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Learning to Dad with Tyler Ross 011 - Casey Ward

Speaker 3: Hello. This is learning [00:00:30] to dad and I'm Tyler Ross. My guest today is Casey ward. Uh, Casey is the owner of Molly's Irish pub in Warrenton, Virginia. And is, uh, what would you call yourself a co-founder of altered suds beer company, which is going to open this year, this

Speaker 2: Year pretty, pretty soon. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Cool. So thanks for giving me your time. We've known each other for ages, but tell me now for the benefit of anybody listening, kind of your current state of affairs, like your, what your business is and [00:01:00] kind of the wife and kids.

Speaker 2: Great. Thanks for having me on this. So yeah, I've, uh, I worked at the pub for, for years before taking over, and this is now I'm coming up on five years that I've been owning it outright. We've seen a lot of, a lot of improvement. Definitely have a lot of, uh, it's it's just a lot busier and I think we're doing, we're doing really well. Uh, so that's going great. Like I say, we have the brewery, uh, on the way [00:01:30] within a few, within a few months, as soon as we get some construction details, details figured out. Yup. Uh, so I live in, in, in Warrenton, just a few blocks from the pub. We just moved to, uh, kinda did a, a 180 from our, we were in a zero maintenance townhouse and we just bought a historic house in old town. So we're kind of learning some new things about home maintenance.

Speaker 3: I saw, I actually saw you walking on Winchester [00:02:00] street the other day, I assume, on your way to work your way back.

Speaker 2: Yeah. We just bought that house on Chestnut street. Yeah. So, uh, my wife, Lindsay and I, and we have two kids. We have, uh, our daughter Finley is three and a half and our boy Benji is, uh, he turned one in October. So he's, he's coming along towards almost one and a half. Lindsay works at Highland. So we're, we're, it's great where that central she's got about a straight mile [00:02:30] to roll down the hill to get to work. And he's in preschool there.

Speaker 3: That's awesome. You started working at Molly's where you, uh, what were you 20?

Speaker 2: I was 92 when I started working there actually. Um, so I was just serving and just kinda, you know, it was just sort of a job just to get some money together and keep traveling and then, um, kinda came and went a few times. And then as I settled, settled in, I sort [00:03:00] of settled in with more responsibilities there and it,

Speaker 3: So I was kind of took off. So we're kind of traveling, where are you doing?

Speaker 2: I had been doing a backpacking thing before, before Molly's I was through throughout Europe, mostly just taking the trains through good bit of Western Europe and down a lot down south through Spain and Italy, and then ended up in England in Oxford for about six months. Um, started, started working at pubs.

Speaker 3: [00:03:30] Oh, wow. So is that a planned thing or you just kind of went over there and shot at

Speaker 2: The whole time? The entire time was just so low was with, uh, a couple friends different at different times. We, we traveled would meet up and travel a few legs together, but I was, yeah, because I was gone for a little over a year. Wow. Um, and so I got home, still had the travel bug, started waiting tables to get some cash together and then got enough money to make [00:04:00] it out to New Zealand. Oh goodness. Yeah. So it was in New Zealand for about seven, eight months. Um,

Speaker 3: Is that kind of your introduction to, to the bar and pub world?

Speaker 2: Yeah. And it would, and you know, a much different kind of dynamic than it is here, but, uh, it w it was kinda the introduction to that. And then, you know, each time I'd come home, I'd be broke and I'd get back to work and, uh, eventually it just kind of settled it.

Speaker 3: Oh, that's really cool. So that experience [00:04:30] one that you recommend that everybody have?

Speaker 2: I think, you know, I mean, maybe like anything it's maybe not for everybody, but you, you know, I learned a lot more about independent living and, you know, basically being on your own in a, in a foreign place makes you figure some things out.

Speaker 3: Yeah. You bet. Did you basically elect that versus college? Did you go first? Yeah. Yeah. Did you end up going to college,

Speaker 2: Going back, going to college some college you [00:05:00] never, never finished

Speaker 3: Anything. Yeah. And that was probably as much or better of an experience for you, particularly the way your life's played out since the way it was the way it

Speaker 2: Worked out. Yeah.

Speaker 3: So, yeah. So did you bring anything back from there that kind of changed your perspective here?

Speaker 2: You know, I think I've learned, learned a lot more about work ethic about, you know, when you were actually working for a living and not just in high school, working hourly jobs and just, you know, doing whatever you needed to do to [00:05:30] not get fired.

Speaker 3: Sure. Yeah. Muso, like, how about Molly's like when you started working there, what point did you think I'd, I'd like to cause every I'm, I'm pretty sure every person on the planet at some point has uttered the words let's open a restaurant, or I want to own a bar. So like when you were working in Molly's, which to anybody who's in Warrenton, listening to this podcast should absolutely go, Casey has an amazing job, but at what point did you [00:06:00] think I might own this place one day?

Speaker 2: I don't know. It, it always was something that after a few years it was something that I was always toying around with either taking over that or starting something different. If that opportunity didn't come up fully aware of the, the amount of work that goes into it. And the, you know, the unique challenges that, that you come up with that you do find a lot of people that, you know, well, I go to bars a lot, so I, I have a lot [00:06:30] of opinions on the way on the way it should be run. Um, so I, you know, I, I definitely knew what I was getting into. And, but before, you know, before any real plans for something different came along, you know, the opportunity looked like, you know, Molly's, wasn't going to be, you know, the, the original owners were looking for an exit strategy. Yeah. So for a few years it was, that was really just the focus.

Speaker 3: So it wasn't for anybody who might be thinking [00:07:00] about buying a restaurant or a bar or starting one, you have any advice for somebody based on your experience that, that you wish you had done this, or wish you had done that?

Speaker 2: I don't know what I wish I would've done different. I just think just, you know, focusing on managing people and working with, you know, restaurant people, it's a, it's a, it's, it's a lot of fun and it's, it has its own set of challenges. There's a lot of people that are just sort of doing it because [00:07:30] kind of how I started started with it. It was just get a, you know, get a job cause it's a job and make some money and try to make them focus that the energies they have on that, and maybe grow a little bit.

