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Today’s guest is Jeremy Pryor.
We go deep today talking about:
- How a trip to Israel drastically changed Jeremy’s view of fatherhood and family
- Why the modern, Western idea of family is backward
- How to create a family team, rather than a household of loosely connected individuals
- How to create a strong family culture
- Why optimizing for spending way more time with your family is worth a small decrease in efficiency at the office
- A father’s true role, and why it’s so different from what society thinks today
- The multi-generational mindset required to truly succeed as a father and family leader
- What Bluey gets wrong about fatherhood
Jeremy met his wife April in Jerusalem in 1997 when they were students. They’ve spent the last 20 years building Team Pryor together. They have five kids: Kelsey, Jackson, Sydney, Elisa and Kaira. They live in a multigenerational house with Jeremy’s parents in Fort Thomas, KY just a few miles from Cincinnati, Ohio. They’ve founded and led several businesses and non-profits including Epipheo (a video production agency) Just Sew (a quilt shop), FamilyTeams.com (training content for families) and 1000 Houses (a network of Cincinnati disciple-making households).
Find Jeremy online at:
You are the foundation of your family, you are the firm footing. They build their lives on. You carry a glorious burden and you never dream of laying it down. You carry it with joy and gratitude. You show up even when you don't feel like it. You lead, serve, love and protect. You are a father. This is the dead word podcast where men are forged into elite husbands and fathers by learning what it takes to become harder to kill, easier to love and equipped to lead. Get ready to start building the only legacy that truly matters. Your family
Curt Storring 0:59
welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work and today I am joined by Jeremy Pryor. This is an awesome conversation guys have been really enjoying what Jeremy has been putting out lately. And we go deep talking about a whole bunch of stuff including how a trip to Israel drastically changed Jeremy's view of fatherhood and family. Why the modern Western idea of family is backward how to create a family team rather than a household of loosely connected individuals. How to create a strong family culture. Why optimizing for spending way more time with your family is worth a small decrease in efficiency at the office, a father's true role and why it's so different from what society thinks today, the multi generational mindset required to truly succeed as a father and family leader. And finally, and most shockingly, for so many of you I'm sure what bluey gets wrong about fatherhood, coming in hot. Anyway, Jeremy met his wife April in Jerusalem in 1987. And their students, they spent the last 20 years building team prior together. They've got five kids and they live in a multi generational house with Jeremy's parents in Fort Thomas, Kentucky just a few miles from Cincinnati, Ohio. They founded and led several businesses and nonprofits including a pitch to a video production agency. Just so a quilt shop family teams.com just training content for families and 1000 houses a network of Cincinnati disciplemaking households, you can check out everything that I just mentioned, including other links to Jeremy stuff, his podcast, the social media links, everything else Dad.Work slash podcast, you can check out family teams.com For more about the family team have specific discussions that we have here. But like I said, data org slash podcast is going to be where you find everything that has to do with Jeremy and what he's been working on as well. This was massively valuable podcasts for me personally. And so I know you guys are gonna get a ton of value out of this. Thank you to Jeremy for sharing all this wisdom and for doing the work he's doing. It's actually it's just incredible to think of family in this way. And it takes you leaving the modern cultural narrative. And that's hard for a lot of guys, because we're so into it, we can't even see the forest for the trees sometimes. But I want you to open your mind when you're listening to this, because I think that Jeremy is onto something very important. And I would like to build my family in the way that Jeremy talks about here, which is multi generational family team. Okay, so let's get to this episode with Jeremy Pryor. And guys, if you haven't already signed up for the 10 day elite dad challenge at Dad.Work slash challenge, I encourage you to do that because that is where I go into 10 days of 10 actions that you can take to become an elite family leader. And that's going to make a massive difference in how you parent how you are in your marriage, and just the trust and the respect you get in your household. So get our work slash challenge is where you find that let's jump in today's episode of the downward podcast with Jeremy Pryor. Here we go.
Alright guys back for another exciting episode of the Dad.Work podcast. And I'm very blessed to have Jeremy prior with me today. And like I was saying, I have seen your work of the last couple of years since I've been in this space. And it's always been, like different. So he's been grounded in a way that really attracts me. And you talk about like, multi generational families, which man there's something that calls to my heart about that. And it's so far outside the norm these days, that I'm like, Oh, am I getting this wrong? Or what? Like, what is it about this? So, Matt, first of all, thank you so much for being here. And could you maybe just set the stage for family teams specifically? Why is this a thing? Where did you come from? Did you just did you grow up like this? Maybe set the stage we'll get into what family teams actually are? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Excited. We are on this with you. Kurt's Yeah, this has been quite a journey for me as well. So yeah, I grew up in the northwest, not too far from you and Seattle, just south of Seattle. And a lot of a lot of what I experienced I come from a multigenerational believing family and so there was there was a lot of health in you know, in the way that we and our community, experienced family, but we were kind of a you know, kind of a in a sea of just complete chaos when it came to family. It was it was so predictable that people in my friend group were going that their parents were going through divorces that family just looked like a
Jeremy Pryor 10:00
I have basically adopted the same blueprint of family that the culture has. And if I were to describe that blueprint, probably the easiest way for people to understand it, it's the nest analogy is probably the most common word we use for family. You know it, the idea is that the families is a nurturing environment that's designed to springboard all the individual members of the family out and just resets every generation. So if you have a if you believe in the nest philosophy, a family family just resets every 80 years, you don't know who your great grandparents are, they're totally irrelevant to your life. It's a very particular philosophy of family, and one that is deeply disconnects, disconnected from what men really desire from family. And I think this is one of the reasons why we have the worst in America is actually, it's amazing. The United States is the worst country in the world. In this area, we have the largest number of single parent households than any country on the earth. And so you every every single person listening to this needs to have a thesis for why that is, because we are so bad at this, that if you just do what the culture is tells you to do just kind of carry on the way that we think about family, how are we not going to get the same results, there's something incredibly foundationally broken about our whole view of what the enemy is. And so as I begin to dive deeper and deeper into the Bible, okay, does the Bible describe the family like a nest, is that the primary way that Abraham would have thought of his family, he's building this nest, this kind of nurturing environment, all the kids are going to launch off into their own lives, we're going to reset every gem. That is not the way Abraham saw family. That's not the way any Jewish father who's really reading the the Old Testament is thinking about family. That's, that's not the way God designed family, God designed family. And if you go all the way back to the very first time families mentioned in the Bible, and God designed the family for a very particular purpose. He says in Genesis one that he created male and female, he brought them together and said, it says to them, Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and rule. So he gave the family he created a family for a purpose to do something together, we have a word for that in English, which is a team, right? So he designed the first family to be a team. And he gave them a job that they could never accomplish in one generation. So they're a multigenerational team. And he gave them a mission, right to fill and subdue the earth to be multiplied to rule. And so and so I just took the words that are just naturally, they're the words that we would use for what he's describing. And really, he's describing family as a multi generational team on mission. And I can't really think of a almost more different idea family from the nest, and then that the nest ideas, we're all individuals, we really, the family is really emptied of its purpose of, it's not really a team. It's kind of a recharging station, and then we all Launch out into our lives. And then the other is we're constantly, you know, functioning as a team to accomplish things together. And so it's like, I think you have to pick, I think you have to decide what you believe, like, which one do you think is actually number one, you can ask if you're a Christian, you can ask which one you think is more biblical? If you're not a Christian or four, you can ask the question, which one would you rather build? You know, like, you could just like, every individuals can adopt the philosophy of life to decide how they want to operate don't want to have a victim mentality, or growth mindset, or all the things we talked about today? Well, you can you can decide what kind of family you want to build. And so I sort of eyes just did a heart flip and said, Okay, I, I'm going to build this multi generational team on mission and went from having almost no interest in having kids to having five kids, you know, and, and I started building businesses because I wanted to do more with my family, we started a nonprofit, we've, we've done and we all of this is really we're doing as a team, but it all kind of comes down to we're trying to do this, like this is intentional, we were functioning as a team, or a kind of more ancient way to call that as as a household. We are a household with an economic, you know, several businesses and economic engines in the center, you know, emanates out from there, where we are designed to, to do ministry and to do work and to do life in and through the family. Man. Well, thank you for that rundown. That is so encouraging for me, like, that's exciting. I want that for my family. And oftentimes I've come across this, I think you said independence, right? Like, that's the calling word today. It's like we just so independence all about me. It's a very self loving culture, society. And that that has no room and family. And so how are you supposed to come together as a group of individuals? So well, maybe you're not. And I you said you sort of you flipped? What was it like then going through that because you met your wife on that Jerusalem trip? Is that right? We did. Yes. Okay, so you guys meet. You just had this revelation. And you're like, Okay, we're just gonna go all in. Did you have mentors? Did you have anything to look to? Or did you come across any things along the way that we're like, okay, I know this looks awesome. And I want to be an average Abrahamic father. But I didn't expect this like what were those points along the way? Or was it just like, doesn't matter? We're just having five kids. I don't care. Like what was
Curt Storring 15:00
Your process to actually build that team yourself?
Jeremy Pryor 15:03
Yeah, well, one of the things that we so it definitely was a very slow process for me and April. So I was first exposed to these ideas when we were in Jerusalem. I was attracted to them for sure. But I had no idea how to implement them. You know, I was like, what, what does this even look like? And so as we so we basically, over the next, you know, I would say, especially the first five to 10 years of our marriage, we looked at every decision through these two lenses, you know, what, what would we do differently? So we approached birth control, you know, from that perspective, we, we approached, you know, the way that we thought about work from this perspective, you know, we thought about traditions as a family. And one of the things that we immediately discovered was that, that there's actually an enormous number of tools that the Western culture has for building individuals. And if you're, if you are, and I think a lot of those are really good, I mean, if you are, if you want to be the best violinist in the world, come to America, you know, come to North America, and you'll you'll there'll be you'll be tutors, if you go to, if you go to a, a city, they'll there'll be all kinds of things if you want to, you know, get involved in a sport. And we're really good at this. And I think that there's a lot of that that's actually very positive. But if you're trying to build a team, like what, what tools do you have, and we sort of opened up to our toolbox for you know, for how to do this, and we were just empty, we didn't know how to do it. And so we just kept going back to Israel, and like learning from Jewish families, you know, what was one of the things that really, really surprised us, so we'd spend like seasons just living in Jerusalem, as a family. And, you know, we saw how on Shabbat, like the day before their Sabbath, this Friday afternoon, everyone was going to the parents house didn't have they're in their 30s, they were heading to their parents house. And they were having this multi generational meal every single week. And in our culture, we tend to do that once or twice a year, like maybe Thanksgiving, Christmas, and it's, we're so out of practice, by the time we get to that meal that it's like, how can we survive, you know, this this thing, whereas they're very practiced at it, they are used to getting together every single week as a family and experiencing their family nest or multi generational connections. And so this causes them to create a certain kind of family. And so there was a time where we, you know, after we had maybe our fourth child, we still weren't, we still weren't doing this, you know, this weekly Sabbath dinner around the third or fourth child, and I just watched our family slowly start to disintegrate. And I started to think about, you know, this tool in I used to think, well, that's Jewish, you know, we'll have to invent our own things, I guess. But I got really desperate, I'm like, you know, we're just gonna do that Shabbat thing. And we're going to do it very much like the way the Jews do it. Because I'm, I don't know how else to lead this family, as a team, you know, I know how to help each of us become individuals. But I don't want that, you know, and so all of the cultural, you know, sort of flow is going the other direction. And so we kind of put a stake in the ground. And every, you know, we started doing on Saturday night, and seven years later, we started we flipped it to Friday night, and we did a you know, a multi generational meal. And then we would do a day of rest together. And this was kind of a stake in the ground for us, it really started to turn our family. And I've told people like, if you get really good at this practice, if you create an evening, once a week, that's designed to experience like an epic, you know, multiracial family and your son, as a son, and a daughter, as a daughter, and a mother, as a mother and a father as a father. And maybe you know, if they're healthy, you could unfold upstream generations or, you know, siblings or you know, other friends, if you do this, you're really good at this, at this, at doing this kind of meal. I don't think you can stop a multi generational family from from starting because it's so powerful, too. Because, you know, one of the first things we do when we have our Sabbath dinners, we bless the sons, we bless the daughters, like there's, there's ways that the Jews have really discovered how to help you kind of internalize and experience what your family role as a as a part of that as a part of that meal. And so that became, you know, probably the one of the strongest tools, there's many others we've discovered and have implemented, it is kind of like having an operating system that you install on your family, you know, like where you're like, let's start doing this every week. And let's start doing this practice and this practice, and not necessarily those practices start to transform the kind of family you have, I guess, a lot more practical than then just like it being an abstract idea that you're trying to hold in your head while you kind of go about your normal life.
