Ali Jafarian

The Role of a Father with Ned Schaut

Episode Number 017
Duration 50 min

I’m excited to share a new podcast episode with an amazing Father, Ned Schaut. Ned is a homie and fellow FRD who I’ve become fortunate to know. He’s a man of true conviction and passion.

In this episode Ned and I explore a variety of his pursuits and projects around fatherhood. He’s on a relentless mission to help fathers find their role. Not just an ordinary role that society expects, but their authentic and important role as fathers.

Ned has launched some amazing projects through his company, Rebel and Create. In fact, he just launched a Kickstarter for his new children’s book – The Adventure of Fatherhood.

Here’s a link to the Kickstarter:
The Adventure of Fatherhood – Children’s book campaign

I just pledged and hope you’ll feel inclined to do the same. Enjoy the show!

Guest details
Ned Schaut - Father, Creator and Entreprenuer
Ned Schaut


[00:00:00] Ali: Welcome back folks to the pursuit of something. I am beyond excited today. I've got my friend and fellow FRD brother Ned with us. Ned and I have had the privilege of attending several Front Row Dads retreats. So there's been some amazing bonding that we've been able to do, even in short conversations. I remember the first time I met you, Ned, you were telling me how you had just moved to Hawaii, which I imagine we'll talk about.

And at that time, my wife and I were in this sort of a move exploratory trans around Hawaii and a few other places. And it was one of those moments that just felt so perfect. And today we're going to jam, we're going to talk about some things in focus for you. And I would love for you to just introduce yourself, who is Ned Schaut.

[00:00:53] Ned: Yeah, man, love it. Thanks so much for having me. It's good to see your face. Who is Ned Schaut? You know, as I think about that question, it's, it's a... you start to think about all the labels, right? So the things I'm proud of, you know, I'm proud of my marriage. I've been married 18 years, you know, got married at 21, such a baby, so wild.

And then I'm so planned. So Ned shout is so planned and so organized except when it comes to like, should we have kids, you know? Okay. Let's have five of them. You know, like some of these things are just not planned out at all. So it's like, I love spontaneity and I love adventure. When it comes to like, oh, let's, let's have another kid.

So yes, we have five kids ages, nine to 16. We have four girls and a boy. We live in Hawaii. That's sort of something we'll probably talk about. I love to be outside with my kids. And then my goal is to provide value every day in whatever it is that I'm doing. So that's Ned right there.

[00:01:56] Ali: That's beautiful. Do you feel like you do that, and is that a challenge too? Because that's a pretty heavy goal to provide value every single day. Yeah, I didn't even do you saying that just immediately struck me like, wow. Is that easy to live?

[00:02:12] Ned: So I think that's actually becoming more in focus for me just to kind of use your awesome language. Is I realized how most things that I do are really centered around me.

Right. What makes me feel good? What is it that I want? I mean, I think I'm realizing more how self-centered, I'll just say how I am. And so a lot of times I'm walking into a room or walking into a situation going what's in this for me. And so that's the, the wrestle right now is how do I show up every day and not be tied to an outcome. Like at the end of this conversation, what's my outcome.

But what if I were to show up going, Hey, what's Ali's outcome and how can I provide that? I'm probably going to feel a lot better about myself and we're going to have a deeper connection. So last thing with that is it's hard because I am such a goal oriented person. I love my to do task target lists, but what I realized in the last six months is a lot of times I'll do whatever that thing is. I'll get it done, but I miss the opportunity to make a connection at it. So if it's reading to my kid, I'm just thinking about what I'm going to do next. If I'm working out, I'm just thinking about what I'm going to do next. Then I'm not really getting the connection out of that moment.

So when I answered your question with who is Ned, I want to provide value every day. That's how I'm trying to show up now is I want to provide value. Like if people listen to our conversation, my hope is they walk away not going, oh, Ned so awesome. Which is probably what I would have wanted two or three years ago.

And I'd rather them walk away either feeling better about themselves or have something that they can implement in their own life. I would want there to be value there.

[00:03:54] Ali: Awesome. I have to, uh, share some empathy here because not too long ago, Ned, I didn't realize that everything was about me until I read it a certain way. And this light bulb went off and I was like, oh, it is all about me. I mean, this is a perspective, this is a mindset. Right.

And I didn't take that nor do I still think about that in a selfish way, but there's some self-centered degree to that no matter how you say it. It's all about me. And like, I actually do think that ultimately everything we do is about us.

That doesn't mean there's not intention, like you said, to create value or intention to give. Or be something that things can flow through and pass through. Cause a lot of how I look at my life right now in terms of fatherhood and my commitments, my responsibilities is like being more of a conduit or ultimately a sun. A sun that can just radiate and not really ask for things. Is something I learned from my dad, actually, in some really beautiful conversation.

But I admired that you recognize that, but you're shifting and you're like, great, I know it's about me, but how can I flip it and be like, can others get from this? Right. Can others receive from this? Yeah, it's easy to get stuck in like I'm only going to do what I want and put up those boundaries and those guard rails.

