Funny story: You know how we’ve interviewed a number of mom-preneurs to see how they do it (and also that there’s no single “right” way to do it)? Well, I got an email a few months ago from Dylan Jawahir, founder and CEO of Battle Balm, a natural plant-based topical pain reliever. We got to talking about his product (which is fabulous, by the way) and about our kids. Mine: 2 1/2 and acting nutters. Dylan’s: 6 1/2 and 4 1/2 years old.
And, then, I did the most embarrassing thing. I assumed he was a mom. (I also watch a lot of TODAY so Dylan Dreyer was on the brain.)
But seriously. Because he said he stayed at home with his kids, I assumed he was a mom.
I’m not proud of it — but I am glad it lead to a bit of self-reflection of stereotypes on my part (and maybe on yours, too? ‘Cause I thought I was all enlightened and feminist and stuff). AND I’m glad it lead me to a deeper conversation with Dylan. Which turned into this interview we’re sharing today.
Interview with Dylan Jawahir, Dad and Founder of Battle Balm
How did you come up with the idea for your product? When our first child arrived six years ago, I made the decision to freeze my acupuncture practice and take on the challenge of childrearing. Though exciting, changing diapers didn’t appease my type A personality. Also, I wanted to keep up with my profession in some way, shape, or form. Since it would have been awkward bringing my baby into the treatment room with patients, I figured that I’d stay at home and design a product based on my traditional Chinese medicine education. Sports injury and pain management was my specialty, so I focused on something related to that industry. Battle Balm was basically born between diaper changes.
How is it different than other products on the market? Battle Balm is a premium quality topical pain reliever. We are a 100 percent plant-based and all-natural product. I source high-grade USDA certified, pesticide-free, and wild grown plants in manufacturing. There are very few brands in the $60-billion topical analgesic industry that can also claim this. Our goal was to see if there was a better way to make pain relief. As I pleasantly found out, there was! Battle Balm is also eco-friendly, 100 percent sustainable, and naturally antimicrobial.
How many hours do you work a week? I’d say I work about 60 to 70 hours a week. But, I love working, so it’s not really a job. I’m trying to build something with legacy and longevity so the upfront effort is crucial. But, as we mature in the industry, we should be able to take the foot off the gas and coast for a while.
How do you handle childcare? My oldest is now in public school and my youngest is in her last year of daycare. I wanted to stay at home with her, but she couldn’t handle being with me day in and day out. It was apparent from the beginning. Always so curious and so social, I basically bored her with scheduled feedings, changings, and trips to the zoo. Yeah, I shaved funny shapes into my beard, but the interest in that only lasted days. She needed more. So, I’m working again, too.
How do you manage your time when it comes to being a parent, household duties, work, workouts and having fun? I’ll just sum it up like this: Our floors have crumbs. Our tables are sticky. Sometimes the bathrooms and bedrooms are icky. If I get pissed off and continue to shout, I’ll miss what life is all about. There will always be work to lead me astray, but one day my kids will stop asking to play … with me. And I don’t want to cry tears of regret when that day comes.
Do you outsource any tasks (business and personal)? I’m a do-it-yourselfer, aka perfectionist. So, for most things I try to figure it out. But as my time becomes more valuable, I have to outsource more tasks. It’s helpful because there are only so many hours in a day and I can’t be everywhere at once! But I’m not 100 percent comfortable with it. If it were up to my wife, we’d have people cooking, cleaning, fixing, modifying, and who knows what else in our house! Maybe one day, I will let her have her way. Until then, I’ve got 20 half-finished projects on my to-do list.
What advice would you give to other working parents? I’m not sure if I’m in the right place to give advice to other parents seeing how the results of my own parenting style aren’t in yet. I guess it’s all about finding what works for your family. Share the responsibilities. Allow family and friends to help out. Take time for yourself. Focus on the things that matter. Worry less, laugh more. You can always buy new furniture.
What great advice, right? Stay tuned for more from Dylan. We’ll be doing a part two of this interview soon! —Jenn