Lessons From Eva: Learning By Doing

Eva with ShadesAnyone 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.

DJ Waldow

*Watch Josh’s presentations on YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2.


Addendum to Josh: There are three types of entrepreneurs; those who talk, those who do and those who do their homework, then do.....#3 option sometimes saves those who chose option #2, from doing, and doing and doing.....

Vanessa Rhinesmith
Vanessa Rhinesmith

Beautiful DJ! Really, that is one lucky little girl to have such a loving and insightful Dad.

Lucy has opened my eyes to the beauty of doing and approaching life without fear of failure. Each day she is learning through trial and error. It's all done in such an uninhibited way.

We're learning right along side her. She doesn't judge when we're wrong or misinterpret a need. She's the living, breathing example of "...if at first you don't succeed, then try, try, try again."

She's encouraging me personally and profession to act more often, think a little less, and not be so consumed with the fear of making a mistake. Each morning is new to her - she reminds me that the world is full of awesome discovery and experiences to be experienced for the first time. It's all there for the taking.

Many thanks and be well,

Suzi Demsey
Suzi Demsey

"There are people who talk (and read) about doing and there are those who do and try and fail and learn." Love this sentence...it is a big life lesson!!! Eva...keep on teaching your parents that everyday is different...everyday is new...nothing "works" every time...trial and error...trial and error...trial and error...great way to learn! And love conquers all...most of the time anyway! xxxooo

Ricardo Bueno
Ricardo Bueno


Second: So cool that little Eva has an active Twitter account and blog! (How many kids have that at this age). She's gonna rock it, BIG TIME!

Third: Love that the lesson here is applicable to all. When we attend conferences, webinars, etc. we learn and learn and learn but rarely do we turn around and implement (to learn by doing). I know this to be the case for a lot of people.

Anyway, looking forward to reading the series DJ, and once again, congratulations!