Episode 52: Meet Philipp Hartmann- Marketing Guru, Seasoned Entrepreneur, and an Amazing Daddy Surfer
It means everything for a father to hear his kid say, “You’re the best dad ever!” Well, in actuality, no dad is perfect in the most literal sense. But there are dads who can go beyond their daddy duties to make sure their family is safe, happy, and empowered. They are dads who deserve our utmost respect and love. On that note, we ought to understand what really makes a dad.
Philipp Hartmann, an amazing big wave surfer and the founder of Dadicateddotcom, has an amazingly interesting anecdote on being a dad. It was a long and tough journey before he finally became one. And surprising how life granted his petition- he was blessed with five kids in a span of only 13 months! That’s a lot for a short period of time and Philipp has had his own share of joys and struggles in his new role. With this seemingly extra tough situation, Philipp came to the realization that there is little content for dads like him. More and more dads want to be genuinely involved in every stage of fatherhood. Thus, he’s more than ever geared to helping dads like him navigate through this critically significant part they play.
This week, Philipp joins us for a heart-warming, and eye-opening interview. Philipp tells about the story of their life in Cape Town and how he became a father of five adorable kids within a little more than a year. Having these experiences, Philipp talks about pregnancy, birthing, and child care from a dad’s perspective. He also lets us in on some remarkable “Being Dad” episodes which we can learn valuable lessons from. Raising kids and keeping the family together is sure not an easy task, but it is doable. Philipp has some good advice on setting up a structured dinner, relationship check-ins, strengthening the family bond, and more. If you’re a dad or a dad-to-be who wants family success, press the play button now and join in to today’s episode!
Listen to the episode here:
- 03:54 Oneness with the Ocean
- 10:43 Being Dads
- 13:41 Pregnancy and Birthing From A Father’s Perspective
- 21:18 Creating Dad Contents
- 24:02 What Leads To Family Success
- 30:22 Relationship Check-Ins
- 33:23 Advice For Dads
- 39:34 Teaching Children How To Navigate Life
Philipp Hartmann is a big wave surfer. He’s a friend of Richard Walton, who’s my guest in episode 47. He’s a Marketing Guru and a seasoned entrepreneur. He left his home country to live in South Africa and enjoys the sunny lifestyle and the energy of this wonderful country. In our conversation, we focus on Philipp’s personal tale because he became a dad of five children in 13 months. You may be going, “what?!”, as you hear this. But yes, Philipp became a dad of twins and then triplets in the space of 13 months. Beyond the fact that his wife is a goddess, I’ll let him tell you his story, which is pretty impressive. And it’s about resilience, love, and dedication. In fact, we also get a few expert tips from Philipp’s experience because he’s launched a podcast called “Being Dad” where he interviews dads from all over the world about being a dad. We also managed to fit in a few minutes about surfing in South Africa too.
“My own mission is to live a life worthy of my wife’s and children’s love and respect.” -Philipp Hartmann
Philipp and I only had a limited amount of time to exchange and I was kind of nervous because my internet connection was a bit sketchy, but don’t worry, the sound is perfect because he recorded his track on his end. But I didn’t make enough time to allow Philipp to talk about something more important going on at the moment. And it’s his other brainchild called, “Together for Cape Town.” Now Philipp is raising funds for the townships of Cape Town to distribute free meals to the children of the city who are directly impacted by the lockdown rules that have been ongoing since the 27th of March. Basically, in an environment of high unemployment rates, the few income sources of cutoff and basic health and supply can’t be provided. So we’re talking about starvation and the escalation of a generally critical situation. So I urge you to skip to “Together for Cape Town’s” website and donate a few dollars, euros, or rands to support Philipp’s initiatives, it’s togetherforcapetown.com. Anyway, so far they’ve been able to raise about $50,000, but they’re hoping on much more to support these vulnerable communities. They are targeting the distribution of 3 million meals, and links to it are in the show notes. If you do have a bit of time, just take a look at that to support Philipp’s initiative.
I hope you enjoy this episode.
Take care, have fun, and enjoy the waves.
Connect with Philipp:
- Being Dad Podcast Episode 1: Warren Rustand- Strategies on Building Successful Families
- Being Dad Podcast Episode 2: Walter Lee’s Son, Zy Has Only One Arm; No Legs
- Being Dad Podcast Episode 17: Richard Walton- Being Dad in the Jungle
- Being Dad Podcast Episode 19: Warren Farell- The Father of the Men’s Movement & Author of “The Boy Crisis”
- Being Dad Podcast Episode 29: Sander Raeijmaekers- A Dad’s View Of Postnatal Depression(PDD)
- The Oceanriders Podcast Episode 047: Meet Richard Walton-Wandering Serial Entrepreneur and Adventurous Surfer
- 13:10 “If we can facilitate a family success through having fathers being more involved, we have a direct impact on society.” -Philipp Hartmann
- 23:50 “Fathers who are more involved is a very high indication for family success.” -Philipp Hartmann
- 24:16 “My own mission is to live a life worthy of my wife’s and children’s love and respect.” -Philipp Hartmann
- 36:58 “It’s important to accept and allow the fact that people also have families and not just work.” -Philipp Hartmann
- 41:46 “It’s more important that you empower children and make sure that they can navigate in a safe, empowered kind of manner because you don’t know what’s coming.” -Philipp Hartmann
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Imi Barneaud: Hi everybody and welcome to The Oceanriders Podcast conversations with creatives, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and dreamers, who also happened to be surfers. My name’s Imi, and I am your host. I’m really stoked to be behind the mic again, and I hope you’re all well. I’ve been a bit off of social media for a while because I was doing up a boat, actually. I’ve got loads of paint all over my fingers, and hands, and arms, and everything. And it’s pretty, pretty chaotic at the moment, but I just wanted to know how you are. Have you got back to the new normal yet? Because as we return to the new normal here in France, it’s quite frightening to see that there are a bunch of countries that are affected by COVID-19 even worse than us. In fact, South Africa is one of them, and that’s where my guest today, Philipp Hartmann, lives.