Speaker 3: And that there's, I know in a lot of places being a server or bartender is a hell of a career. I know the, particularly the larger cities and Warrington there, it doesn't feel like the perception is that it's, you know, it's a job versus a career [00:08:00] where it can very much be a

Speaker 2: Sure. I mean, there were, and it was the lifestyle really got to me for awhile. But when I was bartending, you know, five nights a week, and this was the, the lifestyle was tough because I go into work at 6:00 PM, I'd get home two 30 or three, be up for a few more hours after that sleep all day, get back to work, you know, but, uh, you know, the, for being 23, 24, I was making, [00:08:30] you know, a lot more money than I thought that was possible to make doing that. And being, you know, engaged at the, at work every night, man, I wasn't spending in it. You know, I bought a house before, when I was 23 with, um, you know, cause it was really pretty lucrative. It just got to the point that I needed to kind of diversify what I was doing at the pub. And not just,

Speaker 3: Well, you were the man, [00:09:00] we didn't want to go to Molly's unless Casey bartending. So you were the man, like any, you know, any, any servers who are looking at it as a job, you know, that are just clocking in and clocking out or any bartenders that just are trying to get to the end of their shift. I mean, you made the best of it. It was any, any approach or advice you'd give to somebody that's, you know, could do better

Speaker 2: Take, you know, take pride in it is all, you know, there's people like it is, it is a service industry and people can feel like [00:09:30] it's, um, you know, they could feel like, oh, it's, you know, it's beneath them to be serving drinks or serving food, but it's, it's not, it's a good job. It's providing a service that people appreciate and take pride in doing it well. And that shows and people appreciate that. And you have a lot more fun and do a lot better at the job if you just take that approach to it.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I, um, I waited tables for a period of time and it really could be a lot [00:10:00] of fun. And like you said, pretty lucrative, you know, if you're human and treat people well and they tend to tip you a little bit better than if you're a. Right. For sure. So is there any difficulty for you transitioning from being a bartender to why did you manage it at one point and then to ownership?

Speaker 2: Yeah, there was always just the, I guess of any time going from colleague to, to boss is, is difficult with some, with [00:10:30] some people. Um, it was tough adjusting my lifestyle, my, my schedule from, uh, you know, stay up all night to, to be in there in the mornings and getting, getting all the logistical stuff done, but it's been a good, it's definitely been a good transition and I liked that. Uh, it's great. Now that I've just got an excellent staff and I, I know that, you know, I can go home and be home for dinner and it's in good hands.

Speaker 3: Probably learned a lot [00:11:00] of that. I mean, under the ownership PA past, but then I imagine you had some hard knocks on your own that you had to learn some less. Sure, sure. Yeah. Any in particular jump out is like, man, that was a tough transition into being an owner.

Speaker 2: It was a, I don't know, just the, I guess that, that realization one day when, you know, and you know it with the small business and how you're tied to it. And now one good thing with the restaurant [00:11:30] industry is there's restaurants everywhere. And you always felt like, well, you know, if we're moving, if I want to move to the beach, if I want to move to Charlottesville, whatever, there's always a, there's always a restaurant there that realization that Nope, like this, is it and better or for worse? Uh,

Speaker 3: That's been good. Um, this is my opinion. I don't know anything other than simply just at being my opinion, but when, when ownership changes hands, unless you've got a really incredible thing [00:12:00] going, I feel like it makes a lot of sense to automatically come in and make your mark, you know, the big sign under new management so often seen, um, where there some changes that you were ready to, like, you know, just not better or worse, just what you want to do.

Speaker 2: There was, I mean, and I had been managing it sort of running it as my own for a while before that. So there was no, you know, I would joke before I, when people would be what's going to happen. And I say, you know, like, it's not like a disco ball is [00:12:30] going to drop down from the ceiling on day one. It was, it was, it was little changes. It was, um, promoting some people who I knew were going to be, you know, it's a lot of different personalities and I knew the, I knew some of the personalities were going to clash with the previous ownership. So plugging some of those, some of those in, and just a good thing about Molly's is it's so it's in, you know, so central to such a small town, we didn't need a banner [00:13:00] saying a hundred new management. You could get where it gets around and

Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. I'm, I feel like I have a vivid memory of when you took it over and right. But like I said, I think you've done a wonderful job with it and I can't think of a place in town. That's better to take your family. Good. We take our kids there

Speaker 2: Constantly. Yeah. That's exactly what, what I, what I want. Yeah.

Speaker 3: It's great, man. Um, so tell me about the risk associated with buying it. Cause I mean, I'm, you have to be entrepreneurial [00:13:30] to some extent, to, to own a business and acquiring someone else's business, you know, you didn't get to start it exactly the way you wanted. So did you feel like you were taking on a major risk when you bought it or did you feel like you've been there long enough? Like you knew what to expect?

Speaker 2: And I felt like I knew I knew the ins and outs and I knew it's I knew where it needed to improve, but I also knew that a big, a big part of it. And, you know, I was just thinking the other day, like of independently own [00:14:00] restaurants in warrant and, you know, I'm thinking like dying the diner and maybe Ella Gavi maybe like of, of what's been around longer. And so to take over something with that amount of longevity, you know, for better, for worse, especially where it is. Right. Kind of center of center of old town, you know, I think that had a lot of, a lot of value to it.

Speaker 3: Definitely. Well, let's talk more about risk is now we're getting into the family stuff, but you have a family now you have kind of sounds like [00:14:30] no longer the restaurant bartender hours, but you're getting ready to open a brewery in the same building. Like how's that is starting a business versus buying one. Like how's that process been different?

Speaker 2: It's been, it's definitely been a lot, you know, this brewery has been a lot of work and that's been kind of, kind of the engrave agreement with the partners was, you know, I was going to be more focused on getting this up off the ground. It's helpful that I'm right [00:15:00] there. Yeah. Uh, to, to meet with contractors and meet with inspectors and everything else and get the, uh, get some of the business side squared away. Um, so it's more, you know, I'm glad I had the experience that I had with, with the pub before, before starting this, uh, and just connections in town and, and things like that.

