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Celebrating Father’s Day: 8 Dad Entrepreneur’s You Should Know

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June 16, 2019

Any man can be a father, but it takes a man who shows up for their children to be a dad. I’m grateful to have a father who consistently showed up for me. I can remember every hug he gave, every joke he shared and every moment that he listened to me before taking a deep breath and adding his two cents.

My dad has always set an example for me. He was an entrepreneur, owning his own cleaning business when I was young and his own t-shirt printing business while I was in high school and college. My dad is the one who told me to run my own business. He also is the one who pushed me to go back to school to get my masters. My dad always encourages me to go harder and he has showed me how to bounce back from some of my setbacks. My dad also has set the bar for the men that I surround myself with in my life. He showed me that there are good men out there and I’m fortunate enough to have some great men who are within my network. Not only are they loving fathers, but they also are successful entrepreneurs. In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to celebrate and bring attention to some men that I think need to be seen, heard and recognized for all that they do.

Van Johnson, reality TV personality & celebrity tattoo artist on Black Ink Crew Chicago.
Co-Owner of the tattoo shop Cold As Ice and the clothing brand Chicagorilla
  1. What do you want you daughter to learn from you? I want my daughter to that all of the mistakes I’ve made in my past she doesn’t have to make. She can vicariously learn through me. I learned from mistakes to be a better person. I want my daughter to know that you will never receive anything positive from a negative.
  2. How do you balance being a father and an entrepreneur? The balance comes from my daughter being my #1 priority. I don’t balance being a father vs. entrepreneur. Being a father always comes first. It’s not just about the finances. I keep my daughter in mind no matter what.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? Coming up I always looked up to Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He was a successful black man with more things on his plate then he could handle, but he always manifested through it all. This is similar to my situation with my daughter and her sister who I also help to raise. Uncle Phil stepped in to raise his nephew and I connect with that. I just always work to make the best out of things no matter what.
Jonn Richardson, Ambassador for Bacardi & Chicago’s premier nightlife event curator
  1. What do you want your children to learn from you? In this crazy world make sure that your priorities are in order. Keep God first, then your family and friends, then your business. Stay focused and be a leader not a follower. Nobody’s perfect so learn from your mistakes and use them as tools for the future. Learn and earn has always been my motto. Knowledge is power.
  2. How do you balance being a father and an entrepreneur? There’s never a correct answer for this. I don’t think any parent can successfully do both. But the biggest thing that helps the balance in my life has been my support system with my family. Without their help with my kids I know that I would not be as successful as I am today. Being a father is a full time job. Sometimes it’s not easy to step away for work, but I always feel comfortable knowing if I can’t be there a family member will be. I think balance is the hardest thing to master in being a parents with your own business. But as long as you get better at it everyday, it start to pay off in the long run.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? This is a hard question to answer. I have had family and friends over the years that I have looked up to, but none have been more important and helpful than the fathers of my kids mothers. They both have been married 30+ years and have raised amazing children. They have been the backbone of their families. Over the past 11 years they have taken the father role in my life and have helped me to be a better father to my children. Happy Father’s Day to the both of them also to Mr. Brown and Mr. Martin. The road hasn’t been easy. I wouldn’t be where I am without the both of them.
Him Over There Studios, photographer and creative
  1. What do you want your daughter to learn from you? I want my daughter to learn how to be resilient and to be herself unapologetically. I want her to learn that she can have the power to spark change.
  2. How do you balance being a father and entrepreneur? I balance entrepreneurship and fatherhood by being completely transparent with my daughter. I let her know why daddy works so much and so hard. I bring her to work with me when I can so she can see what ownership takes. I always make sure I am a father first no matter what.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? The father I look up to is my Uncle Bob. I look up to him because I grew up without my dad and he has been a great examples of what a man should be. He only had one child by birth, but he played the father figure to so many of my cousins who needed him. He is always open to give me advice when I need it, whether I wanted it or not. He never pretended to be perfect and he shared his mistakes and triumphs.
DJ Los of Hot Spot Radio
