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My guest today is Larry Hagner.

We go deep talking about: 

  • Stepping intentionally into leadership,
  • The turning point in Larry’s fatherhood journey when he knew something had to change,
  • The importance of having a learner’s mindset,
  • The power of psychological safety and helping your kids develop a growth mindset,
  • How to parent your kids so they feel safe to talk to you about anything,
  • Finding your core values and helping your kids find theirs,
  • How to have hard conversations with your kids,
  • Practical connection practices that Larry uses to build deep relationships with his wife and children,
  • The importance of community, and
  • The cost of inaction.

Larry Hagner is the creator of The Dad Edge Podcast. Featured as one of the top dad podcasts on iTunes, the show has received over 5 million downloads. Larry is the author of 2 bestselling books. He has featured some of the most elite humans on the planet. He lives in St. Louis with his wife Jessica and their four boys.

Find Larry online at:


Podcast: The Dad Edge Podcast

IG: @thedadedge

FB: The Dad Edge Group

Curt Storring 0:00

Welcome to the Dad.Work podcast. My name is Curt Storring, your host and the founder of Dad.Work. You may have heard of my guest today if you have listened to any podcasts related to fatherhood, his name is Larry Hagner and he is the founder of the dad edge Podcast. I'm excited to talk to Larry because I have been following along with Larry's journey for years. He's one of the Oh geez. When it comes to fatherhood podcasts and helping men become better fathers on the internet. We go deep in this episode talking about stepping intentionally into leadership. The turning point in Larry's fatherhood journey when he knew something had to change the importance of having a learner's mindset, the power of psychological safety and helping your kids develop a growth mindset, how to parent your kids so they feel safe to talk to you about anything, finding your core values and helping your kids find theirs. How to have hard conversations with your kids practical connection practices that Larry uses to build deep connections with his wife and children, the importance of community and the cost of inaction. Larry Hagner is the creator of the dad edge podcast featured as one of the top dad podcasts on iTunes. The show has received over 5 million downloads. Larry is the author of two best selling books, he has featured some of the most elite humans on the planet. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, Jessica and their four boys. You can find Larry and all things the dad edge at or thedadedge on pretty well every social platform Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all of them. I'm excited to be able to talk to Larry today. This is truly an honor. And I appreciate all the wisdom and advice he gave. This is super actionable stuff, guys. Let's get into it.

I am here with Larry Hagner, who I am extremely excited to have on because I have been a Larry Hagner fan for years, I have followed the dad edge. I've seen what Larry's doing. And you've probably got like the biggest most impactful community of fathers in the world right now. So man, I am so grateful to have you on. Thank you for being here.

Larry Hagner 1:56

Man, it's an honor. Thank you so much for having me. I really, really appreciate it, man.

Curt Storring 2:00

Yeah, and the first thing I want to talk about was in relation to your your community, the dad edge and the dad edge Alliance, is I've seen you sort of take this active role in leadership and having to step into that leadership when you didn't have to do that. And I think it's a very interesting sort of question for dads to think about in in their own lives is where can they step into leadership roles? So my question about that was, why did you do this in the first place? Because leadership of a community of men especially is like a lot of work. So what motivated you to do that? And like, how have you stepped into that intentionally?

Larry Hagner 2:36

Well, so it's not for the faint of heart. Right? A lot of people, I think it was like, Oh, just I'll start my podcasts, I'll get a microphone. I get my I'll get my beats, you know, my headphones, and you know, just podcasts away. This, this is not for the faint of heart. I wish I could tell you that, you know, things happened. Like as far as me being a father, like maybe I just woke up and had an epiphany and had all the answers for being a husband and father. And if I told you that, obviously, you know, I was lying. I'm still learning, still don't have this all figured out for boys, 1513, eight and five. And, you know, this is a learning journey, right? Leaders are learners. So that's one thing I did learn a long time ago is that a leader learns. And, you know, I had a really, really dark start to me being a dad and me being a husband. And I wouldn't say anything was totally crumbling, or nothing was like the divorce papers weren't on the desk of the lawyer. I wasn't throwing beer bottles at my kids or anything like that. But things were not good. And I had a deep, deep desire to be a really good father. And it's because I, I'm happy to go into my childhood, if you want it was it was crazy as chaotic. I didn't even really meet my biological father have a relationship with him until I was 30. And that was by mistake that wasn't even on purpose. But I was raised in an environment where my mom was married three times, but she dated several men in between each marriage. So I had like, these father figures that were around, you know, but all of them were the same guy, different face, different face, different name. All of them are partiers all of them are toxic alcoholics, abusers, that kind of thing. So half my childhood was spent without a father because it was like there were times where there's no way around. And then the other half was spent with usually a father figure that was abusive and toxic. So when I became a father, I'm like, Okay, I'm going to do this, and I'm going to do it really, really well. And what I can tell you is when we have best of intentions, intentions are not enough. It's like just because we want to do something that doesn't mean we have the skills to go do it. But if we're eager to learn, which I wasn't when I first started, so I'm like, No, I shouldn't learn because I should know how to do I, it's in my DNA to be a father, like I should know how to do this without any training. Right? And that's like one of the biggest lies that we tell ourselves. So you know, rewind back to 2011 had a really dark moment. With with my son, who was four at the time, he's 13 now, and I spanked him, he hit the ground. And that was a very dark moment for me because what happened was use me a typical four year old, stepped out of line, I spanked him. I never spanked him up until then I'm spanked him since he hit the ground. And I was like, oh my god, I went to go pick them up. Here's, here's the, this is what really hit me in the heart. I went to go help him up after I was like, Oh, crap, I can't believe I just did that. Went to go help him up. And he looked at me like, You're a monster. Like, he looked at me. Like he was terrified of me. And in that moment, I didn't see my son, I saw me because that I was I was raised with a heavy hand, you know, push, be punched, thrown all those things. And I was like, What the hell am I doing? So you asked about leadership. And I think if you're going to be a leader, then you need to surrender to learn new skills. And it was in it was that evening, I'll never forget it. I was in my office. And I was emotional. And I was like, Man, I can't believe I just did that I swore to myself, I would never be like this. And I started a page. On Facebook, I just went on Facebook that night, just because I just didn't want to think about the dark moment that I had I just like was pop up on Facebook Live look at our biases life. So I have to think about mine. And I saw this button in left hand corner, say create a page. And I don't know what it was me, I just I was like, I'm gonna hit that button. And then the words that good, that project just rolled off my heart onto that keyboard. And I never did it for a following ever. But that was a surrender moment for me to be like, I don't have this all figured out. I have no idea what I'm doing. I have no idea how to be more patient with my kids, I have no idea how to connect with my kids. I know what not to do, right? I know that much. But it's almost like, Hey, if you want to go build a house, and you're a carpenter, or let's just say you're not a carpenter, but you want to be a carpenter, and you work, go work for a company that does carpentry. And your Foreman comes up to you is like, alright, Kurt,

go build that wall. And here's 20 ways not to do it. Go figure out the rest, like knowing what not to do is not enough ever. But going back to being a learning leader. You know, I looked at two different areas in my life that I was that I had good abilities and good skills. One was martial arts, I'd done it for years. And the other one was my career. And I was in sales, I always top sales, I was always top. Even when I was a manager, I was always one of the top leaders. And one of the things that that happened was, I really looked at those two areas. And I realized, wow, the reason I'm so good at these is because there's constant learning. You know, there's constant skills that I'm learning, I'm learning, like, if I'm in sales, I'm learning what that's all about and what I'm learning how to how to sell to people, right, I'm not knowing necessarily how to sell the people, I'm learning how to solve their problems and how to communicate with them. Martial arts, there's a whole system, the whole belt system, certain skills that you learn at each level. And you have to be very proficient in those skills in order to, to be able to do that art. And I looked at those two things. I'm like, Huh, what's what's the common denominator here, the common denominator is learning skills, and trusting the process that you're going to learn skills and that you are going to advance when you're honing that skill. And I had spent no time learning about marriage, learning about fatherhood, I was winging it, just like everybody else was like, gosh, you know, as we'll figure this out, and it was disastrous, unfortunately.

