Podcast Episodes

discover your mission

How to Discover Your Mission as a Dad – GDP023

Episode Overview

When you think of your legacy, what comes to mind?  I’m not talking about the materialistic things you will leave behind.  I’m talking about how will you be remembered?  What will your kids and family say about you several years from now?

When it comes to being a Dad, it’s a tremendous responsibility. It is by far the most important job we will ever have as men.  Unfortunately, the resources to help dads are minimal.

Think about it for a minute…

How often do we take time to sharpen our skills as fathers?  The fact is the resources to do so are far and few between.  The journey of fatherhood is a “learn as we go process.”  There isn’t a roadmap and at times being uncertain can wreak havoc on our confidence as Dads.

Think about the last time you started with a new company.  Did you go through training to learn all about the new company, products, processes, systems, and mission?  Absolutely!  Not only did you go through in-depth training, but there was most likely an entire department dedicated to just training the new hires.

However, we don’t see these opportunities offered to the everyday Dad.  Most men truly desire to be our best and we want a roadmap.  We want guidance.  We may not admit it on the exterior, but deep down, we desire improvement, challenge, growth, and guidance.

Key Takeaways:

  • You will discover your mission as a father
  • You will discover what is most valuable to you
  • You will uncover your what your legacy will be
  • Most importantly, you will discover your personal “Why”


A Dad’s Mission

Think of any big corporation in the world.  Just about all of them have a mission statement that is at the very core of their business.  Mission statements are a clear set of core values and how a company will conduct business.

For Example:

Apple – Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store.

Microsoft – At Microsoft, our mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential. We consider our mission statement a commitment to our customers. We deliver on that commitment by striving to create technology that is accessible to everyone—of all ages and abilities. Microsoft is one of the industry leaders in accessibility innovation and in building products that are safer and easier to use.

What does a mission statement have to do with being a dad?

What does a mission statement have to do with being a dad?  Being a dad is by far the most important job for a man.  So, if it’s the most important job for us dads, shouldn’t we too have a mission statement?  Shouldn’t we have a clear set of core values?  Absolutely.

For the past two years, I have had the honor of hosting workshops for men to teach nine distinct strategies to help improve their lives.  The first thing the participants do is discover their own personal Dad Mission Statement.  I have hosted workshops for hundreds of men to date and I have yet to meet one man who has put pen to paper and has written down their core set of values and desired legacy before attending my workshop.  It is truly inspiring when the participants discover their own personal mission statement.

Why is this important?

If we don’t know what we want out of our dad journey, how can we enjoy it to the fullest?  How can we pass something down to our kids if we don’t know what that something is?

I wanted to share a great example of a Mission Statement from a participant at one of my recent speaking events.  The reason I share this with you is because it was truly inspiring.  It is so specific and heartfelt.

“My home will be an environment of love and learning.  I will not only be available to my children, but I will be engaged in their lives.  I will show affection.  I will teach respect and discipline. I will be the rock of faith and strength for my family.”

I would like to challenge you to draft your own mission statement.  Clearly define what is most important to you and what you want your legacy to be.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It simply has to be yours and what is most important to you.

The Why:

There is one thing that is even more important than your mission statement…”YOUR WHY.”  Your “Why” clearly defines the reasons for your mission statement.  Your “why” will keep you focused and will keep your heartfelt mission moving forward despite challenges you will face along the way.  For most of us dads, our “why” is defined by wanting to pass down what we have learned from our own upbringing or it is defined by breaking a pattern of a negative childhood experience.  For example, I wanted to share the “why” from the same participant above to really hit this point home.

“I want to give my kids what I didn’t have growing up.  I want my kids to remember their childhood and the guidance I provided in a very positive way.  Being the best version of myself as a dad, I am honoring God.”

At the end of the day, our “why” is our motivation.  Our “why” will keep us moving in the right direction.  Our “why” gets to the very core.

I would encourage you to discover your why.  Chances are you know exactly what it is, but most likely you have never written it down.

Shawn and I wanted to share our Mission Statements and our Why:

Larry’s Mission:

I want to raise confident young men.  I want to create an atmosphere of love, certainty, creativity, and affection.  I want to lead by example and teach my boys how to be good men and how to be a good husband by how I treat their mom.