Speaker 3: And you're, but you're making an investment in this, right. So you, what's your risk factor. [00:15:30] Like you started with conversation, Hey, there's an idea. And now you're actually implementing it. Like how much do you feel you've closed the gap in terms of like, is this going to work?

Speaker 2: I think I, you know, I think we're close. I think that, um, you know, risk wise, I'm not out anything that I couldn't, couldn't stand to lose. I think the reward, you know, not just having the brewery, which has always been a dream, uh, but the way it's going to, the way it's going to compliment Molly's [00:16:00] is going to be, it's going to be something it's really going to, it's really going to be busy, be a lot, a lot of people there at to check it out and we'll be, the pub will benefit, you know, because we'll be supplying the food and also it just being it being right there, you know, there's going to be a lot of back and forth between the two businesses it's really going to do well for us.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Tell him, tell me about what the brewery's going to look like.

Speaker 2: It's the basement down there is pretty, pretty subterranean. It's [00:16:30] a little, it's a, so the building was originally a department store and then carved up into a couple of suites. So the, this is the basement of that, where the, you know, the pub and jewelry store are currently upstairs.

Speaker 3: So it's that entire area floor. Oh,

Speaker 2: Cool. Yeah. I come by and check it out. It's, it's, it's a big footprint. It's not all usable space and it's, um, you know, it's concrete floor and cinder block walls. And so it's going to have that kind of, that vibe of being a basement, [00:17:00] a basement brewery.

Speaker 3: That's cool. That's like a, like, homebrewers, you're going to love that. I would say,

Speaker 2: Yeah. And not, and not dress it up to be any more than, you know, the focus is on the beer and on the quality of the product we're doing. And, you know, there's some, some places are around here with, you know, lots and lots of money that built up these huge facilities and kind of lost focus on what the, the [00:17:30] important part was with the brewery. And that's sure being a good product. So focus on that first and then we'll, we'll work on, you know, the decor as we go along and everything else.

Speaker 3: Cool. Go on. I've read the Faulkner now article, they said that this was going to be a place with a, that was really for beer, kind of, do you feel like it's going to not draw the masses so much as people that are really kind of into craft brews? Are you thinking

Speaker 2: Well, you know, obviously we want to get a bit of both, but it's going to be, [00:18:00] there is going to be some of, you know, every brewery tries to have something that appeals to the bud light drinker or something like that. And we might necessarily not have something quite like that there'll be lighter options or a good Pilsner or something. But I think the idea is let's w we have our, our clientele sort of that, you know, a clientele that we can focus on. Yeah. [00:18:30] And given the space and the output that we're capable of making right now, we don't really need to go bigger.

Speaker 3: We can just, do you wanna sell all on-site and growlers and stuff? You think

Speaker 2: Scholars and Cannes where we got a candy machine and we'll be able to sell it up, uh, out of the pub as well.

Speaker 3: Very cool. So you think you'll sell another shops, retail

Speaker 2: Spots. We will eventually once there's sign on with the distributor. Okay. We'll have to that'll come later once we've established [00:19:00] a little bit more us. That's, that's a new contract and a new, you know yeah. Let's, let's make sure we get enough beer for the people that are there before we start cranking it out to elsewhere.

Speaker 3: Cool. That'd be fun. You'll have high demand right out of the gate. No question. Oh, so tell me when, um, tell me, tell me how you met Lindsey.

Speaker 2: So Lindsey, we, um, we knew each other through the, through the pub. Yeah. You know, and so for years,

Speaker 3: A lot of people say we met at a bar, but [00:19:30] you get to say, we met at my bar, right?

Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And, uh, she was, she was close with my brother Ashley and sort of his circle of friends. And, you know, we just reach a point. Like we had both kind of gotten out of some long relationships and started spending more time together. And it just kind of happened like that, you know?

Speaker 3: Yeah. And then, so you had Finley about three and a half years ago. You would own the, uh, tamales for maybe a year [00:20:00] you're

Speaker 2: And I have barely. Yeah, it was right around the, the, it ended up being the end when we found out we were pregnant and then I'm looking at the timeline like this, it doesn't, it doesn't give me much time between taking over business and, and having a baby.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Talk about that. It was me, it was that like high stress level, midnight type of thing,

Speaker 2: But the bit, you know, but, um, I don't know. I feel like learning the last couple of years to just take things as they come and, [00:20:30] you know,

Speaker 3: So it's, it's so easy to, to say, but I'm wonder, like, did you go through something to, to get to that point in your mind? Do you feel like it was a maturity that you had, or a book that you read or some mental practice that you started participating in?

Speaker 2: It was, I think just too many, uh, too many anxiety attacks and just trying to come up with a way of, of better compartmentalizing things

Speaker 3: And, you know, make lists and yeah, just [00:21:00] try to just try to look at one thing at a time and not end up. Do you make lists daily all the time? All the time. I find that it's a tool for a lot of people, especially people that are, you know, I want to say entrepreneurial or ambitious or have, you know, goals, and that's a good way to knock them off,

Speaker 2: Just scratch pads. And just every time I have one of those days where I feel like there's just a thousand things to do, make a list and [00:21:30] cross out some easy things. And then it seems a lot less overwhelming.

Speaker 3: Yeah. They say, if you get like a dopamine hit, once you cross something off your list. So like, even like, even if you were feeling like you needed it, you could, right. You know, even though you brushed your teeth, you know, this morning you could right. Brush my teeth and then cross it off the list and you get that same hit here, even though it's a task accomplished hours and hours ago. Right. Was there some, like, what was your emotional [00:22:00] state thinking? Okay. I got a kid, got a brand new business that I own now. Like, uh, you know, how, how did that change the way you did your business?

Speaker 2: Uh, he made a, I guess, started to be a little bit more careful. It's still sort of

Speaker 3: In terms of like risk management yeah.

