My Kids Know My Name

by Marcus Sheridan

A photo after our most recent game--smiles all around with my daughter, Danielle, bottom right.

I got home at midnight last night after having coached my daughter’s (Danielle) All-Star softball team to what was a tremendous game and team victory. And as I drove home and contemplated the hours and hours I’ve spent coaching these wonderful girls over the past 3 months, my mind kept coming back to one theme:

My kids know my name.

You may be thinking this statement doesn’t make a lot of sense, but let me explain.

In 2005, my swimming pool company had just gone through a major embezzlement that crippled the company financially and put me and my business partners on the brink of losing everything.

In order to recover from this terrible event, we only had one solution—work harder.

So that’s what we did.

From 2005-2007, 60+ hour weeks were common-place. If my kids were able to see me late on Saturday and on Sunday nights, that was a good week.

The stress was unbelievable and frankly, the relationship I had with my kids was practically nonexistent.

In other words, they barely knew my name.

Luckily, with the help of some tremendous marketing that saved our company as well as a renewed life-focus on my part, things have really turned around these last few years. In fact, as I write this sentence, it comes to me that everything in my life changed almost perfectly in conjunction with the first article here at The Sales Lion in 2009.

Despite burning the midnight oil countless times to “get out another blog post,” The Sales Lion has forced me (as I am this morning) to take a hard look at my business, and life, again and again and again.

Simply put, there is incredible power and strength that comes from forced cognition.

3 months ago, when I agreed to coach my daughter’s softball team, it would have been incredibly easy to say I didn’t have the time.

And, in reality, I didn’t.

But like everything else in life, we simply must find the time for those things that are most important to us.

Joy and Happiness

I’m 34 years old. I’m a husband of 1 and a father of 4.

In my mind, I’ve got one shot to make this right, and I don’t want to screw it up. Furthermore, I don’t want to look back and say, “I wish….”

Although this blog talks so much about business and marketing, the core motivation that drives me to write and communicate with the passion I share stems from the real purpose we’re all here—to experience true joy and happiness—with our families and loved ones.

Yes, becoming a renowned expert in your field is a wonderful thing. Getting tweeted a million times can seem pretty cool. And making lots of money can certainly have its benefits.

But when all is said and done, no temporal success will override what we’re able to achieve within the walls of our own home.

Last night, I was on a ball field not to satisfy my own vanity, but rather to let my daughter Danielle know how much I care.

I want her to know I’m there.

And I want her to know my name.

Your Turn

A simple question friends– What do you do to ensure your loved ones and children “know your name?”

Jump in, I’d love to know your thoughts.

Have a great week everyone. :-)

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca Livermore July 2, 2012 at 11:04 am

A lot of truth here, Marcus. We can’t buy back the time we’ve lost with our kids. Mine are now grown, and I still invest quite a bit of time with them, but the reason we have the relationship we do is because of the mega hours I spent with them when they were growing up.

After 17 years as a stay-at-home/homeschooling mom, I went back to work and got “my time.” As nice as it is to have more time to focus on my own “stuff,” nothing compares with those years I had at home. And it’s pretty cool to have my kids who are in their twenties want to spend time with me. I’m not sure that would be the case had I not done things right when they were little.

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Your perspective just makes me smile Rebecca, as it’s so much like my dear wife’s thoughts and feelings.

Thanks for being amazing,

Marcus

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Rebecca Livermore July 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

You picked a good wife, Marcus. But I think you already knew that. ;)

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Jon Loomer July 2, 2012 at 11:22 am

Great stuff, Marcus. Much the same here. I started my online business so that I could continue to work from home and be as close to the lives of my kids as possible. I walk them to school, have lunch with them, chat with them throughout the day. I also coach their Little League teams and there is little that is more awesome than coaching my oldest son’s All-Star team (our first game is this weekend!). This entire season has been terrific as I watch him grow and provide the guidance that I can. I don’t know what I’d do without being able to coach my kids’ teams!