Curt Storring 8:48

Yeah, thank you for sharing that. I mean, that's, I relate so hard to that having those very specific instances of having my son, look at me, and the way that I just went like, wow, who am I being because, like you said, you go into it going, like, I'm not gonna be like my dad. And maybe you're not. And it's sometimes it's worse. And that's very hard for me and a lot of guys to talk to, to actually get their head around is like, I swore I wasn't going to do this. And it takes intentional action to step into that role. And so when you decided to create this page, where did you go to learn? Like what was the sort of first steps along your journey? Because it seems now that you've got such a wide breadth of knowledge and a network, which I want to get into a little bit later. But where did you first start?

Larry Hagner 9:33

I didn't know where to start. To be honest, because I started Googling, like, literally the first thing I put in Google was how to be a better dad. And, you know, some resources popped up but a lot, some of them are blogs. You know, I found a few books. But there was really not much out there. To be honest, there wasn't in fact, if you really look over the past 10 years, you know, there has been a lot of amazing resources that have come to fruition, you know, like, I'll have amazing dad groups out there. And there's a lot of tools out there and resources and 10 years ago, there really wasn't. So I really started diving into podcasts, I found a few podcasts from men, that really resonated with me. Most importantly, like hot communication, how to talk to my wife, that really resonated with me too. I started reading books, like The Five Love Languages, I started reading books, like my father, the hero, I started reading books, like unbeatable mind by Mark Devine. You know, just to get my mind right around this. And what I realized is the more that I learned, and the more that I implemented, the more things in my life got better. And so in the beginning, there wasn't a lot, which is why in 2015, so in 2013, I started a blog, I started the good dad, the good dad, which is no longer in existence. But I started blogging, I was and it was just very imperfect, like, Hey, this is what I'm learning. These are the mistakes I'm making, you know, I didn't even really care if anybody read it. And then in 2015, I was like, man, there's got to be more. And that's when podcasting was really kind of taken off. And I was like, what if I start a pirate, I really don't dig writing too much. But what if I started a podcast that way? Like, I could just learn from the people I'm talking to, because a lot of these people in different disciplines, whether they're a Navy Seal, or a celebrity, or a New York Times bestselling author, every single one of these guys or gals have a message around how they operate. And the cool thing was to is like, I'll never forget the first Navy SEAL I had on the podcast, which was Mark Devine. And if you take his content, you know, unbeatable mind. I always would ask my guests questions like, Okay, how do you take your craft your skill, and then operate as a father through that skill? Fascinating answers would come back, you know, it's like, man, if you want to operate as a Navy Seal, like a father, like, listen to mark Devine, you know, so things like that were like, you would just take like these nuggets from these experts, and just start to implement different things, different tactics different and even just the way even you perceive. How do I operate in this family? How do I operate my life? You know, that's, that's what that's where the rubber really meets the road.

Curt Storring 12:19

Yeah, that's awesome. Thank you, was the transition smooth, you make this mistake? You know, you spank your son, and you have this sort of dark night of the soul? was a transition like smooth after that, where you're like, oh, man, I'm never going to do it. And so you've sort of never screwed up again, because it hurts so bad? Or was it this iterative process of like, you're gonna keep making mistakes, and you just have to, like, build that resiliency, I guess might be the right word, to live up to your new standards. What did it look like when you sort of made that decision?

Larry Hagner 12:48

Be the second, without a doubt. I mean, it's still that way. If I could give you any perspective, nobody has fatherhood all figured out. Nobody has marriage all figured out. It's a learning process. As soon as as soon as you realize that these things are skills, and they are a practice, and they're not perfection. But you can actually implement a process just like you do anything else. Like listen, if we want to get more fit. Then you need to go to the gym, you need to put in the reps. You need to eat high octane nutritious foods, right Whole Foods, you need to stay away from things like candy and alcohol and soda and all that. We all we know those things. Those are the tactics, that's the process. And the results will come because you have started the process and the tactics, and to be honest parenting, and being basically being a man and also being a husband, those things actually aren't that different. What most people do is we confuse them with a will. It's a feeling so patience is a perfect example. I feel like I don't have a lot of patients know you don't feel like it, you actually don't have a lot of emotional resiliency and that's okay because human beings are not built to be resilient. However, you can learn to be resilient, you can learn the skills of emotional resiliency. So you can be you can respond with more calm instead of having knee jerk reaction like most human beings do. Also, human beings are not we are not genetically wired to be patient species are creatures. We are impatient. We want things now we want immediate gratification. We don't wait. Patience is no different. But if you can learn the skill of patience and hone it, it becomes a practice and it's never going to be perfect, right? You're always gonna make mistakes. And if I could just compare this to a real world conversation, I have my 15 year old my 15 year old asked me a couple months ago, he's like, what's it like being a dad? And I'm like, you want to know? He's like, Yeah, I want to know, I was like you really want now? He's like, Yeah, I was like, Okay. I was like, Well, you know what, you know what it feels like your first day of school? And he's like, yeah, so it was it feels like he's like I'm just nervous. I don't really know what to expect. I don't really know what the day is gonna bring. I don't know who I'm gonna meet. I just don't know what what it's very uncertain. Like last week That's what's like being a father. I was like, Well, you know, let me break this down today, you're 15 years old and three months, today is my first day raising a 15 year old and three months, and tomorrow will be my first day raising a 15 year old and 91 days. So every day is a learning process. And every day, there are our mistakes. I think what the big difference maker is, is this is that if we can be okay, if we can learn new things, new skills, as parents, as fathers, as husbands learn these skills implement these skills. That doesn't mean that paves the way of perfection. But what it does mean is it's going to make you more aware when problems arise, you're going to be able to pivot faster, you're going to be able to get out of your own way faster. When mistakes are made, you're going to be able to apologize and regroup faster and get back on track. The worst thing that we could possibly do is keep driving blind. And thinking like this must come natural. I don't need to learn anything new. It should just be this way I should be this now. It doesn't happen that way. It just doesn't.

