In today’s fast-paced world, the role of fathers has evolved significantly. No longer confined to traditional stereotypes, modern fathers strive to be actively involved in their children’s lives while pursuing successful careers.

One such exemplary figure is Hariman Kwok, a devoted father of two and the CEO and founder of The Seriously Fun Group, The Polliwogs, and X-SCAP8.

Hariman Family Photo Polliwogs CEO

In this exclusive interview, Hariman shares valuable insights on how he manages to balance the demands of fatherhood and entrepreneurship. Join us as we delve into his experiences, challenges, and the mantra that guides his remarkable parenthood journey.

Balancing fatherhood and entrepreneurship should be a personal journey

As a full-time father and entrepreneur, Hariman had to learn how to manage demands effectively and optimise his time to fulfill his commitments.

He shares, “Balancing the demands of fatherhood and entrepreneurship is a journey I approach with a personal touch. It’s all about finding what works for me and my family. When it comes to time management, I take a proactive approach. I create schedules, set deadlines, and leverage productivity tools to optimise my work and family time.

Every journey, in other words, is different and you have to find one that works for you!

It’s not always easy, but mindfulness and communication help

No balance comes without its challenges. Hariman acknowledges the blurring of boundaries and the need for conscious effort, stating, “It’s important to be mindful. I find pockets of time when driving my boys to places to chat with them on various topics that interest them. I want them to know that I care and will always have an ear for them, no matter how busy I am.

Hariman also sheds light on the importance of communication, sharing, “Openly communicate with your family about your work commitments and involve them in your decision-making process. Remember, you don’t have to do everything alone.

Self-care, too, is crucial. Hariman urges dads out there to prioritise activities such as exercise, hobbies, relaxation, and rest.

Always ask ‘Why, Who, and What’

Every journey requires a guiding principle, and Hariman’s mantra for parenthood is simple yet powerful: “Always ask ‘Why, Who, and What.'”

He explains, “My answer always leads back to my love for my family, which is enough to remind me of my priorities.” By asking himself why he does what he does, who it is for, and what impact it has, Hariman maintains a clear focus on his family while also setting an example of perseverance for his children.

Listen to your children

Children’s boundless imagination, unique perspectives, and uninhibited thinking can teach us a lot about our approach to life and work. Hariman has learned numerous lessons from his children.

He shares, “They inspire me to think outside the box, approach challenges with a fresh perspective, and foster a culture of innovation and creativity in my work. They encourage me to embrace creativity.

Hariman also talks about the importance of respecting children’s independence, “Listen to their point of view and have discussions rather than ‘advising’ them too much. Patience to give them time to express themselves without judgment is challenging but crucial.

Fatherhood can positively influence your approach to entrepreneurship

Being an actively involved father can have a profound impact on one’s approach to entrepreneurship. Hariman’s role as a father has influenced his leadership style and how he runs his businesses.

He focuses on empathy and communication, stating, “Understanding my children’s unique needs, perspectives, and emotions has translated into a deeper understanding of the needs and perspectives of my team members, customers, and business partners.

Fatherhood has also taught him the value of adaptability and creating a supportive environment. Hariman adds, “I prioritise creating a positive work culture where individuals feel supported, empowered, and valued, mirroring the supportive family dynamic I aim to create for my children.

Quality time is all about conscious effort

Hariman & Simone CEO Polliwogs interview

Hariman stresses the importance of intentionality, active engagement, and genuine connections in creating lasting memories with loved ones.

His strategies for ensuring quality time with his children have evolved as they grew older. Today, he emphasises the significance of shared interests and activities, saying, “I make a conscious effort to engage in activities that my children enjoy. These shared experiences create lasting memories and strengthen our bond.

Furthermore, Hariman recognises the importance of being present during their time together. He explains, “When I’m with my children, I make a conscious effort to be fully present. I put away distractions such as my phone or work-related thoughts and give them my undivided attention. It’s about quality over quantity.

Just be the best dad you can be

With his personalised approaches, effective time management, and a strong focus on communication, Hariman Kwok’s journey as a modern father and entrepreneur serves as an inspiration to many.

As Father’s Day draws close, Hariman closes with a heartfelt message to fathers out there who actively participate in their children’s lives, “Just be the best dad you can be. We all show our love and sacrifice in many different ways. Unfortunately, not all will understand. But that’s okay because being the best father will have a profound positive impact on your child and family. And for me, that is a good enough reason. Happy Father’s Day!

Interviewed by Joanne Heng.

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