Speaker 2: In terms of risk management and sort of impressing on, you know, impressing all my employees and everything that, uh, you know, here's some responsibilities [00:22:30] that I need you to take over because I've got a newborn at home, uh, that kind of thing

Speaker 3: At the change, your hours,

Speaker 2: It, uh, it made me a lot more flexible, just giving more. Well, it, it just, it kind of, rather than trying to be, you know, cause they say, oh, with a lot of businesses, especially restaurant, you need to be there all the time, be there all the time. [00:23:00] Um, and kind of came to this and I knew, I knew getting into it. I didn't want to be one of those restaurant owners that is there 70, 80 hours a week. And you know, if I'm not there, we're not open, you know, they shut down for two weeks to go on vacation kind of thing. It's like I have good people and try to put trust in them and try to, you know, hope they learn from their mistakes. Yeah. Um, and I learned from the mistakes [00:23:30] too, you know, uh,

Speaker 3: Plenty I read, I'm reading a book this morning. I read that, uh, I think it was IBM. Somebody had made a $600,000 mistake and they asked, somebody, asked their boss, you know, you're going to fire this guy. And the guy said, no way, I just spent $600,000 educating.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I mean, I, my philosophy with a lot of that is I'd much rather have them make a decision, make the wrong decision to make no decision or to say, oh, you weren't [00:24:00] here. So I did nothing. Give it a shot, give it, give it, give it a try, give, you know, and if it is wrong, then you learn from it. But if, if it's nothing, then yeah.

Speaker 3: Okay. So if you, since over the last five years, like your turnover, as far as people is reduced and

Speaker 2: By quite a bit, you know, and I remember it used to be tax time. Our, our stack of W2's would be, oh, two inches thick of the number of people that just came in and out throughout that year. And you know, this year was, uh, a very small [00:24:30] pile of people that didn't work there anymore. Um,

Speaker 3: Yeah. I know every time I go in there, I see the same four or five people and I think it's great.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And I think they're, they're happy. And I think, you know, they have a sense of security that, you know, we're able to work with them through, through different, different problems and different issues. And that makes them generally happier at work. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Um, do you ever bring your kids into work?

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. [00:25:00] Yeah. Finley knows.

Speaker 3: You know, she knows how to make a martini.

Speaker 2: Well, yeah. She knows how to turn on Netflix. I'm like, so she usually runs back there and gets in the chair and knows who to ask for apple sauce and some cheese and some milk. And

Speaker 3: She's not back there. Busting tables are not exist.

Speaker 2: Not yet. Yeah. We'll see.

Speaker 3: You think you'll put her work right away, as soon as she's able to start carrying the, the buckets and all

Speaker 2: I know she'll want to help. Yeah. You know, so maybe we'll come up with, uh, [00:25:30] uh, some little little duties for

Speaker 3: Nope. What do you think the effect is going to be on a, like raising her basically in a restaurant? Um,

Speaker 2: I think, you know, my goal is to impress upon her. I just don't, I don't want her coming in thinking, you know, my parents own this place. Yeah. That sort of attitude. I want her to be on her absolute best behavior because her, her parents own this place. Uh, so [00:26:00] hopefully we'll be able to instill that responsibility in her that, um, you know, this isn't just an free reign to behave any way you want, but just the opposite you need to be, uh, extra mindful. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I think the, what I think that environment would be such a cool one because I mean, you think about, I mean, I'm sure you've had a broom in your hand, in the bathroom or whatever is that's, that's your, you're the owner, right?

Speaker 2: Yeah. So plungers.

Speaker 3: [00:26:30] Yeah, sure. Um, what was, what was your childhood like where you, uh, you know, living in the country, living in the town?

Speaker 2: Um, just outside of town. Um, uh, both my parents were teachers. They were retired now they're both public school teachers. Um, so they definitely, uh, you know, instilled that sense of just, uh, it's not all about, it's not all [00:27:00] about the, the money and the paycheck, you know, it's, it's, it's fine. What you find, what you enjoy doing and what you think you can make a difference at.

Speaker 3: Yeah, of course. Now you're living that again. Uh, uh, the Marriott Marriott stay close,

Speaker 2: Married a math teacher, never thought I would, uh, it was never much of a math student, but yeah,

Speaker 3: Just, just show me math by 20%, you know, show me that a 20% tip and that's, I can do that math all day long. True. Well, so [00:27:30] what's, w what's your parenting style relative to Lindsay's?

Speaker 2: Uh, I think we're, we are kinda on the same page, uh, with, with, with most stuff, you know, we're both Lindsay a bit more than me, but we're both, we like to have a plan. We like to have, you know, if, if possible, what can we try to try to do with, you know, keeping her occupied when we try to not park her in front of the TV and, and things [00:28:00] like that. So, you know, and you know, and that can be exhausting with a three-year-old to you come up with activities and each one eats up three minutes and then

Speaker 3: I'm just making a mess of your entire house. And yeah, you see a lot of the parents sitting their kids down in your restaurant and sticking an iPad in front of your face.

Speaker 2: Yeah. There's, there is a good bit of that. And sometimes, sometimes I think that's appropriate when, you know, if, if, if you're bringing your, your kid along and it's, uh, [00:28:30] you're meeting a few adult friends and they're not, you can't expect them to be entertained for all that long if, uh, if they're just coming along, cause dad's going to come and have lunch or coming to have a beer to meet up with some friends and stuff. I don't think that's inappropriate to say entertain yourself. I'm entertaining myself doing this here. You can have that, but you know, you, you see some of them, you see a whole family on their, on their tablets, just staring [00:29:00] at him, eating, they're eating their burgers and you know, and it's always a bit depressing. Those,

Speaker 3: Um, I know, I know I've done. I know we've done that. I know. Yeah. I feel so dumb if she was only taking a picture of us now.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Or Lindsey, and I will be at home, you know, on the couch and the kids are running around. We're both just staring at our phones and we, we catch ourselves doing it all the time, but it's a hard thing to hard habits.

Speaker 3: Have you guys tried to Institute any rules or, [00:29:30] uh, you know, uh, habits to try to keep that from happening?

Speaker 2: No, no screens at the dinner table. And, um, you know, beyond that, we haven't really moved quite other than, you know, limiting our TV, limiting her iPad time.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And then how, how she do when you take it away from her,

Speaker 2: You know, it's, it's a bit rough. She's getting better at trying to bargain. That's pretty cute. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. So what, [00:30:00] how do you like it? I have three and a half, four and a half year old and it's like trying to keep them in their lane. Isn't always easy. Do you have any thing that you D you just kind of like your go-to of like, if, if Finley is not doing what she's supposed to do, here's, here's my plan.