Curt Storring 16:03

Yeah. And I think Man, that's part of the reason why I wanted to do this is because again, I just had this assumption that some families worked and some families didn't. And I wondered why mine didn't. There's thought like, well, I guess that's that's how it is. And it took this deliberate attention to the skills required to become a better man, partner and father before things started to change for me. And so I love that message of just like, guys, if you're out there and you're struggling, start doing the work, figure out how to build that patience, figure out how to stay calm, when you're feeling temporizing and all these things that it takes to be a good man, partner and father, they take practice, they take skills they take, you know, being there in the actual moment of them when they feel uncomfortable. And like you said, building that resiliency. Now, as a father, you have teenagers, and you've got kids. Yeah. All of these stages of childhood, bring a new stage of fatherhood, like you said, you've never done this before. And I love that I say that to myself, all the time as well. Never had an EIGHT and a SIX and a one year old exactly like this. And each stage requires new skills, presumably. And so there must be this baseline of values underneath the new skills you have to learn as your children progress. How do you actually go about building your skills when they require new things? So you've never had a teenager, they're now getting into school, the hormones are changing all this kind of stuff. And without having dealt with that before? Where and how do you go to find out like, what to do.

Larry Hagner 17:36

I go to the experts. I go to the the people who are smarter than me, the easiest and the best way to learn is to talk to the people that are ahead of you. So right now yeah, I'm in a season right now. I'm raising teenagers. And I gotta be honest, a lot of Yeah, up until I had teenagers. A lot of people were like, Oh, wait till the teenage date is awful. It's actually my favorite stage, if I'm just being really honest. And it's because they're like, they're like, adults. They're like young men, right? I have, like, regular conversations with them that I would probably have, like with most adults. Here's here's some things though. Just if we were to just put it like, we're to look at this like in a fishbowl, right of like, ages like to to 18, right? If you're going to do anything with your kids, first of all know this statistics, it's really important. 80% of your one on one time with your kids is gone by the time they're 12. So think about that for a minute. Like if you have a 10 year old, you have two more years until 80% of that time is gone. Like and I can tell you like my teenagers just walked in the walk to my office, handed me his phones right now he had to sacrifice his phone for 24 hours, he did something wrong. But you know, I don't see him that much. He's off with his friends a lot hanging out. And literally it was right when he hit 13. And he's got you know, the girl he's kind of talking to, you know, she's coming over to hang out with him. He's with friends. Like, last night, I didn't see him until he came home for dinner about 730. And then he went downstairs and like FaceTime, the girl he's talking to, and I didn't see him until I went down and talked and and second item. And now it's like, wow, like I didn't see him today. This is really hard. That's sort of an anomaly. I usually see him more but yesterday, it really did kind of hit me. I'm like, wow, like these statistics are true. But if you're going to do anything, it's this create an environment of psychological safety. And what does that mean create environment of psychological safety means create an environment where your kids view you as the guy, the guy to come talk to the guy to come talk to you about anything. Whether it's I did something wrong, whether it's I've saw porn for the first time, whether it's like, Hey, Dad, I'm going to take this girl out. I have no idea what Do What if she wants to do stuff? I'm not sure what I'm doing here, like, what does this mean? What does that mean? What does this term mean? All these different things to where you're the guy, like you are the guy. And the way we do that is to create psychological safety in every conversation that we possibly can. And if you want to know how to do that I can give you like, the super, most simple basic way to do that to where you can start doing this stuff for like five. And suddenly, when they're teenagers. They're like, Oh, yeah, like I talked to my dad about everything, and they do it. Like, I can test my 13 year old and my 13 year old is more of a vault like I he'll, he'll talk to me, he used to have to, I have to ask, has to be very creative in my questions, but he will talk to me, my 15 year old will give me so much detail and tell me everything that I sit there and I'm like, I can't believe this kid tells me all this stuff, which I love. But the way to do that is you have to instill a growth mindset with psychological safety, you can do that with three questions every day. First question is this. What was the best part of your day? Tell me why it was so meaningful to you. So what you do psychologically, in that question, you don't ask how was your day? It's a crappy answer. It's going to get you a crappy question is going to get you a crappy answer. Good, find busy, crazy, boring, whatever. But you say, tell me about the best part of your day. What was so meaningful about it? Right? And and you do it in that voice tone, which that voice tone is curiosity, right? I'm very curious. I'm not going through the motions, I really want to know. What happens is that kid might have might be coming home, like, you know, like, here's my energy level, what's the best part of your day? Well, now their energy level goes up, because they get in a state of gratitude. They have to tell you about a high point day that was so exciting for them. And then what you do in that moment is you reflect you don't just go to the next question like, Man, that sounds amazing. That had been incredibly meaningful to you, whatever that thing is, it doesn't really matter what it is. So that's question number one. That creates rapport, that creates trust that creates higher energy. This is the one that creates psychological safety. And that is, what was your most challenging part of your day? Or what did you fail at today? And what did you are? Right? So one of the things that kids seek more than anything from their parents is validation and approval. If dad gives me like validation, thumbs up and approval, man, life feels really good to me, right? It's when my dad like, I come home, and I'm dreading the conversation, I got a D on the science test, because my dad's gonna look at me and talk to me like I'm a failure. Right? So this is how conversations roll in my house. And I want to be really clear with this. Because

creating an environment of psychological safety is not the absence of consequences. It's not the absence of like airy, fairy sunshine, rainbows and like, Oh, you got to do on the science test. That's great. Wonderful. That's so cool. Good for you. No, that doesn't happen. But here's how that conversation rolls out. Here's how the conversation rolls out if you're not skilled at it, and here's how it'll roll out if you are skilled. So let me take the first one first. If my son comes home, he is like, if I say, hey, what was the most challenging part of your day to day? And he'll be like, Dad, I, I got an F on that science test. Now, most of the time, and I would have made the same mistake way back when What do you mean, you got an F on the sciences? Why did you get an F on the sciences? Didn't I tell you to study for that? Come on, man, you're on your phone all night? Why did you get an app, you know, in this house, that there is no less than a seat? We don't stand for apps. Okay? Now what you just did, right? Wrong are different, right? Some guys will react like that. But if you want your kid I like to I like to create psychological safety for the long game. And when you come down and your kid like that, and you in that's you react like that. Basically what you're teaching them is don't tell me anything. That's hard for you to tell me. Okay? And don't tell me anything. You failed x. I'm going to jump down your throat. Now don't get me wrong. There's a time and a place for that. I had an experience with one of my kids who shoplifted and I got in his face. Like, I think I scared the shit he'll he'll be 60 years old. And remember the time they shoplifted because I got nose to nose with them. Now, that was different now if my son's like, yeah, I got an F on the science test. Hmm. Tell me more. Right. And I didn't do it in a smart alec time. Like, tell me more. Yeah, I just yeah, the tests, like had questions on it. I wasn't expecting and I don't know. Like it just didn't seem fair dad. Like I just they were questions on there. I wasn't prepared for Okay, well, what do you think, would have gotten you more prepared? Oh, yeah, I probably could have studied more. Yeah, man. Hey, great. Great idea. Great idea, right? Well listen, a D or an F is not the end of the it's not the end of the world.