Philipp is a big wave surfer. He’s a friend of Richard Walton who’s my guest in episode 47. He’s a marketing guru and a seasoned entrepreneur. He left his home country to live in South Africa and enjoys the sunny lifestyle and the energy of this wonderful country. In our conversation, we focus on Philipp’s personal tale because he became a dad of five children in 13 months. You may be going, what?, as you hear this. But yes, Philipp became a dad of twins and then triplets in the space of 13 months. Beyond the fact that his wife is a goddess, I’ll let him tell you his story, which is pretty impressive. And it’s about resilience, love and dedication. In fact, we also get a few expert tips from Philipp’s experience because he’s launched a podcast called “Being Dad” where he interviews dads from all over the world about being a dad.
In fact, we also managed to fit in a few minutes about surfing in South Africa. Philipp and I only had a limited amount of time to exchange and I was kind of nervous because my internet connection was a bit sketchy, but don’t worry, the sound is perfect because he recorded his track on his end. But I didn’t make enough time to allow Philipp to talk about something more important going on at the moment. And it’s his other brainchild called “Together for Cape Town.” Now Philipp is raising funds for the townships of Cape Town to distribute free meals to the children of the city who are directly impacted by the lockdown rules that have been ongoing since the 27th of March. Basically, in an environment of high unemployment rates, the few income sources of cutoff and basic health and supply can’t be provided. So we’re talking about starvation and the escalation of generally critical situations. So I urge you to skip to “Together for Cape Town’s” website and donate a few dollars, euros or rands to support Philipp’s initiatives, it’s togetherforcapetown.com. Anyway, so far they’ve been able to raise about $50,000, but they’re hoping on much more to support these vulnerable communities. They are targeting the distribution of 3 million meals, and links to it are in the show notes. If you do have a bit of time, just take a look at that to support Philipp’s initiative.
Anyway, without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Philipp Hartmann.
Hello, Philipp, and welcome to The Oceanriders Podcast. How are you today?
Philipp Hartmann: Hey, Imi, it’s good to be on the show with you. And I’m really good, thank you.
Imi Barneaud: Excellent. I guess before we start, do you think you could introduce yourself to the listeners and explain how you see yourself as an ocean rider?
Philipp Hartmann: Sure. I’m laughing because that’s such a multifaceted question, actually. My name is Philipp Hartmann. I’m 41 years old. I’m a proud father of five. I have twins and triplets. I’m also an entrepreneur. I live in Cape Town in South Africa, in the South of Cape Town, actually, almost on Cape point, which is the most Southwestern point of Africa. And I enjoy surfing bigger waves, mainly on the reefs here. And how I see myself as an ocean rider, I guess never thought about that, but I really enjoy the oneness in the ocean because it brings tranquility. And I guess it’s a form of meditation in itself.
Imi Barneaud: Absolutely. Absolutely. So where are you from originally? Because I pick up a kind of German or Swiss accent, is that correct?
Philipp Hartmann: I’m German, yeah. I was born in Munich, and I grew up in Munich. And funny. , I’ve always wanted to surf. There is a river wave in Munich. They kind of started surfing it when I was maybe angst and, they put like a rope down the bridge, and then kind of held onto the rope, and stood in the wave. But I’ve never done it, I’ve done it now, but I never did it then. And somehow, I don’t know the first time I really surfed, I guess I was an exchange student in California for seven months.
Imi Barneaud: Wow.
Philipp Hartmann: And only I failed to make sure that the family I’d stay with was living at the ocean. And so they lived in Lompoc, which is like a mountain and hour away from the ocean, or something, 45 minutes. So I only surf once then, but I really wanted to. And then I guess I only started surfing when I was living in Australia for my studies, I must’ve been 20. So I started quite late from a surf’s perspective.
Imi Barneaud: And so you’ve been around the world a lot. How did you end up in South Africa?