And a lot of people live that way. I lived that way at a certain time, but then I was like, this is so self-serving and ultimately the word you said that everything revolves around is the connection. Like without the connection, you just eventually you're like, okay, I'm bored and I don't know what to do now.

[00:05:37] Ned: Yeah, dude. That's where I'm moving towards.

[00:05:41] Ali: That's also why I go to Front Row Dads retreats, connection. Above everything else it's connection now.

[00:05:48] Ned: For sure. Yes. I've been to four retreats and realized very quickly that it's the connection that really matters most for me. Because you're in a room with like-minded people who are open to they're in the same position you are to be, to make a connection.

And that's why you walk away feeling so great. Isn't because a nugget you got or isn't because you met so-and-so it's because you made a connection with people. And so when you go back to your busy, full, you know, intentional life, you know, you're not alone in that.

[00:06:22] Ali: Totally.

So what's in focus. What is Ned pursuing at the moment? Where do you want to take that question?

[00:06:32] Ned: Yeah, so interesting. You know, we have kids ages nine to 16 and what's in focus for me at the moment of kind of like a personal family level is getting back into a rhythm and routine, you know?

So you've got several things that are attacking us if you want to use kind of that war terminology. Is COVID happened. We moved. Once you dial in a stage with a kid, you move into a new stage, right? My oldest is 16 getting her license. So you got multiple things going on all at once. And that's how everything is, right.

That's how every season kind of is. But now I'm at this moment where I go, oh my gosh, I feel like I just wake up and jump into this rushing river and then nine o'clock I get in bed and crash. And so I'm feeling like what's in focus is to just take a real big pause, but I've been saying this for like a month, a real big pause and go, okay, what matters? What can I cut out?

And so I'm actually making some big shifts in my life. I'm getting rid of one business. I'm hiring a couple additional people to help alleviate some things that I've been working on. And then I'm working with my family to go, okay, what really matters to us? And so, you know, one of the things that I really stepped back and said, what's the one thing I can do to get our minds ready to make this kind of a shift?

So it's like, okay, we moved to Hawaii one year ago. We'll celebrate that in June. My kids had to change schools. You know, we tried a couple of schools here. Some are homeschooled now. Some are not. Some had to quit certain sports they were doing so they didn't vibe the same, so lots of changes.

And so I sat back and I'm like, oh my gosh, what's the one thing I can do that can give us a good reset to figure out what matters for the Schaut family moving forward. So we're going on a mission trip in June? So all seven of us are going on real simple mission trip to Mexico. Go build houses, go play with kids.

And my intention behind it. I want my kids and my wife and I to have a reset of what matters in life. And where are we not living with the fullest gratitude we can. And so last year, when we moved to Hawaii, we did a three-day retreat as a family, which was the first time we had done that. And it kind of followed like what you would do with your business, or like a Front Row Dad event or something like this. And it was killer.

But I realized there was too much happening at the time to really implement anything because it's like, I'm traveling now and the kids are moving different schools, blah, blah, blah. So I feel like if we were to do it this weekend, there's too much chaos in our mind.

And too much like I'm hurting because we moved or I'm affected because of my school or I. You know, me, me, me, which is true. But I feel like that feeling of how is this whole change affecting me would like subside enough after a mission trip of like, whoa, my world is very different than this. That then their perspective of coming and being like, okay, what do we want to be about?

What do we want our weeks to look like? I feel like there would be a shift in our perspective and that's my hope for my family right now.

[00:09:49] Ali: Man I love that, on various levels. Just because I was sharing with you before we hit record that of all the men I know including fathers, like Front Row Dads, you're one of the few that like, you speak with conviction and I know when you say, or get behind something, like, I really believe it.

And so, first there's five kids. That's chaos. You said a word I was going to ask you about it. And you just said it, chaos. This keeps coming up in my family and my life. And then we have two, you have five. So 2.5 times the chaos in simple math and then, reset. I was just talking about this with my wife an hour ago, having lunch with her and Sepia before coming up and recording this with you, dude.

It's like, there's this human pattern of too much stress, too much chaos. What do we do with it? And it's easy to like suppress it or to put band-aids on it with whatever substance, distraction, et cetera. Whereas the reset, in my opinion, it's like a healthiest solution. Cause it's like, what really matters.

A mission trip to Mexico. There's uh humbling that can happen in there. And being able to do that with a family is magical, man. We took a trip to Guatemala several years ago that I had designed with not the same intention, not the same conviction as you. I just wanted to give my extended family, all of us together, a great experience.

So this goes back to like about me. Like I wanted to be the hero, even though I wanted them to appreciate and experience something awesome. I wasn't thinking about it in this lens though, which I appreciate you. Um, this is a gift you've given me that I'm going to think about. Cause that what happened is what you're going up to set.

Like they came back and they were like, man, some of these people live a very different lifestyle. And what have they got that, you know . Any other details there, like you guys gonna be able to build some housing or anything?