Larry’s Why:

I want to give my kids what I didn’t have growing up.  I want to provide fatherly affection and positive guidance.  I want to teach them how to be a good dad by being a good dad for them.

Shawn’s Mission:

To demonstrate what love, kindness, consistency, service and perseverance look like.

I also strive to demonstrate directly how to have fun – how to love and be loved by my spouse – to demonstrate how to have standards without being malicious – to show that you can literally create anything in your life if you surround yourself with good people and you’re willing to work for it. – To show them that it is possible to blur the lines between work and play and love what you do. – To encourage them to share their gifts.

Shawn’s Why:

I want to create a space for my kids to grow and develop – to have a model/a framework that I never had. I want my children to be inspired by me. I want them to be proud that I’m their dad.

Free Resources:


Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS



Thank You!
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

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Drew Manning On Health and Fitness

How Your Health and Fitness Impacts Your Kids and Relationships with Drew Manning – GDP022

Episode Overview

We had the pleasure of interviewing New York Times Best Seller, Personal Trainer, and all-around amazing dad, Drew Manning.

In this episode, Drew teaches us how our health can have a direct impact on every aspect of our life.  Drew went on an incredible twelve-month journey from being incredibly fit at 190 pounds,  low body fat, and peak physique state to gaining 70 pounds and completely out of shape in six months.  He then took the ladder six months in his twelve-month journey and got back into shape at a lean 190 pounds once again.


In his bestselling book, “Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit” he explains his journey in detail and how getting completely out of shape impacted every aspect of his life.  By going on this journey, it has made Drew a better trainer and life coach for his clients.  He has been a fit athlete his whole life.  When he took six months to walk in the shoes of the typical American diet and lifestyle, he quickly learned how devastating it can be.

Key Takeaways:

  • You will discover what the typical American diet did to Drew’s health and well-being
  • How this journey impacted his Dad journey
  • How he got himself back into shape after gaining 70 pounds and not stepping into a gym for six months.
  • Drew gives essential strategies of how you can balance parenthood and self-care
  • Why taking care of your health is one of the best investments you can make as a parent

“I have always been a guy who loved sports growing up.  I was a football player and a wrestler during most of my years growing up.  I have always had a passion for health and fitness.  When I became a personal trainer, I noticed there was a “disconnect” from time to time with my clients.  Since I have eaten healthy most of my life, I have never really understood how addictive processed foods could be.  It wasn’t until I decided to go on my six-month journey of eating unhealthy and not working out did I fully understand what my clients were going through.” – Drew Manning

Drew ManningDrew Manning purposively decided to take six months and become an unhealthy individual.  He didn’t really eat fast food, but he did stop eating veggies, stopped going to the gym, and simply ate the typical American diet for six months straight.  He simply ate things like chips, soda, cereal, mac and cheese, pizza, burgers, etc.  He completely got away from his healthy lifestyle.

The impact of gaining 70 pounds in six months

Drew explains how gaining 70 pounds impacted his enjoyment of being a father and husband.  He admitted that he had a much harder time playing with his two-year-old daughter.  He got tired a lot faster than usual.  He also noticed that when he would need to take breaks from playing and that his daughter would get her feelings hurt.  He also noticed he argued with his wife a bit more than usual.  Finally, he really noticed his self-esteem really took a beating as well.

Drew’s journey back to being fit:

After Drew Manning gained 70 pounds within the first six months, it was now time to get back to his healthy lifestyle.  He started eating healthy again, but didn’t set foot in the gym for the first thirty days.  He lost nearly twenty pounds within the first thirty days.  The fact that he lost twenty pounds in the first thirty days demonstrates how proper nutrition can truly make a huge impact.

Why it is critical that parents take care of themselves first

Drew openly talks about why parents need to take care of themselves first.  Most parents feel a sense of guilt and shame at the very thought of taking time away from family to take care of their health.  In reality, taking time to take care of your health is the most unselfish thing you can do for your family.  When you put your health as a top priority, you are setting your parenting journey up for ultimate success.

When you feel better, you will show up better for your kids.  When you have optimal health, your relationships will improve tremendously.  Don’t use your kids as a reason to not take care of yourself.  When it comes to being an amazing mom or dad, quality is better than quantity.  Its better to have thirty minutes of high quality time with your kids versus sixty minutes of low quality time.  If you really want to improve the quality of life with the whole family, include the kids in your healthy lifestyle.  Stay active and eat healthy as a whole family.