Curt Storring 19:27
Yeah, wow, that is so encouraging. Because I feel as though I'm in this mode of like, well, I'm just going to make up everything. I'm going to do it myself. And it's so good to hear that. It's actually part of a long line. And there's probably a lot of research I can do from you guys and from other cultures because we've been doing something like this. I mean, we eat together five, six, probably six or seven times a week just with our family, I work from home, my wife doesn't work kids or you know, 10 through zero. So it's easy for now. And I love the idea of making that special and having the blessings but we've also started doing weekly family meetings. and weekly spousal check ins and it's like, we ain't nobody in the family can get far enough away to be untethered. And it's like, Yes, get back in here. We rode the boat together. Are there a couple other things? Like I know, I actually, I don't know, I'm assuming that there's probably a lot of this kind of stuff at family teams, whatever the website is.com? I think it is. Is there anything else along the way that are like specific tools that people can use? Like the dinner like the family meeting? Did anything else help? Because as I'm thinking about this, I'm like, you're starting from pretty well scratch in this society? And how am I keeping my kids engaged? So any thoughts on actionable items like that?
Jeremy Pryor 20:38
Yeah, there's so many, you know, and we do a lot of family teams. But I think another one that's really big that people are very need to really deal with is sports. So because sports are designed around the individual, it's very difficult. If you have especially a larger family, three, four, or five kids, you get to a place very quickly, where you it's sort of that tool, again, it's very, very useful for helping find the individual strengths of a child and releasing that individual strength. But it does tend to come at a pretty steep cost to the family being a cohesive team. And so I was constantly trying to figure out like, are there like family team sports? Like is that a thing, and you know, it really isn't a thing. And so I wish it were and so I started to try to figure this out. And, you know, we decided to go all in at tennis for a couple years, we went all in on taekwondo where we had our own, you know, sort of time, you know, for three years where we're all leveling up together, you know, being trained together, because you know, you can do that kind of training from all the way down to like a three year old all the way up to an adult. And we got, you know, we're very into pickleball. Right now, as a family. I just interviewed for my podcasts hasn't gone out yet. But I a dad, that's in one of our, our coaching programs, he started a a all family kickball league. And this was such a brilliant idea. And so they have eight families that sign up for each season. And the families actually compete against each other. And he's actually rearranged the rules in such a way that that it actually works where a family with mostly little kids can compete against the family with like teenagers and actually go head to head, it's crazy. It's a brilliant idea. And dads are playing in a coaching their kids and moms are in there playing alongside the family, it's a it's a really cool idea. So that's just another example of you kind of have to take things that that are pulling the family apart, and then create an alternative way to do this as a team. And, you know, church is another place where I think, you know, if people go and just constantly experience just nothing but separation. It's like how can we do this in a way that we're doing this together? Like, how can we experience our faith? As a family? Why do we constantly give into sort of that that cultural trend of like separating everyone by life stage groups, and just ripping the family into its little units? We if we do that over and over and over again, then then you're not going to be able like it's going to take an enormous toll on the family? So those are a couple examples. Yeah,
Curt Storring 23:05
thank you for that. And the church was so interesting, because we've only been going for about a year now. And we started bringing hours into the main service, because it's like what you just said, I don't want them to get used to like, I go away, I want them to get used to the discipline of sitting there, the discipline of leading it, learning what's going on, being around the people feeling the fellowship, and man it even at church, we have a wonderful church, but you get the, oh, you're taking up a lot of space, like these kids, they can go elsewhere, right? It's like, I got four kids, and we take up like an entire row. And yet, like too bad, you know, if you're still in this sort of secular worldly mindset that we should just put the kids elsewhere, like, I gotta be comfortable bringing them in there. But that's been a struggle. And I think like what you just said about having a lens through which to view everything is so important. And that's what we started doing a while ago, like years ago, before any of this, any of our face started maturing, was like we start doing a self audit. So even where we live, why do we live here? And if you ask, like the fundamental first principles, questions, you find that a lot of stuff you're doing, is inertia. not intentional. Yes. So did you guys come across that as well like going through maybe during family meetings? Maybe just check ins with your wife? Like, I will often say, like, what are your expectations financially for us? And it's like, oh, well, we haven't checked on that for a couple months. Are we going the right direction? So what does that I guess maybe? Like, that's a leadership question, I suppose. But what is your role as leader of this family team? Almost like a ship? I guess?