Speaker 2: We usually go, we, we start with, uh, you know, the, the concept of a reward. Yeah. And then if that, that doesn't work, then it's, you know, the prospect of punishment [00:30:30] after that, you know?

Speaker 3: And what's, what's that look like? I can't figure out how to punish my kid. I don't know what to do.

Speaker 2: Mostly. We take, we threatened to take away the TV. That's that's kind of,

Speaker 3: Yeah. That I, that I say, I'm going to start taking stuff. I'm gonna start taking your stuff. And then I think I'm making her attached to her stuff. So, no, not my things, not my stuff.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3: I haven't figured out the right thing. You know, you ever think about spanking your kid?

Speaker 2: No, [00:31:00] not really. It's something I haven't been able to even think about bringing up yet. Like I think about, there were times when it would be, and I just didn't want it to be what I didn't want. I don't want it to happen with my kids. I don't want it to be because I'm angry. Yeah. I want it. If the, if the situation is something where, you know, I need to teach you to not run in the road or [00:31:30] something where safety, it's like, I will need you to learn this so you don't get seriously hurt. And this is the only way I can do it. Then, then that's where I think it's appropriate, but I want to make sure I'm not doing it just because I'm angry and fed up. Cause it's going to be easy to get angry and fed up

Speaker 3: And you do get angry and fed up. Do you have anything like a mantra in your head that you say to kind of cool you down?

Speaker 2: I don't think, not really a mantra. [00:32:00] I try to just stay, you know, most things, most things I try to stay as even keeled as possible. So I try to just, yeah. Take a deep breath and hope that

Speaker 3: It's funny. They can work you up, man, man. Yeah. And then they stopped being worked up and you're still worked up. Like they compartmentalize better than anybody I think.

Speaker 2: And they just move on. It was not a big deal. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3: I barked [00:32:30] at Riley the other day and to the point that he got upset, like he was doing something, I asked him a million times not to do. And I finally barked at him and he started crying and he wanted to be consoled and who determined to, to be consulted by me. Right. It's like, dude, I'm the one that just you off. I admire how quickly you got over that. And it's okay. Yeah. So what's something that might've been unexpected, uh, being a dad. Hm.

Speaker 2: I don't know. I'd have to think to think about that.

Speaker 3: If we [00:33:00] had changed more diapers in your thought you would

Speaker 2: Change a lot of diapers. I think I knew that that was coming.

Speaker 3: Yeah.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I guess the biggest, the biggest adjustment was going from one to having two. And then, you know, when, when you're on your own with, with both of them and how, how much of that can, you know, just this morning, I think Lindsay was downstairs exercising and they both wake woke up at the same time [00:33:30] in the morning. And just to be able to, you know, they're both crying and who do you get to first? And, you know, boy needs a bottle and fiddling just needs to be some help get on the potty. And

Speaker 3: Did Lindsay stay at home for a little while or did she continue to

Speaker 2: Work? She continued to work, basically. She, you know, she did her got her what, 12 weeks or so. Um, but, but one of his loves Highland loves her her career there. One wanted [00:34:00] to stay, um, you know, just wanna, you know, worked out one of the work, something out with them to not lose that.

Speaker 3: Um, it's a great spot. This was Sarah's working there. Yeah,

Speaker 2: For sure. Yeah. It's, it's, it's a good community. She, she really likes it. And like, I wish sometimes that it could be, she puts in about 120%. Yeah. And that's really what you have to do there. And I wish there was a way she could work in a 80% capacity. Yeah. But that's just [00:34:30] this

Speaker 3: Good job is to buy in. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Oh, you see any, uh, reflections of yourself in a Benji or Findlay?

Speaker 2: Yeah. I mean, Findlay's definitely my little doppelganger for

Speaker 3: Sure about her behavior

Speaker 2: And, uh, that I think, yeah, just, uh, Maybe just a bit of the insecurity that I guess I felt like I've always had, and I, I can, I [00:35:00] can see in her really. And just try to,

Speaker 3: Is that acknowledgement make you feel like you need to do something about it or address it or like just, is it look like a bonding thing? Like,

Speaker 2: I don't know, you know, it's hard right now, cause we're not at the level to be able to talk about, talk about things like that, you know, but then she's, she's very shy, but you know, I was shy. Lindsey was very, very shy as well and so [00:35:30] help her along. But also we know it's something that you kind of just have to, you have to grow up some and grow out of it. Yeah,

Speaker 3: Definitely. Um, I don't want him to grow up too fast, but yeah, like enjoy it now, but there's so many things I want to do and talk about and be able to converse with. So up to this point at one and a half and three and a half, what are some qualities that have kind of been brought out in you that you're proud of as a dad?

Speaker 2: I think being able to [00:36:00] keep a cool head. Yeah. You know, I've, uh, been able to do that and not, you know, not, uh, you know, I don't feel like I've ever lost it on, on my kids at least not yet. Uh, so I'm, I'm proud of that. Um, and I'm proud of the flexibility that I have with, with the pub and the, where, you know, I'm available when, you know, one of them is sick and [00:36:30] I need to go pick them up from daycare and take him to the doctor, or I need to do these things that, you know, even though I'm, you know, the, the, the main breadwinner for the house, I'm still able to take a lot of, take a lot of responsibilities with, you know, just the day to day kids, stuff that if I was, you know, commuting to rest in every day, getting home late and I would never be able to never [00:37:00] be able to do those things. I'd be getting home after they're already in bed, just not be available if, uh, you know, Findlay has a fever and has to come home, or

Speaker 3: Yeah, we, we, we had the availability to do that. You weren't at work and you were able to do that. Yeah. I, I find that to be one of the, I mean, I would do it anyway and you would too. Cause you did, but that to be a driving force to never [00:37:30] go get a job, you know, to be able to stay available absolutely. As, as wanted or as needed. Um, is there anything that, uh, you're finding your role changing as a parent, you know, since the kids were born versus being almost for three, almost four,

Speaker 2: I'm trying to be trying to be more active, been trying to set that example, you know, Lindsey's, you know, Lindsey's great. Liz is super fit and always out getting exercise and I'm [00:38:00] trying to, um, I'm trying to work myself up to be more, being more active and being out in and not just be a good example for them with that, especially as the more they're paying attention. So, you know, that kind of thing, screen time, they're paying attention more. So I don't want them to think it's okay to just be staring at your phone all the time. Yeah. So it's just sort of adjusting as they get more aware of.