[00:12:00] Ned: Yeah. You know what? I'm trying to be a little bit unattached from it because I'm like, I used to be a youth pastor. Right. I've taken kids on mission trips before, uh, teenagers. And so I've been really intentional even like we had a planning night and we had a planning night and you know, they're going around the room like, oh, we're praying for the event. And I'm usually the guy whose like, you know, first one to, to do it, you know?

And I just told myself in my head, I'm like, just shut up, just be quiet, just, you know. And make my family more uncomfortable than I was to then one of them step up and do it. And one of them did. And so it was actually cool because in their head, they're probably going, why hasn't dad saying anything? You know?

So I'm trying to be more like, let them experience it from their perspective versus it being what I need from this. Cause what I need is to not run this for them, which is really hard for me to do.

[00:12:55] Ali: Sure. That's awesome. I get it. I get it. It's, there's some surrendering there, which is not easy. So mission trip in June, I'm also privy to know that you are producing a children's book.

[00:13:14] Ned: Yeah. So on a exciting level, you know, so that's also exciting. But you know, for me, I've got my family, then I've got my primary business, which I'm working to grow and build. And then my passion is fatherhood.

So how this really came about is 2015 my dream in life was to open a youth center, and in 2015 it fell apart. And I was so like, who is Ned? Oh my gosh. I don't know who I am anymore, because it was always Ned the guy who's going to run this like amazing skate park, a world renown youth center, you know. Remember teenage mutant ninja turtles, the lair for the bad guys, the foot clan.

It's like arcade and skateboarding. It was like, so epic dude. I wanted that without the cigars and the stealing. And that fell apart in 2015. And at that point I had some serious self-reflection like, who is Ned now? And through that, I realized as a man, what I want is to be valued, needed, respected, loved, and to leave a mark on this earth. Like at my core, that's kind of what I want.

As I was kind of dealing with this on my own going well, where am I going to get this from now? I started realizing that these things I could get in my home. You know, I'm out there jocking to get kids to come to youth group or kids to come to this youth center. And I'm doing all this effort to do that.

And I had five little kids at home who would do anything to do anything with their dad. Right. And I was a great dad. I spent time with them, but the energy and effort I put into this other thing was like, A lot. Right. And I'm like having to chase kids down to come to things. And my own kids are just, they do anything with me.

So, kind of fast forward. I came up with this mantra rebel and create like, I want to rebel against this idea that those needs need to be filled outside of my home. And I want to create a home life where, my family is first and foremost, that nothing gets in that way. So then I realized as I kind of like looked around, it was actually, I remember it was a day I was sitting in church and I look around and I'm just looking at dudes sitting there.

It felt like really disengaged. I'm like, why the hell are these guys here? Like what about this as providing them value? Like, there's a ups driver, there's a cop that guy's a manager at Target. Like where are they getting that, that feeling of I'm totally kick ass dad. And so then I wrote the book Rebel and Create, because I wanted to share that idea that it doesn't necessarily matter what you do outside of your home. You know who you are. And as you embrace your role, it's going to be fantastic for you. You're going to feel a sense of fulfillment, and so are your kids.

I put that book out and then it was really cool. There's this guy that I have just followed for probably 15 years. He had a retreat, like a speaking retreat with 20 people. His name is Rob Bell. He was a pastor, but he kind of got ostracized by the church because of a book he wrote. Like a lot of Christians don't dig them anymore.

But I went to this two day retreat and like, I raised my hand and there's 20 of us in LA and I shared how I really want to reach dads. And he said, Hey, that's killer, but it's going to be really hard. You're probably going to have to try a lot of things because to communicate with men about fatherhood you got to really work to find the medium to do that. And so, in a sense, it was kind of encouraging because it was like, Hey, basically, you're going to fail a lot. And just try lots of things.

So then just to progress to the children's book. I wrote the fathers, the rebel and create book, which didn't do well at all. Then I started a podcast which I've been doing because I love it. It doesn't have tens of thousands of listeners, which is fine. I love it.

I've made YouTube videos. Then I did a journal on Kickstarter for dads that didn't do well, either. Dads don't want a journal intentionally. Let's just say it's a very small group of dads who probably want to do that. And then I have this really, this grand idea that I wanted to send dad boxes to new dads, to like welcome them into fatherhood.

And I, I've sent them out. You could get them on my website. They're killer. They look great. But the centerpiece was a journal. And it's like any new dad, he's going to open a box and he's going to feel awesome. But he's like a 90 day journal. I don't know anything about anything yet. I'm probably not going to be journaling.

So then I just went round and round, like how do I create something that's just really easy? That's not you know, a picture of Ned on the cover with my head resting on my hand. Like 12 steps to being an incredible new father. Which is cool, but anyways, I was like, what about a kid's book? What about a book that is like, this requires nothing of you as a man.

It's not like the journal sitting on your nightstand. It's not the book on your nightstand. It's a book that you could simply read with your son. And then I'm making one for father daughter as well. And so that's my hope. My hope is that it's a gift that creates an opportunity for a dad to connect with their child while also giving the dad the opportunity to share his own story.