Let me ask you this. If you were to continue to get D's and F's, what would happen to your grade? I get an F. Okay. What would happen if you got an F for the quarter for the semester for the year? Well, I'd be in summer school. Yeah, it would be a summer school. How do you feel about that all your friends are out playing around and hang it out and you're stuck in summer school. That would be awful. Yeah, it would. It would be awful. Is that what you want? No, that's not what I want. Okay. Well, based on the information you told me, when's your next test? Oh, my next test is next Friday. Okay, awesome. So based on what you've told me, what would you do different? Knowing the information that you know? Well, I probably study a lot more and I probably, okay, great. Well, when do you want to study? I want to study Monday, Wednesday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, next week. Okay, great. Do you want me to check in on you? How can I best support you? Be like, yeah, you know, like, actually, can you? Can you help me? Maybe just quiz me like I studied? Just maybe quiz me a little bit. Yeah, man. I'm here for you. Gotcha. I see you. I gotcha. Cool. Sounds like we got a plan, right? You don't have to usually instill usually, natural consequences are strong enough? If you're, if you know how to point them out. If you know how to ask the right questions to get them to reflect upon what are the what are what's at stake here. Because as soon as I start yelling, screaming and telling him what's at stake, all they want to do is either defend, or they just tune you out. Like oh, my God, my dad just coming to me with so much stuff. I don't even hear what he's saying. It's just a lot. It's a lot of intensity. And basically, also what you're doing there, too, is like, I should never tell my dad anything. Especially nothing bad. Because God only knows he'll freak out. That's not what we want. And then so that's creating psychological safety is how how we respond, right and getting and asking deeper questions, get them to reflect on what could what could be. And then the final question is, what are you most excited about tomorrow? What's on tap for tomorrow? What are you most excited? What are you most looking forward to tomorrow? Now what you do there in that question, is you end that conversation with another growth mindset question that puts them into gratitude that gets them looking forward to something because they just told you something tough. Not only that, but you have like the Netflix binge watching To be continued conversation right there. So like, if you like love the show you and Yellowstone and all those things, right? Netflix is genius, because what they do is like, do you want to watch the next episode? It starts in seven seconds, and then just automatically goes, you're like, oh, just watch the first five minutes, I have to know where this thing ended up. And then you started watching it, and then you watch the whole thing. But that's like the Netflix To be continued. Because what do you think happens when that kid comes home the next day like, Hey, man, I know yesterday, you told me you got that presentation that you were going to do that you were really looking forward to it. How did that go? Right? And immediately, they're like, dude, like, dad knows my life. He's not asking me how my day was I just give him some Monday and answer. He has no idea what's going on my life. He knows in detail what's going on in my life. And he's interested. So that's how you create psychological safety for the long haul. And what I always what I was coached guys to do is start those those three questions at like five, and don't stop them. Right become become like to the point where my kids do now. They use that on me. They're like, Hey, Dan was best part of your day. And I'm like your little Jedi. You know what I mean? And then the back was the most challenging part of the day. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, you guys are crazy. But it does create really great conversation.

Curt Storring 28:10

Yeah, and I man, if I could just like frame everything you just said there and send it to every father in the world, man, like, pause, take some notes, because that was a masterclass in respectful communication, and connection, and safety. And it's like all of these things that help us create secure attachment with our kids. Those are just like men start doing that today. That's my challenge to everyone is just start doing that today. We do something similar at the table. When we sit down to eat, we go through and give gratitude, what are you grateful for? And just like you said, it's never like, how was your day? It's like, what was the funnest part of your day? What was the silliest part of your day? You know, what was, like you said, What was most challenging, so getting interested in your kids and seeing them as full human beings, which I think I heard you say, you can talk to your teenagers, like their full adult, basically. And developing that with kids is such a game changer. And you start seeing them more as capable, you start understanding they can handle more than you maybe give them credit for. And so yeah, man, thank you for going there. And the thing that comes up from that is that sounds to me, like a guiding principle, creating psychological safety. Is there any other guy guiding principle that you bring into your life as a man as a father, and as a partner in your marriage? Where How do you sort of operate? Do you have like 123 like guiding principles that you're just like, I'm gonna hit these all the time as a dad?

Larry Hagner 29:34

Yeah, so one of the things that we have guys do in Dad Edge Alliance, which is our community, is we have them do what's called the the core values exercise, core values exercise, so there's 150 Human core values that people operate within. Excuse me, and we, there's 150 available, but we operate within five to seven of them. And here's the funny thing is these these core values they're very, they're

