The Law of Diminishing Returns IRL.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

J. K. Rowling



Self-Reflection is Important

Over the past few years, I’ve started to realize more and more how important self-reflection can be. Work, love, decisions about the future – I often find myself analyzing and reevaluating things I’ve done over time. I don’t find myself doing this because I regret the decisions I’ve made or wish things didn’t shake out the way they did. I do this because I’m understanding more and more how important it is to learn from them.

Everyone who has experienced success generally loves to go back in time and think about/celebrate how great it was. I’m no different than most folks in that regard. However, I’m also starting to focus more on the less than favorable things I’ve experienced in hopes that I can better understand how I can avoid or fix things that I do which I consider to be a trend. The more I understand and can pick up on what’s happening earlier, the quicker I can pivot away and avoid wasting the time/effort/emotion that goes into fully realizing that this “thing” went completely left for me and now it’s time to move on.


Understanding Yourself and Your Tendencies/Trends

One of the biggest things that I have come to understand about myself when we’re talking about trends is something I started to realize over the past few months at work. The gist is that I started to look back at the things in my life – especially at work and at home – and noticed that I have an overwhelming tendency to just not accept that it would be in my best interest to move away.

If you’re a fancy econ major/lover, I’m consistently finding myself in the “negative returns space” in the Law of Diminishing Returns repeatedly. I put a ton of effort and time into the situation but the actual value – financial, self – just continues to drop. My biggest question that I ask myself in all of this is…if I get so invested in the things I work on or am a part of – how do I understand when I’m transitioning from productivity into diminishing returns and, most importantly, when to pivot away?

Take a look at this chart – I’m essentially finding myself on the slippery slope down into the abyss on the far right:

Law of Diminishing Returns

Diminishing Returns In Real Life

I found an interesting article that has an interesting approach to discussing every day life with the concept of diminishing returns.

The writer hits on some super relevant ideas – especially in the section where they address the examples of diminishing returns in action when it comes to our everyday lives. Here’s an excerpt:


  • Are the additional hours you are spending at work justified by the extra work you complete?
  • Are the additional hours you’re spending on a task justified by its quality improvement in output?
  • Have you reached diminishing returns in what you can gain in your current job? Is it time to request for an advancement, or if not, to explore other career options?


  • Are you trying to keep up with so many friends, contacts that you’ve compromised on your life?
  • Are you spending so much time with a person (a best friend; your partner) that it’s leading to diminishing gains for both of you? (For example, neglected life priorities? neglecting other relationships?)

Daily life:

  • Are you sleeping more than necessary to become well-rested?
  • Are you engaging in recreation, watching TV, or playing games past the point of adequate enjoyment?
  • Are you spending more time on Facebook/social media than necessary?


Right Your Ship

At this point, I’ve discussed my belief in the importance of self-reflection and understanding the concept of diminishing returns as it applies to your life. I also mentioned how, at times, I have a tendency to fall into the deep dark abyss of negative returns (weeeeee!). So how the heck do I stop repeating my past and right the ship?

Understand the opportunity cost

It’s a great idea to fully understand the opportunity in front of you and the explicit value it offers. If you understand what it takes in order to continue to benefit from a situation, it will better help you understand when the tables turn and the value you are getting from this situation is outweighed by the time/cost invested.

Stop being a perfectionist

It’s okay to be okay with failure. If you’ve read any business books or listened to anyone successful speak they’ll often hammer home this idea. Being a perfectionist in every aspect directly conflicts with your willingness to be okay with failure. I’ve had so many situations where I told myself – the biggest critic – that if I just keep pumping time and effort into things they’ll get better and I won’t fail. If I just landed the perfect idea or sent the perfect e-mail things could take a swing for the best. But…I still failed (and of course I didn’t take it easily). I need to bring the attention to detail and effort to each situation I’m involved with while learning to accept that if things start to take a turn for the worse a little “perfectionism” won’t always equal a silver bullet/instant win. If there’s a slim to none chance it’s going to deliver favorable results, it’s time to learn how to move on.

To quote the great Queen Elsa of Arendelle – “Let it go! Let it go!!!”