Thanks again for bringing the “real life” to business.

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:28 pm

You’re coaching All-stars too Jon!! Wow man, that’s awesome! :-)

Boy does it sound like you’re incredibly balanced my friend. I commend you and the person you are.

Smiles,

Marcus

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Jon Loomer July 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Yeah, this was my oldest boy’s first year in the “Majors,” so it brought on the whole new challenge of making the All-Star team. Our team won both the Wooden Bat Tournament and first place in the league itself (credit to the boys!), so it’s been an awesome experience all around.

Our oldest is also a cancer survivor, so you can imagine the emotions tied into each new accomplishment. It’s been amazing!

Oh, and the balance is still a challenge, my friend. I certainly have the “life” balance, but I need more of the “work,” if you know what I mean. This is the first year going on my own, so soaking up everything I can learn along the way. So your advice for a dude like me is invaluable.

Stay awesome.

Jon

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:52 am

Majors too Jon? Sweet!

And what fun it is, ehh? It’s crazy how my wife and all the kids have gotten into it. Great times indeed!

You seem like one amazing father Jon. Props to you bud for making that a reality. You’re kids I know sense the love of their dad.

Keep going,

Marcus

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Bob Reed July 2, 2012 at 11:42 am

I concur, Marcus. My office sits behind the garage and next to the mud room. It’s the buffer between me and the rest of the house. But, my door is one big glass pane. I still remember my kids (now 12 and 14) running up to the door as toddlers screaming “hi!” and running off. Through grade school, I would greet them as they arrived home (still do!) and asked them about their day. Whether it was good or bad, I heard it all and listened first.

Gladly, this pattern will continue with the two of them for the next four years. I will hate to see it end.

Yes, my kids know my name. And I’m one lucky guy that they do.

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Love how you painted that picture of the way you work Bob. Sounds like you’re a dang awesome dad my friend. :-)

And like you, I’ll hate to see it end too!

Marcus

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David Frey - MarketingBlogger.com July 2, 2012 at 11:50 am

Marcus,

We are on the same page.

My all time favorite quote is, “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” David O. McKay.

What difference does it make if we are successful in business and we lose the respect of our loved ones.

That makes no sense.

It’s all about overcoming our own ego, selfishness, and pride. When we worship money or bling bling, that’s a form of pride.

I believe in the end, the only thing that will matter is what our spouse and kids think of us. If they don’t think very highly of us, nothing else will matter.

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

We couldn’t be more on the same page David. When I was making that statement about success within the walls of our own home, McKay’s words were bouncing around my head the whole time.

Great seeing you man.

Marcus

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Krisette Capati July 2, 2012 at 11:57 am

Hi Marcus,

I’m glad to read this post. This stirred my heart to chase my dreams, and it reminded me to continue what I have started. I’m working as a freelance writer, 24 years old, single, living in a third-world country. I have seen how my parents worked hard since I was a child. They were busy working and working and working… Until now. And I don’t want that to happen when I have my own family.

Time is so precious to children. Quality time builds quality relationship. I just wish they could have spent more time when I was a kid, we should have eaten dinner together.

I’m so happy for you and your family. I can clearly see that you “walk the talk.” Whether in business or family matters. Thank you for replying to my emails too. You inspire me a lot.

Working at home has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my parents, (since I’m their unica hija), spend quality time with my disciples, (Ministry as a discipler of young professionals) and spend more time serving the Lord. :)

I spend more TIME with them because I want to leave indelible marks in their hearts. That’s how I show my love.

LOVE is spelled T.I.M.E.

Agape,
Krisette, Philippines

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Krisette, whenever you stop by here to chat, I’m always amazed with the thoughtfulness of your comments. This was amazing!

Well said and thank you!

Marcus

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Nate Riggs (@nateriggs) July 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

Nice post, Marcus.