Jeremy Pryor 24:32
That's right. Yeah, you have to be able to craft a vision for your family. And, and a lot of that, I like to think about vision very much in a very concrete way. And that is seeing it seeing 1015 2030 years down the road. What do you want this to look like? Like a huge example for me was when I was in my late 20s. You know, we were starting a business. And we had an investor who came in and he bought half the business. And during our during the board meetings, we'd be sitting there he wasn't it'd be in his late 50s, or early 60s. And he had his three sons in every board meeting. And we do this for three hours every month, and his sons were sitting there. And during the meetings, he would constantly pause and just look at his sons and start to train them. Because they're, they, their family owned a whole portfolio of businesses, and he was getting them ready, you know, over the next five to 10 years to really take over the businesses. But one of the things that struck me was I was sitting there in the meeting one day, I was looking at his he kind of spent 20 minutes talking to his sons about something. And I was like, Man, this guy, he spends more time with his his, his sons in their 30s, than most dads spend with their kids when they're still in the house. Now, I don't think that has to be the case. I don't want to force my kids to do that. But I would love for that to be an option. Is there is there a particular like, I just don't, I've never seen this before. So you know, at a at that young age, I decided this isn't a business division thing. That's why you have to, you have to actually look at the future and start to say, Okay, if I want that to be an option, 20 years from now, what do I have to do today to start to move in that direction? So yeah, I think I think that you have to, you have to envision these things. And so things like, you know, work and you know, location, like you're saying, like, where are we going to live? Is it likely that where we live is going to be a place where our kids are going to be comfortable with things that you know, and likely stay kind of close to, we're going to really continue to be a team together. Again, not forcing them, there are seasons where I think it's totally appropriate for them to be in other cities are doing their own thing. But again, I want to be an option, I want to be healthy, I want to I want it to be something that if they were choose, if they choose to do we could we could function more more like a team. And, and that's really worked out definitely in our case. But you know, as we were looking at different communities in our area, we had a real estate agent who didn't know us at all, you know, we just got to know her through through this, this particular town anyway, as she was taking us around, he kept saying, okay, at the end of history, that's actually a multi generational family, they own all five of those houses. And then we go the next year, oh, that's actually a multi generational family. And they own those four houses. And I was like, how many of these are there in this city. And as I began to really look at the way the city was designed, it's so friendly for this, because you have, you know, it's an old town where you have like a, you know, a duplex or, you know, a rental house, right? It's a really big, nice, beautiful house. And if people don't don't like that, that are trying to build something where they can be, you know, they can protect the value of their asset, let's say, but man, that's a great idea. If you want your kids to be living close to you, we grandkids, if you want to have like stages where people can buy a starter house, and then work their way all the way up. It's also very close to the city. We were like three miles from downtown Cincinnati, but it's very safe grade schools, all that stuff that people really want multi generationally. And so I started to see this this thing. And yeah, so again, the vision of like, 1520 years, where do we want to live? How do we want to work? How do we want to spend our time? What does a year in the life look like? What's a week in the life life look like, of our family, 1015 20 years from now, and I started, you want to just increase the resolution of the that vision so that it allows you to make really practical decisions in the present, that you know, that begin to move you that direction begin with the end in mind. And so, but that was really hard for us. And I think it's really hard for people that are trying to do family in a very different way than they're used to, because it's hard to see that vision, you know, so I spent a lot of time just researching and reading about multi generational families. And, you know, anywhere I could get information, because, you know, I was trying to increase the resolution on that on a picture.
Curt Storring 28:26
Right. And so like your kids now, they probably haven't known anything else, because you've been on this path for a while now. But what has their reaction to all this been? Are they still interested in being around? Are they close to you? Do you guys still work together? What is their experience of this been like and, and maybe how have you led it to be that way? Assuming that things are pretty good?
Jeremy Pryor 28:46
Yeah, yeah. So we have five kids. My oldest daughter, Kelsey, she's 23. She's married. We're about to have a grandbaby any day now. Amazing.
Curt Storring 28:54
Jeremy Pryor 28:54
she's she's doing in about in about about a week. So yeah, we're super excited to be grandparents. Yeah, her and her husband, they live down the street from us in the next town over. So they're very close. And what's really cool. So Kelsey, and my wife, April owned a business together. And so that's, that's been something they've been working on for the last five years alongside of her mother, my mother in law. And so that's a big part of our lives. Kelsey and I work together on a real estate company. And so she's the property manager of our, of our real estate assets. And then Kelsey is also my personal assistant for all things social media. Um, my son Jackson and I so Jackson is 22 Jackson single. He lives in a in a guy's ministry house that that he and I and some other guys a lead together. And so they're constantly on mission. He's he's actually he and all of his friends who are living on the house are starting a business we do business coaching, so we do a theology class together business coaching class and, and so we're working on that and we're just before I got on That's called Jackson eye we're working on on the business. And so that's a place where we can constantly overlap and, you know, be in that place. Our next daughter, Sydney, she just got back from Japan, she's been on mission over there, kind of our narrative that we've been encouraging our kids to think about is that when they graduate from high school, to basically go on mission and, and give their lives totally to the Lord, and, and be, you know, fully engaged in that way. Jackson also had done that for the last couple of years. And now he's doing that here in Cincinnati. And Sydney is feeling really cold to Asia, and say, Look, once you guys start to have kids, obviously, you're the nerd is gonna, you're gonna flip really fast, and you're gonna need a lot of stability. And we're here and we're prepared to help you guys. If you want to raise families, you want to start businesses, you know, you guys know that, that they've always kind of grown up in that culture with us. And so I think they're all excited. But then because we had that really dialed in, I'm just like, go go all out while you're single, because, you know, we start having kids, it'll be, it'll be a season of, you know, probably being hunkered down and really building assets and, and raising families and our kids, all of our kids are have such a huge value for family and having kids by four daughters, they all can't wait to be mothers, and, you know, that was just part of the culture that that we had growing up and they had growing up. So and our other girls are also in the house. And, and also, you know, preparing to do that as well as you know, very into their own, you know, various educational pursuits right now. So that's, that's kind of the makeup. And we also we do a ministry, as a household, we have a house church, and we, we do a lot of a lot of things in and through our house. So every Thursday night, and Sunday night, we have various activities here at the house every other Tuesday night. And so they're always helping host and we just, uh, we kind of designed our house to be sort of a ministry outpost, it's not really our place to retreat, you know, we have areas of the house where we can go and be by ourselves and recover. But the sort of the center of the house is kind of a buzz of of activity, business ministry activity, and that was kind of our heart for what we want, because we want to do in order to put it in, the reason why we put it in the house is not so much that we, you know, we don't want to ever get away from it. It really is because we want to be a household where we're all working on it together, it has to do with that team idea. And so instead of going off to the office, you know, we really center, all right activity in our house,
Curt Storring 32:26
man that I'm so fired up. This is what I want so much, man, I really appreciate you sharing this because my vision is being that patriarch of like hundreds of great grandkids, just like being in that rocking chair at 98 years old, looking out going like, you know, everyone is loving everyone is you know, together, because I put the work in. And that's, you know, that's what I hope for my life. And I love the fact that you're doing it out of the home, because one of the other things that I read, was you talking about family as a compartment of where you spend your time. And it seems like this is the exact opposite of that. It seems like you guys just do so much together on purpose, that there's no time away from it to get apart. But it sounds joyous. Like it really does, at least from my perspective. And so you wanted to maybe just touch on that, like we're family is a compartment and we just check it off as he so called work life balance?
