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Welcome to the 16th edition of The Wealth Letters, a collection of insights from all walks of life on the pursuit of wealth, wisdom, and meaning.
If you haven’t done so, please read or listen to the manifesto before diving in to the collection, as it will give a clear vision of the project; the Who, What, and Why.
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The following letter is written by Madeline Anderson for The Wealth Letters community. It is an open letter aimed specifically at girl dads (however, the lessons shared absolutely can, and should apply to those seeking a life of wealth, wisdom, and meaning). I am very excited for this letter (and maybe a little biased) being that I am a girl dad to two young daughters, and was so excited that Madeline was willing to provide her insight for The Wealth Letters.
Madeline is the author of the book, Girl Dad: Stories, Lessons, and Advice from Girl Dads & Their Daughters. She is a daughter of a certified Girl Dad and a big believer that Girl Dads make the world a better place. In addition to being an author, she is also an entrepreneur who enjoys spending time at the beach, local coffee shops, and traveling with her friends and family.
Madeline graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019 with a degree in Business Economics.
I challenge you to listen or read this letter as if it is being written / spoken to you personally.
Be willing to be vulnerable and open your mind to ideas and suggestions that have proven worthwhile in another’s journey. Do not blindly accept any and all advice given, but rather take in the information and distill it down to if & how it can be applied to YOU and your unique self.
Michael Jordan said that he imitated Dr. J.
Kobe Bryant said he studied and imitated Jordan.
But, they mixed in their own uniqueness.
While not everything will relate directly to one’s current situation at the exact moment, there may be some gems that will be worthwhile in time.
To the Father of a Daughter
By: Madeline Anderson
Dear Father of a Daughter,
Whether you’re a new dad, a soon-to-be-dad, or a seasoned dad, I hope you find the lessons in this letter valuable for your relationship with your daughter.
I’m Madeline, the eldest daughter of a Girl Dad. My two sisters and I each have unique and incredible relationships with our dad. When I was a child, I had no idea how lucky I was, and I took a lot of things my dad did for us for granted. I thought his words and actions were commonplace for a dad, and all girls could relate. As I grew up, I realized that wasn’t the case. And I want to change that.
I decided to write Girl Dad: Stories, Lessons, and Advice from Girl Dads & Their Daughters because I want every father and every daughter to have the kind of rewarding, healthy, and strong relationship that I have with my dad. To do so, I interviewed fathers and daughters all over to get unique perspectives and advice for all the dads out there.
I want to share with you some of the most impactful lessons throughout the book because I truly want the best for you and your daughter. The fact that you are reading this means you care, and I am so thankful for that. So is your daughter, even if she doesn’t tell you.
Let’s dive in.
Lesson 1: Don’t Stop Being You
After my interviews with dads, I can say with confidence that losing oneself and having to quit doing what you love is one of a father’s greatest fears when having a daughter.
I have good news—it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I encourage you to be yourself and continue to do what you love. It is so inspiring to look up to a father who is passionate about his interests. Happy dads make happy daughters.
Let’s say you like to golf. Or watch basketball. Maybe you like to garden or paint. Or cheer on your favorite football team. Don’t ever give that up. Instead, continue to do what you love and include your daughter when possible. Making her excited about the things you like allows her to explore hobbies and activities that she might enjoy as well. And when your passions become her passions, you’ll love them even more.
Lesson 2: Balance Work and Life
Work-life balance has been getting a bad rap these days. I think it is because people think of a teeter totter and on each side you are striving to balance time. An hour at the office means an hour playing with your daughter, right? Not exactly.
When it comes to work, I think there are three important things to get right. If you do so, you achieve that work-life balance.
Quality over Quantity. If you only have 5 minutes per day with your daughter, make sure you spend those minutes looking her in the eyes, making her feel special, and devoting your attention to her.
Open Communication. Tell your daughter about what you are working on and what you do for work. The more she knows, the more she understands what work is and why you have to spend time on it. By speaking passionately about what you do, you will also inspire her to find a career she’s passionate about.
Work by Example. Daughters learn a lot from their fathers. Your actions and decisions on how you allocate your time and how you speak about work will influence her more than you know. If you are always complaining about what you do or who you work with, what does that teach her? Does that motivate her to find something she’s passionate about? Quite the opposite. Additionally, it is confusing to us girls when a father complains about what he does for work, but still puts work higher on the priority list. Instead, speak of the highlights and save the drama (if there is any) for one-on-one conversations with your friends or your partner.
Lesson 3: Make Her Feel Special
Here’s the thing about us daughters. When we are going about our lives, we are constantly asking ourselves three questions—often subconsciously. Am I loved? Am I worthy? Am I special? If you can answer “yes” to those questions by taking action, you are behaving like a Girl Dad.
When it comes down to making your daughter feel special, it is the little things that have the biggest impact. For example, leave her a note in her room, her lunch, or her mirror saying you love her and you are so proud of her. If she’s older, write her a letter about all things you are proud of her for and how much you love her.
Take her out one-on-one and ask high impact questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no. The one-on-one date can be anything from a picnic, a scenic drive, a walk to a coffee date or ice cream date or anything else you think she’d enjoy. Taking her out of the house for some quality bonding time will make her feel so special.
Now that we’ve gone over three of the most impactful lessons, I want to challenge you to take action. Whether your daughter is one year old or twenty years old, due soon or having a baby of her own, you have a golden opportunity to have the most rewarding relationship possible.
If you’re hungry for more advice, please read Girl Dad or reach out to me personally for coaching. I am here for you so you can be there for your daughter.
Thank you for everything you do. Keep being a great dad and continue to inspire other dads to be the same.
All my best,
My Takeaways from Madeline:
Yes, I am a girl dad, and so Madeline’s wisdom hits home for me being that I get to hear the lessons & advice from an actual daughter of a girl dad on what made her relationship with her dad so special. But, the points Madeline made can be applied beyond just girl dads or even parents in general. Her wisdom can be applied to running a business and ensuring one’s employees are valued. Or, how about a strong marriage? Or, maybe a healthy self-image? Re-read Madeline’s letter, and you will find that her insight can be applied in a number of facets of life.
Work-Life Balance. This is huge for me being that I am a business owner. It is hard enough to be the best in business, be the best husband, and be the best dad…at times, I feel like I am sub-par in each of those areas because I am spread thin. But, Madeline makes such a good point that it is not necessarily essential to have the time spent at work be equal to the time spent with one’s spouse or kids. Rather, the time needs to be of utmost quality…whatever time one gets to spend with loved ones, make that time your only focus, even if it’s just 5 minutes.
Don’t Stop Being You. You do not need to “give up” your passions and interests to spend more time with loved ones. It doesn’t need to be an either-or thing. Find ways to include your loved ones in your passions. Madeline says that when your passions become their passions, you will enjoy them even more.
Make Her Feel Special. This is my biggest takeaway from Madeline because my wife and daughters mean everything to me. They need to feel loved. They need to feel worthy. They need to feel special. Those are things that I can act on as a father and husband. And, when I think about it…am I (or we) any different? Don’t we all want to feel loved, worthy, and special? Isn’t that truly what wealth is?
What are your takeaways from Madeline?
Connect with Madeline
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Thank you Madeline for being vulnerable and sharing your findings with us!