Books Mentioned In This Episode

Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

change your perspective

How To Change Your Perception As A Parent To Have Less Stress And More Happiness – GDP021

How you can change your perception and change your life

Are you a “the glass is half full” or “the glass is half empty” type of Dad?  If you are half full, then you further ahead than most of us when it comes to perspective.

Perspective is the secret sauce to a happy life and a fulfilled journey as a Dad.  Our perspectives can make us or break us.  The right perspective can allow us to soar and the wrong perspective can make us crash and burn.  If our perspective is off, that is ok.  It’s being aware and knowing how to change your perspective that is critical.

Key Takeaways:

  • Why your perspective is your reality
  • How your reality is the world you live in
  • Learn how to change your world by changing your perception
  • Discover how to make a few simple tweaks to your everyday life that will help you to thrive instead of simply survive.
  • In this episode, Shawn and I really put ourselves out there with some drastic mistakes we were making on a daily basis.  These mistakes were destroying the enjoyment of fatherhood.
  • Shawn and I talk about some of the consequences we experienced just by not having the right perspective


Change your perception after a long day

I was a pain in the rear when I came home from work in the evening because I focused on all the wrong things.

Let me give you an example of how “pleasant” I used to be when I came home from work.  I am shocked to this day that Jessica take my head off for years.

I would come home on a daily basis (nearly every day) from work in a foul and defeated mood.  The days were long, I raced against deadlines, I had people needing something from me every minute of every day.  Eight to ten hours of this chaos wore my patience down to nothing.

I would come home expecting to walk into a sanctuary of peace and happiness.  For some crazy reason, I would expect that dinner might be done, laundry would be folded, and the house would be clean.  Let me make one thing clear,  I knew these expectations were lofty.  My wife is a busy stay at home mom who is doing an amazing job of raising three boys (9,7, and 2) during the day.  (Any of you with around this age reading this are probably laughing at how naive my expectations were.)   In a perfect world, I desired to have all these things (dinner, clean home, folded laundry, and the kids quiet) because I wanted to come home to peace after a long day.  However, with a busy family and three boys, this isn’t a possibility for the most part.  Moreover, shame on me for even expecting that it was.

This type of perspective was all wrong.  Not only was my perspective completely wrong, but it was caused me to look at all those things in a really negative way.  I saw crumbs on the floor, which meant I should probably clean them up.  I saw laundry that needed to be folded which meant more to do.  I saw dinner wasn’t done, which meant now I should help.  I saw toys everywhere which meant there was more to pick up.

I had it all wrong.

The Result:  When I would walk in after a long day, I would be more stressed than when I walked in.  I would immediately be cold and unwelcoming to my kids who greeted me at the door.  I would look past their smiles and see only a mess.  I would look past a wife that was happy to see me and see only a mess.

I had it all wrong.  I needed to change my perspective.

I finally learned that there was only one person that was making me miserable, and that was ME.  I decided to change my perspective.  Perspective is all about choice.  I had to ask myself, “are you going to see the negative or the positive?”

So, here is how I began to reframe it all.

When I saw crumbs under the table:  instead of seeing a mess, I now see that my job provided food for us to eat.

When I saw clothes that needed to be folded:  instead of being more stressed, I am now reminded our family has clothes to wear.

When I am greeted by my kids with smiling faces:  I now decide to see that, receive it, and enjoy it.

When I am greeted by my wife:  I am reminded that my job provides enough means for her to stay home and that our kids have a wonderful mom that can be there for them during the day.

How Shawn Changed His Perspective:

Shawn went through a similar learning process as a new husband when he first got married.  When he first got married, he was in the middle of the launch of his brand and business.  Shawn’s focus has always been on helping people become their best by optimizing their health.  Over the years, he has worked extremely hard to get where he is at today.  Shawn is a true entrepreneur through and through.  He thrives on living his passion.  He thrives on the uncertainty of being an entrepreneur.  Most of us are not wired like this.  Most of us really enjoy a financial life of certainty.  Not Shawn…he would rather risk certainty and help people.