intuitional. And I'll explain how that shows up. So like, for instance, let's just say that you're working for a company, and you love it, right? You just love this company. It's like, Oh, my God, like, this company is amazing. Like, I just feel so good here. In fact, we're part of the team is, to me the culture of everything, right? Chances are feels so good. And when when you're asked, like, what is it about it? I don't know, man just feels right. And then you're like, Well, how is that possible? If no one can put their finger on it, then what is it and then be like, Oh, she's my gut, my intuition just feels good. It's actually your core values, we all operate within five to seven core values. So chances are, if you feel really good for the company you work for, then those core values are probably in alignment with yours. The same thing with a company that you don't like working for, like, man, what about this company, but Oh, my God, like, this is not the same thing for the women you date. Same thing for people, you surround yourself with the friends, you probably meet people, and you're like, I don't know what is about that guy. But I didn't really feel right to me like, something's not right. I don't know what it is. So here's, here's, here's how this can show up. So I'll give you a real life example. I was in medical device sales before I was doing this full time. And I made great money doing that, right. Not only was I in medical device, but I was also in management. So I was in leadership. So I was traveling, you know, had an expense account, had a car paid for, you know, like, great base salary, Great Commission, you know, it was like the job, right. And there were parts of the job that I liked. And it was when I interacted and lead my team, or it was when I interacted and helped one of my surgeons and one of his procedures, right? The customer journey, those people interaction, I loved that. The thing that I hated and I couldn't understand why I was like, Oh my God, if I get on another plane, I am literally going to poke myself in the eyeballs with forks. Like I despised it. It gave me so much anxiety, like packing up. Before I would leave for three days to go somewhere across the country. I'm like, I don't want to do this job. I hate this. I should love it like it's great income it's great job lots lots security, my wife can stay home. I have all these perks I should love it. Why don't I love it. I'm understand this. And then I get on the plane I get in the airport. I feel like the loneliest most horrible father on top of it. I'm like, holy crap, I'm missing the game. Oh, it's all for the thing. It's all for providing right? And then I get home. And then it's like these conference calls and these corporate things and all this stuff that all the inside political BS that I couldn't stand. And I'm like, God bless. Like, why don't I like this? Well, then I did my core values, right? The leading principles as you would say, right? So environment is one humor, adventure, vitality, deep human connection, family. And what was the other one? Experience experiences? Once I understood that those were my seven core values. So like environment, family, deep human connection? Like, Wow, no wonder I hate getting on planes. Now adventure is one. But not adventure for work, adventure with my family all day long. So that's a that's a long way to say is when you go through an exercise, and they usually don't take long of really understanding like, Hey, what is it that I value? Suddenly, you're looking at, like, holy crap. No wonder that relationship didn't work out for me. No wonder that Job didn't work out for me. No wonder I didn't stay friends with this person over here. The values weren't aligned. And the cool thing about that is, is that like, I'll explain like the experiences portion, right? My wife and I for the life of us couldn't figure out why are we so stressed out and overwhelmed for Christmas. It's because we both hate stuff. But we love experiences. So like all the money we'd shell out for Christmases, and then toys that would last like two days. And then we're like, why are we miserable? This sucks. Well, then we realize, Well wait a second, we actually valued veteran experiences, not stuff. In fact, we hate stuff. So instead, we now have a budget. It's 100 bucks per kid for Christmas for stuff. And then the rest is like hey, guys, what do we want to go? What do we want to do? This year? Let's choose it as a family and let's go have an adventure. Right and that when you operate with him, your principles are like I say the core values when you filter decisions through the core values. It's amazing. One more quick story. I think this one will really hit home. I just had a back patio, put in like it's pretty elaborate. Like it's a fire pit. We basically built this thing so the kids would have all their friends here. So like we would be like the house you know that all the kids would come to and I don't drive a nice car. I drive a 2016 piece of Crap, ultimately, right? And my wife drives a 2018 minivan. I have one neighbor that bought a brand new Corvette, another one that brought up bought a brand new Corvette. And then another one that bought an Audi RS something another, right? So I'm sitting in this brand new patio that we just had done in July, my 15 year old is sitting there with me, all of his friends are there. We're playing music. All my 13 year old friends are there we have like 17 kids at our house, playing music having a fire s'mores pizza. And my son looks at me, he's like, Hey, Dad, when you buy a nice car, man. And I'm like, Why do you ask? And he goes, Well, you know, so and so has a Corvette. So it says carpet and so and so's dad has an Audi you. We have the money like when you're going to buy a nice car. I was like, never. I was like no that but you're actually sitting in my Corvette right now. And he's like, What are you talking about? I was like, you're sitting in my Corvette. He's like, What do you mean, I was like, this patio. This is my Corvette actually is less than a Corvette. It's not expensive. So it's those Corvette. I was like, but this is my Corvette. And he's like, I don't understand. I was like, I was like, Ethan, I don't spend money on stuff. I spend money on where we gather to make memories, my environment, deep, deep human connection and experiences. That's where I spend money. I was like, so let me ask you, we could either buy a Corvette, and it'd be just me and you in the Corvette, and that'd be cool. Or you can have this. You have all your friends hear your music? Playing? We were playing bags, and we got fire gun. Which one? Which one did what did I do? Right? Or did I do wrong? What do you think he's like? Good choice. So when you're making decisions through those leading principles, and those core values, man, life feels really damn good.

Curt Storring 36:41

Yeah, that's a perfect way to just lay that out. Thank you. And what about teaching your kids these are maybe not teaching them but helping them to find what theirs are? And the question that I was going to ask had to do with like teaching lessons. And as a dad, like, I want my kids to do certain things, just because I think it'll be good for them to be resilient to learn how to love to like be a hard worker. But maybe the more important question is like, how do you help your kids go through this exercise? And maybe it's what you said, maybe it's like, you know, you've got your 150 things, and you're in the Dad Edge Alliance? But how do you like start to get them on this so that they find it themselves? Have you done that kind of work with them?

Larry Hagner 37:19

Yeah, yeah, I have. So I've taken both my older boys on a rite of passage, I take him through several different things that really helped them get to meet themselves, right. But I think a lot of it has to do with human quality of our lives and relationships depends on the quality of our questions, right. So like, for instance, I had a, my oldest son had a really hard time figuring out what do you like to do outside of school when he doesn't like school, but we had him in every sport, wrestling, soccer, baseball, karate, everything, couldn't find anything. And then finally, like, I took him to a concert one time, and he came to life. And so it not that we recognized it then. But it's always asking questions like, Hey, man, like, what is something that just sparks your curiosity, something that you find or you think you would find so much joy? Something that which fascinates you something, you'd be fascinated to learn? You know, now, there's all these things that I think he should learn, right? So like, I love martial arts, I find huge benefits in knowing martial arts, you know, I can protect and I feel confident I know how to defend myself. I think that's important. Does he think that's important? Not really. I mean, he does to some degree, the bare bones basics, but not to my level. And I think like, well, I'm his dad that you should do that too. But my son's like, Dad, I really want to learn music. And I'm like, Okay, I know nothing about that. It's like, well, what is it about music? He's like, I don't know, just like, the creativity and all this other stuff. I'm like, Okay, well, do you want to give that a try? So first thing he picked up was a trombone. That was a saxophone. He knows now how to play trombone, saxophone, guitar, bass, guitar, regular guitar, drums and piano. I don't have a musical bone in my body, right at all. Like, I've tried to play guitar. It's, it's ridiculous. And he loves it. So that's a long way to say that. If you really want to know what it is that brings your kids to life. Ask them what they're most curious about. Like if you could do anything or learn anything that would bring you the most amount of joy, or creativity or whatever that is, what would you do and see what they say. And a lot of times what what I think you'll realize, for my 13 year old is football. The cool thing about whatever it is that they pick, you can always intertwine these amazing life lessons through it. So like for my 13 year old with football, you know, he's been playing it for five years since he was a first year did you want to give up he learned a lot about emotional resilience because he didn't give up he actually wrote a children's book about it never give up no matter what. On not giving up on football and staying the course and trusting the process and finishing the season. And now He's one of the best players on his team. And he's been for years. So there's life lessons that they learn. They learn about work, work ethic, resiliency, trusting the process, putting in the reps, you know, actually doing the work and the practices and all those things that are so important. Those things, you can always intertwine the things that bring them to life through the things that they love doing.

Curt Storring 40:27

And I have the sense that it's much easier for them to actually learn these lessons when they feel that psychological safety, is that sort of like the baseline to all of this. Because if you like get your kid in there, and he wants to quit, and you're harping on him, like there's no doubt he's probably actually going to quit. So was there anything else that you did to show up and just be like, Hey, man, I'm here for you. How do you feel about this? Why do you feel like that? Because you've asked a lot of good questions in this conversation so far. Is that sort of a prerequisite all this?

Larry Hagner 40:54

The question questions, you mean? Yeah,

Curt Storring 40:57

like giving them that safety so that when they feel like they want to quit, it's not like motivating them, but like having you in their corner almost does motivate them just intrinsically?