Jeremy Pryor 33:19
Yeah, well, I do think that that's kind of the buzzword and it does, it does come down a little bit to whether or not you're you are an employee, right? Because one of the you know, one of the kind of basic assumptions you have when you hire an employee is that when you're on the clock, you're 100%, like, you know, working on the business, or else you know, I'm not going to pay for there's no real possibility of integration. In most jobs. Most jobs, it's like, even if even if it was like 1%, reduced, you know, efficiency on the job so that I can involve my family or in some very small way. That would be inappropriate in a lot of workplaces, right? Because it's like, no, no, that's we have a very strong firewall between family and work. That's a very unusual idea. And I think that people don't understand how strange that is that really is an outgrowth of the Industrial Revolution. And I think it's deeply unhealthy. And so but it's very difficult to get away from that if you're working. And so what we decided to build assets and start businesses really for the purpose of integration, because if you're working for an employee, employer, then probably work life balance is something you want to maintain in order to make sure that, you know that if you're going to give them 100% of that work time, then you don't want to give them even 1% of your family time. So create that balance and, and make that firewall really, really high. We have a totally different philosophy though. Our philosophy is not like work life balance, but integration. So what we don't want to know when we're working and when we're playing and when we're doing ministry, like none of that stuff really matters, you know, as categories for us. I mean, there are times where we, you know, we want we definitely want to do like high quality work. But you know, when when the kids were growing up, they had a day of the week they each went to work with me. So, you know, I had five kids and so one of my kids came Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so I had one of my kids with me all the time. And did that was that did that hit my efficiency? Yeah, probably, it probably made me 5% less efficient as a worker, and I got to spend seven or eight hours a week with one of my kids. So is that a trade off, I'm willing to, yes, that's a very easy trade off because I own the business. And I'm happy to have the business take that hit. Again, that's a decision you can make when you are when you own a business. But that's why I'm a huge believer in integration, we have a, we have a mastermind that we lead me and Jeff Bev key. And it's really for guys who want to work, who are believers who own their own businesses. And it's called integrated. Because what we found was, there's so many guys who they've already gone down this path of owning a business, but they're still acting as if they are in an employer employee sort of situation, because that's all they've ever known from a mindset. And so we spend time getting together twice a year. And I really work to try to train these dads to think totally differently about work and family and faith, like integration is a very different pursuit than balance or separation, or atomization. And so like sociologists have looked at our culture and said, There has never been in the history of the world, that we've ever seen a culture that's more atomized, right, where everything is separated, where your your work, life is separated from your church life is separated from your family life is separated from your hobbies are separated, I mean, all of these things, and people are burning out, because we're not supposed to live in that kind of atomization. When you start to integrate things, then you start doing three things at once. You know, relationally I am, I'm at work, but I'm also building up my relationship with my wife, right? I'm doing my hobbies, but I'm also hanging out with my son. You know, like, I'm, I'm doing ministry, but I'm doing it. And we're all doing it together as a family and the entire family teams involved at the same time while we're doing ministry. And that's integration. That's a totally different vision than atomization. But we are so like, like, we've we've gotten so far into atomization. Now that I think people, it's like, they've never even seen integration before. So it's very confusing how to even begin to think in this way.
Curt Storring 37:07
Yeah, yeah. And that's meant you just put to words what I have been feeling a lot lately, which is, I just don't have the time to do all this. And it doesn't make sense that it needs to be done separately. I don't know when other people are doing 37 other things. But I got the family. And I've got my business. And like we try and do everything else together. But like, I can't do a million other things. And I have felt as though I was just failing, as though I didn't have enough time where I was being inefficient. And it's like, well, I don't know what these other people are doing. And I think they're just making a trade off that I'm not willing to make. So it's actually useful for me to hear that that's not really natural. It's not very efficient. It's not very good for the family. And one of the questions that I was gonna ask, which I think you've mostly covered already is like, what are you optimizing for here? And I think I can probably understand what you are saying, as you know, family teams and all that kind of stuff, you're probably optimizing for that close knit structure that you know, God first, everyone's going towards that, and it can be done together. But I think a lot of people don't ask themselves this question. Like, what are you listener optimizing for? And I think what you're saying is like, family, family, family, man, like, what could be more important? Is that about right, man? Yeah, well, yeah,
Jeremy Pryor 38:20
my favorite business business metric, really, what I'm driving at is, is how much time can we spend together building the kingdom of God, like, that's what I care about. So if we could spend five more hours, 10 more hours, 20 more hours, 30 more hours. So as our businesses have flourished, we've just poured more and more and more time into what we feel is the most meaningful thing we could possibly do and do it together. Because again, even churches and ministries they atomize people from their family, right, they're like, we're not hiring your family, we're hiring you, which makes sense at one level because if you they were hiring your family, they would become your the father of the family. And so this is where things get kind of tricky. You have to develop the income streams, and the the assets in order to free up the time and the resources to be able to go on mission together as a family. Now there's other ways to do that, of course, but that's the way we really wanted to do it because we wanted our leadership you know, the family leadership that is under me and my wife to really be the thing generating you know, the things that we felt God God calling us to do so we will spend time you know, on mission so we do you know, a lot of kind of very immersive kinds of things like we spend time every year in Israel as a family. You know, we're heading to, to back to Seattle to spend a month there on on mission in August. We have lots of other trips probably go on six or seven other smaller, shorter trips every year as a family to do different ministry projects and things together and then we're constantly our normal week is just, you know, constant ministry and mission in our city. And and that that was a facet that we basically, you know would turn away down to a one when we were struggling financially really needed to focus on building businesses and building income streams. And then as an I told the Lord look, as soon as you bless you know this this income, we're not going to just like more and more and more and more and more money, like what we really wanted was more and more and more ministry together as a team. And a part of that's our my calling our calling as a family, I think different families different callings. And so I think you have to get to figure out what is God calling your family to do? And and I feel like we have a handful of ministry callings we all feel very passionate about. And that's expanding now with our kids. Like I said, my, our middle daughter, Sydney, she has a huge passion for Asia. And so our question isn't like, how do we atomize her and just, you know, launch her off, and then, you know, sear maybe Christmas? You know, every other year? It's like, okay, Sydney is going to lead our family into Asia, like, how are we all gonna get behind her, like, this is not a you're