Start to include them in the things you like doing for fun. Then you can start doing them together. For example, I love to play basketball. At a very young age, I started taking my son with me to the gym. Now he’s older, we can start doing that activity together and that time has dual value.
As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Jeff Liboon, Co-Founder and President for Estars. As Co-Founder and President for Estars, Liboon is responsible for product and business development, including creation of the World Showdown of Esports (WSOE) and managing white-label production growth and investments. Estars is an interactive esports engagement platform set to launch in Q3 2019, which will provide a new viewing experience for esports fans around the world. Jeff Liboon has more than 10 years of gaming experience working with top-rated platforms like Amazon App store, Xbox Live and several top 10 mobile game developers in the esports industry. Prior to his current role, Liboon helped create the Amazon mobile esports team and grew attributed revenue to eight figures in one year. While at Amazon, he also conceptualized and executed the very successful Mobile Masters and Champions of Fire esports events. Liboon also led product marketing for skill games at DoubleDown Casino/IGT Interactive, including Poker, Video Poker, Bingo and Blackjack, and managed the content management and advertising operations teams at Popcap Games (EA) for several top 25 Facebook and mobile games including Bejeweled Blitz, Zuma Blitz and Plants vs. Zombies.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?
As a first-generation American citizen, my parents immigrated from the Philippines and from an early age, I was surrounded by two parents who embodied the very definition of hard work. Both my parents worked night shifts, one as a nurse and the other worked for the state, in order to provide the best education for me. My parents wanted to instill in me what hard work meant and that getting a good education were drivers of success.
Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?
I have always had an interest in gaming. All the jobs I have had since the start of my career have been in or around gaming. Throughout my career, I made my way through every facet of gaming. Whether that be with the platform (Xbox Live) or publishers’ side (EA/ Popcap, Social Gaming (IGT), and Esports [Amazon], and now Estars), I have been able to diversify my knowledge of the gaming/esports industry throughout my career.
Once I saw how fast the esports industry was growing, I decided to fully invest myself in the industry. In addition to my career in the esports industry, my wife and I operate a child-care facility. Previously, my wife was a preschool teacher for the largest child-care provider in the country back in 2014. When we had our first child, we saw a market for premium childcare in our area. We researched the market and now have three care centers (with another center currently being built) and will service more than 300 families with nearly 100 employees by 2020.
Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?
I usually wake up around 6 a.m. to spend time with my kids before I head to work and take them to school. I make them breakfast, help get them dressed, and even try to fit in playtime before they are out the door for school. By 7:30 or 8 a.m., I am in the office for a full day of work. I usually leave the office by 5 or 6 p.m. each day. Depending on what extra-curricular activities my kids have going on in the evening, I try to get a workout in before bed.
Let’s jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?
I generally love spending time with my kids. They are my best friends. I believe they feel the same way, and they enjoy spending time with me too. Having this type of relationship allows us as parents to influence, mentor and guide our children in the most positive way possible. Without spending quality time with your children, there is no way to assess their development, feelings and things they need to work on.
On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?
All in all, my children keep me grounded. They give me a daily example of what is important in life. This ultimately leads to several business advantages as well. It allows me to think long term, keeps me cool under pressure, pushes me through challenging obstacles and keeps me positive in the toughest situation. Being a parent to my kids is the most important job in my life, and if I don’t spend quality time with kids, I will fail at being a parent.
According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?
On a regular basis, I always try and engage in activities that are important to my kids. For instance, my son is really into baseball, and my daughter loves dance classes. I know that because these moments are meaningful to them, they should be meaningful to me as well, which generally means sacrificing on sleep or keeping to a tighter travel schedule.
For our family, we try to take more family-focused, long weekends than what would be considered the norm. This offers unique experiences that our family can bond over as well as a chance for me to fully unplug when it does not negatively affect business. I also try and take at least one of my kids with me when I run day-to-day errands like grocery shopping, haircuts or getting gas. It allows for a quick 20-minute catch-up and gives me the chance to spend direct one-on-one time with them.
We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 4 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention?
This is always a delicate balance to maintain, at least in my experience.
1. Start to include them in the things you like doing for fun. Then you can start doing them together. For example, I love to play basketball. At a very young age, I started taking my son with me to the gym. Now he’s older, we can start doing that activity together and that time has dual value.
2. Try and set daily time in your schedule for them where you are fully unplugged for the day. I generally do this in the mornings when email and calls are minimal.
3. Cut unnecessary meetings out of your schedule. You would be surprised if you diligently manage this how much time is given back to your life.
4. Optimize travel schedules and commute times. While this may seem obvious, aligning your schedule to optimize for the least amount of wasted time, is a huge value for quality of life.
How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?
To me, being a good parent is someone who fully dedicates themselves to the well-being and success of their children within the life circumstances they must operate within. For example, my parents came here from another country and sacrificed their lifestyle to make sure I had opportunities to be successful. I can’t ask for better parents.
How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?
I hate it when my children tell me they can’t do something. I love planting seeds of an entrepreneurial mindset with them. For instance, if my kids want a toy or other item, I help them set tasks or goals in order for them to obtain that item.
Another common response from children is that they aren’t as good at something or one of their peers is the best at something. I generally try to challenge and encourage them to work toward getting to that level with a bit of hard work and time invested, especially when it is important to them.
How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?
Success for me includes 3 things:
1. I am constantly achieving goals set for my personal and professional growth.
2. My family is provided for and they are constantly achieving growth.
3. We are all having fun and living life to the fullest.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
A colleague of mine who does a wonderful job at managing business success and family life told me this as his family motto, “help as much as you can. Take the least that you can. Make as much as you can.” This perfectly defines, at a high level, the path to long-term success for business and family success.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Society seems to be quickly evolving to understand that being successful in business does not necessarily require being at your desk from 9–5. Successful and dedicated people will always be successful, no matter where they are or when they work. Working mothers and fathers can successfully juggle both.
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!