Larry Hagner 41:06

Yeah. So I think the psychological so so your kids have three needs to feel seen, heard and safe, seen heard and safe. The cool thing about that is, it's easy for your guys to remember, because that's the same three needs, your wife has to feel seen heard and safe, same ones. So if you are, you know, if you're hitting this if you are the way you talk, so like, for instance, that second question that was the most challenging part of the day, would you learn and then their response, when you're reflecting back to them was like the things that they're saying, right? Asking them deeper questions with genuine curiosity. They feel seen, they definitely feel heard. And because you're responding in a calm way, they feel safe. Now, because they feel that way. And that's the environment that you created. They do feel like that, that you're in their corner. They don't feel shamed or guilted or judged, right? They feel like, hey, when shit hits the fan, I can come and talk to my dad. Or if I need to have a tough conversation around like things that I'm going through, I come and talk to my dad, my eight year old, he's 13. Now he's my football player, when he was eight, I literally put my foot in my mouth because in our in our house, whatever you finish, whatever you start, you finish, even if it's like the season, my eight year old was working his tail off that first year, like literally blood sweat and tears of practice wasn't being played. And it was killing him. Like it was killing him. And it got to the point where I've never been like this. And I think it was like the last two or three weeks of the season. And I said that he was in tears. And you hate to see your kid in so much pain. I was like, Man, this kid is freakin putting in the reps and he's not being played. Maybe it's political. Maybe it's not I'm not that parent. I'm always like, Hey, this is the coach's job if you're not being played work hard. Or go ask him what's going on how you can be better. But I saw him working so hard. And it killed me to see him in so much pain. And I put my foot in my mouth and I one night and that's how the book was actually birthed. i One night I was like, Hey, man, like, Look, you got three weeks left. You can quit if you want. Or you can finish what you started. And as soon as I said that, I was like, oh my god, I can't believe I gave this kid the app. I can't even believe I did that. I didn't mean to say It just came out. And I was like, what, what have I just done? I've just gone back on everything. I've told this kid. Luckily, he made the good choices. Like I'm gonna finish what I started like hell yeah. Awesome. But, you know, I that's a long way to say that. I actually don't remember the question at this point. But that's a long way to say like, Hey, I'm here. I'm here for you. I know, your question was around psychological safety. I'm here for you. And if you want to have the tough conversations, because a lot of kids think about it. No matter what age they are, what sport they're playing, or whatever they're doing. They don't want to go to their dad and have that tough conversation of like, Dude, this is really heavy on me right now. Like I'm having a hard time with this. Like, I don't even know if I can finish this, whatever the thing is, right? So creating that space for them is super important.

Curt Storring 43:59

Yeah, thank you and just sparked a thought in my mind is you said hard conversations. What does it look like in your household to have conversations about drugs and sex and things like that? That most of us at least me got ones as like a 10 year old and never talked about it again? Yeah, I personally don't want my kids to learn about all this stuff on tick tock. So I'm curious, like, what's your take on that?

Larry Hagner 44:23

So I had a podcast guest on and it's it's this. They need to learn it from us not tick tock. They need to learn from us, not YouTube. I've had the drugs the alcohol, porn, sex. That's an ongoing conversation. And when you build a relationship that's based around psychological safety, you can have those tougher conversations easier. I always like to level up the psychological safety when I'm having tougher conversations with like that. I'm not gonna bring my kid to Starbucks and talk to him face to face. About like, tell him about the drugs that are in your life right now, tell me about, tell me about the drugs that people are pushing on you right now I want you to try or whatever. What I am going to do is I'm going to get in the car, like, Hey, man, you want to go for like, so I did this, I had a conversation around porn. I'm not gonna I'm gonna leave my kids names and ages out of it. But I had a conversation. I've several conversations around porn. My kids love Sonic soda. So I'd be like, Hey, man, you want to go grab a soda. So when you get in the car, and you're side by side, psychological safety elevates? For several reasons, but two most the two reasons I are because number one, I'm not facing you. Number two, we're heading in the same direction. And we're side by side. So automatically, subconsciously, I feel like we're a team. Like you're my confidant here. You're not my, you're not my authority, right? Even though we are. So I'll have conversations on the way to Sonic about whatever topic I want to talk about. So like, for instance, my son that I'm talking about is like, can we pull out of the driveway, I'm like, so find anything good on the internet lately. So I have this app on their phone called bark, which alerts me to anything that drugs alcohol, adult content, anything, text messages, internet searches, emails, all of it tracks everything. I mean, like so man, finding a good on the internet. And I smile about it, right? Even though I'm like, I'm a little disappointed, but he's also normal. And he just like, looks at me. He's like, Yeah, and I'm like, Don't worry, man. You're in good company. You ain't doing anything different than I wasn't doing stuff where there wasn't the internet around. I was like, it was my I was a kid. It was frickin DVDs and magazines, right? I was like, but I do want to have a conversation around it. And you're not in trouble. You're not punished and you're not abnormal. So let's get that out of the way. Okay, and you're not trouble. I'm not yelling at you. I was like, but it is my job as your dad to number one understand, like, Hey, what's going on? Like, tell me what's going on? And I'm not gonna judge you. You're not gonna be yelled at and we punish just tell me what's going on? Like, how are you? What, what do you think in that? You want to go and search those things out? And they'll tell me, and it's normal stuff. And then on top of it, I'll be like, Well, hey, as your dad, here's how it's normal. But I'm also gonna say or tell y'all all the things that you don't. So like, for instance, erectile dysfunction is the highest it's ever been for men and that from 18 to the age of 28. And it's because of full access to porn. You get desensitized, like, what does that mean? How's it going? Let me tell you about it. So I did. Like you watch that stuff on the screen, the real thing happens, and you're like, why is this stuff working? For me? It's because you get used to one thing, right? You don't get used to the real thing. I was like, That will mess with you. I was like, let me tell you, man, I'm telling you, this is your dad. There's nothing worse and more humiliating than stuffing at work. And when you want to do work, and that girl is just like, ah, are we going to or not? And then that just makes it worse. I was like, so I'm telling you this stuff, because that is a humiliating feeling. I was like, and plus, I was like, let me ask you this. If that let's fast forward 15 years from now, 18 years from now, 20 years from now, whatever, you have a daughter?

Would you want you googling your daughter at your age? And he's like, Oh, I was like, again, not in trouble. But think about that somebody's daughter, right? He's like, Ah, man, that's true. And we're spiritual family too. So I'll bring that you know, the faith aspect into it. But in a non judgement, like, conversational way. Like, I'm dude, the way I was raised is like, How dare you shame on you as a saint, you're going to hell? Which is does no good. I mean, it does. It scares the shit out of you. But same time, you're like, well, now I don't want to come and talk to you about anything, because now I feel horrible myself. So we walked away from that conversation conversation at the end of the conversation was look like this. I was like, Hey, man. So moving forward, you know, all this information? How are you going to operate? You know, judging by what we've talked about? Like, Well, I'm not gonna go. I'm not gonna go search stuff out. Okay, great. And by the way, when you have more questions, man, like, let's talk and that was years ago, we still talk about it. I had to have a conversation with him the other day, because I saw quite an interesting text message come through on my bark app. And I just brought it up to him. And he was just like, oh, man, I'm like, You're not in trouble. I was like, but I'm here to answer questions. I'm here to talk to you. Okay. I was like, I didn't have this grown up. And I'm here as your guide. Okay. So keep that in mind. And he talked to me about several questions that he had about this thing that popped up. So yeah,

Curt Storring 49:38

yeah, thanks for him. Thanks for going there. That's super important as I'm, you know, my kids, almost nine, my oldest and we're getting there. Just about there. Okay, one of the questions that I had on here because I've seen this on Instagram, especially like you have some just incredible connection practices with your family, with your wife and your kids. And I'm talking about things like a praise board that I saw and letters Your your kids. And as part of this whole, like, I guess the sort of the theme of this talk has become psychological safety somehow. But it's so, so important. Like, what else do you do other than talk to them and ask them questions and be there for them, like the safe scene, soothe heard all these sort of, like, secure attachment needs? Can you give us some examples of these connections? Because man, I just like, I'm gonna do that. I'm gonna do that. And so I'm starting these things I see you doing? What else have you got for us?