In the beginning of his marriage to his lovely wife, Anne, he explains how he had his perspective all wrong.  When Anne and Shawn first met, it was love right from the start.  There was no wrong that either of them could do.  However, right after they got married, things started to change a bit.  Shawn started going in one direction with his career and Anne was going in another.  Shawn’s perspective was he would be very successful if Anne was on board with his mission of owning his own business.  Like so many of us, one of Anne’s needs is to feel safe and certain.  As we all know, the world of entrepreneurship can be anything but safe and certain.   As a result, it was difficult for her to be on board with his vision in the beginning.

Since Anne didn’t really seem on board with Shawn’s vision, he began to see her as more of an “anchor” holding him back.  Their relationship became strained and tensions were high from time to time.  It wasn’t until Shawn realized that his lifestyle of entrepreneurship and uncertainty made Anne pretty uncomfortable.  Once he realized one of her basic needs was to feel secure and certain, Shawn began to make a change in his perspective.

He learned he had to give first before expecting to receive support.  He noticed the more he paid attention to her need of certainty, the more supportive she became.  Presently, Anne is Shawn’s biggest fan and number one supporter.  Not only does she support him, but she pushes him to grow even further.

Shawn made one big change that many of us miss.  He decided give Anne what she needed instead of falling into a trap of resentment.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

healthy on a budget

10 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget – GDP020

10 Simple Ways to Eating Healthy on a Budget

Believe it or not, there are ways to eat healthy and feed the whole family without breaking the bank.  In this episode, Shawn and I share 10 simple ways to feed the whole family healthy options without spending hundreds of dollars every single month on groceries.  Eating healthy is essential to our health and it will drastically improve the enjoyment of parenting.  The healthier we feel, the more we can show up big for our kids and spouses.

Key Takeaways from Episode

  • Learn how planning your family meals and buying in bulk can drastically cut costs
  • Discover where to find discount grocers and farmers markets in your area
  • How to incorporate healthier filler foods vs. traditional processed foods
  • Learn how to use leftovers as a huge time saver and cost saver


Tip #1: Plan your meals a week in advance

“Failure to plan is planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

One of the best ways we can set ourselves up for ultimate success for eating healthy on a budget is to plan the meals for the week.  It takes the guess work out of last minute decisions.  Plus, when we wait until the last minute to plan or cook a meal, we usually have the urge to either eat something unhealthy or over spend.  Planning what the family is going to eat Monday-Friday every Sunday night is a great way to be prepared.

Tip #2: Buy in bulk

Believe it or not, but most grocers will give you a case discount if you ask.  For example, when you see chicken on sale, that is the time to stock up and make sure your freezer at home is packed.  This goes for meat products, produce, and even wine.  Eating healthy on a budget equals buying in bulk!

Tip #3: Find the organic discount grocers in your area

Check out the organic section at your local grocers and see if the prices are competitive.  If not, Trader Joe’s is a national chain that usually has great prices on several organic selections.

Tip #4: Find the farmer’s market in your area

A  local hidden gem is finding the local farmer’s market in your area.  It is shocking the discounted deals you can find at farmer’s markets.  Moreover, farmer’s markets usually offer organic options without the retail market up.  It’s also a great way to support your local farmers.  Go check out www.localharvest.org

This website resource will help you locate any and all farmer’s markets in your area.  It is a fantastic resource for eating healthy on a budget.

Tip #5: Coupons, Coupons, Coupons – CUT COUPONS

Cutting coupons can make a tremendous dent in your monthly grocery bill.  You can find local coupons in your mail, the paper, or even online.

Tip #6: Go for the higher quality “filler foods”

When we think about side dishes for our kids and the typical filler foods, several unhealthy options most likely come to mind.  We usually think of mac n cheese, potato chips, cheetos, and french fries as “kid friendly filler foods.”  While all of those options are low cost, they don’t provide any nutritional value for our kids. For eating healthier on a budget, simply upgrading some of those filler foods to:  sweet potatoes, yams, or baked potatoes will help tremendously.  Not to mention, all of the above upgrades are low in cost and a nutrient dense option.

Tip #7: Grow your own food

Growing your own food is a great way to cut costs and produce high quality food.  For example, if you are growing your own vegetables, you can control the way they are grown and how they are cared for.  Plus, it never hurts to earn your green thumb!