  1. What do you want your son to learn from you? I want my son to learn from me that nothing in life comes easy. I would like him to inherit my sense of humor and work ethic so he will become a balanced person. Lastly, what I want him to learn from me is to always believe in himself and never give up on anything he believes in.
  2. How do you balance being a father and an entrepreneur? As a single father, it’s hard balancing being a hands on parent and being an entrepreneur because both require a significant amount of time. I assure my son that everything I do I’m doing for us as a whole, not just me. I demonstrated this to him by starting a business with him as a partner. I wanted to do this so that he can understand the concept of being an entrepreneur and also understand how much time needs to be put in for your business to become successful.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? I looked up to my stepfather who has since passed away and my uncle growing up. My stepfather taught me how to be a gentlemen, how to stand on my own two feet and no to depend on any one for anything. My uncle taught me how the streets works so I can be a very well balanced man. Rest in peace to my pops (Robert Sandifer). Thank you for everything. I will see you in heaven one day.
Art4Maaly, visual artist
  1. What do you want your children to learn from you? I want my kids to know that everything is possible and having money doesn’t equate to happiness.
  2. How do you balance being a father and an entrepreneur? Balancing being a father and an entrepreneur is tough because my schedule isn’t as open as a typical guy I try to have as much quality time as possible with my kids.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? My best friend Shawn is probably my role model as a man and a father. We both look up to each other in so many ways, but when I think of a great father he comes to mind. He never is selfish and always willing to sacrifice. He is always teaching life lessons to his daughter as well as planning for the future.
Bobby Kristoph, model, actor and radio host for DaPenthouse on Windy City Underground
  1. What do you want your daughter to learn from you? I want my daughter to learn that it is ok to chase any dream you have. You only get one life, so don’t be afraid to fail.
  2. How do you balance being a father and an entrepreneur? Building an empire is stressful enough and to raise a teenage girl is even more rough. But she is truly my motivation for greatness. She keeps me balanced. She makes the long hours and hard work worth while.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? My grandfather (Johnny Wofford) was that dude! He took care of everybody. My grandmother did not have to work. He worked every day and came home and never complained.
Dee Thompson, tattoo artist and co-owner of Cold As Ice Tattoos
  1. What do you want your kids to learn from you? I want my kids to learn everything. I want them to know that anything is possible if you believe that you can make it happen. I want them to learn their business sense from me. I want them to see how to run my business so that they can take it over one day.
  2. How do you balance being a father and an entrepreneur? I work hard to make time for both the business and for my family. I plan my time around my kids. They come first.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? My father who passed about 5 years ago. I look up to him because he was a real ass father who taught me how to be a man.
Corey Anderson, published model, actor, humanitarian and mentor
  1. What do you want your son to learn from you? I want my son to know you can do anything you put your mind to. At times, we try to live our dreams through our children. I want my son to be his own man and to choose his own path.
  2. How do you balance being a father and an entrepreneur? It’s tough, but God gives me strength. I use my mornings to spend with my son and wife. My afternoons consist of gym time, mental enlightenment, answering emails and discussing goals with my team.
  3. What father do you look up to as inspiration? My dad and grandfather have always been my inspiration. They were my heroes growing up.. They made sure me and my siblings were self disciplined and self sufficient. Celebrity fathers I respect are Diddy, Hov and Will Smith. I admire how they prioritize family, their social life and maintaining their successful brands.
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1 Comment
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    DJ Los

    June 16, 2019

    Thank you for shining light on some awesome Father’s!! I definitely love all the stories. Much Love!!!! Happy Father’s Day Fellas!!
    #coffeeteaortequila

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CeCe Marie
Chicago, IL

CeCe Marie is a loud-mouth girl with an engaging personalty. Combining her media background with the competitiveness that is in her blood, she has succeeded for the past five years as a top sales executive at Guerrero Howe.This media platform encompasses her passion for sharing positive stories that can ignite others to follow their journey to be the best they can be for themselves and others around them. Every story has multiple layers to it and CeCe Marie believes that when you dig into those layers you will be able to reflect on your experiences and grow from them.

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