[quote style=”boxed”]To me, being an entrepreneur is fun and creative, so I just try to have fun every day, encourage people, thank people, and believe in the future.[/quote]
Robert Nickell, a.k.a. Daddy Nickell, is the founder of Daddy & Co, delivery room duds, gifts and apparel for dads, and the Daddy & Co blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective. For his blog, Nickell, a father of 7, writes from a father’s perspective on topics such as bonding with your child and what the father should expect during pregnancy and infancy. Daddy Nickell also contributes his parenting expertise to national talk shows and daytime television shows.
He has been featured on “Good Morning L.A.,” “Good Morning Texas,” “Daytime TV,” WGN Chicago and many others, and is a syndicated columnist for national newspapers, parenting magazines and websites including LA Parent Magazine, Oh Baby! Magazine, City Parent Magazine and Homeschooling Parent. Daddy Nickell’s Daddy & Co line is a hot commodity in Hol lywood, with celeb daddies like Joey Lawrence, Kevin James, Ian Ziering, CNN’s John Roberts, Ty Murray, Cash Warren, and Donald Trump Jr. sporting them during their time in the delivery room. Daddy Nickell has also hosted a number of celebrity baby showers, including those for “Grey’s Anatomy” star Sarah Drew, Antonio Sabato Jr., Kaycee Stroh, Jaime Ray Newman, Christie Lynn Smith, Kelly Stables, and Dean McDermott’s Dadchelor Party.
Where did the idea for DaddyScrubs come from?
The idea for Daddyscrubs came from my experience of having children twenty years ago and simply feeling “out of place” when I wore my street clothes to the labor and delivery room. I was remarried in my fifties, my wife became pregnant, and I wanted something to wear that would make me feel like a part of the team, as well as identify me as the “daddy” and not the photographer, uncle, brother etc..
I created a set of medical scrubs and wrote “I’m the Daddy” on the back and called them “Daddyscrubs.” It was an amazing experience, as not only did I feel like part of the team, but the nurses and doctors were encouraging me to “jump in,” and people were high fiving me when I walked down the hall to get ice chips. I realized at that moment that every dad should feel this way and that “Daddyscrubs” would become the new uniform for every dad in the labor and delivery room from here on out.
What does your typical day look like?
As a serial entrepreneur, I own eight companies at this time. Therefore, my day consists of multi-tasking. I mostly respond to emails and meet with my team leaders on a daily basis. I was brought up by my parents with the philosophy: “If you want to get something, ask a busy person to help you.”
To me, being an entrepreneur is fun and creative, so I just try to have fun every day, encourage people, thank people, and believe in the future. My dad taught me patience, to not worry about the past, and to dream about the future.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe in them and have passion about them. This is the only way an idea can be brought to life. The moment I give up on my dream, the passion goes away, and so does the idea. I constantly meet young entrepreneurs who say, “I cannot tell you my idea because you will steal it,” and to this I tell them, “I cannot steal your passion and beliefs, and, thus, I can never steal your idea. It is your game to win or lose, so how can I help you?”
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Social media is the trend of the day. Social media’s potential is barely scratching the surface of the ground today. I see social media as the ticket to “what made America.” The Internet gives the mom and pop enterprises, the young entrepreneur, and the newly declared US citizen a chance to live the dream and create a niche market company. It is the brick and mortar of the future. True social media is touching your customer, marketing to them, and getting to know them in the same way as someone would have in the corner drug store from the seventies.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I believe in my staff. I believe in customer service. I believe in being thankful for every customer that touches our company. The one singular habit I have is focusing on the future. In our companies today, we are implementing the dreams we had last year or two years ago. Today, my focus is on what direction the companies will take next year and the years to come.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My worst job was working as an intern pharmacist, because the pharmacist had rules that did not make sense. I saw a lot of waste and loss of customers. When I tried to make suggestions, I was shut down like a toddler asking for candy.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would not change a thing in my life. Every experience has made me who I am today. Some experiences were not fun at the time, but the reflection and learning curve has been invaluable to my success today.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Keep the customer happy.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
I continue to have a vision and direction for the company and then I explain it over and over again to my staff, so that we are all fully on the same page. We also have “white walls” all over the company rooms, because there is nothing like taking a dry erase marker in the moment and explaining a new program, the direction, and how we want to get there.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have had many failures, but I believe in myself. I remind myself that NO ONE in the world learns to ride a bike without falling off at least once. Always get back on and never give up. In essence, as most of us know today, true success can only come from failure.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Off the cuff, all I can think of is “Shaved Ice Cocktails” for the beach and summer vacations.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I love taking showers and naps, as they help me meditate and think about the future.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
We use everything, however, I am not truly in love with any of them. To me, perfection in software and web services will never reach the limits of the human imagination.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
My dad, but he may not be available unless people would like to fly to southern California and buy him lunch.