In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, Mike McCarthy also serves as Keller Williams Property Group’s Regional Operating Partner for the Greater Pennsylvania Region. In addition to being a founding member of GoBundance and FamBundance, he is a co-author of a parenting book, “The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families,” and he’s a lifetime member of Front Row Dads, a program where fathers train one another.
How to succeed as an investor without sacrificing your family
The point of making money is to spend it with people you love. Sadly, many entrepreneurs sacrifice their freedom to attain financial success, preventing them from spending time with those who matter most to them.
When people fall into this trap, they will say that they’re “doing it for their family,” but sadly, the family is the one who always suffers. And yes, yes. I’ve also been guilty of falling into this trap.
Here’s something to keep in mind, though…
Mortgage payments won’t matter to your kids. But they’ll remember you if you show up to their little league games, birthdays, recitals, and family dinners.
That’s something my good friend and lifestyle investor Mike McCarthy wants you all to know. It’s not material wealth that your family wants; it’s YOU.
The connection between a successful business and a happy family life
“When I was younger, I wasn’t quite as clear on what my purpose or my mission was,” says Mke. “And so, things get a little cloudy but age has its advantages.” Growing old can be tough, but as you get older and have experience, you start to realize you want to be around certain people, and you want to be intentional about them. “And it’s great to be able to have the ability not to be picky but be selective about who you spend time with and then to really be purposeful about building those relationships,” he adds.
Mike also admits to being “a wild and crazy” teenager. He says God led him to work with his dad, which not only put a stop to their fight but led them to build a successful real estate business.
Besides getting to work with his dad, Mike also learned how to launch real estate brokerages, specifically Keller Williams franchises. “I ended up mapping out all the territories and looking at that opportunity, and that’s when I knew that the guidance that I was following was not only to bring me back to be closer to my father but also to have a tremendous business opportunity,” he explains.
Fast forward to now, my dad’s retired. “I’ve been leading the region for the past decade, and he’s been able to be proud and retired and catch a lot of big checks at the same time. So, that’s been great for a father and son to experience together.”
Success taught Mike McCarthy another valuable lesson
“I got to a place where I had a lot of freedom in my Keller Williams business. And then I took on another role, and it was very much serving my ego to be in this CEO position,” he says.
“But I realized that the thing I had sacrificed in doing that was more time with my family. So I thought, If I’m going to do this, I need to make sure that this serves my family,” he adds. “One of our pillars [at GoBundance] is authentic relationships. That means having a great family life, having great friends.”
Freedom of time matters more than money
Research shows that you live a better life if you have more autonomy over your life and time. And, in the case of Mike, that means using this extra time to build authentic relationships with your loved ones.
What are most families looking for? Spending more time with you. “An extra million dollars or whatever doesn’t mean much to a kid, but more time with mom or dad who’s normally out working a lot, and that’s great,” he says. “Hard work, having them see you work hard, that’s a great trait. But when we move the goalpost, we have to realize that we’re moving it because we’re driven in large part by our ego because we got to where we were focused on.”
Using your business leadership skills at home
“We take this skill of leadership and leading teams, and we think that it’s not appropriate to bring that skill home,” Mike states. You shouldn’t behave like a CEO when you walk through the door, shouting orders at your family. That’s not how you should lead your team, either.
“But I do recommend — and it’s part of my life’s work and mission — that whatever skills or rhythms or systems you’re using to build your number one work team, and to keep that team on point and hitting their goals, use those same talents that you already have for your family.”
How to build a legacy without more money
Mike says most of us didn’t get wealthy because of our parents because of an inheritance. Mostly, we worked our tails off as entrepreneurs, he explains. “Now, I got the benefit of a leg up working with my dad, but we weren’t affluent when we started that journey. He wasn’t wealthy. I didn’t grow up well. I was a middle-class kid.”
However, both of his parents worked 40-50 hours a week, and as an only child, Mike always wanted more time with his parents. While he did have quality time with his parents, Mike “understood that, hey, if I had more time with my dad and he may be included me more in his business or brought more of his business home into the environment to build our team called our family, the McCarthy family — then that’s the number one team like for everybody is your home team.”
“That’s the team that you need to do team-building exercises with,” he says. “That’s the team that you need to collaborate best with. That’s the team that you need to make sure that there is a dream manager for that’s helping each individual reach their goals.”
The fact is that we do all of this stuff in our business and work teams but not at home. “And I think the definition of a legacy is helping to equip the next generation to carry that legacy forward,” explains Mike. “And your legacy will only be as strong as the hands that you equip to make that transition so that they can carry it forward and into the world.”
You should stop using the “I’m doing it for my family” excuse
All of us have said, “I value my family above all else, and I am a family man first. I always put them first.” But check your schedule. Where exactly does your family stand?
However, in the end, the whole idea of investing, making money, and building great businesses doesn’t really make sense. Likewise, we should ensure we balance that equally with building a great family and relying on them the most in life. “And I think that that’s something that, yes, it shows up in your schedule, and it shows up in the types of practical things that you do with your family,” adds Mike. “Like, do you have shared values that are well-defined, and are they mom and dad’s values that they just came up with, and then they turn them to the kids and said, ‘Hey, these are our values.”? Did the kids have the chance to participate? How do those values manifest themselves? Do they just look good on paper and sound aspirational?
Would you rather dig through your family history and find the stories of when you were at your best and made magic together, even when you were facing the most challenging circumstances? Our values can be found in those stories, and then we must define them.
Defining your values with your kids
“At the core of all of our family exercises lives this ideology that people, when they’re involved in something, they truly get it,” says Mike. “They learn it at a cellular level, it becomes ingrained in them. When we try to tell our kids stuff — and even try to teach them, which is usually a lot of talking at them — they don’t embrace it.”
It’s important to let others help you create something you value, like the systems you’re trying to create for your family.
The importance of improving communication and connection in families
Right now, the world is broken. For many, there’s not a lot of unity or collaboration around.
But, “I can’t help but think maybe that’s a reflection of what’s happening in individual families,” says Mike. As a family unit, if we were to come together and be our best for one another as individuals and help our children and spouses be their best, we would not in some way create a ripple effect from the family unit that would have a positive impact on the entire world.
“And I think especially in our Western society, it’s so much about achievement, so much about accumulation,” Mike continues. We may have even forgotten how important that family unit is. “And I think we can look to other cultures to see that it’s possible to thrive economically and in businesses and still make family and community the most important thing, above all, achievement and success.”
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna; Pexels; Thank you!