All kids need attention and time with their parents. As a parent, you know it’s true that your kids are just little mimics of everything we do. Quality time with our kids is an opportunity every day to model for them how to be the best person they can be, and feel connected to their parents. Same goes for parents! They need time to break away from the stress of “adulting” to get down on the floor and play with their kids, teach them, and just have fun. I know I’m much more refreshed and ready to tackle more tasks once I’ve had time with my family.
As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Asaf Darash, Founder and CEO of Regpack. Asaf has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and investor. He has built 3 successful companies to date, all with an exit plan or that have stayed in profitability and are still functional. Asaf specializes in product development for the web, team building and in bringing a company from concept to an actualized unit that is profitable.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?
I was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. I have 3 siblings and grew up playing a variety of sports, including swimming competitively. I’m grateful to have grown up in a beautiful country that allowed for a variety of outdoor activities.
Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?
I’ve always been interested in”how things work” and seeing ideas I have in my head come to life through code.
During my Ph.D. research on how computer languages and networks function, I at first only wanted to see if it was possible to build a database working in a way that allowed for no constraints, only variables.
When I realized it was possible and was a pain point for many organizations, I realized it was an idea to be commercialized. 8 years later and Regpack is a thriving profitable business that continues to grow year after year.
Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?
I am based in Israel, while our main office, and my management team, are based in California. This automatically makes it so that I have to plan my day and tasks very carefully to account for both my family’s needs and my job.
Most mornings I wake up around 6am, check and respond to important emails, and then get up to spend time with my 2 children.
I make them breakfast, get them off to school and head to the gym.
Later in the morning I get down to business. Whether I’m wearing my CEO cap or coding, my day is non stop tasks until evening when I break to make dinner and spend quality time with my wife and kids.
After they are in bed, I’m back at it. It’s morning now in California and I have meetings scheduled back to back until about 11pm my time.
Then I just repeat the next day!
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?
All kids need attention and time with their parents. As a parent, you know it’s true that your kids are just little mimics of everything we do. Quality time with our kids is an opportunity every day to model for them how to be the best person they can be, and feel connected to their parents.
On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is important to make time to spend with your children?
Same goes for parents! They need time to break away from the stress of “adulting” to get down on the floor and play with their kids, teach them, and just have fun. I know I’m much more refreshed and ready to tackle more tasks once I’ve had time with my family.
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?
It’s a priority and built into my schedule to make and eat breakfast and dinner with them every day. This is the epitome of quality family time, a chance to connect over a meal, talk about our days and relax.
I also prioritize family time on weekends. Friday evening through Saturday is NO work day for me. We enjoy Friday night dinner with our extended family and take a day trip on Saturdays to get outside and be together. We also take a vacation every year where I’m totally disconnected.
I think both are examples of prioritizing the quality over quantity. I work hard during the week but ensure that the time I have for my family is scared and we make the most of that time together.
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 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention?
As I mentioned above, having set times each week that are no phone / no work times is crucial. Once it’s a part of the routine, it’s hard to break the habit.
When I know it’s time to put the computer or phone down, it is a transition for me mentally to put the stress of work to the side and enjoy this time with my family.
How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?
In the simplest of terms, being present, putting your family first, and lots of hugs!
How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?
I love to support my kids in what they are passionate about.
My younger son is very interested in coding, like me, so we spend a lot of time learning code together, practicing and coming up with fun projects to test his skills. It’s fun for him, and it’s a joy for me to teach him something he’s excited to learn. The quality time together is a bonus.
How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?
If my family is happy, my company is growing, and we’re always pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone to try new things and grow bigger, I’ll count that as being successful.
What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?
My mom is my greatest resource for what I consider my successful parenting. She was a great example and I take her energy that I learned from her when I am with my children.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Nobody cares about you!”
I joke about this quote all the time, but it really is at the core of what I do.
In business I have found that no one cares about my story, or how many cool features our software might boast. People care about a solution to their needs. If I can prioritize building a product that is valuable to organizations because it solves a problem for them and allows them to work better, I’ve done my job.
Remembering that no one cares about the journey, but just the results, has allowed me to focus on the end game when it comes to building and growing our company, and ultimately finding the “success” we talked about in the question above.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
About the Author:
Dr. Ely Weinschneider is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist based in New Jersey. Dr. Ely specializes in adolescent and adult psychotherapy, parenting, couples therapy, geriatric therapy, and mood and anxiety disorders. He also has a strong clinical interest in Positive Psychology and Personal Growth and Achievement, and often makes that an integral focus of treatment.
An authority on how to have successful relationships, Dr. Ely has written, lectured and presented nationally to audiences of parents, couples, educators, mental health professionals, clergy, businesses, physicians and healthcare policymakers on subjects such as: effective parenting, raising emotionally intelligent children, motivation, bullying prevention and education, managing loss and grief, spirituality, relationship building, stress management, and developing healthy living habits.
Dr. Ely also writes a regular, nationally syndicated column about the importance of “being present with your children”.
When not busy with all of the above, Dr. Ely works hard at practicing what he preaches, raising his adorable brood (which includes a set of twins and a set of triplets!) together with his wife in Toms River, New Jersey.