So there's like a few things going on and dude kind of unique, right? It's like written sorta for the dad, but also for a kid. So it's like, we'll see how it lands, but yeah, that's the idea. Is this children's book that hopefully right when the kids 2, 3, 4, and it's like, dad, will you read me a book? That this is the one that dad wants to grab versus some rhymey bull crap that's you're sick of.

Uh, and so we'll see, but yeah, man, I'm happy to talk about it. I'm so excited about it. It'll come out probably January, February 2023. And I'm doing a Kickstarter right now to help. You know, the idea of the Kickstarter is one to fund it, and two to help a bunch of dudes be a part of it. You know, to help like bring this out because this is for us.

And I just don't always feel like there's a lot of rad things for us. A lot of the dads stuff out there, and it's no shame on anybody. It's just, sometimes I don't feel like the like top tier amazing products are put out there. Sometimes it feels a little like a church t-shirt church summer camp kind of thing.

[00:19:37] Ali: Yeah, man.

[00:19:38] Ned: That was it. That was a lot. That was a lot. So I don't know.

[00:19:42] Ali: I'm pausing because I was taking some notes. You gave a really nice overview of Rebel and Create, and I didn't realize the sequence, which I loved. I loved that you were trying things and you still are.

Because to Rob's point right, dads are hard to reach. Like we were taught via generations to just kinda be strong and provide for the family and hold your feelings back. You and I have had the pleasure of being in company where we're starting to do the opposite, or at least embracing our emotional sides.

But that was such spot on advice. And I love that you're like relentless in how you're trying things. And I think the children's book is amazing because one, I am sick of reading the same stories. Two, it is a different medium that we're not used to. So it's like a cool, it's a creative way to come at it that hopefully a lot of dads wouldn't expect.

So, you can certainly count me in to help fund it and promote it, which we'll definitely add to Kickstarter details and all that good stuff. But the other thing I want to highlight. My wife's cousin so also my cousin in law, Ross in case he's listening, who is a great friend and a guy I love. Someone I've also tried to convince to join FRD. He made a comment about this cartoon called Bluey. And like, I don't know if you're familiar with this. It's available on Netflix and it's a well-produced cartoon. That's funny. My kids dig it. And I've even watched him like, oh, this is it's got like English humor.

But what I didn't realize until my cousin Ross pointed out, like it kind of degrades fathers. And there is a reality to that, that mom is the one to go to. She's the nurturer. She knows. Whereas dad can often be the second choice, let's say. So is a word. Something else I was also discussing my wife is like balancing the nurture versus nature. Balancing, like who do the children go to when they feel like they need something.

And so I love that you're bringing a book to the world that just reinforces like the role of a father.

[00:22:07] Ned: Right? Yeah. Dude. A hundred percent. And the deeper kind of level to this is two things. My overall intention is that a dad would be given this book. Like say you have a friend who's having a kid.

You're like Sam having a kid and you go Ned, welcome to fatherhood, dude, check out this kid's book, you know, something hopefully you and your son will read. And then I'm like, oh, that's cool. I opened it up. And there's a little note in there from Ali that says, Ned, you have what it takes, bro. Welcome to fatherhood.

Most dudes are not being invited into fatherhood. Right. And so then I look at the cover. The cover is a dad with no helmet. Windblown in the hair, riding a motorcycle. And there's a side car with his son in the sidecar and the son's arms are up like dude having a blast. And so my hope is that the dad goes, oh, this is like totally kick ass.

And he opens it up and he starts to go whoa, this is who I am, my role matters. And then this becomes a centerpiece for the father to be able to connect with the son.

So there's kind of a couple things happening here because inside the book the father and son do 10 things together. And in reading it, it's like the father's reading this to the son. I will for example, teach you how to X, Y, or Z. So then it's like affirmations for the dad going, I will do this. And dads are not invited into this role.

You know, my thought around it is women have such a Rite of passage, right? So, they get pregnant. Nine months growing a human, push it out of their body, feed it with their body. But then they start to continue to make decisions.

Do we breastfeed? Do we use these kinds of diapers? Do we use this kind of formula then? Do they go to preschool? Do they go to kindergarten? And that's where I feel like sometimes the dads struggle. How does he step into this role? How does he connect? And I don't want it to be where a dad's, you know, your kid's in seventh grade and you're like, man, kids always go into mom because I never established who I was because nobody invited me in.

So this is like way deep, deep level. But it's a very high level, easy way to hopefully at least get that dad to start thinking about how important he is.

[00:24:15] Ali: Awesome. Yeah. I'm also going to link in our show notes to your Ted talk because you talk a bit about this in that awesome Ted talk you gave as well. Which I appreciate you for doing it.

[00:24:27] Ned: Yeah, thanks for checking that out. It was such a fun experience.

[00:24:30] Ali: It's a powerful message. As a powerful message and I've dug the performance. Like it was really cool how you started that. So I'll give listeners a tease in case they want to go check that out. It was really well done.

Another question I have Ned. And this actually comes from my wife, Gabrielle. How did you write a children's book? Just feel free to answer that in whatever feels right. But like, I think that'd be such a fun thing to do. I'm not sure I would know how to approach it.

[00:25:03] Ned: Yeah, I wouldn't say that I know how to approach it.