Larry Hagner 50:27

Yeah, so if you're a father of multiple kids, so I'll give you three different things that I love to use. And they're very simple. If you're a father of multiple kids, what I'll tell you one on one time is gold to those kids, because they don't have to share it with anybody. So I make it a point every single year to take my kids on a one on one trip every year. And usually, it's pretty simple stuff that goes go camping. You know, we'll do this, we'll do that. But it's like, I try to get them out like, so this weekend, as we speak. I'm taking my two older ones to an Ohio State game. And it's just we call them the bigs in the littles in my house. So the bigs just the teenagers, we're going to go do that. Now. That's not what I want. But that's like something super special because my 13 year old loves Ohio State plays football always is YouTubing, their football stuff. Well, my 15 year old plays in the high school band. And he is always doing the inner the halftime shows and all that and he's always googling like Ohio State band because they're awesome. So I'm taking him to the Ohio State game this weekend. So one on one trip, get getting out of your environment. I'm a big fan of that, whether it's camping, whether it's fishing, whether it's just getting out and bonding in some way, shape, or form. And I love adventure. It's one of my core values, like we're talking about. So going and making decisions and, and living through your core values. Right. So that's one. Number two, you mentioned the praise chart. So what we do, so why don't want I have a few different coaching certifications. One of them is called appreciative inquiry. I won't get into that. But basically, it's like, what is the best of what was what is and what could be. One of the exercises that we teach our guys is like, hey, acknowledgement and appreciation, look at your kids do an appreciative eye, and they will look at life through an appreciative eye. A lot of people, if you talk to people, they will tell you everything in the world that is wrong with life, their life and the world. Right. And that's a really miserable way to live. But what if you looked at the world through an appreciative either an eye of gratitude. So what we do in our family, every now and again, is we take these giant poster boards, right? And then we make six boxes with everybody's name. So like, my wife has a box, I have a box. And then my kids each have a box. And then we take, take these posters, like literally, this is like you, you can do this for like 10 bucks, and it's super amazing and connected. What we do is we will pose a question of like, hey, think of think of the last two weeks in our family. And think of each individual, what is something that you want to acknowledge and appreciate about each individual, and then you write it on a post it note and then you you take it and you slap it up underneath their name, and you do it for BI so everybody does it for each other, and then we you know, vice versa. Then what we do is we get up in front of everybody. And we basically present what it is that we wrote and it takes like five minutes per person, basically like one minute per person of acknowledgement, appreciation. It could be like, hey, you know, I told my wife, I was like, Man, I really had like a this. This was last time we did. I was like, you know, three days ago, you made me watch. I didn't ask for it. I was having a horrible day, I had back to back coaching calls and I was starving. And you came walking in my office with a big smile on your face. And you gave me You've made me lunch. That was amazing to me, because I literally saw no wiggle room in my schedule. And it made me feel so loved and amazing that you just took time on your day to make me lunch. So thank you for that. It's really cool when siblings acknowledge and appreciate each other. Because what it does is it sort of takes away any civil rights, sibling rivalry. And it's something that really, it's very sticky. It's very tacky. Like you can remember when your brother got up in front of the entire family and told you what he appreciated about you. That Bond's a family. Big time. Right. So that's, that's another one is we like to do praise charts. The other one Yeah, you mentioned and this is again, learning, right? I just interviewed Alan Carter. I'm sorry that Alan Carter.

I gosh, I can't remember. I think it was Alan Carter, letters from a father, which was an incredible podcast, he wrote a book called Letters from a father and he reached out to me, he's like, Hey, I'd love to come on your show to talk about my book. And I researched it. It was a really generic kind of looking book of self published and all that. It's like, what is this? And so he came on the show. And basically what he did was is ever since his kids turned 13 He would write them a letter per month. And then he turned that into a book self published book and he's like, I didn't care if anybody bought it. I just gave it just gave him the book. And I took that idea and frickin ran with it. Because when you are Raising multiple children, you have three I have for life moves really fast. There are times when I sit down and I was talking to my wife about this, I was like, oh my god, I was like Jessica, I was like, I can't remember what it was like, when Ethan my oldest was four. And Mason was two, I can't remember what I can't remember, like what happened. Like, I can remember some things, but I can't grasp at all. One of the one of the benefits of the letters, so I do this per month, and you talk about life lessons. So like, I've done this now for a while, and like, always intertwined, something that I want to acknowledge and appreciate that I saw them do or things that they did, or things that they said, or how I saw them operate, or big, big milestones or chapters that they've closed and intertwine them into life lessons, and then makes me really, really reflect on that month. And what I saw. And I'll always add in one, two, or three or four pictures of that month. The other cool thing about that is it makes me stop and makes me pay freaking attention to their life. Because what I do is I mean, like, Dude, my phone is in my pocket all the time. If I see my son Ethan, who had homecoming last month, you know, I saw him walk up to the door. And he did this didn't some walk up to the door, and he shook the Father's hand. And he shook the mother's hand and he put the corsage on her wrist. And then he opened the car door for her. Like all these things I did not tell him to do and I put I was like, dude, like, I saw you do this, I saw you do this, I was like man's stuff like that. It goes so far in life. And then I put a photo of him the girl that he took the Homecoming was like, Man, this is a huge milestone, you're gonna look back on this, you're always gonna remember your first homecoming, right? So things like that you really want to point out and plus as his father, it makes me remember these things like I have to, like diligently reflect every month on the things that I saw and the things that I loved it right and then intertwining those into life lessons.

Curt Storring 56:56

Do you give those letters to them each month or you collect them,

Larry Hagner 56:59

I not only give them to them, but I add a dinner the usually the first week of the month, I'll read it to them and everybody, so in front of them. And then I've also included my wife in on this. So like things that I want to acknowledge and appreciate about her that I saw over the month or something like that, like I captured the last month that captured this amazing photo. It was my son's last football game. And she was hugging him and it was like this amazing hug. And, you know, just putting stuff like that in there to make her even remember, like she she loves that stuff.

Curt Storring 57:33

Yeah, that is amazing. And I'm gonna start doing that. Thank you. So many things on here. I'm just gonna gonna add to the last thing I want to talk to you about. And this is the last for this conversation because man, I got a million questions for you. But I want to talk about community as part of supercharging life and fatherhood. And you know, this can be a nice little slow pitch for you to knock it out of the park with the dad edge Alliance. Shout out if you want but like, I want to talk about why you started the community and like what that's done for you and what you've seen community do as part of these other fathers lives because man, it has changed my life to be part of men's groups, men's communities. And I think like every single male guest I've had on, it's like, oh, like it's way easier if you do it with other men. So what is your take on community? And like, why do you dedicate your your life to it? By the looks of it?