not alone, you're not, you're not an isolated person, you have a whole army behind, you have people who love you who believe in you, who have resources and are prepared for this moment, when God gave you a calling, we're going to get all behind you, you know, together. That's That's what I feel like families were built to do. And this is very strange for people. Because, you know, you think about in Genesis one, talking about what's was a family in general supposed to be optimizing for. And one of the things that I do think families optimize for comfort, and you know, something that's kind of like very internal to the family. But God had a mission, you know, he said, he told the family to rule that was the ultimate sort of be fruitful, multiply, subdue, and rule. And if, if we wanted to, if we, if we had a mission like that, we would think, Oh, I'm gonna start a nonprofit or a, you know, a business or something. And God said, Oh, no, I want to start a family. That's what rules that's what that's what does this work? It, that's the entity. And I think one of the reasons is because a family is different, a family is much more is much more balanced. It does love, it does have compassion, you know, it isn't psychopathic, you know, the way organizations tend to be or one dimensional. And I think there's something very beautiful about that, and you lose some efficiency. And I think this is, again, can't be, you know, overstated is that our culture, capitalism, the things the way that we're wired, it is for maximum efficiency. And the only way to resist that is you have to have a vision that says, Okay, now this is a better way to do it. Yes, as a family, you know, you know, bringing a three, three, and a five year old, you know, on this thing that we're going on is slightly, you know, less efficient, we're going to have to deal with that. But it's also a different thing altogether, transforms this into a family activity, into a place where love and things are done at the pace of of humanity, and not at the pace of machines. And so this is i This is part of what you just have to embrace as a vision, that God's built our household to do things together. And we want to we want to be on those missions, you know, as a team.
Curt Storring 43:00
So good. I love that. Yeah, that's so again, it's this is very encouraging. I'm just eating this up. So thank you for that. And I want to talk briefly about the business side of things. I've been thinking about this, probably because I've been reading your posts more often, like, what do I do? And I've almost thought like, maybe I just need to start another business so that I can bring the kids involved because, like, my business is dad work. We've got a coaching program, we bring guys through that. And I'm in here. And it's like, very meta, in a sense, because it's like, how am I going to bring my children into this? Anyway, like, maybe when we get shirts, they'll pick and pack for me like, that's a cool idea. I've seen other dads do that, but I'm not sure what to do in my situation. I've almost thought about having another business. So are there like parameters that you guys typically optimize around when it comes to business? Like, are they local? Are they brick and mortar? Are they online? What do you think about when you start these and seems like you're pretty good and quick at doing them? So maybe just give us an overview of how you think about business as a family team?
Jeremy Pryor 44:04
Yeah, so that framework and so I coach about 100 families a year and through the single family Inc and the framework that I kind of share it a lot of this is because a lot of families that are coming to us they are in their in unemployment situation. And they already have a family and so there's only so much risk they can take in order to make this transition so it's it's definitely a risky thing to move a family to a completely different way of making money. And so I basically the framework we use is, is that you don't start one business you started three businesses, not all at the same time but but pretty rapidly one after another within a few years. And so the first business is often a service based business we call that a freedom business. So that's the gets you the freedom out of the job. And and so there's there are people don't realize this, unfortunately, because there's sort of a this understanding of what what a what a startup is what who an entrepreneur is. It's all sort of Shark Tank or you know, Steve jobs are, it's all fixated in the tech world, that a tiny fraction of the of really of business owners, most businesses are regional service based businesses. And there's never, I don't think there's ever been a better time to start one of these. And now, I mean, it is crazy how people push their kids so, so dramatically towards college and specialization. In the trades. Pete, there are so many people in different different parts that are just, they're aging out, and they don't have anyone to sell their business to. And so what we talked about is, first start with a freedom business have a service based business, that will help replace your income, you know, pretty quickly, you know, and we have, we have a whole library of ideas of families that have made this transition, you know, different kinds of businesses that you can start that are that are in that, but a lot of it does come down to how you're wired, what's what's in your area, what new technologies might be coming online, that you guys might be able to offer a service. And the reason why you do that is in a service based business, you can pull all the income out every month without hurting the business, because it's really still based on your time doesn't use require a whole lot of equipment. And you know, there's a lot of industries and areas where it doesn't require a lot of training. And so it requires project management, sometimes some sales and marketing skills, and then you can really begin to to work in that in that arena. And if you want to be technical or getting somebody to the lesson, that's an option as well. But, but that's where we start. And then then we say okay, after you have learned a lot of business lessons from that you replace your income you really work, then you start a a scale business. And this is a business that's not directly tied to your time, something that that has the potential to scale beyond your time. And so that's oftentimes the area where kids are least able to integrate into that business. So like what you're describing is what I would think of as a scale business. So those tend to be the ones that are that are least accessible for that integration, you can spend time together, they can see what you're doing, they might want to do a little task here and there. But it's usually highly specialized. This is the area where you tend to also, you know, if you're going to take on investment, that might be where you take it on, if you're going to take on a partner, that's oftentimes where you'll take it on in the scale business, the purpose of a scale business is really to generate enough capital to start the third business, which is the legacy business, these are the capital intensive assets that you're going to earn and over time, and that are going to begin to generate income for your family. So this is often real estate, you know, short term rentals, long term rentals, there's also you know, lots of different asset classes you can buy, but capital intensive assets that you begin to steward as a family, I love real estate, in whatever form you feel like you can handle it. Because that's probably the peak of integration, I tell people in the legacy business, you know, it's best not to partner with other people. This is these are the things that your children will likely inherit. And so you want to really, you know, steward those together. And so like so with with my two oldest kids, I'm constantly engaging them in our in our legacy business. Like I mentioned, Kelsey, he does the property management, Jackson does the the construction on the on the houses that we're buying, my wife does, the finances and and I find the deals. So we all have different and we have meetings together, we talking about it, and we're involving more and more family members in that legacy business. So that's the framework. You start with something simple service based, if you're brand new at this, go to scale, and then go to legacy. And so like in your case, you have to decide, can you go straight to legacy some people's scale businesses are doing great, they go straight to legacy. Sometimes they need to, you know, grow their skill business first. Sometimes they need to start a, you know, a service based business.