Philipp Hartmann: So I studied in Munich and Sydney, and I came back to Munich in 2000 or so, and it was on the dot that was the first dot-com crash, first dot-com bubble crash. And I could have become a designer or something in an agency, I started most immediately. So at the time, digital marketing, everything was to a media screen and sound would be multimedia, all disciplines for one really. And I could have become a designer for print or something like that because there were no jobs in digital at that time, just crash. And I really didn’t want to do that. So we started a company in Munich, in my parents’ garage. And it was pretty clear that we both, my business partner today, Steven, and then we both still wanted to go abroad. We studied together in Sydney, we had started surfing and living on the beach, and it was really amazing. And so, yeah, the garage was kind of like a launch pet, I guess. We looked up literally different places in the world. In the beginning, we wanted to go to Chile, actually. We applied for different agencies in Santiago, Chile. They didn’t really think we were suitable because we didn’t speak Spanish. In my mind I would have stayed with the guest family for, I don’t know, four months or six months. And then would have moved on to Chile, I would have stayed in Mexico. But I didn’t think that was possible so we kind of pivoted and we applied in Cape Town. It’s different agencies because, you know, everything’s English here, same time zone, and it’s beautiful. So one of the agencies literally made the connection and they said: “Once you’re here, just come and see us both.” And they hired us both. Funny enough, they said: “We’re looking for a senior, but you’re really two juniors. So you could share a position of the salary.” And we’re like: “Yay.” So we did that. And it was really great because we were kind of into Cape Town, and we had visas, and we had friends. And suddenly, they were like people, and work, and the infrastructure. And then funny enough, they didn’t have enough work for us. They tried to start like an online unit with us. They were actually a digital agency in terms of effects. So they did a lot of 3D, and motion graphics, and that kind of stuff.
And what happened then was that the first company from the first year in the garage, contacted us, and bear in mind, this is 2002. So today was COVID-19, I think everybody’s finally understood that you can work at a distance. But in 2002, this was really not common. So we realized that we could work in Germany and Switzerland from Cape Town. So in other words, we were free to travel. How amazing. In the beginning, other agencies were doing our work, and that’s also how the agency that we run today, jeez, the age and the factory, and literally, we just started servicing clients abroad. So you’ve been doing this for 20 years, and that’s why there was never a reason to leave Cape Town because it’s beautiful here, and I could surf, and I have this lifestyle off of South Africa. But at the same time, I was able to work in a European context, even though virtually.
Imi Barneaud: That is really, really inspiring for anybody who’s listening that if you want to be the same time zone as Europe, there are nicer places on earth in the middle of, I dunno, in the middle of France, or in the middle of a cold climate somewhere, you can actually get the benefits down in South Africa. Was it difficult to adapt to the South African lifestyle?
Philipp Hartmann: No, it’s very Western. I mean, it’s still Africa, but Cape Town is really first to second world. I mean, Cape Town itself is first word If you wanted to be, and you can also have very much have third word. At this moment, it’s very interesting because of COVID-19 and the economy that has collapsed, people are really, really struggling. We started a nice initiative talking a third word at togetherforcapetown.com. And what we’re trying to do is we are aiming to raise enough funds for 3 million meals for kids in the townships before the year, and we seem to be on a good track there. We already started three weeks ago. We already able to pay 55,000 meals. So that’s really good, but different topic.
Imi Barneaud: We’ll have to have to do a new podcast for that one. Yeah, that’s amazing. So you’ve actually raised money for the kids for their food, I guess. Yeah, COVID-19. Maybe this is a parenthesis that we can go into in our next episode, but that’s really, really, really interesting. And you can maybe tell us how you actually managed to get that all together. But I guess we’re stuck for time today, so we’ll have to plow on actually about being a dad, because I’d really like us to talk about your crazy 13 month adaptation period to become a father. And I just wondered if you could tell us, introduce us to this story and your amazing family.
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah. That’s my favorite topic, obviously. So as you said, quite rightly, I became a dad of twins and triplets, or five kids within 13 months. And the story was quite exciting and amazing really. I still can’t believe that we’re still alive, but we are. So what happened was that, we, my wife and I grew up together. Funny enough, she’s also from Munich. We’ve been trying to have children for a long time and it didn’t work for a long time. And then we had a pregnancy that didn’t work. Finally, she fell pregnant and that pregnancy didn’t work, unfortunately. And then we adopted twins and we were like, okay, they were six months when we adopted them from South Africa. So we were like, okay, let’s have one more, let’s try for one more. It’s going to take 10 million years like all the rest. This time, of course she fell pregnant within six months. And of course with triplets. It sounds funny now, but it was really stressful at the time because the twins were a year old when Vanessa had to be hospitalized because there truly is not enough space in the belly. And so they tried to keep the kids in because they can’t survive if they’re born too early. I sat there with the twins trying to not go bankrupt on the side, caring for these babies and trying to go and visit my wife every day in hospital. And then finally, the triplets came. And then of course they were in NICU for like, I don’t know, 10 and a half weeks. And I realized, it was stressful of course. And I realized that there’s not enough stuff for dads. There’s a lot of stuff for moms and that’s great, it’s not competition. But it’s just, there’s nothing for dad in terms of inspiring content. I know you’re big on content, so you’ll understand the value of that. And so what I did was I started this project called dadicated.com, like dedication, but with an A, dadicated. And what I’m doing is I’m speaking to unique dads around the world, Richard was one of them, Richard Walton in one of your previous episodes, who kind of have stepped into or stepped up to being a dad, and who have a unique kind of story. They’ve basically applied themselves and have something to say. They’re really, really amazing men. And the idea of the podcast is to inspire other fathers, or to empower other fathers, or both in order to facilitate family success. Because I believe that if we can facilitate a family success through having fathers being more involved, we obviously have a direct impact on society because family is the smallest unit on how you can organize society.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah.
Philipp Hartmann: So the impact is obviously very direct.
Imi Barneaud: Of course. And I guess that that’s such a genius idea. I mean, how did you cope for the first months during your wife in the hospital with two babies? What did you feel during that time?