Uh, I think, you know, what I did similar to my journal is I ordered my 10 favorite children's books. And I laid them all on the floor and I just started looking at all the pieces I liked about them. You know, how many pages are they? What are the images look like? Right. And I just started kind of taking from all the ones what I liked. And so started there.

And then I really started with what I wanted to communicate. So, what is it that I want to communicate? And then found an artist. So really I just found a great artist to communicate it. And then I kind of built my verbiage around the art. Really the arts what communicates. Ah, yeah.

And here's the thing that's kind of going to be interesting about this book. So we'll see how it goes. Is the words in the book are not for a three-year-old. The words in the book are really kind of more written for a dad. So the publisher that I'm working with is like this isn't, you know, it's interesting, right? You could change the language to be all really basic or you leave it and I decided to leave it, and let the images really communicate to the kid what's happening.

Like imagine, you know, you turn a page and there's a little boy dropping in on a mini ramp on a skateboard. And the dad's there standing ready to catch the kid if he falls. I don't really need to say a bunch of words to the kid about that. The kid gets what's happening there. So the words are written for the dad to say, I will, and then give the affirmation of how the father is going to show up for that kid the next, you know, 50 years.

So, and then practically, you know, typically I, I would wake up at four or five in the morning and put an hour into things, so it didn't steal from my family. So just on a side note, I don't work after five o'clock. I don't check email. I don't do any of that because that actually caused a rub in my marriage. Like, I don't know, 10 years ago, so I don't do any work after five anymore.

But that's because that works for my family, right. You could not work until 10:00 AM. It doesn't really matter. It's just making sure that work isn't always on the brain.

[00:27:04] Ali: I feel you man. I have the same routine. It's almost identical actually. Between 5 and 5 30. I shut down. I'm so bad with my phone now, Ned that like, I know some of my homeys are probably asking like, this dude never gets back to me. Because I just kind of created that system of being like, I only really want to use this phone or even be on the computer on my terms.

And, I think that this is a type of thing that could help a lot of people, if they feel constantly distracted or a conflict of priorities. And it's such a simple thing, like you said, it's like five o'clock just goes away.

[00:27:45] Ned: Yeah. And you know, and that's where I really struggled too, is like this children's book I've spent probably two years on this already. And so I go, I'd be such a fool if I took six months and sorry, family, you know, if I wrote a children's book while being a terrible dad. Um, and it's like, what's the, what? What's the point? But that's hard because I'm passionate about it and I love it. But, you know, it is what it is.

I had kind of a fun story about me writing the book though. So with the book, the first imagery I did of the father son, I worked on with an artist on the east coast that I found on Instagram and crushed it. It looked great. We spent a year on that. And then the idea was to write a children's book, but he didn't have the capacity to do it.

So I found an artist in Indonesia. We don't speak the same language, but I loved his style. I loved it. So him and I meet once a week. He's in Indonesia. I'm here in Hawaii. It's like usually 5:00 AM for me. 10:00 PM for him. And then I hired a translator on Upwork. And so this translator, she comes on, she's been working with us for a year and a half now, and we just meet for 20 minutes a week.

And then if I want something done, I draw it. It's the most horrific drawings you've ever seen in your life, but it's so that he can like get the layout and then it's all through Instagram. So everything is through Instagram and then Zoom. And then she translates.

So it's like pretty fun working with him on the project because it's like communicating and will come across things like that's not in his world. And so I'm trying to communicate this to him of how I wanted to draw it. So it's been pretty fun to create this.

[00:29:27] Ali: That's super cool dude. And it ties back to what you mentioned about imagery. I actually didn't think about that until just now Ned. Is like how powerful and impactful images are in children's books, especially until they can read, like, my son is six, he's just starting to read. So he's paying a bit more attention to the words.

Whereas prior to that, they're listening to how we project the words, but really their brains are interpreting these images right. Or most, if not all of the story that they're telling themselves, you know. Cause my four and six year old, they get pretty distracted, even when we read stories together. But they are looking at the images and kind of mining what they want from that.

And then I feel like my words are secondary.

[00:30:17] Ned: For sure. For sure. I mean, imagery is huge and, and really, you know, my hope in this is that a father gets the opportunity to share their story. So like how it starts off is it's a dad on a motorcycle in the desert by himself. And it's like, I was once wild, right.

So right there. Oh dad, what did you do before you met mom? And then he's driving down the highway in the desert and there's a chick hitchhiking. And then the next image is she's on the back with a bouquet of flowers. You know, like they just got married. Uh, and then they're like talking about having a kid and then she's pregnant and there's like this photo, the motorcycles and scene, and the dads kissing her belly. Like they got a photo taken, you know, pregnancy photo.

So it's like in all these little stages that are kind of building to the father and son or soon father and daughter. I want a dad to be able to share their story, because, you know, you hear a lot of men our age, who are like, man, I went on a road trip with my dad, or I was at a family event and I was talking to my dad and I learned these things about him that I never knew, you know?