Tip #8: Leftovers will not only save you money…it will also save you time

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money and eat healthy on a budget.  Another way to cut cost is to not only buy in bulk, but also cook in bulk.  Leftovers don’t deserve the bad reputation they get.  Leftovers are the best way to have healthy food on the go.  Not to mention, having leftovers is a huge time saver!

Tip #9: Adding fiber to your meals will help you stay fuller for longer period of time

Having a sufficient amount of fiber is an excellent way to improve the health of your colon and lower cholesterol.  On the other hand, fiber has an additional amazing benefit that gets overlooked.  Adding fiber to your meals will actually help you feel full for a longer period of time.  As a result, you will get hunger pangs less and have the feeling of fullness for longer periods of time throughout the day.

Tip #10: Check that local grocer ad when before you grab your cart

If you want to know what is on special the day you are shopping, make sure you take just one extra minute to grab an ad before you start shopping.  Your grocer’s ad will showcase everything that is marked down and on special.

Eating healthy on a budget can be successful with a little planning and knowing how to find the hidden savings.  🙂

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

finding balance

Finding Balance as a Dad and Being a Learning Leader with Ryan Hawk – GDP019

Finding Balance and Being a Leader

Shawn and I had an opportunity to interview Ryan Hawk, from the Learning Leader Show.  Ryan is a father of five daughters (yes 5!), a leader in his corporate position, a former college and arena football quarterback, and now has a very successful podcast called “The Learning Leader Show.”  Ryan was a perfect guest to have on the show.  Not only is he a busy father of five, but he has become a student of leadership and fatherhood.  Ryan shares what he has learned over the past several years being a successful athlete, corporate leader, successful podcaster, and finding balance in the journey of fatherhood.

Key Takeaways from Episode

  • How to lead our kids by example
  • How to positively build everyone up in the family
  • Why being a student of leadership will make you a better dad
  • Why being a passionate learner will make you a better man and have a more enjoyable life
  • Finding balance in life despite being a busy dad burning the candle at both ends


Tip #1:  Encourage Your Kids to Compliment Each Other

During our interview, Ryan shared a game changing tip that is so simple, yet so effective.  At times, we all struggle with what to talk about at the dinner table that can get everyone involved.  Ryan tells us that one of their family dinner traditions is to go around the table and each person shares one great thing about everyone else in the family.  It can be something positive that they did that day or even something they just truly appreciate about the other person.  I thought this was an epic tip because it not only teaches the whole family to reflect on gratitude, but also a reflection with a personal compliment about each member of the family.

Tip #2: How Being a “Student of Fatherhood” Will Make You a Better Dad

Finding balance in life means being a student of life.  Being a student of life will always keep you curious and uncomfortable.  I realize that sounds like an odd combination, but it’s actually a recipe for success.  When we are always open to learning new ways to sharpen our craft, we will become better in every aspect of life.  Learning to be a better corporate leader/employee, athlete, or entrepreneur can easily translate to us being better fathers.


Because “learners” are always searching for ways to become better.  Our natural curiosity as learners opens our minds to new and better solutions to everyday obstacles.  Fatherhood, just like anything else, is a learned skill.  There is truly no manual for fatherhood.  However, always being open to how we can do it better will empower us as Dads.

Tip #3: Finding Balance While Balancing Everything

How can we manage our day, demands, priorities, work/life balance, and the day to day grind instead of our day managing us?
In this episode, Ryan gives some great tips that help him balance it all.

  • Marriage and the relationship with our wives/significant is a first priority
  • The kids and all of their activities are just as important as the marriage
  • Ryan prioritizes his days and maps out exactly what needs to be done and when he will do everything
  • He also has drastically cut down his time watching TV and other unproductive activities.  Moreover, he has replaced those activities with more self development projects, such as his podcast and business.


Tip #4:  Finding Balance Means Taking Action and Remaining Uncomfortable

The most successful people in the world are the ones that simply take action and live outside of their comfort zone.  Successful people are always striving to push harder and grow in every area of their lives.  Teaching our kids to take action, step out of their comfort zones, and to always remain curious are some of the best life lessons we can pass down.

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS


Books mentioned in this episode:  

Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!