Anyone who reads this blog, follows me on Twitter, or has interacted with me in any way, shape or form over the past several months knows about Eva. If you are new here, start by skimming Holy Crap! I’m Gonna Be a Dad, then read this one, Hello World: Eva Claire Waldow, then come back and read below.
Kinda like her dad, Eva is pretty social. She’s had a fairly active Twitter profile since her account was created in September, 2009 (Yeah. That’s 6 months *before* she was born). On Twitter, @babywaldow is following 148, has 161 followers, and has posted 163 tweets. Not bad for a little girl who spends her day eating, sleeping, peeing and pooping (some smiling, kicking and cooing now too). In the next week or so, Eva will be a blogger: EvaWaldow.com <–still in development.
As all (new) parents will agree, your life changes dramatically the moment your child enters the world. You can’t really prepare for it and you have no idea of how challenging, scary, fun, and kick ass awesome it is to raise a child. I’ve been thinking a ton lately about what life lessons – both personal and professional – Eva has already taught me in her 11+ weeks on this planet. So starting today, I’m creating a new series on this blog titled, “Lessons From Eva.” As you can tell from the title of this post, the first lesson is learning from doing.
Lessons From Eva (#1): Learning By Doing
Kristina and I bought a few “Pregnancy 101” books before Eva was born. We asked friends and family for what baby items were essential. We signed up for BabyCenter and WhatToExpect email updates. We even watched a few DVDs about crying, swaddling, & sleeping. Don’t get me wrong – we were not “those parents” but we did a bit of homework. Even a few months in, we still read blogs & books for advice and ask family & friends for what worked for them.
However, no matter how much we read we still make it up as we go. We learn by doing. Sometimes the advice we read is consistent with what works, while other times it’s not even close. There are nights where a certain tactic works only to have it fail miserably the next night. We try. We fail. We learn. We adapt. Sometimes we get it right. Sometimes it’s luck; other times it’s practice.
Learn By Doing: Not Just For Parents
While this post is about a life lesson learned from being a dad, it 100% applies to those without children too. Many people spend their time reading about how to do/create/be “something.” They go to conferences & lectures and read countless blogs & books. They are in constant learn mode, but they forget to actually do. Last week I participated in LaunchUp 8 where I heard Josh Coates* say they are two types of entrepreneurs, those who talk about startups and those who do startups. I think the same principal applies here. There are people who talk (and read) about doing and there are those who do and try and fail and learn.
For the record, I’m often in the talk/read camp … but thanks to Eva, I’m working on spending more time doing. Also – just like being a dad – I’m learning on the job and making up a lot of stuff as I go.