Every situation is different and I don’t believe there’s an easy calculation applicable to each where, upon hitting it, you’ll see that it’s time to just move on. However, if you better understand your opportunity and learn to get away from feeling like you’re spending a ton of effort making things perfect while getting diminishing returns then you’re going to best in the best position to understand when it’s time to move on.



Regardless if your situation is a failing project at work, a relationship that never seems to improve, or anything between – if this thing that was important to you is no longer making your days better and improving your life it’s time to just let it go. Remind yourself that getting out before the bottom falls out will be beneficial for everyone involved in the long run – most importantly it will be beneficial for you no matter how hard it might be.

Ultimately, you need to understand that the issues you’ve experienced in the past no matter if they led to a win or loss are going to help you in the future.  As much as it might pain you (physically, emotionally), you need to pick yourself up by the bootstraps, dust yourself off, and do whatever it takes to jump right into the next adventure.

Goodbye, 2017. Hello, 2018.

They call it the “hospice bounce.” It’s a thing that happens when patients enter into hospice care and are in a terminal state. Upon entering hospice care, patients have all of their medications, tubes, and anything else keeping them alive taken away. The first time I learned about it was a few days before Christmas in 2016.

December 23rd marked the one year anniversary of my Dad passing away. As you can imagine, it’s had a huge impact on my entire family – felt hardest over the holiday season. He had been suffering for years and, in some ways, it was a relief to not seem him suffer any further…but it was still one of the toughest things I’ve had to go through in my life.

Over the last few days of my Dad’s life, I was able to experience the hospice bounce first hand. After coming home, he began his morphine treatment in an effort to reduce his pain during the home stretch. Once he was settling, he was able to spend the rest of his time surrounded by his family – something that both he and my Mom wanted more than anything.

On the Wednesday before his passing, I spent almost the entire day by his side. Like every other time we talked, we told stories about the past. Our family growing up – how proud he was of everything I had done in my life – how much he cherished the time he spent watching me play hockey. Most importantly, how proud he was of what I had become as a father.

We talked for hours – occasionally taking a break so he could rest. With every moment and story that passed, the reality of the situation was tougher and tougher for me to bear. I knew that he would want to rest and knew it was time – so I decided that I would say goodbye and go back home.

Spending this day with my father helped in so many ways for me to feel like I had closure and yet, as we looked into each other’s eyes, we both smiled with tears running down our faces because we knew it was the last time. We told each other “I love you” and I kissed him on the forehead and said goodbye for the last time.

Christmas 2016, as you would imagine, was a blur for all of us. Between my Dad passing and everything else going on in my life, things really didn’t feel like they started to settle down until the summer of 2017. Although we’re still grieving in our own ways, my Mom, Sister, and myself all bought houses and started to take the steps towards the next chapters in our lives. Living a happy life and helping his family was the top priority for my Dad and many of the great things that came from 2017 stem from him.

As we wind down the 2017 holiday season, there are many things for which I am grateful. Things were a little less of a blur this year and we were very fortunate to be able to spend time with our family laughing and loving life. I’m excited just to see how much more of this we will experience in 2018. A great relationship, continued success at work, starting new businesses and adventures – all things that I’m thoroughly looking forward to this year.

And, obviously, continuing to develop an amazing relationship with the most important person in my life – soon to be 3 year old Miss Leah Joy.

Leah swimming in December 2017

PS How much time before that whole three-nager thing kicks in?

The life of a Millennial raising a Mini Millennial.

Avengers. Godzilla. Batman. Superman. X-men. Mulan. Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas. Star Wars. Power Rangers.

Unless you live under a rock, you’re probably looking at all of these and thinking “I love all those things from when I was a kid!” Like you, I’m in the same boat. They’re pretty commonly associated loves of fellow “millennials” like myself. Although I hate the cheesy label when I see it pop up in articles on LinkedIn, it’s pretty rare to find myself NOT relating to the things associated with it.