Philipp Hartmann: It’s a very good question, that’s a very good question. I mean, the husband has always kind of, I get this from speaking to dozens of dads, mostly about the topic. The husband’s always kind of like the bystander and the society is like, how did you cope? And that the husband also has parenting and great times in those periods. And so it’s very important that we be inclusive around this. And I must say, yeah, if I go back to the first, the pregnancy that didn’t work, that was hugely traumatic, but only like a year later for me, because I kind of assumed the role of soldiering on and trying to keep everything together. Because obviously, it’s devastating for the mother. I only realized that loss, or I only dealt with that loss like a year later, literally a year later. And with the twins and the triplets at the same time, I think I was really just in execution mode because like, it was so much admin, and emotional pressure, and everything on top of everything. And there’s a real chance that your wife or your partner dies in such a pregnancy, very high risk pregnancy. I think we just went into execution and the survival thing. The uncertainty during the times when my wife was in the hospital were extremely stressful. I remember like, yeah, I couldn’t speak to these kids, they were like a year old, the twins. And I had to put them to bed in the evening. They were just screaming because they didn’t know what was going on. You must imagine they were adopted, right? So the first six months of their lives, they had different caretakers. And then suddenly, they had a mother. Because obviously, Vanessa, my wife, was all over these babies. And then suddenly the mother’s gone again, that’s like, they didn’t know what was going on. So it was just stressful for everybody really. And I think the birth was also very stressful because I didn’t know what was going on. There were literally 15, 18 people in the theater, and I needed to test a doula, myself, my wife, the three triplets, a guy, a doctor per triplet, and the helper. So it was like 18 — I actually discussed it on my podcast. In the last episode with Sandra, my friend who we talk about post natal and natal depression from the dad’s perspective. And we also talked about the birth experience. And that experience was stressful because I kind of didn’t include me during the birth because it was so process driven and like very scary in that sense. I did it very, very professionally, but they didn’t explain anything to me as a dad. And they, again, I think it’s important that Dad must be included in the process and not just on the side. You’re not the main part in the birth, but it’s important to get them in emotionally.
Imi Barneaud: Well, of course, and it’s something that you’ve anticipated for such a long time. And I guess with the first baby that you lost on the way, that sort of trauma, and then sort of building up on a risky pregnancy, that must’ve been a moment that you wanted to cherish, but you weren’t able to.
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah, I was. But I mean, you must listen to the episode, it’s a big story. I mean, I just think it’s important because it’s such a beautiful and amazing experience. And as men, we don’t inherently have that understanding. I mean, I can’t bring children into this life, into this earth. So women think and talk about birth much more. And obviously, you have a baby in your belly, that’s a very different situation. So it’s important that for instance, you should have a doula because the doula helped me a lot. The doula can focus on the mother and to Dad, and before the birth, and after the birth and during. And so just an extra person other than just the medical personnel was just executing so that the child and the mother is well.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Yeah. So maybe for some listeners who aren’t aware, when my kids were born, we didn’t know what doula’s were at the time, but do you think you could explain the role of a doula?
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah, my wife’s work with doula. So the doula is a word for a women’s slave actually. And what the doula does is she’s there for the well-being of the mother. And now also the father stays in more modern times. And really what she is the way I would explain it is she’s an emotional midwife. So she doesn’t do any medical interference or activities during the birth, but she really helps the parents hold the space emotionally. And she explains, this is what’s going on now. And she makes sure that, or she can help or facilitate that the situation during the birth stays or as best as can be remains as the parents wanted it to be.
Imi Barneaud: Right.
Philipp Hartmann: So she might say, this is what’s happening. Now, the doctor’s really saying we need to cut here, or this, and that because, and you cannot make a decision. Whereas if there is no doula, the doctor can, and it happens a lot actually just from what I’m explained to, by my wife. The doctor actually just overrides the situation, okay, we do this, there’s this. And you’re in a very vulnerable space, especially as the mother, obviously. And then you might make decisions that you don’t really want to make, you don’t want to ask, and you don’t want to be in the way or make a mistake. And so you trust it and you should. And so during the pregnancy, I mean, not during the birth. The doula does this very important function of the emotional support. Is that about correct coming from a woman’s perspective?
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I’m not too familiar with that kind of role and position because, as I said, I didn’t have the chance to get my hands on doula’s at the time. It was 20 years ago. But yeah, it’s obviously an extra sort of emotional, how do you say an emotional backup kind of thing, which is really important for mothers because they are vulnerable at the time of births and during pregnancy, and after as well. So yeah.
Philipp Hartmann: There’re a lot more successful natural births for instance when there’s a doula present because the decision isn’t taken as lightly or as quickly, not likely, but as quickly when the doula can help hold the space. Women are designed to bear children. And for instance, in South Africa, the [inaudible] is extremely, extremely high because medical personnel are really trained in the emergency, which is then [inaudible]. And so that’s easier for them to execute because they can control more of the situation or it feels like it may be. And so that’s for instance, an important function of the doula, but again, to kind of help facilitate the birth that you envisioned.
Imi Barneaud: Right, right. That’s really interesting.
Philipp Hartmann: She gave my wife a massage before the birth happened, and she explained to me what was going on, and how I can play my part, and how I can support, and she helped us during the birth, what’s going on now, and she was just there, and there’s a very strong presence emotionally.
