How to Build a Dad Network

Networks are important. Whether they’re at work, at church, at your sports teams supporters club — having a network of like minded people can have multiple benefits. But how important is it to have a network of other Dads? And if it’s important, what benefits is it going to bring you?

A Dad Network is a Group of Like Minded People Who Challenge Each Other to Do Better

If you’re anything like me, you go out of your way to surround yourself with positive people. When it comes to being a Dad, that’s no different.

I’m privileged to have an extensive network of other Dads. Many of them are successful in business, fitness, sport, media and have good track records as Dads. We meet up, do stuff together and bounce ideas and knowledge off each other.

Some are friends from University, some from my church, some I met through other hobbies and interests I have. It takes effort to stay in touch and up to date but the benefits are worth it.

I learn so much from these men. I’m not in the photo because I took it!

How to get your Dad Network Started

If you don’t have a network of Dads, make one.

Kids sports clubs are an obvious place to pick up other Dads. Get talking to them after training or before or during games or competitions.

You already have something in common like your kids’ athletic skills so you have a starting point for conversations.

Once you’re on first name terms, invite them round for a barbecue or a Friday night beer.

A great place to meet and talk to other Dads is a toddler play group. As a Dad, you will almost always be in a minority and us Dads gotta stick together. You’ll make connections easily.

Be intentional about your friendships — you want this relationship to be mutually beneficial.

A line from a Soul Asylum song is ‘Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd’ and it’s true. If three Dads is a crowd, you’ll quickly attract others into your group and before you know it, you’ll have an extensive network of like minded male role models.

A Dad Network is a Support Network — A Source of Advice and Ideas

When tough times come, there is nothing particularly heroic about going your own. Even the US Navy SEALS need their buddies with them to get the job done, right? So why are you any different as you embark on the mission of life?

The truth is you need others around you and preferably people older and wiser that can give you advice, a man-hug or even just tell you that you’re an idiot.

A lot of my Dad network are experienced in business and finance and can easily give good money advice.

Others have excelled in sport or fitness, even to a professional level and have great insight and tips for training, and nutrition.

Some in my Dad Network have seen tough times in relationships, money and generally in family life. They’ve lost jobs, wives and seen their lives fall apart and have come out the other end. Those are the Dads I want in my corner.

A Strong Dad Network builds Strong Dads

If you put a brick on the ground, what do you have? A brick. If you put lots of bricks on top of each other in the right way, add some mortar, and you have a strong wall that will last for decades. It’s the same with your network.

If your Dad Network is strong — you meet up regularly and invest your time in making it stronger, you will reap the benefits.

Being a Dad is tough — just ask your kids — and it’s going to get harder. But if your strength comes from those around you as well as within you’ll come out on top.

So you might be reading this thinking “well that’s all fine, but I prefer being a loner”. That’s OK if true, but if it’s an excuse for you to avoid meaningful relationships with other men then I have a challenge for you:

Try building a Dad Network for a whole year and see how it changes and enriches your life.

You know what else will enrich your life? My email list. Sign up here.

Originally published at thisdaddoes.com.