Larry Hagner 58:19

I do so dad has alliances our mastermind community. And that was really that was not ever the intent of this mission at all. In fact, I didn't even know where it was going. I'll start off with this if you don't believe me, or if you don't believe the fact that men are tribal beings and that we thrive in community. I think every man can say that they've seen the movie Shawshank Redemption right? Have you okay, what was the worst thing that could happen to one of those inmates besides obviously being raped? But what was the worst thing that could happen? Solitary confinement? Solitary confinement? You know, I'll never forget Andy defraying. Like, hey, you're in here for 30 days how he doesn't get it. Here's another 30 days as traumatic to people is isolation is the enemy of excellence. Isolation is the enemy of excellence. Unfortunately, most men are walking the planet isolated, and not physically, but mentally emotionally isolated. Right, good. Find busy. Those are three favorite answers every single question right? Good, find busy. And most men, if not almost nearly every man is not operating to his potential. One of the key missing ingredients is having a circle of mentors in this life of community of like minded hungry individuals who want to go out and kick ass right? Who want to live legendaries I always say live legendary. We don't live legendary by ourselves. No one got to any type of greatness whatsoever in their life or fulfillment by themselves. Everyone talks about like, well, I'm the lone wolf. I'm strong. There's nothing strong about a lone wolf. In fact, I think if we actually shared what the lone wolf is, it would completely change the definition of lone wolf for men. The lone wolf has, has two situations in their life. As a lone wolf, and I'm talking about the actual wolves, the wolf leaves the pack, because it's gonna go die. It knows it's gonna die, it's injured or whatever, it doesn't want to hold the pack up. So it's gonna go off by itself and go die. Or the wolf has lost the pack. And it dies. Either way, the lone wolf is not strong. It's not sustainable. And it's not anything that we want to be that much I can tell you. The wolf is strong because of the pack and the pack is strong because of the wolf. So when I was first starting this mission back in 2015, when I started my podcast, I really wanted some direction on what to do and how to do it. And I was I was, I was, I interviewed a gentleman on the podcast named Aaron Walker, who runs ISI, which is iron sharpens iron. I love Aaron Walker. And Aaron told me he's like, Hey, man, if you really want direction on what you're doing with this whole movement, you need to come join a mastermind. And I was like, what, what is a mastermind? I had no idea what he was. He's like a mastermind is a group of group of like minded individuals that meet every single week that have accountability that elevate each other, and we challenge each other's thinking. Okay, sounds interesting. Tell me more. And he did. I was like, Well, how much does it cost? Alliance is not this expensive, but he said it's 600 bucks to do life with us. And I was like, I don't even have $600 of revenue with this business that I want. I don't even have that. He he's He mentioned something that really, really hit home for me, because I think a lot of us are focused on cost, right? But there's a cost to everything. There's a cost everything. There's a cost to taking action and growth. And there's a cost to inaction. It just depends on which one you want to pay. I always tell guys this. And the same question was posed me he's like, listen, is your marriage where it needs to be? And I was like, Oh, it could be better. He's like, Well, what about being a father, your patient father, you leading these young men like you should be? And I was like, It's okay. It could be better. He's like, is okay, okay, for you? I was like, no, he's like, yeah, I get the feeling it's not he goes, Well, do you know what to do? And how to do it. I was like, I'm figuring it out. He's like, Well, how does that feel? Not so good. He's like, What about with your mission and your business? Do you know where it's going? I was like, No, I have not a clue. He goes, Listen, it's gonna cost you $600 a month, and an hour of your time per week, to do life with us. But what I can tell you is you're gonna get real life strategies and skills on how to build a marriage, you want how to lead these young men into manhood, and how to build an incredible business. And if you don't want to do life with us, well, there's a cost to that, too. I was like, Well, what do you mean? He said, I want you to imagine your life 12 months from today, and you've done nothing, nothing. You haven't learned anything new, and you just keep doing the same thing you're doing? What's life gonna look like? I was like, Oh, God, let me think about that. He's like, Well, that's your choice. He goes, call me back in 24 hours, and just let me know where you land. I think I think I lasted seven minutes. And I called him back. I was like I'm in. So I joined that mastermind. And I was the only podcaster and the only speaker in my group. But I was amazed at the things that I was learning. And the things that I was challenged to do in my life by these other men in my group, I was like, This is freaking unreal. And then I spent about nine months there, and my my business didn't really go anywhere. My life was great, but my business wasn't. I was like, Hey,

I don't think this is the mastermind for me. Like, I just need to find something else. And I and I had a conversation with Aaron, and he goes, what are you going to go do? And I was like, I have no clue. And he goes, Larry, I was really hoping that the light bulb will go off months ago, but it hasn't. I was like, What are you talking about? He goes the world needs for fathers. Exactly exactly what we do here for businessmen. The world needs that for fathers. Why don't you go bicycle build this for for debt. And I'm like, I never thought of that. He goes, You're welcome. And that was it. I still talk there to this day. But that was the best advice he ever gave me. And so I did. And in 2016 we started and it has been the most amazing six years ever. We have 700 guys who do life with us on the Daily we have 34 mastermind sessions per week we help them with their marriages with their parenting with their mindset with their health, fitness, physical mental emotional health, being a better leader we help them with finances everything and it's all because of community. So yeah, that's that's what it's all about.

Curt Storring 1:04:25

Yeah, thanks for sharing that man. And that is that's what this is all about just just building community with other men and there's nothing like being seen and heard and supported and challenged by other guys man like there's it's changed my life I'm glad that you've set that up. I'm so grateful that you're in this space and yeah, man thank you so much for coming on and sharing all this with me. Yeah, where else can people find you? I think you've mentioned a couple places but let's just give the wrap up here. Where to find Larry and that the dad edge.

Larry Hagner 1:04:53

Well, everything is at the dad edge. So even the website the dad is calm. It's the dad edge calm on his GRAEME It's the dad edge we have a page on Facebook the dad edge we have a free Facebook group that's not a part of the mastermind we have 1000s of men and that it's the dad edge real dad's purpose you can see the themes but you can connect with me personally if you want. I respond to every single email if you send me an email off the website I do reply to those. The other thing too if you send me a message on Instagram or Facebook I do reply to those it's really me I don't have a bot or an assistant that answers all that stuff. I do all that stuff. So yeah, if you want to connect with me, you can shoot me a friend request on Facebook follow me on instagram shoot me a DM like you did that's how we connected so I'm pretty darn accessible.

Curt Storring 1:05:42

Yeah, okay man, thank you so much. I appreciate your time and guys make sure to check out Larry Agner and the dad edge

that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. It means the world to find out more about everything that we talked about in the episode today, including Show Notes resources and links to subscribe leave a review work with us go to dad dot work slash pod. That's di d w o RK slash pod. type that into your browser just like a normal URL, Dad dot work slash pod to find everything there you need to become a better man, a better partner and a better father. Thanks again for listening and we'll see you next time.

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