Dreaming of Baby Entrepreneurs Section
A conversation with Rafael Calle, Owner of Dumpster Maxx.
Rafael Calle is a father building his business whilst staying at home with his daughter. A year in, he shares tips and offers advice for other dads thinking of embarking on the same journey.
Dads, here’s what you need to know about working from home with your little ones in tow.
CJ DeGuara: Hello and welcome to Dreaming of Baby, your source for information on your journey to parenthood. Today we have with us Rafael Calle, a Dadpreneur who will be shedding some light on the entrepreneurial journey dad’s choosing to stay at home raising kids may experience! Rafael, would you be so kind as to tell us a little about what you do and your own personal journey to parenthood?
Rafael Calle: Sure. I have an online based business that I run from home, it consists of subcontracting construction equipment nationally. In a nutshell, I advertise like crazy online, get orders, and send them to vendors. I pretty much run a one-man show call center type environment, all while having a beautiful little 11-month-old girl to care for. Did I mention she just started walking?
CJ DeGuara: That is amazing, proud daddy! With regards to your journey into entrepreneurship, how long ago did you start your business?
Rafael Calle: I started in January 2017.
CJ DeGuara: Ok, so this was recent, was the shift due to your daughter coming into this world or?
Rafael Calle: A combination of that, and being unhappy at work. I thought to myself, what better time to go solo and also spend time with my little one at home. When I made the decision to open the company and go solo, my wife was actually still a stay at home mom. A couple of months into me starting the business, my wife landed a job that she wanted, and we decided to let me try and juggle doing the business and caring for my little one. Doing both is definitely not easy but I am definitely getting it done.
“We decided to let me try and juggle doing the business and caring for my little one. Doing both is definitely not easy but I am definitely getting it done.” Rafael Calle
CJ DeGuara: What’s it like being a stay at home dad? What are some of the challenges and rewards?
Rafael Calle: I definitely can’t complain about working from home. It’s very comfortable working in PJs. No, but seriously, it is definitely easier doing this from a home environment because I could not imagine caring for a child at a professional workplace. Sometimes, I am holding a diaper and taking orders at the same time.
As far as challenges, yes. I have many, my main challenge is getting a phone call and my daughter clinging to me. She is actually getting to the point where she hears the phone and knows I will put her down surrounded by her favorite teddies, TV show, and usually, it gives me about a 5 or 10-minute window for me to finish the call until I have to do it all over again. For the most part, she is an excellent girl and yes, like all babies at times she will scream at the top of her lungs but mostly she is very good and plays on her own and eats and sleeps a lot just like me. It really helps when she naps, she naps about 2 times per day while I care for her and I get so much done within that time.
CJ DeGuara: So, 11 months in, do you have any tips for would-be Dadpreneurs?
Rafael Calle: Yes, baby proof your home. If you have 5-minute windows like me when you let baby roam around or play alone as you take calls, you better make sure those kitchen cabinets with cleaners are locked and baby gates are secured. And when I say roam or play alone, I am literally stretching my phone cord about 20ft across the room keeping an eye on her. I don’t really let her be alone, I am just not at peace if I can’t see her. Also, for as hard as it may seem, the bigger they get the easier it gets. For example, I don’t always have to feed her milk bottle anymore, she is bigger and eating soft foods like fruits and now I can put her in her feeding chair, put a bowl of her food in front of her and let her watch her show and this gives me time to get things done on my desk.
In my case, I see how my father-daughter relationship is getting so strong. If a Dad is willing to do all this work, then you will have the most priceless memories and relationship. So yes, Dads keep your eye on the goal, make that business work and enjoy every moment you get with your child at home. I have two older children in school during the day, and all I can say is it seemed like just yesterday they were roaming around in diapers. What I am saying is they grow fast so take your time, stress less about work and enjoy them because before you know it they will not be speaking cute baby language anymore but actually talking back and acting like adults.