Imi Barneaud: That’s fantastic. I really love the way that you turned this crazy hectic time of your life into a movement for Dads. And you’ve created a podcast and a video series that seem to come. Do you think you could tell us a bit more about dedication and how well, I guess, how did you get the idea to actually think, okay, this is really difficult for me. I wonder if there are other people in the same situation. How did that idea actually come to you?
Philipp Hartmann: To answer that last question in terms of there are many people in that situation, because I get the feedback from the ads and from moms, by the way. And it was very simple. I just couldn’t find anything for myself. And during those periods in the journey, and sometimes stressful times, I was searching for good content. And at the end of the day, I would end up reading women’s forums on the internet. I mean, there are a lot of books for parents, both, and there’s a lot of content for moms. And so Dads specifically show the last two or three years, there’s a little bit more content emerging. And because the topic is super hot, many, many people have obviously understood this, and Dads want to be more involved. It’s not like 1970 anymore. And even 80’s and 90’s, Dad’s want to be more involved. Companies are gearing up towards being more family friendly, it’s a big driver in HR. Because people, we get a good paycheck anywhere, but they’ll still have other requirements for instance, fulfillment or family. And so big companies are not paying IVF for adoption, or they’ll give you equal parental leave even though they don’t have to. And that makes a lot of sense because that’s how you can have good people in it, but it also shows you that good people want that. So it shows you that there’s a demand for this. So I just realized there’s nothing out there that would have helped me. And I thought, okay, well, I should just ask men who’ve gone through this and what their experiences are. And so there are very, very diverse sets of men that I’m speaking to, and very different stories. Like one Dad has a child who’s got only one functional limb, quite an amazing story. And the child was born like that as a surprise. So at the beginning, Dad was obviously super shocked and everybody was, but what came out of the story is so amazing. His name is Walter Lee, his son’s name is Zy. And by the age of two, he was walking on partidas without legs. And by the age of nine, they summited Mount Kilimanjaro. And he doesn’t do this in his capacity as an entrepreneur, he does this in his capacity as a dad, his energy as a father.
Imi Barneaud: That’s incredible.
Philipp Hartmann: There’s other stories like Richard who lived in the jungle for eight years, as you know in Costa Rica, where two of his children were born. And it’s quite amazing because due to the time zone time difference in this case, he was able to spend a lot of time with his family and his children, and really saw them grow up. And again here, fathers are more involved, it’s a very high education for family success.
Imi Barneaud: What do you call family success per se? I mean, what do you globe into that center family success?
Philipp Hartmann: Well, how I defined [inaudible] for family?
Imi Barneaud: Yeah.
Philipp Hartmann: I think it’s a healthy relationship for status between, amongst all, I’m talking about the nuclear family here. So you’re safe and your children. First, it’s a headsy relationship, I’ve kind of translated it into my own mission and that is to live a life worthy of my wives and children’s love and respect. So I think that explains a lot about that, that’s really the outcome. I think family success is also, if you manage to have a relationship with your children past 18, as an imaginary number where they’re actually dependent on you, that would for me be a successful family situation. So for instance, I made a goal that I want to be fit enough in 25 years for my children for instance, invite me to join them on a surf trip. Because in 25 years, that means that they’re into adulthood, and they need to like me. And of course, I want to be fit because I want to go with them.
Imi Barneaud: That’s brilliant. And I guess during that time, that also sort of very trying time, how did you actually manage financially? That must have been super complicated.
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah. I mean, luckily in South Africa, it’s a bit easier to be able to buy or pay for enough help. So to speak in Germany, this would have never been possible. So we’ve had a night nurse from the start otherwise you can’t have five babies, and you cannot operate on not sleeping ever possible. So yeah, financially, I mean, I’m self employed so it was quite stressful, I must say. But somehow we pulled through. I have an amazing business partner who took over for us, five, six months. Then it was pretty much, I mean, I was still working, but of course less. And somehow it worked. We didn’t really get much money from family, and I didn’t want that either. And what we do get, or did get and still get, and it’s really amazing, Vanessa’s friend is into fashion. They have a fashion company actually. And the kids have amazing hair, beautiful clothes, they’re much better dressed than I am. And I think that’s probably quite expensive. And in terms of having so many kids and the beautiful stuff they wear, so that’s for instance, a financial burden less, I guess. But otherwise, we might make certain decisions. For instance, when we first found out that Vanessa was pregnant with triplets, it was like, Hey, you have to buy a house, a different car, and we just decided, no, we actually don’t. If we have less space, it would just mean that the family is more on top of each other. You don’t actually all live in separate rooms, but we are more family orientated in that way. So you can just make certain decisions that might not be the norm. And then it doesn’t extra cost so much more. Sure it’s expensive, but.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah, but the reward is amazing. Have you guys got any family traditions?
Philipp Hartmann: In what sense?
Imi Barneaud: I don’t know. Well, for example, for me, we have a tradition of guests a lot older, but we’ve taught them how to play a game of cards [inaudible]. And every evening after supper, we play the game of Western, the team that loses has to do the dishes, and dishwasher things, or walk the dog or something like that. I don’t know if at this moment you’ve already installed any family traditions.