Speaker 3: Have you, um, noticed that your social life has changed [00:38:30] dramatically? Yeah. Tell me about that.

Speaker 2: Um, it's just been, you know, now all of a sudden, you know, we, we saved a lot of money. We cause we were definitely spending a lot of money going out to eat and going out, uh, before, you know, before Finley was born. Yeah. Um,

Speaker 3: And now, now we hardly ever do it. And the people, you know, the people we hang out with are generally in the same boat as us with, you know, cause [00:39:00] they can sympathize, uh, it ends up being taken out at somebodies house or

Speaker 2: Right. Yeah. Uh, something like that. Or we, we get together at, you know, for dinner at five 30, so everybody can be back home and in bed by seven or seven 30 it's it's definitely, uh, you know, we had, uh, we went and stayed at a friend's cottage on the bay in Maryland last year and they have [00:39:30] a, they have a boys Findlay's age and we were just, you know, the kids were in bed and we were just sitting around talking and having some drinks and, you know, we realized it was almost 2:00 AM and now that used to be a normal, a pretty normal thing. And we were all shocked and kind of appalled with wow, well, it was just, we, we all knew how early wake up time was gonna come. Um, yeah.

Speaker 3: That's great. Appalled [00:40:00] as a restaurant owner, you get a lot of your own food. Yeah. Yeah. I'd imagine you can order off a menu every now. No.

Speaker 2: Um, yeah. Try to only eat so many of the fries, you know, But it's good. And I think it actually looks, you know, I've had a few people, you know, I'll be sitting eating lunch at the bar and I've had people come up to me and say, it's good that it's good to see the guy that owns the place eating there, you know, not bringing in, [00:40:30] take out from subway or something, you know?

Speaker 3: Right, right. Yeah. That's not a great look for the guy that runs the place, the place. Um, let's do some kind of short answer questions. These are some of my favorite parts. So as a, as a dad, what do you feel like your role is in your kid's life?

Speaker 2: I think to be the provider and make sure they're, they're not, you know, they have food and [00:41:00] place to live and, and all that. And just try to be an example.

Speaker 3: Yeah. It's funny. I think I could be totally wrong. I'm making this up, but we get to do that sometimes. Yeah. I think we're the only species that actually has to really birds is the only thing I can think of that really has to provide for their kids for as long as we do. Yeah. You know, a bird falls out of its nest and starts flying. A cow, was born in his walking in seconds and where like we're, they're under our care for years [00:41:30] and years and years and years. And I think that's interesting. I heard an

Speaker 2: Interesting, uh, I was reading an interesting counter to the standard accepted theory of evolution saying, how does this make sense that, you know, the species that we evolved from where they're offspring are so become independent much more quickly, where how did, how was it possible that whenever we evolve from was able to have such helpless, helpless, [00:42:00] uh, offspring for so long for such, you know, and, and survive as a species and not get picked off by, you know, bright, historic, whatever. Cause they really need, you know, Benji is starting to come out of it, but he's, you know, he spent the last, as soon as he's like learning to walk he's hell bent on destroying himself. He just wants to, you want to say, if you see something, you know, a table he wants to either run into it or get on top of it and crawl off it or [00:42:30] fall down it or stick it in his mouth or something, you know, he's hell bent on killing himself.

Speaker 3: Oh, it's so true. Yeah. All right. So, uh, what's time like with your kids, what do you do with your kids?

Speaker 2: Uh, hide and seek is a big one right now know, just playing games. I like making them, we like to cook for him, like make breakfast and, you know, make dinner. We've been trying to for longest time, we always would feed [00:43:00] them, get them in bed then Lindsay and I would eat. We've been trying to get our meals together earlier. So we all eat, which is not too relaxing right now, but it's kind of setting that precedent for the, for the future. Know

Speaker 3: What do you, what do you think you're preparing your kids for like wood? How are you, you know, what are you preparing your kids for in life?

Speaker 2: I don't know. I think just prepare them to be just kind of roll with, roll with the punches [00:43:30] and just have a, have a broad set of knowledge and be able to, you know, I want them to be able to fit in with anything. I want them to be athletic. I want them to be smart and want them to, to read and play music and just to be well-rounded yeah. I guess

Speaker 3: What are, this is kind of like almost a lightening round, still kind of short answer that I like. So what are three qualities that you think a dad would have to have in order to be considered a super [00:44:00] dad,

Speaker 2: Patients, whatever you call the ability to operate on a complete lack of sleep? Maybe you could just say energy, maybe. I don't know.

Speaker 3: Seal training. Yeah,

Speaker 2: Yeah,

Speaker 3: Yeah. If they could take whatever a pregnant woman or a new mom has and bottle that and give it to Navy seals that might make them even more powerful. Yeah. Well, [00:44:30] when women, moms, new moms are just incredible. Yeah. Okay. Patients energy.

Speaker 2: And I think just the, I think a lot of, to be able to focus on, on mom, you know, and not lose that, not lose that, that, you know, that relationship is, is still, you know, I think the strongest of, of anything. Cause that's what keeps, that's what you, you keep it together for [00:45:00] a, you know, a strong foundation for the kids. And if you let that go, then it's it trickles down to.

Speaker 3: That's a really great answer to me that they do the first person to say anything to that effect, I think. And that, I think that's a wonderfully thoughtful answer. Yeah. I think that speaks volumes about, you know,

Speaker 2: For me

Speaker 3: And Lynn, Lindsay, whatever, whatever case he wants, what are some things that are on your, I'm definitely not doing this list.

Speaker 2: And [00:45:30] let's see, we've talked about this, uh, Disney world is up there.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Definitely not doing well.

Speaker 2: You know, it's one of those things that we're, we're praying that we don't get, we don't get sucked into. It just seems, you know, crowds and everything else. Uh, it seems like, you know, it's a fortune that could be spent on, on something else. Uh, so not for us obviously is, you know, works for a lot of people.