And so I'd love to create those opportunities for dad to connect sooner, with who they are and not just step so much into this, like, well, I guess I'm provider and protector. So I'm going to put my head down and work and then make sure we have a nice house. Like, dude, that's not your only role in this kid's life.

Your kid needs you desperately. And I'm hoping to create those moments through this children's story.

[00:31:40] Ali: Totally, man. I love that. Thank you.

Okay. One other big thing I want to talk about, which you've sort of mentioned. There's certainly some selfish interest here because as you know, I've shared with you, we've been considering a move here for a couple years.

Tell me about Hawaii. You moved a crew of seven total from California to Hawaii a year ago. Right. And share whatever feels share-worthy right now. We've talked a little bit about this, but this is an opportunity to, I don't know, talk about like the why you moved, what it's been like a year after.

And again, I want to know this because we've had a lot of healthy back and forth on leaving our home and the fear, the uncertainty, the decision-making, all that stuff, which you probably faced, right?

[00:32:34] Ned: Yeah. So I'm going to give you like a quick timeline and then I'm going to do a couple of nuggets that are coming to my mind right now, as I see important.

So it was like our son struggled with his breathing his whole life. Terrible, like terrible and you know, he's short because of it. And you know, steroids as a kid and adenoids out multiple times. And first time I could afford to take my whole family on a plane we went to Mexico for a family vacation, January, 2020.

And my wife looks at me and she's like, Brody's breathing through his nose. Never happened. Right. So he's always a mouth breather. So that's another reason he's probably short. It's just, you know, not getting enough oxygen. And so we're like, oh my gosh, now that we know what should we do?

You know, she's like, where could we live that's reasonable. Okay. Let's go to Hawaii. We tell the kids that we're going to spend the summer in Hawaii. They freak out. We don't want to waste our summer. We want to be with our friends. Then COVID hit. I called my wife the day the schools and the sports shut down.

Or March, 2020. I say, babe, let's just buy one way tickets to Hawaii and just go and just go live out. COVID there. She said yes. Six days later, all seven of us are on a plane to Hawaii. Had like a suitcase full of food and stuff. Cause I had no idea what to expect. You know, like very beginning it was fine. It wasn't a big deal.

So we spent two months there just kind of like figuring out life and Brody did great. We came home and I'm like, it's not reasonable. It's not reasonable. So we're going to move to Utah. Then we decided, gosh, we got to go to Hawaii.

So long story short, we sold our house. We sold all of our things. We got on an airplane. June of last year. So that's 2021 and we moved into a 900 square foot condo that we had bought. All seven of us living in it. It was tight. It was tight. So that was a little interesting, cause it was small.

So then the kids tried, they all like adamant. We don't want to go to private school anymore. We want to go to public. So we had a couple kids in acting and a couple of kids at a Christian school. They all went to public. They realized they hated it. So the school thing was a little hard. So then they went to another school and then some of them are homeschooled now.

So now fast forward a year, we're here. And that's super quick. You could ask me anything about that, but a couple of thoughts come to mind that were unique to our family that I don't think I anticipated and I think would be helpful for people.

Okay. So one is my wife needed a home. And so, I'm fine to live wherever. But I realized because of her childhood living with grandparents and them losing a house and them having to move a lot, for her to feel stability, she really needed a home base.

So I didn't really, that didn't click for me because like, I would love to have a house in Hawaii and one in Truckee, Tahoe and bounce around a lot. But in realizing the need for my wife to feel secure and stability, she needs a home base. Like she'd love to go somewhere for two to four weeks, but not have like multiple places we're saying all the time.

So I realized that about for our marriage strength and for her stability of life, she needs a home base. So we bought a house here in Hawaii and this is home base. Okay. So that was one thing that I go, this is important for my long-term family, marriage life. This isn't her needing the rad house down by the beach. It's I need somewhere stable. So that was item number one.

Item number two is, and I don't know if this is a girl thing or what, but I have four daughters and the older ones, the 14 and 16 year old. They need consistency in their life. And so this idea of like, just be homeschooled and let's just go travel and let's go.

Like, they want friends, they want to go to the football games. They want to go to the local gym and make their friends. Like stability was really important for them. So the reason I bring this up is, you know, in our world there's so many options, right? And I'm realizing that this idea of just being a total vagabond and being able to go and do whatever, whenever isn't what my family needs. So to be in tune with that.

And I thought that moving here, it would be like, oh, all my kids are going to be forced in a homeschool. And then we can just live kind of a overly spontaneous life. And that's not going to work for them. It's gotta be a little bit more strategic.

So those are a couple of thoughts that come to mind in making the move.

The other thing is if I could have done it sooner, I would have. I didn't know. Right. I didn't know this to do this for my kid, but moving your 13 and 16 year old is difficult when they've got their friend group. Cause once you hit sixth grade, you kind of hit that those are the homies you hang out with for the next, you know, middle school and high school.

And, and, you know, I know that long-term. This is going to make my kids stronger and more flexible to make friends and whatnot. But there is still this, like this like kind of dreamy thing of, I grew up in this small town and I know people. You know, I think sometimes we look down on that. But there is some stability and security there that I think is great for a family.