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah, of course. I mean, we do have those and some you bring, I guess, from your own parents, into your own family, and you start inventing order, they just happen. I mean, our kids are four and a half, and three, there’s this they want to do, but they hype with that kind of stuff. But yeah, of course, I think it’s very, very important that you have that. So for instance, one thing that I recently introduced, that’s going towards structured dinners, one thing that I’ve learned from one of my Dads in the podcast, dadicated.com, Warren Farrell, he wrote a book called The Boy Crisis, and he said, structures, dinners, one of the most important things you can implement into a family setup.
Imi Barneaud: What’s a structured dinner?
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah. So structured dinner means that everybody gets the same eat time and will be listened to, regardless of their age in the family, around the dinner table for a certain period of time. So there’s one topic, and then everybody can check in on that topic, and then you could still have totally free time so to speak on structure. But the structure part means that everybody gets the respect from every family member during that period, and gets the time. So the baby version of that that we’ve recently started, and it’s really fun is, what was your favorite today? What was your funniest? If they’re really small, you just say, what was your funniest, and they say something. But the point of it is that I will stop everybody and I go, okay, now I want to hear from Maxi, what was your funniest today, Maxi? And then they know that Maxi is talking, and everybody’s listening to Maxi. It takes time until I get it. But I think it teaches them respect, it teaches them to listen to each other, the three year old says, I’m still talking. Oh, that’s really good. Okay, then continue. So it teaches them safe assurance, self worth, self confidence, because now he’s talking, so he is still talking. That’s important. so we do that. And then of course, we do the obvious things like reading a book every night to the kids, usually on the weekends, I try to take over as much as I can sometimes the whole day. And I work with them in the garden, or I go up the mountain so my wife can take a break. And then in terms of, I guess in the partnership, we have certain trip roads so we do one weekend, or one night on the weekend, Friday night we go, a month we go away somewhere. I organize it and Vanessa just has to pitch. And then we do one date night, a week, which I also organize.
And if it’s not in COVID-19, we probably usually go for dinner or something again. And now in COVID-19 where we have shifts with the night nurse who moved in by the way with her child also. So we literally have four three year olds, four and a half year olds at the moment because she can’t really come in and out, we’ve started self quarantining before the lockdown happened. We had one of the hardest lockdowns in the world. And so she was with the kid, and so every third night we also have date night. But then it’s something easy, we play Scrabble or we just talk. Another ritual that’s very important I find for the relationship is our checking. So we do a checking at least at the date nights, or sometimes whenever it happens randomly in the evenings with my wife and myself. So it goes like this, you have gratitude. So thank you for picking up the kids today, or thank you for always doing this or that just to show some appreciation. Then there’s personal laws of the day or personal law, just one thing to check, then there’s a personal high, and then there is horizon, this is on horizon, and then there is acknowledgement. So I don’t smoke, but just to make an example, I’ve been trying really hard to quit smoking. And then she responds yet realized, I’ve seen that and you’re doing really well. And that checking, it can go really quickly or it can take longer. And it’s amazing because it focuses your mind or both your minds into a place where you are checking in on the important stuff, and you can go very, very quickly. Personal law, okay, and you’re already on the topic. And then sometimes we just carry on to the topic and it kind of goes, okay, and what’s your high. And that really works really well. So we’ve been doing that.
Imi Barneaud: That’s really cool. And how have you managed living a long way away from your family in Germany? Because grandparents, for example, for me were really important when the kids were young. How did you cope with that?
Philipp Hartmann: I think it’s much more difficult for my wife because she has a very, very close relationship with her parents. And so they have been coming since we have, I think since we’ve had the twins, even every summer. So in winter, they come for three months. And the next door neighbor’s house is a holiday home, so we rent that. And then they’re here for three months, which is really amazing. They’re Italian. It’s always about being here, and they make amazing food. And it’s really, really nice. He loves the ocean, just eating seafood, and what’s for dinner? And it’s really, really nice. So the kids, they pretty much speak Italian, they understand it because he just speaks Italian to them, and that helps a lot. Like I said, they stay here for three months. Yeah. And other than that, we try to go to Germany for three months of the year, and we do that in summer. So June, July, August, we’re usually in Germany. And the rest, we need to deal with our grandparents.
Imi Barneaud: Well, I guess with all the Dads that you’ve interviewed in your podcast, what is the best advice that you’ve had from your Dads?
Philipp Hartmann: Many, there are so many, and I make them say exactly that line, and we don’t explain it but that’s because there is nothing for Dads. They start every episode with the best advice I could give to myself as a Dad is this, and then they say remaining stuff. So Richard for instance said an amazing, okay, I’ll tell you the best advice that I think is the best advice. Best advice I got came from Warren Rustand. He’s an amazing leader, father, and family man. And he taught me a lot, he’s actually my mentor. He worked for five different American Presidents. So it kind of shows you the presence and the chief method. Family is his most important thing. And the best advice he gave me was, ‘It’s very easy to distract children.’ It’s very easy to distract children. You don’t have to go into conflict with kids, you can just distract children. And that’s so true, and there’s something and it’s boiling up to become this big conflict situation. You can just distract them and there’s no conflict, there’s no requirement for timeouts or anything like that. If you can manage to quickly enough, distract them. Of course, it doesn’t always work, but that’s really good advice. A lot of good advice came from actually all of that. Richard said something, he said to apologize to your children and do it often because it levels the playing field. I think that’s very, very powerful advice, ‘Acknowledges that you’re not always righteous because of your parents and you also make mistakes.’ Another good advice came from one father who lost his child to suicide and he said, and also again, very good advice to realize that the world we grew up in is not the same world as they grow up because it’s not, we’re dealing in our own paradigm and on set of how we view things, but children have a very different surrounding, just with technology. And so there’s a lot of very interesting stuff. Obviously, many Dads speak around time within 10, quality over quantity, and yet everybody says that. But actually, think about that for a while and see if you’re actually doing that, spend the time with intent.