I think you hit a good point in terms of having your kids know your name. That’s a good lesson for any working dad. Coaching associates a father with fun, teaching, learning and play — all things that good dad’s want.

I’ve really enjoyed coaching soccer for my kids. Their still only 5, but the time spent on drills, at games and outside team events has been awesome for growing our relationship. I’m just hoping they stay involved with sports that I actually can coach. Basketball would remove me from any real coaching eligibility…

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Yep, white men can’t jump Nate, it’s true man.:-)

Love your thoughts here bud and it’s awesome you’re coaching your little ones bud.

Keep it up big guy,

Marcus

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Tom Ewer July 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I do miss the occasional post like this from you Marcus :-) puts everything in perspective, and your own attitude to life matches mine very well (kids or no kids).

Congratulations on being an awesome father :-)

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

That’s exactly right Tom–kids or no kids.

I was thinking about this type of post this morning Tom and why I write them at times and why not so much at others, and realized that summertime for me is when I get to be with my kids the most, and with those experiences being so front and center right now, it’s hard not to share them.

Thanks for your support my friend,

Marcus

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barbara July 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Marcus you remind me so much of my two sons. My husband coached them both through little league. We always had dinner together where anything and everything was up for discussion. It created an unbreakable bond.

Now I see them, both busy executives, making time for their families and it makes me feel we did our job well. They are great dads and very involved with every aspect of their kids lives. It truly makes such a difference in all their (and our) lives.
Great post!
b

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Love it Barbara. You obviously did some pretty amazing things with those two, and I can see you smiling as you wrote this comment. :-)

I plan on smiling when I’m able to reflect back as…at least when that time comes Barbara :-)

Thanks for all,

Marcus

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Ryan Hanley July 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

There is so much that could said about this post and making time and what is truly important in our lives…

All I can say is I understand and appreciate the choices you’ve made and I’m glad you’re so open with you life as it gives strength and focus to people like me…

I’m happy for you Marcus.

Hanley.

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Marcus Sheridan July 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Hanley, thanks brother. Sometimes people wonder why I do posts like this when it’s supposed to be a blog about business/marketing. My answer is simple– Happy marketers and business owners have a happy home life. Period.

The two are inseparable.

Thanks for being you my man.

Marcus

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Jens P. Berget July 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

That’s an awesome story Marcus, and a very important one. I decided to work from home and close to my home (and mostly online) for the same reason. I want to spend as much time as possible with my kids. They grow up too fast and I want to be there to see it happen and I want to be there to answer every single question.

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

You seem like one heck of a dad Jens. Really man, your kids are lucky to have been born under your watchful and caring eye. :-)

Marcus

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Ryan Aspy July 3, 2012 at 12:18 am

This was great to read because it caused me to look back also. As you well know while you were going through your fiasco I was losing quite a bit of family time myself, only mine was by way of military service, then grad school and then a job that had me traveling much more than was originally advertised. I guess whether your working all waking hours to save your small company or getting the life sucked out of you in Corporate America the end result is the same: the family suffers. All the more reason to continue in the direction we’re moving.

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

Word brother :-)

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Mark Evans July 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

Excellent perspective. I’ve experienced the same satisfaction over the past year coaching my daughters’ teams. It reminds me of MasterCards’ “Priceless” campaigns. :)

Mark

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:49 am

Priceless it is Mark. Congrats to you bud for making it happen as well.

To continued happiness,

Marcus

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Laura Click July 3, 2012 at 8:21 am

First, Amen! This is what life is all about. Owning your own business means nothing if you can’t make time for the ones you love. I don’t have kids (yet), but this is an important reminder for when I do. In the meantime, I could stand to make sure my husband and friends see my face a little more!

Second, love that you coach your daughter’s softball team! My dad was my softball coach and while he was hard on me and had high expectations, I definitely learned a lot from him and valued that connection we had on the field. Glad you’re sharing that with your daughter.