Curt Storring 48:31
Great, excellent. That's so good. And so clear in the fact that you guys do that family linked, is that what you call them?
Jeremy Pryor 48:36
Yeah. So family, Inc. Yeah, it sells out really quick, because we limited to only 100 families. So right now it's a there's a waitlist, but if people are interested, they could sign up there. So in that process, we take families through, it's a year long coaching, and we could give them a whole seven step process. Plus, there's a library of business ideas that so every time a family succeeds, I'll interview them, if they've done it in a way that other people could also potentially use the same business model, because so much of this is regional. And so there's no real competition, you know, like, for an example is I was just I just did an interview with one of our family families that isn't, is installing pickleball courts, you know, I mean, it's just his business immediately is taken off, because it's a trend that's growing so fast at our area, that that it's able to, you know, to be a business very, very quickly. So we're constantly looking at at areas like that, that that potentially could take off this. So his freedom business was he was eating pickleball coaching in a corporate event. So he started to get to know people in that community. Then the second step was, you know, who was the asset that was really scalable, was was becoming, you know, starting a business actually installing courts, residential and, and also in parks and churches. Now churches all over the place around here, like we're putting in pickleball courts is great. He's not parking lot for something other than cars, you know, once a week, and then and then you know, the legacy business like let's get some Some real estate assets.
Curt Storring 50:01
Man, that is such a good idea. I love that. So I will put the link to that and everything else in the show notes at Dad.Work slash podcast if you guys are listening, a couple more things that I want to touch on before we get out of here, too, specifically, and we'll just see where we go from this, but one of them, I love because it was, I think was in relation to bluey. And if anyone's a father here, they sure they've listened to bluey or have watched blue or you know, whatever. But it was a post that you made. And I think the idea was that the modern good father in quotations is really the traditional mother. And this was like mind blowing to me in such a good way. And I think that gets to such an important point. And I wonder if there's anything else to say about that. So that almost on like this meta level, we can optimize as fathers for leadership and decision making and holding the burden basically, rather than only the emotional, soft soppy side. Is that, is there anything in there that we can dive into a little bit?
Jeremy Pryor 50:57
Yeah, I mean, so, you know, you watch a show, like Louis and this dad is such an incredible, he's so present with his daughters, you know, he just he's playing with them, he's imagining with him. And oftentimes, we're comparing that that guy with the kind of absent father, the passive father, and I have to say, like, Bluey is, you know, a 10 out of 10 as a dad compared to, to that idea for sure. So, but I, what I wanted to say is because because we do get so much so many people saying, like it, like they finally cracked the code. Like, it's the most amazing show. And, and so, you know, my daughter's I hadn't watched my daughter's watch. And they're like, it's so weird. He's not like a dad. Like, they're treating him like a play thing. Like, and so then I started watching some clips, and I'm like, Okay, I think I get what's going on, because I've seen this trend, it's been growing. And I think it's, it's, it's to the point now where people can't even notice it, which is, which is this idea that that what what culture really, really wants to celebrate, is what a good father is, is present and a good father is played playful. And a good father, you know, is, is in that level of of engaged all the time with his kids, especially when they're young. And you know, a lot of this is cutting coming from in traditional cultures, there was an expectation that the mother would always be present that the mother, like, if you skinned your knee, you know, within seconds, you can run in your house, your mother would be right there, like like, if you wanted, if you were you want to do a game, or you wanted to learn like the mother was available to do, she had nothing better to do than to be with the children, that that was the traditional idea of motherhood. And so I think, I think this strange thing, and then the fathers were trying to expand the family, they were responsible for training the children, they are responsible, responsible for, you know, for leading the family into like a new place. And so there was a desire to free up the father to, to have that kind of activity. And then in the like, ancient household, the father was very engaged with the kids, especially as they got older. But usually when they were very young, you know, that that was that was a time where they were very engaged with her mother. And that's why you even have in almost every ancient culture, a rite of passage, where the the sons are, you know, pulled away from the mother to be with the father once they reach adulthood, to be with the men and to go out and to do the things that men need to do to protect the family to provide for the family to expand the resources of the family. And so that's it's important to say, that's traditional father, and that what bluey is really like, embodying is the traditional mother. And and I think I think it's important to know that I think part of it is, I think it's important to say like, our culture does not believe in the traditional father, the culture doesn't want to see that guy out there being patriarchal, you know, expanding the family, training his family, being being ready to take on the kids as they become adults and bring them into the kind of the larger work of the family. And part of this, you know, is there there is definitely a gender breakdown between you know, what we would want to see men and women do that's becoming extremely blurry. And, and so it's difficult to know like, Okay, what, what is the man's responsibility? And what is the woman's responsibility, but I think that in the midst of that blurriness, it's not like we're not presenting models of fatherhood. We're just presenting them as the traditional mother.