Speaker 3: So we, we went, uh, last year I thought my daughter was going [00:46:00] to be too young and at three and a half. Yeah. But she, she, she died. She locked her princesses everywhere. And of course she's the she's been true.

Speaker 2: We were super into the princesses and everything. We're just trying to, I guess, satiate that without having to go to Orlando and wait in line

Speaker 3: For everything and $40 on a funnel cake. Right.

Speaker 2: Yeah. That kind of thing.

Speaker 3: Anything else that you definitely, you're not [00:46:30] whether it's a, an action or, um, a thing that you're definitely not doing as dad,

Speaker 2: Nothing comes to mind, I guess we're just, um, you know, we're w we both Lindsay and I come from different backgrounds with education, so we're, we're not sure how that's going to go, where I went through public school through all the way through. And, uh, you know, Lindsay went to Highland and then she went off for boarding school for high school and, and neither of those are a bad [00:47:00] thing. So we're, we're keeping all options open in terms of that.

Speaker 3: I imagine you guys both favor the experience that you respectively have.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I mean, Lindsay loves the fact that she said, you know, she struggled through the first year in boarding school, but now it looks back at it, like it was the best thing that could have happened. And, um, yeah, you know, I love my time public school went to year and all that. I wish, you know, I kind of think about [00:47:30] that environment as not being very future focused. And maybe that was just, maybe that was more me that was not future focused in the crowd that I was, uh, that, that I was with. But it would be, I think it's, it's beneficial with, with my kids just to even, you know, even though things worked out all right, for me, it was worked a lot harder, not having like a clear path with a college degree [00:48:00] and all that. So just keeping them whether it's public school, private school boarding school, whatever, like keep looking forward towards college towards, towards that next step. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Oh, what's something you feel like you can improve as, as a dad,

Speaker 2: I could be more, you know, better with things like Lindsey comes up with, you know, we have all these crafts that we're going to do to them and make necklaces and paint and do all that. And I [00:48:30] kinda keep it, I keep it more, I try to keep it more simple, just cause mostly cause I didn't want to clean up clean up after. So if I had more, I guess, some more patients to, to go through things like that, or, you know, maybe I don't want to take the time to get them bundled up to go out in the cold or, or something like that. Just having a little more, little more patients with things like that.

Speaker 3: [00:49:00] I can totally relate to that. Like why are we going to spend 20 minutes getting ready when what's going to take five minutes to do it? And then 15 minutes online did

Speaker 2: All right. And then clean of muddy clothes and yeah, let's be official to rest. Let's just play hide and seek because we have to go outside.

Speaker 3: I I'm working on that too well. It's what's best. Yeah. Let's figure it out. What type of dad would you like to be remembered as

Speaker 2: Just a supportive, you know, when my kids are in, [00:49:30] in college or, or after, and are thinking about it, I mean, everyone goes through those phases of bashing their parents, but you know, to be able to, when they come, everyone comes through that and to just be able to be appreciative and think that, you know, they're happy with the way that, the way that they were raised. Uh, you know,

Speaker 3: So to date, what do you thinks been the most challenging part of being a father?

Speaker 2: [00:50:00] The, I think just the, sometimes just feeling like slogging through the day-to-day yeah. The, you know, the, the mornings when that can seem to, you know, it's nine o'clock is a long way away when it's five 30 and they're both awake, take them to school, um, you know, getting home and it'd be the same deal. Like, you know, how far away is bedtime.

Speaker 3: Um, you know, Lindsey all day with kids and then comes home and asked to work with kids, [00:50:30] you spend all day running a business, got to come home. And the energy is a lot of energies required. Yeah.

Speaker 2: The way we were just kind of sometime just shell shocked after we get downstairs, after putting them both to bed. And we just, yeah. It's like, we don't even talk sometimes for a few minutes of just sort of trying to get a bit of peace, see what,

Speaker 3: Uh, parents, when their kids leave, like when their kids go to boarding [00:51:00] school or college or just get a job or whatever, it's like, hi, I'm your husband. Nice to meet you. Haven't talked to you in 15 years. Okay. I can see how that could really take, hold, share,

Speaker 2: Or let's go to Scotland or whatever, you know, those kinds of trips that you just put off for 20 years or whatever, just like, let's just do something just for us. Yeah. And that's, you know, that's, that's way off in the distance for us [00:51:30] now, but that's okay.

Speaker 3: We're almost ready. Like we can leave the kids for a few days at a time, 2, 3, 4 days at a time and hate to leave them, but love to go do stuff one and a half might be a little,

Speaker 2: Yeah. We've made it up to two, two nights away. Um, and it's, it's hard on us and it's hard on the grandparents that are stuck with,

Speaker 3: They loved their grandchildren for

Speaker 2: 48 hours.

Speaker 3: The happy to give them back a little while, [00:52:00] what is a gift that you would give to every dad on the planet? If you could,

Speaker 2: When it comes to gadgets, we have this a great thing that we got for Findlay and that's an alarm clock that, that lights up yeah. At, uh, you know, just cause she, so she knows when don't come out of your room, come out of your room until this thing turns green. Yeah. And it's still, she still comes out of her room about four times every morning. And we say, no lights, not green. Get back in. And then she's so excited when the light turns green and we have to [00:52:30] come in and see it. And that's been when it comes to, you know, some $20 thing you buy off Amazon. Yeah. That's been, been a pretty

Speaker 3: Cool thing worth it's worth its weight and soul. Yeah.

Speaker 2: Otherwise I'd just say, you know, here's a gift certificate to somewhere to just get out of the house, include a hotel room and a bar tab.

Speaker 3: Well, the preferably Amal is [00:53:00] what's the, what's the greatest hope that you have for your kids.

Speaker 2: I mean, just joy, love that, you know, whether they're rich and famous or, or, or not, or did just doing, just sit there happy. And that life, you know, is always going to have its there's always going to be some suffering, but that there is insulated as possible from is anything I can protect them from.

Speaker 3: [00:53:30] Yeah. I think that's such a perfect answer. And you'd like to think that our parents would answer that in the same exact way. And like this there's this constant of what's the goal, what's the goal. Be happy, be happy yet we continue to do things that are counter to.

