“Is that The Dad Book guy?”
Since posting a video explaining my plan to travel across the country to write an unparalleled book on fatherhood, I've heard from a handful of people that they ran into someone that saw the video and wanted to know more (For those of you that read the first blog post, we can only hope the announcement video was distracting the driver that rear-ended me).
And knowing that early next week another large audience will be introduced to The Dad Book through a different media channel, I thought it might be useful to provide some color on who the heck “that Dad Book guy” really is. So here's Part 1 of the 2 Part mini-series.
A name is usually a good place to start when introducing oneself, but it gets complicated when you have a name like mine. You see, professionally I’m referred to as Nate Dawg (seriously, ask my current and past internships). To my friends, Natty T does the trick. And to literally one human on Earth – and contrary to popular belief, not my mom – I’m “Little Nathan.” Now that we've cleared the air on that: Hi, I’m Nate!
Born and raised in Kalamazoo, blah blah blah. I could ramble along and give you the extensive history of my 22, almost 23, trips around the Sun, but this isn't a job interview and I certainly don't want to bore you to death. With earnings season beginning this week, I couldn't help but structure this in the most finance way I could think of. So let's get to the bottom line and analyze some moments from the 1st quarter of FY18 that will provide a macro-level view of who Nate is.
Elon Musk. It wouldn't be a description about me without talking about him. For Christmas, my parents surprised me with Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, the only book I wanted equally as bad as The Dad Book (I guess I'll have to wait until Christmas 2019... no foreshadowing here). After the hoopla of Christmas, New Years, and time spent with family subsided, I spent the next week reading it cover to cover, and then cover to cover again. Some argue that his companies are Ponzi schemes. Others say that his motives aren't as altruistic as they appear. But the simple fact that can't be denied is that the guy gets shit done. And usually in jaw dropping manners.
"Nate, wrangle in your love for Elon and get to the point already," said everyone still reading this blog.
No more than 2-weeks after I finished reading the book on him, Elon tweeted:
The only thing faster than a Tesla Model S P100D were the emails that I blasted off to my professors informing them that I would be missing our first exam to see a rocket launch. To quote one of my professors, "Of all the excuses I've heard in my years to miss an exam, seeing a rocket launch seems too hard to make up. Enjoy!"
The Falcon Heavy launch was in fact a moment that I will forever enjoy. Coming together with fellow nerds, speaking with Musketeers from across the globe (Australia, Norway, and Kansas to name a few) and witnessing history in the making. Those are the kind of memories that go with you to the grave.
Long story long, the first thing to know about me is that I am a huge believer in the impact that role models have on our lives. For me, Elon encourages me to not be afraid of thinking outside of the box and to do so in a big way. Sure, sending a rocket to space is nothing new. And sure, rocket companies have to send a "dummy" payload (usually in the form of a concrete slab or a pile of bricks) to prove they can lift weight (i.e. satellites) to orbit. But why not send a Tesla Roadster instead of a pile of bricks? And why not simultaneously challenge physics, and history, by trying to land the three boosters that got it to space? Because the man behind it all thinks bigger and more creatively (sure, there's a marketing ploy built somewhere into sending a car into space) than anyone else doing it.
And for me, that's what I try to emulate, just on a much smaller scale. Writing a New York Times Best-Seller has always appeared to me as a true feat. With minimal writing experience, this is an audacious goal indeed. And the only way to accomplish an audacious goal is to complement it with creativity. With plenty of books on fatherhood and parenting out there, I knew mine would have to be different. How about 50 Dads from 50 States different (a separate blog post to come on what sets The Dad Book apart from others out there)?
I'm "that guy" that enjoys finance. I graduated from Western Michigan University in Spring 2018 with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and a minor in Political Science. I told you this wasn't going to be structured like a job interview, so I'll stop there.
In late January, our professor informed our class that there would be a Mergers and Acquisitions competition for anyone wanting to participate. Coming from a competitive background, and knowing there was also a cash prize for winning teams, I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I reached out to two girls in my class, who I knew were competitive and smart as hell, and we assembled our group.
After two weeks of tireless nights spent preparing our case to present to the judges, we arrived at Grand Valley State University where the competition would take place. Now for those of you in business, finance is arguably one of the most stereotypical industries. The saying goes "male, pale, and stale" to describe the industry being dominated by old, white men (Political Science doesn't fall far from the tree). This was clearly evident the moment we walked through the door. Of the 100 or so participants, 85% were white and maybe 5% were females (2 of whom were on my team).
I say this because even though the industry and competition were male and pale dominated, these girls on my team kicked ass! We not only won The Lightning Round competition, but we went on to place 2nd out of more than 20 other teams from across the state in the overall competition.
So how does this correlate with who I am?
You see, before forming our team, I could have chosen to form a team with some friends in the class. I could have avoided forming a group with complete strangers. I even could have avoided forming a group with girls.. Let's be honest, you know there was a couple of people in the competition thinking, "Why are they in a finance competition?"
But the second thing to know about me is that sports taught me to be competitive. As anyone that's been on a team before would know, sports bring together people of all backgrounds for one common goal. Winning. I love winning (I grew up liking the Yankees and New England Patriots for crying out loud). Winning so much that we'll get sick of winning... LOL, we'll keep the Political Science out of this post. I knew being on the team with equally as driven individuals would give us that competitive edge and it paid dividends.
So there's an overview of the 1st quarter of 2018 for me. My goal is to make these blog posts a quick read on your way to bed, lunch, or whenever it is you choose to read. Part 2 will come out in the next couple of days, ahead of another media channel highlighting The Dad Book...
That's all I can say for now!