—ok, maybe not clowns―our lives might be significantly shorter. But fear isn’t our only basic drive; we’re also compelled to propagate our species. These two instincts collided for me on 20 April, 2016, when my wife delivered a clever knock-knock joke to inform me that I would soon be a dad.
After a few euphoric days, I began worrying about how I would balance being a great dad and a successful entrepreneur. Fear of the unknown hit me―hard. My thoughts swirled: What would happen when I became a parent? Could I balance the two most challenging roles of my life without jeopardizing my sanity? How would it all work out? Would our marriage survive the stress? What compromises would I need to make?
Now that I’ve survived the early days of parenthood―my son is eight months old―some of my initial worries have faded, some remain and still others have surfaced. In the spirit of experience sharing, here’s a look back on my four greatest pre-parenthood fears compared with the realities of fatherhood.