Like, oh, we're the fourth generation in this town. I know we're moving away from that, but I wonder what it's doing to our soul and our heart and our longterm stability to not have that, like Homebase or running into your teacher from sixth grade at the store. You know, I don't know. I think both are great, but those are just some things that are coming up for me that I'm more aware of.

Because everything changed for my kids. Also, culturally, it's different culture here.

[00:38:11] Ali: Thank you for that, man. You hit on some things without even knowing it that we've been discussing here as it relates to our potential move. And you also, whether you realize it or not, you tied this back to some things .

What I just heard and filtered is like, you knew what you wanted, but you also mentioned that you were very aware of what your family needed here. So there was some removal of just Ned's desire and being like, well, what do they need? And what's going to serve them collectively.

Also this point about a homebase Ned ties back into connection. It's kind of hard to connect in a nomadic lifestyle or whatever lifestyle where you're constantly going and running. Like there's an appeal there and there's definitely things you can learn about yourself. It can also be exhausting. And I would argue that there's a different type of connection with someone that you have roots with that you've established some depth with that is hard to find when you're bouncing or you're just constantly on the move.

Like there's a, trade-off there of connection. Right. And yeah, so this is so focused for us because our kids are younger. So your advice is very well timed in that we know we have some years before they're going to be really rooted in those friendships. And dude that's the hard thing for me to get over because I have such solid friendships from way back when, and I can still rely on and lean into that wouldn't have happened if we were bouncing around and moving frequently, you know.

[00:39:43] Ned: Yeah, yeah. Dude two thoughts come to me real quick that I want to share. Is one, when we did move here my kids were experiencing grief and I tried not to step in and like, let's go do something fun. Let's go do something fun. So I wanted to let them kind of experience it on their own.

The other thing that we're kind of starting to have conversation around is an idea we have. An idea we have is like put our house up for rent for the month of December and let's go to Paris for the month and like celebrate Christmas in Paris. And our kids are like, no way we don't want to do that. We want to go back to California and see our friends. But I made this comment to my wife and I don't know how I feel about it yet, but I'm kind of like thinking about this.

This is our life, right. They're going to go have their families one day. And so we can't always, let them dictate what we're going to do. Right. A lot of us do so much for our kids, which is great, but I think sometimes maybe that reminder that, wait a second, this is our life. This is our family. If we want to do something, let's do that.

So just a new thought, because so much of what we've been thinking about is how does this affect our kids? How does this affect our kids?

[00:40:49] Ali: Totally. Because I'll say one of my major fears and I know Gabrielle has this as well, is they're not going to get what we got. Which is just a projection of thinking that they're not going to be happy if they didn't get something like we had. Where that contradicts what we want today, when you talk about designing your life. And surrendering to being like the kids are going to be fine. They're going to figure it out their way and still have their journey. But there's this release of attachment I'm trying to really get comfortable with and being like, they don't need what I have.

You see what I'm saying?

[00:41:24] Ned: Yeah. Which is like that idea of moving away from the small town, just cause I went to this high school with these people doesn't mean that that's what my kid's story needs to be. My kid's story is going to be their story. So I think, you know, in a sense that's kind of good too, is why am I trying to create my story for my kid?

You know, they need to live their own life. And now my decisions are going to impact that. So if we move everybody to Hawaii, that's going to impact your story. But I think saying it's good or bad. I think we gotta be careful of, because if I say, yeah, I know this is so rough. I do want to have empathy with my kid, but I don't want to make them a victim to their circumstances.

I want them to look at their situation and that's kind of the mission trip idea too, is I want them to look at their situation, go, this is my story right now. What am I going to do about it? Because there's so many things impacting this, right? We got COVID. We got so many people are moving. All over the U S right now for multiple various reasons.

So there's a big shift happening right now.

[00:42:21] Ali: I would agree. Yeah. That's definitely evident that everyone's considering where they want to live, why, and it's been chaos for sure. But thank you for sharing that because not only is it cool to hear more of the story than I've heard before, but it gives me some courage and some tools in how we're navigating this. So thank you.

[00:42:46] Ned: Yeah. And I think we do live in a world where you could, you know, depending on your work-life balance, you could just go try something for a couple months. You know, that's what we did first. We went and tried it for a couple of months and that's possible.

[00:42:58] Ali: A hundred percent.

Yeah. Okay. You want to wrap with a few fun questions? All right. I always like to ask my guests what's the best book you've read lately.

[00:43:09] Ned: Okay. So, so I have two. One is The Four Agreements. Was brought back up and that has just really been helpful for me. There's, you know, these four agreements and I think I'm really good at one, but not the other three.

And then Wayne Dyer The Power of Intention has been you know, he talks about being inspired and being in spirit. So that as being the same thing, and I just feel like do that really want to get connected to me. And so just as like a, my wife said to me, she said, you used to be really fun. Oh, yeah.

I don't even want to say it out loud, bro. But if I hadn't read The Four Agreements and The Power of Intention within that like 60 day period of her making that statement to me, I would have been highly offended. Sure. But dude, she's right. I'm intentional. But intentional isn't always fun. So like last night we journaled as a family.