“I see how my father-daughter relationship is getting so strong. If a Dad is willing to do all this work, then you will have the most priceless memories and relationship.” Rafael Calle
CJ DeGuara: On the business side, do you have any tips for being more efficient? Having a child to care for especially a young one is definitely a time crunch; how do you optimize the time you get?
Rafael Calle: Okay good question. My child usually takes two naps during the day. Usually, about two-hour naps, if I am lucky, maybe one hour at the least. Luckily, she is more or less on a schedule where she naps from 9 am to 11 am and again from 3 pm to 5 pm. Those two windows are when I get most of my work and calls done. So yes, try and make a schedule that is consistent and whatever windows you get like this put them to use and get work done. I personally am so grateful for a baby cartoon show on Netflix (Little Baby Bum) that my baby loves and really helps entertain her when I need to put her down and get things done. If you can, control when calls come in. I do this with paid Google advertising that I can turn on and off. I sometimes turn off the advertising to get fewer calls when I am feeding her or when she’s feeling needy.
CJ DeGuara: Do you have any support from other family members? If, for example, she has a cold or as you put it, she is feeling needy, do you have a way for someone to cover your parental duties? Also, as a follow up to this great advice you are sharing with us, I notice you say you can control the flow of calls that you get, did you basically set your business up in a way that allows you to rapidly go from sale to fulfilling an order/request for service?
Rafael Calle: I do have support from nearby family if I need, but I really save those situations for times like when she is sick or needs to be taken to a doctor’s appointment that I simply cannot get to. I literally have to stay glued to my desk. As far as controlling the flow of business: yes, this was one of the greatest things I loved about starting this online business. Through paying for advertising with Google, they make it literally as simple as a click of a button for them to show you to potential customers looking for your products online and it’s as simple as clicking the button off to not advertise and you can also pre-set schedules to make things easier.
CJ DeGuara: So tell me a little about your business, do you see yourself growing it as your little one grows and becomes more independent? Would you consider going beyond a one-man team in the near future or do you feel that your current setup is precisely perfect for a stay at home dad?
Rafael Calle: I feel as if the way I am doing things now I am pretty limited as far as the amount of business I can take on and phone calls I can handle, especially while having to do baby related things every other 5 minutes. The goal is honestly to be busy enough where my wife does not feel like she has to work, and for her to come back on board as a stay at home mom and let me build my business. I can say income is pretty good with me doing the amount I do now, but the ultimate goal is to open a call center and hire staff to answer phones, advertise much more than I do now, and create more revenue. I think that maybe if I had another type of business, like a writer or IT computer work, it may be easier because you would not have to worry about your customer hearing your child in the background and maybe come off as nonprofessional. I think any non-phone based business may work better for dadpreneurs or stay at home parents in general.
CJ DeGuara: Excellent, so this dadpreneur has some serious ambition but is biding his time to make sure he is there for his daughter. It has been great learning about your journey as a dad and an entrepreneur; as I have kept you quite a while I have one final question for you. What piece of advice or information would you give to a dad thinking of quitting their day job and becoming a stay at home dad with their own business?
Rafael Calle: I would say, although it may seem like one of the toughest decisions ever to make because yes, the goal is to be successful, but to also prepare yourself and do not beat yourself up when things do not go as planned. Honestly, you will never know how a business may or may not do until you actually try. Especially if you were like me, absolutely tired of working for someone else and dealing with things you would not if you were your own boss. So make a plan, prepare, put a lot of thought into your business plan and strategies and give it all you got. If you have supportive family and friends, it will really take you a long way. I honestly sit my 11-month old on my desk all the time and say, here is the future CEO. I will make this company and give all I got for you and your brothers and sisters. This really drives me to do everything possible to make this work.
CJ DeGuara: You have been a great guest, big congratulations on the little one taking her first steps and starting to walk around, I’m sure many that miss those moments wish they were in your shoes. We respect your grind and as ambassadors of Rise & Grind by Daymond John from Shark Tank it has been a pleasure getting to shine a light on your experience for moms and dads to be!
Get in touch with Rafael at Dumpster Maxx:
www.dumpstermaxx.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | 800.369.6299