So, where is your daughter’s softball team now in the tournaments? I was on the all-star team when I was growing up and we were one game away from making the Little League World Series!

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:48 am

One game away Laura? Wow, that’s awesome!

Our season is over and we didn’t make it nearly that far, but no doubt Danielle and I grew closer this season and we look forward to the same next year.

So great hearing your experience Laura, hope you had a great 4th!

Marcus

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Marjorie Clayman July 3, 2012 at 9:23 am

I’m going to leave an uncharacteristically short comment here, but I must say – I adore you. I’m so glad I know you, and I’m glad I got to meet you. You are a bright light, my friend. This post is just one small reason why I feel these sentiments are entirely justified :)

Happy Fourth!

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

You’re not just an incredibly talented writer and thinker Margie, but you’re also dang kind. Ty!

Marcus

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Al Smith July 3, 2012 at 9:33 am

Really love this, Marcus. The last part got me. I feel the same way about my 17 year old step-daughter. You just want her to know your name, know that you are there and that you Care. I need to be better at this. Thanks for the reminder.

Take CARE.

Al

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:45 am

I think we all need to do better Al. In fact, that’s why I write stuff like this– it makes me think. It pushes me to be better.It serves as a reminder.

We all need it, that’s for sure.

Hope your week was a great one my friend.

Marcus

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Krista Kotrla July 3, 2012 at 10:06 am

Of course I love this one, Marcus! Precious daddy-daughter memories… A reminder of why we do what we do… Straight from the heart. I love that you walk the talk and you aren’t afraid to use TSL to show it. Matter of fact, it is posts like this one that confirmed for me that you were “the guy” I would entrust to help transform our company. You are obviously a great teacher, coach and speaker… it sealed the deal to know at a deeper level what you’re about and that made you the perfect fit for working with our team. Thank you for the inspiration and authenticity. And thank you for keepin’ it real!

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:44 am

You’re more than welcome my dear friend. What’s interesting is that you calling me helped ME more than it likely could ever help your company. Words can’t even do it justice.

Thanks for all you do and are KK.

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer July 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

My friends and family know me – though of course, not as much as I’d like (squeezes lottery ticket ;-)). It’s important I think – as conversations turn to ‘work-life balance’ and ‘having it all?’ – to remember that it takes family, takes a team.. and you have a lovely one there. Kudos to your daughter’s win, and to you Marcus to making it all work.

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:43 am

Thanks Davina, I do appreciate it. Team is everything. Everything indeed.

Hope you had a wonderful week,

Marcus

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Ian Altman July 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Marcus,

Your priorities are exactly where they should be. A couple of weeks ago, I was delivering a keynote address in New Jersey. I had gotten four hours of sleep, woke at 5am, and make it home after several delays just in time to leave for a soccer match at a local stadium that my son wanted to attend. My wife caught me at the door and said “I told him that you’ve had a long day and that you may be too tired to take him.” I replied saying “I had a really long day for the express reason so that I COULD take him to the game.”

It is easy to say we don’t have time, or we’re tired. As you know, I used to fly over 150,000 miles per year around the world. Running a company valued at over $1B was exciting. I traded it for some balance. Good trade!

Keep the great inspiration coming, my friend.

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

Love hearing from someone that’s lived both ends of this and can now look back and clearly see where the important stuff really lies.

You rock Ian, and I really appreciate you coming by bud.

Marcus

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Alan | Life's Too Good July 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

Hey Marcus,

It’s awesome that your kids know your name.

Everyone’s kids should know their names.

Having said that a lot of people, even if they read Tim Ferris’ 4HWW book and decide to design a lifestyle business for themselves, end up putting too much focus in the wrong places and though they’re with their kids, they’re not really with their kids.

There is a business parallel though – it’s about relationships. I know you really get this because I’ve read stuff you’ve written about this a few times including generous comments etc around the blogosphere. That, to my mind is more important than cranking out another blog post – i.e. the marketing, community, relationship and the people aspect.