But when was the last time I'm like, dude, it's 10 o'clock let me run to the store before it closes and get us a bucket of ice cream and watch a movie. That was like a little bit of a old Ned. And I lost a little bit of that in my hyper intentionality. So there you go.

[00:44:23] Ali: I see. Thank you. Two books I haven't read that I will be purchasing soon.

Next question. What's the funniest thing one of your kids has said? If one comes to mind.

[00:44:35] Ned: Yeah. Yeah. So recently I don't even know how this was happening, but this is a couple of years ago and my oldest daughter was a, we were painting rocks. I don't know why we were painting rocks, but we were outside painting rocks for some reason.

And my daughter brings her rock up to me and it's a cactus and she wrote, don't be a prick on it. And I was like, you didn't know what it meant. You know, she must've seen it somewhere and she was super proud of her artwork on the rock. And I have it on my bookshelf. I was like, oh, this is really good. We can't say, if you didn't say it, she painted it.

[00:45:13] Ali: Love it. Love it, man. At our recent retreat, when JV was sharing some of the things that a quality man at ocean and his buddy were saying. That stuck with me, that I messaged him.

I was like, Hey, can you send me that? And I shared it with the kids, they got a kick out of it. And now have been paying attention. Because like, I would always laugh and really support when Everest and Sepia has say funny things, but I wasn't really documenting them. And now I'm starting to take more notice to that.

[00:45:44] Ned: Yes, I love your question, right? Because when you ask the question, I'm like, oh my gosh, I don't know. Cause when you have little kids, more things come up. And so I couldn't think of anything, but now as you share your story, I have one more where my youngest about a year ago, I was like, Hey, how was school today?

And just. Yeah, school was great today. You know, this, this and this. And then I sharded. And she said, except for when I sharded. And it was just like part of the day, it wasn't like anything. And I'm like, okay, I'm so sorry that happened to you. It was so freaking hilarious. He was like eight at the time.

[00:46:25] Ali: Because it's so real. That's what I'll just, I'll never get over this man. And I'll continue to emphasize it is that conversations with children are so beautiful because they're real. And I would expect that that starts to fade away at a certain age. Which is why I'm really trying to pay attention and be in tune with them. Because even Sepia at four she's in the phase of, what does that mean? What does that mean?

And I'm having a lot of fun with it, trying to give her my truth and also like kind of test how she's interpreting some of these things. It's also why we always tell people if you want to learn another language, listen to children speak. Because they speak well, they speak definitively and it's simple language without all the adults slang and the interpretation lingo that we inherited as adults.

[00:47:16] Ned: Yeah. Yes. Yes. All this underlying motive. The kids don't have that.

[00:47:20] Ali: Precisely. That's it? All right, one last one, easy one. What's your favorite movie?

[00:47:26] Ned: Okay. So family movie right now is, and this is probably like 10 years old and up is Peanut Butter Falcon.

[00:47:35] Ali: It's how do I not know about this?

[00:47:37] Ned: It's so good. Yes, it's so good.

And you and your wife would love it too, I think.

[00:47:41] Ali: Peanut Butter Falcon. So full family movie, huh?

[00:47:44] Ned: Well, yeah, but I'd say probably eight, nine years old and up would be where they could see this. And prior three and four year old. And then if I'm hanging out with my friends, the go-to movie is Step Brothers. So it's just so quotable. It's so good. And that's, that's fun Ned, so that's yeah, that's right.

Do you have a brother?

I do have a brother he's younger. Two years younger than me. Yeah.

[00:48:10] Ali: Okay. Yeah. My younger brother's three years younger and we may have watched it a long time ago, but I remember after I watched it. I hit him up. I was like, have you seen this? And he's like, hilarious.

Brothers had to have been involved in scripting that movie. Just the things that they do. Oh man. I haven't watched it in years now, but I remember having watched them multiple times, there were little parts of that movie that I picked up that I thought were so funny that most people probably wouldn't understand unless they had a brother, you know.

[00:48:39] Ned: For sure.

[00:48:42] Ali: Awesome man. Okay. Anything left unsaid here, Ned?

[00:48:47] Ned: No, man. I just appreciate the opportunity. Appreciate what you're doing. I love your question about what's in focus. It is something that is kind of in my head as one of the questions I ask myself regularly now and ask other people. And then, yeah, just thankful to share, you know, the mission and purpose behind fatherhood.

It's not about me. It's way bigger than me. And so it would just love for people to check out the Kickstarter and if they find it valuable to, to help bring it to life.

[00:49:11] Ali: Thank you brother. I appreciate you immensely as well. And we'll definitely support you with links to all the things, and I'm excited to see where the book and Rebel and Create ended up going.

[00:49:23] Ned: Love it. Thank you.

[00:49:24] Ali: All right, man. Talk to you soon.

Ali Jafarian

Ali is a father, husband and serial entrepreneur with a deep drive to create. He writes, records, codes and builds things to inspire the artist in all of us.

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The Role of a Father with Ned Schaut
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