Imi Barneaud: Wow. Wow. That’s excellent. I guess the best advice is to go and check out your podcast and listen, and how do you actually make some connections because you’ve got some amazing people that come on your podcast.
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah. I don’t know. I think partly, obviously my story opens doors, not everybody has triplets and twins within 13 months. So I guess people find that interesting too. And secondly, I really, really enjoy podcasting and networking. So it’s kind of one thing that leads to the other and then people start introducing each other. So that’s just how it happens.
Imi Barneaud: Excellent. And right now you’re starting a seed fund, could you tell us a bit more about it?
Philipp Hartmann: I started it yet, but I want to. And so it’s obvious, if you want to empower the ads, that’s a big goal in order to facilitate family success and ultimately make the world a better place. That’s not really possible through recording a few hours of interviews, so how can I get a bigger impact? And so the next iteration of the project would be a visual journey in terms of, it can be a web series, could be on Netflix, I don’t know. We get more like a visual kind of insight into these Dads lives, or personal use. And the next iteration based on that brand and that reach would then be some sort of a venture capital fund or investment vehicle that basically invests in companies that carry the same mission, which is empowering dads. Because through entrepreneurship and through business, you can have a huge impact positively and negatively. Like I said earlier, companies more and more understand that it’s important to accept and allow the fact that people also have families and not just work. And so many companies pivot towards that viewpoint or standpoint from a business perspective, but many companies actually get it and actually start changing. And so those companies are worthwhile supporting and they don’t all have to be Dad or family related, obviously, it needs to work for the whole family. I just happened to speak to that because I am one. But it could be a company that produces a pregnancy app for Dads, how come there is none? How come there’s no birth preparation course digitally for the Dads? How come wouldn’t you want your Dad or your husband to know about these things, and maybe you don’t even know how to explain all of that. And there are different viewpoints now, so that’s interesting, but they could also be completely different. So maybe they’re just a company that gives the employees on their children’s birthdays. It can obviously go further than that, where we have a more equal distribution in terms of time throughout the company for families or something like that. So that’s truly open, but really, yeah, I guess the core of the matter is that if you invest in companies that empower the same or that carry the same values empowering Dads, I think it would have a huge impact.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. That’s amazing. It’s sort of 1% for the planet, but that version is excellent. It’s really, really good.
Philipp Hartmann: If you look at Patagonia, they did a lot of stuff for parents. I mean, they basically implemented childcare at the workplace, in the 70’s or something, I dunno. It’s 10 years ago that I wrote, read his book or ideas. But I think it was like in the 70’s or 80’s, because I had a lot of moms at the time working and they realized that their moms would just work better if they knew that their kids are safe and happy. And so I said, okay, well just bring your kids to work. Oh, you’re going to have to make a plan, or that’s a really progressive way of thinking. And it’s a really good way of thinking because, of course, pumps work better if they know that their children are safe. So yeah.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah. Yeah. And what do you find the most challenging thing for a dad in the 21st century? Because we’ve got all this kind of very scary, terrifying kind of future coming to us, and especially we sort of felt it during the COVID-19. And maybe if your kids are super young, maybe they don’t realize it all, but what kind of discussions have you had with your Dads about explaining the future, or explaining the world in the 21st century?
Philipp Hartmann: Good question. So COVID-19, I believe, is a huge opportunity for families. We are experiencing a global deceleration, a forced global deceleration of the earth. And it’s very important that the earth is healing in that sense. And nature is, suddenly we have dolphins in Venice, and I’m not taking away from the fact at all that people are literally dying and there will be millions, and millions, and millions of people unemployed. And the US is at its highest in terms of unemployment, and that’s global. I mean, I checked in early on South Africa, that’s a different topic. I’m really literally separating this topic on purpose. And I’m saying it’s a huge opportunity for families being forced to spend more time together. And I think many families have embraced this and have started homeschooling or not homeschooling, it doesn’t really matter. You don’t always have to stick to some curriculum, but just spending quality time and getting to know each other and not having to commute three hours a day where you’re stuck in traffic twice a day for an hour and a half. That’s three hours that you have extra with family. Or maybe you go for a surf, so in that sense, I think COVID-19 is amazing. Again, I obviously artificially separated in our discussion, so we had those. We had much more family time and it’s amazing in terms of how to explain the future to a child because it can be, how did you say extremely future in a difficult time? So in the 21st century, I mean, I think you don’t have to explain the future. I think it’s very important that you teach your child the power of values that you first obviously used to define your values. And if your child understands those values, you don’t have to explain the future because you can obviously navigate by means of a true worth of your own values. And so that works universally, you don’t need to say this is, so this is that, if you explain the overall concepts of life, of your values might want to be. And so that’s much more powerful than explaining how bad the world is and how you navigate those problems. I think it’s more important that you empower children and make sure that they can navigate in a safe, empowered manner because you don’t know what’s coming anyways.