Slight aside & some food for thought – Richard Branson is a lot of people’s hero and I don’t think he ever worked in an office for any of his career – he did it all from home – with his family – from day 1.

By the way – my kids know my name too – I even work only between the hours of 9am and 3pm whilst the kids are at school so that I’m at least available if they need me for every single minute of every day that they are not in school (though they sometimes go off and do their own thing anyway, which leaves me a little more time to catch up on mails, read blog posts like now & do other stuff – the point is, they come first).

Here’s another way to look at it – remove all of the excess from your life (busy-work) so you can focus on what’s really important (e.g. relationships, the most important of all probably being your family which is why you are working in the first place – but no point doing that work if it takes you away from them and all gets out of whack ;-))

great post…

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:41 am

Alan, amazing comment bud, one of the best I’ve seen here on TSL for a long, long time.

Love your passion, focus, and constitution man.

Continued success and happiness,

Marcus

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Alan | Life's Too Good July 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm

No probs Marcus, thanks (& likewise btw),

take care & best wishes,
Alan

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Danny Brown July 5, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Such an important message here, mate. Looking at the “casualties” of social media luminaries in the last 12 months – divorce, separations, etc -, and the message here is even more important.

I make sure my evenings are my family time (I go online after my wife and kids are in bed). I turn down around 90% of the speaking offers and seminar invites, and limit my business travel to maybe three times a year.

My family is my all, and I’d rather be comfortably off and have that time, than chasing the gold of the speaker circuit and seeing my family relationship suffer.

Solid stuff, mate.

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Marcus Sheridan July 6, 2012 at 11:39 am

Great point DB.

I was with a group of mommy bloggers once and a few were talking about how they were getting a divorce. What made me sad was that if many had spent as much time on their family life as they did on their digital family, things may have worked out differently.

Love the way you have your priorities set DB, and I know your littles know you name my friend.

Marcus

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leon Noone July 6, 2012 at 1:56 am

G’Day Marcus,
Our kids know our names because that’s what our grandkids call us.

Have fun
Leon

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Addie July 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

It makes my heart happy to hear how you make it a priority to let your kids know that they are, indeed, special and a priority to you.

We still sometimes struggle with that at my house.

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Marcia Kin August 24, 2012 at 4:22 am

You are a great dad since you want to make sure that everything will be okay for your kids. You let them feel that they are your world and your major priority.

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Charley July 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

Many comments here, Marcus! I hope mine gets noticed. I’m not a father yet, not even close to being one (as regards age – financially too), but I think about how awesome family life would be, how interesting and simple life becomes with a family (in the absence of difficulties of course). Kids are a big part of the consequential happiness and I can tell you weren’t half as happy as you could have been while missing your kids. There’s a lesson to be learnt here from your story, and I’m now determined never to let work get in the way of a healthy relationship with my kids (when the time comes).

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Marcus Sheridan July 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Love that you’re thinking so far ahead Charley, that’s an extreme rarity these days….so good for you sir!

Best,

Marcus

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Allan White July 11, 2012 at 3:11 am

One way I’ve made sure my kids “know my name” is to invite them into my world & interests – and play an active part in theirs. This is true of my relationship with my wife as well; her interest become my interests. And it’s fun!

I’ve been drawn into coaching b-ball & football with my son, and drawn my daughter into martial arts and photography. I really learn tons from teaching & coaching, it really makes me prepare, train, and study harder. The bond with the family is improved (though I still need to work on the life/work balance).

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Marcus Sheridan July 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

Allan, wow, you seem like a busy man!!

But I’m sure you’re smiling the whole way :-)

Keep being awesome my friend,

Marcus

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Trisha Mckee July 30, 2012 at 1:48 am

It is better to have a connection with your kids. Like this, I think being a team leader and a father as well to your kids will help them to develop their skills and personalities. This is a true relationship. In fact, you can be able to guide your kids all the time. What you did is really great.

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