Curt Storring 54:21
Yep. I love that. And I actually I mentioned that on a call a presentation they gave this morning a lot of the reason that men aren't leading in marriage and relationship I think is because what you're seeing is this blurry blurry line about who you're actually supposed to be and I think most people haven't grown up in this culture the way it is probably see themselves in their wives is supposed to be you know, exactly at the same point, half leading this half working here half financially, providing and they don't see the fact that one of them might be leading, and they just wonder why things are a little bit sketchy around the edges and it's because we don't have that, like you said, somebody look to to go Oh, yeah, right, this is my role. And that's okay. And yet everyone's just like, Oh no, if you say that, then you know, we gotta cancel you and all the rest. So I'm appreciative that there are still some men out there willing to take the lead on that. And I think the last question, even though I'd love to go for many hours, I really appreciate this even personally, so thank you, is just the another tweet or Instagram or something I read was raising your kids to be good parents as a way to be a good dad. It's like, wow, that's an interesting thought, rather than optimizing for your children's happiness themselves. Or maybe happiness is the right word, but getting them to be good parents. Can you talk a little bit about that before we get your links and socials and stuff like that?
Jeremy Pryor 55:38
Yeah. So you asked most parents today, like what was the point of parenting, and they will say, to make their kids happy. And that's a great way to make your grandkids unhappy. And this is what a multigenerational fathers really understood. And that is that they were they were training and disciplining and educating, and sometimes, you know, helping their children, you know, learn to be learned to serve, you know, learn to experience delay gratification, because what they're thinking of is their future grandchildren. I'm constantly thinking about my future grandchildren, when I'm parenting my kids, I'm looking at a character issue. And I'm not saying, How is this? Well, I guess this isn't really giving away their happiness, but it's just who they are. They're kind of wired that way. And, and so let's just, like constantly accommodate, you know, that individual self expression, there is no, there is no such thing as like a bad character quality, there's just who they are, how they're wired. But there is if you're asking a very specific question, and that is, will this make them a good or bad father? Will this make them a good or bad mother? Okay, well, that we're going to train on that because I do not want your, I don't want your your children, my grandchildren suffering from this character issue. And so we're going to, we're going to work on that, we're going to confront that we're going to work through these things. And so and so I just think it's a very different way to think about parenting. And I think it's in everyone's best interest, I think this is going to make our kids more happy. I think this is going to make everyone more flourishing. But I do think it's a different thing to aim at. And I think that the default of aiming at your children's happiness is creating terminal generations. And we've never seen it happen like today, you know, this, this obsession that we have with with expressing sort of personal freedom, or, you know, basically self expressive individualism, I think this is the real root of the fertility rates just dropping, like like crazy all across the world. Because when cultures begin to value, that kind of self expressive individualism above family, then of course, they're going to opt out a family because I can't imagine something that gets in the way of your, you know, your impulsive freedom more than children. I mean, and that used to be a virtue, like, yes, that's part of like, it's amazing to have a child, they're gonna, they're gonna ruin your life and turn you into a much better person, like, they're going to cause you to really get outside of yourself and love someone else more than you love yourself. Like, that's something we want for everyone. And that is a virtue for everyone. But that's not a virtue that a parent today has towards their children. Today, the way that most parents think tours are children's, I don't want that for my kids, I want my kids to be maximally free to sell to express themselves as an as an individual, I don't want them to be maximally able to sacrifice their interests, for the interests of others. And that kind of humility, that kind of loyalty, that kind of love is what parents need to be parenting their children to, to to have. And if for no other reason, like, like, think about this, your grandchildren, like love your grandchildren, by raising your kids to be able to resist their impulses, and, you know, and to serve others. And so, yeah, that's, I think that we have to clarify what we're aiming at and parenting, it's not, it's not happiness. And if we make that the beginning and end of parenting, I think I think everyone's going to lose.
Curt Storring 58:48
Yep, 100% agreed. And I've been talking a lot to the guys in our group about the power of sacrifice. I mean, I think that sacrifice is the antithesis to so much of what we're seeing today. And it's the power that saved the world. I mean, that's just the face of it. And so many men as leaders aren't willing to sacrifice their childish impulses for their family. And a lot of guys come to our programs going like, Oh, I'm watching porn and playing video games and doing all this kind of stuff. It's like, well, you there's only room for one child in a father relationships, and it can't be you. And so anyway, yeah, this is this was fantastic, very, very much edifying to me. And I know for all the guys listening as well. Where would you like to send people out all the links to the show notes? As I said, What's the best way to get in touch and maybe even work with you?
Jeremy Pryor 59:34
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Family teams is a great place to be. If you're interested in you know, in kind of what we've been talking about today, I also sort of explore my own ideas. So we have a family teams podcast, I have a Jeremy Jeremy priors podcast. You can follow me on Twitter, and you'll get my latest ponderings there if you want like Kurtzman picking up on and if you're interested in ministry through the family, like if you're, if you're if you're kind of you know been a believer and really want to see a different kind of way of doing doing ministry that through the household, we also have a nonprofit called 1000 houses. It's at 1k h.org. So those are kind of my three places I live and we teams.com one case.org And on the Jeremy, prior podcast, substack, Twitter, all that stuff.
Curt Storring 1:00:14
Awesome, man. Well, I will 100% be checking out all of that myself personally. So I highly encourage everyone listening to the same. Thank you. Thank you very much for all this has been awesome. And guys, if you want to make sure you get the show notes and all the links Dad.Work slash podcast Thank you for listening. We will catch you next time. Thank you for listening to the dad work podcast. That's it for this episode. But if you would like to stay in touch between the weekly episodes, why don't you go over to Instagram and follow me there because I draw up a number of things throughout the week that are related to what we talked about on this podcast but usually go a little bit deeper, provide some tips you can find me on Instagram at dad work dot Kurt. That's da di W O RK dot c u r t. And please, if you have been getting something out of this podcast if it has touched you if it has improved your marriage, your parenting or your life, would you please leave a quick review on Apple or Spotify. leave a rating. If you have a few extra seconds, leave a quick review. That's the best way that we can get this work in the hands have more fathers. And I truly believe that we change the world, one father at a time because each father that parents better that loves better raises children who do the same. And in just a couple of generations. I feel like we could be living in a world much better than the one we live in today. Your review will help along that path. I thank you so much for being here to listen until next week. We'll see you then.
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