Speaker 2: Sure. Well, we think there's a do an end there and we were doing this to eventually reach this, right. This point of happiness. When maybe we forget why [00:54:00] we're doing what we were doing.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I think that, um, I'm feeling like it's, it's day to day, you know, you gotta be happy in this moment and the next moment you don't capture it and then you're done it's part of every single day. If you were going to write a book about your professional slash parenting life, can you think of some names of some chapters?

Speaker 2: I don't know. I gotta think about, you [00:54:30] know, just everyone says with the POB, I should write a novel based on the characters that are in there. You know, the, the day-to-day, uh, I would say drama, isn't quite the right word for it. The high and

Speaker 3: James, what a great word.

Speaker 2: The, you know, just the absolute absurdity of, of, of day to day there. And uh, so I dunno what you would, I don't know how to label the [00:55:00] label, the chapters as, but

Speaker 3: I think hi-jinks is a great

Speaker 2: Absurdity. Maybe is a good thing.

Speaker 3: Great. What, um, who's your favorite television? Dad move your TV. Yeah,

Speaker 2: No, that is an interesting one. And hard to say, if it be your favorite, but an interesting one to provide just cause I just love it as Tony soprano. Yeah. The balance of work and, and having [00:55:30] a, definitely a different professional life and I, and getting home to a private life and obviously he's a, you know, a sociopath and all the rest, but it's interesting to, you know, despite everything, somebody that, that at the core of it, you know, loves his kids more than absolutely anything and would, would, would do anything and anything for them. That's I don't know why that's the first name that came to mind.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I just rewatched the pilot a couple of weeks [00:56:00] ago. I had seen it since it came out. I

Speaker 2: I've done it. I've done the whole thing a few times. And this is such a great story. That it is a very complicated, complicated character, I guess, you know, everybody's, everybody's complicated. So

Speaker 3: We all think we're special, but we're all special in our way. All this is one of my favorite questions that I have to borrow from Tim Ferris. He calls it it's the billboard question. There's you had a billboard [00:56:30] on 95 and every dad's driving by it at 80 miles an hour and they get to read a message from you. A piece of advice from Casey ward on being a dad. What are you putting on that? Bill?

Speaker 2: Pick your battles. Don't sweat, you know, don't sweat the small stuff as much of it kind of cliche that is, I guess, you know, just maintain some sanity by not, not going overboard on every little thing. Try to try [00:57:00] to keep a ship. Right. And not let the little things pull it down. Yeah. Um, keep your head. I don't know.

Speaker 3: I like it. Keep your head. Yeah. All right. This is actually, I'm going to ask you an Easter egg question at the end of this. I got to remember. Um, but before that, this is my last planned question. If this recording lasts forever and your kids [00:57:30] PNG and Finley's kids, their kids, their kids, their kids, you could pass along something down through the generations. Whether it's a message or a piece of advice or just something like, what would you say to them? What would you like them to hear from you?

Speaker 2: I guess just, you know, when it comes to generation after generation, just that we hope that it was a, a solid part of the part of the chain. And I hope there's [00:58:00] hope there's some effect for generations from now of what Lindsay and I accomplished with, you know, and what our kids have accomplished. Yeah. When it comes to later on like that, I don't know what else, what else to say, other than you just hope that you had a, had a positive impact on it and that's cool.

Speaker 3: You answer a good part of the strong part of the chain is going to answer. All right. So that's the end of the interview, but I want to ask, because you've worked in [00:58:30] a bar and own a restaurant bar for what's the 20 years now,

Speaker 2: 20 18, 18

Speaker 3: Years this year, you got, gotta tell me one of your best bar stories.

Speaker 2: Uh there's man. There's a

Speaker 3: Lot. I know you got some favorites. Yeah.

Speaker 2: I'm trying to think of some, think of some good ones we've got. So some of it [00:59:00] is just like some of it's a Testament to Warrenton and how unique unique it is. But also that it's a safe place. You know, I remember this woman just going absolutely bananas one night that she had had her purse stolen and she was not from, from out of town and just someone must have swiped it. Maybe she left it in the bathroom and someone stole it, but it's been stolen and I needed to call the police and I needed to do all this. And then we finally found it. She was parked [00:59:30] out on main street, kind of down in front of black bear. And when she got out of her car, she'd left her purse, put her purse on the hood of her car to a tire shoe or something, and then walked inside and the purse was still there. It had just sat there on the hood of her car on a Friday night for hours, hours. And so, yeah, that's warranted. That's a great comment for, for warranted, I think. And also just the, sometimes when you're dealing with people in it, like, I know you think this is the way it [01:00:00] is, but I'm, I can assure you that it's not. Yeah, there's been, I might have to get back to you with the, when I think about the really good, really good stuff,

Speaker 3: Your story reminded me of one in real estate. We had just sold a house and it wasn't a day or two later it brand new appliances. Like it was a brand new house. And, um, the person that moved in called me raising hell about how their refrigerator was leaking at one installed. Right. You know, and I [01:00:30] decided I'm going to take it upon myself. I'm going to drive out there and I'm going to figure out what's going on. It's in Delta plane. So it's a 40 minute drive and I get there and the floor is wet. And I look underneath the refrigerator to find out what's going on. She'd kicked an ice cube under the refrigerator and it had melted, but it was all my fault. And the appliances, you know, defective houses. What else is wrong with this house? [01:01:00] Oh yeah.

Speaker 2: And a woman called just a week ago who came up and I had, I had three, three, or you knew IPA's and my husband had four and we've never been so drunk in our lives. We must have been someone must've slipped us something because I don't remember going home. And I don't remember the rest of my night. And you know, let's think about it logically, like you thinking that it makes more sense that maybe you just [01:01:30] had a little more than you thought, as opposed to someone intentionally drugging you, you know,

Speaker 3: Probably also not probably also people not from, uh, uh,

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 3: We can't tell any stories about the locals. We all know too many people. Yeah. So cool. Well, thanks a lot, man. I really appreciate it. So we'll call that a wrap to today's learning to dad. Thanks everyone for listening.

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