Imi Barneaud: That is so wise and it’s such good advice to see it that way round in terms of values rather than terms of explaining the news, basically. I guess we’re getting near to parking the bus here. I’ve only got halfway through my questions, if you’ve got a few seconds left, could you tell us how you felt when you caught your first wave?
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah, amazing. I can’t remember which one it was, it must’ve been in Sydney. There was a wave that I took on Whitewater. And then there was a first wave that I took to the face, and I guess that’s my real first wave, and that was in Maroubra, which is not really the beginners spot in Australia. And it felt like totally, I dunno, like I was totally ecstatic and yeah, this happened.
Imi Barneaud: So now you’re actually really into the big wave surfing. Could you tell us what kind of waves you really sort of feed your need for adrenaline rush? In terms of size, or spots, or what your favorite spots are, for example.
Philipp Hartmann: Really nice question. I’m not an amazing surfer, I started very late, and I didn’t always have access to the ocean even after I started because I was back and forth between Germany, leading the company and this and that. So I think it must have been in December 2015, October, November 2015. And I was surfing Oregon, which is a semi big wave spot here in the South of Cape town. I was so unfit, I couldn’t even do a decent pop up, it’s not fun. And I decided I wanted to change that. And I found a personal coach, personal trainer, [inaudible], he’s an amazing [audible]. Richard goes to his studio three, he has a functional studio and he’s in the Deep South. And admit, I need to get fit, and I want to surf bigger waves. And he was like, yeah, whatever. Hey, what do you want to achieve? And I’m like, I want to surf [inaudible] in six months. And I thought, well, when I said it and I thought, okay, he’s got to laugh at me. I’m like this German guy from Munich. I mean, I’ve been here since 2000, but it’s not like I grew up surfing. And if you want to surf bigger waves, no one calls you and says, okay, let’s go surf big waves. You kind of have to either grow up with it. And then your friends move into that, I guess, make that decision. It doesn’t just happen. And unless you grow up with that, and I didn’t have friends who were surfing big waves. And so it was like, okay, yeah, we need six months. I think I said, I want to surf the sunset. And he said, okay, we need six months. And so I kind of embarked on that journey of getting fit and more able as a surfer. And it was a really, really amazing experience. I surf eight months later because I literally dissuaded between or after six months. It was one after four months, but I didn’t feel I was ready. And so I surfed eight months later. And it kind of changed my perception of surfing a lot, because I felt very much enable and empowered in a sense, because you could work towards that goal in a conscious manner and just get your fitness levels up and just work towards that goal, really, really underpinning the goal with certain tasks and routines, and then you will get there. And so that was my way of how I got into bigger waves. Biggest wave if you asked, I don’t know, maybe 20, 25 foot, something like dungeons or sunset.
Imi Barneaud: Wow. Wow. Well, I guess if you could send us some photos and we can post them on the blog.
Philipp Hartmann: I’ll send you a picture.
Imi Barneaud: Yeah, yeah, with pleasure. I guess it’s time to park the bus, if you could remind us of your socials or how to get hold of you, that would be great for the listeners.
Philipp Hartmann: Yeah. So the podcast is on dadicated.com. That’s spelled like dedication, but with an A, dadicated.com. My Instagram is instagram.com/beingdad_official, that’s for the podcast project. And then the easiest way to reach me is either via LinkedIn, so it’s linkedin.com/in/philipphartmann2, so that’s spelled P-H-L-I-P-P-H-A-R-T-M-A-N-N-2. So those would be the easiest ways, I guess.
Imi Barneaud: Okay. Well, we’ll drop them in the show notes in any case. Philipp, we’d like to thank you for being my guest today. Maybe we could check in another day and continue this extraordinary conversation and talk about digital marketing.
Philipp Hartmann: I love it.
Imi Barneaud: Okay, then. Well, thank you ever so much. And thank you and speak to you soon. Thank you.
I really hope you enjoyed this conversation.Philipp could spun a potentially impossible time of his life into an asset, and he’s helping dads around the world find their place in the family as dedicated dads. I hope you find some good advice as parents or future parents in this episode. I know I certainly did. You can listen to being dad on his podcast on all the podcasts platforms and on dadicated.com. So instead of dedicated, it’s dadicated. The conversations are really refreshing to listen to. Links to it are in the show notes as well on your podcasting app and on theoceanriderspodcast.com. You can also connect with Philipp on Instagram at beingdad_official, and on Facebook at dadicateddotcom, the dadicateddotcom is spelled D-A-D-I-C-A-T-E-D-D-O-T-C-O-M, so the .com is spelled. And finally urge you to help Philipp donate 3 million meals to the children of the townships of Cape Town as they are in critical need of all the help they can get. So go to togetherforcapetown.com.
The Oceanriders Podcast is a passion project, and as such, it would mean the world if you could rate or review it on Apple podcasts, just a few five star ratings go a long way. You can also connect with me on social media at The Oceanriders Podcast, on Instagram and Facebook, and check out my websites, theoceanriderspodcast.com for photos of my guests and extras that you can’t find in the show notes. You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last but not least, if you’d like to help me pay for my hosting bills, an awesome editor, Leng Inque, who actually does my editing and also the amazing show notes with transcripts, you can head over to theoceanridersshop.com where you’ll find a selection of handpicked organic and fair trade goodies.
Thank you for listening to this episode, and thank you Phillip, for being my guest today. It was an awesome conversation.
Until next episode, take care, have fun and enjoy the waves.