Power Rangers Bro Do You Even Morph

The funny thing about being in this demographic and raising a kid is that I often find myself completely amused by the fact that Leah has become so drawn to all of these over the past few years. My favorite part about all of it is that – aside from deciding whether or not she should watch it just based on violence and that kind of jazz – is that she’s actively asking to watch it without any kind of steering or direction from me. I never find myself saying, “Yeah Leah! I would love to watch the same Power Rangers episodes I watched in 5th grade again!”

If you’re a parent that prefers your child only read books and not consume any media whatsoever – and I know there’s plenty of you out there – there’s a good chance your kid has not familiarized themselves with all these things. Maybe your long-term plan just doesn’t have these in the cards for your kid and I respect that. However, there are positive things that can be gleaned from this type of situation.


Let’s be honest. You’re an adult. You probably have interests in adult things and, although you can tolerate them, you’re not flipping on Thomas the Train when your kid goes to sleep. Being present is the MOST important thing and being able to bond over shared interests – whether it’s in a relationship with a significant other, your child, a coworker – is crucial to developing a bond and closeness. What better way to explore this with your child than by sharing the things that interest you both?


Although Leah’s attempt to summon Zords (another Power Rangers reference if you’re counting) are hilarious, I have really seen a significant growth in her creativity and development over the past year. She has become more independent in her play and is able to increasingly use her imagination when playing with her toys. She dreams up all of these elaborate scenarios with her Legos, Mashums, and all the other crazy toys she has and it’s amazing when we play together how extensive her knowledge and creativity can be while doing it.


I attribute a large part of Leah’s ability to communicate to a few things outside of her love for all things Millennial – including her day care (and friends there) as well as having a vessel of teaching such as an iPad that we use to educate along the way. I do feel that in watching these shows and learning how these characters develop, including the emotional component that come alongside, has been a factor in her ability to communicate. Am I saying that watching Godzilla is directly leading to her being a smart little girl? No. I am saying that her environment and being exposed to many varieties of scenarios and ways that people interact is helping her evolve.

What kinds of things from your past do you and your kid bond over?

Time is what we want most but what we use worst. -William Penn

Time is what we want most but what we use worst. -William Penn


I’ve spent a good chunk of the last 7 years of my professional life getting paid to be a project manager. Like any job, the better you do it (usually) the more success you have and the longer you get to do it, see promotions, bonuses, and everything great along these lines. As it turns out, not every parent has an extensive background as a professional “chase people around and bug the crap out of them until they get stuff done” type person.

Good news! I have a few (pardon my workspeak here) QUICK HITTERS that you can start doing today which will help give you time back in your day and make your life better.

(…and also make sure that you don’t forget anything important!)


  1. Use software to keep track of what you need to do

    • If you’re old school, you might be used to using something like this 2018 Animal Memes wall calendar to keep track of important things. I HIGHLY recommend coming into the 21st century and considering using things like your cell phone (which you know you’re already on all the time) to help you mitigate some of these time hogs.


    • My personal favorite app to use that ties to my Amazon Alexa, Google Calendar, etc. is an app called Todoist
      • Here’s a LINK to the app


    • I’m a big fan of “checking the box” when things are done and this day allows me to create reminders – even on specific days – that will pop up on my main list

Todoist Schedule Daily

    • Additionally, I have connected it to my smart home and have Alexa add things to my grocery shopping list and use this when I’m at the store to
      • Doing this will allow me to build the list when I think of the items, not miss any items, and check things off once I’ve picked them off


    • Here’s an example of the “Projects” section where I’ll add things I need to/could do longer term just so I don’t forget about them

Todoist Look


  1. Schedule time in your day to focus.

    • If something is important to you/your family/whatever…you need to focus on getting it done and stop making excuses. Often, you’ll let it the timeline for getting it done slip and ultimately it will make your stuff suffer somehow. To avoid freaking out AND to ensure you’re focusing on completing this, you should consider scheduling chunks of time in your daily calendar where you COMMIT to yourself to focus on this…thing.


    • I have done this for awhile at work and continue to see more and more people do it but when you don’t work in the corporate environment you might be a little less likely to do it. However…there’s nothing from stopping you in any situation from using this tool.
      • PS: If you’re not already using a calendar and just winging it in life…you need to make this switch NOW. Allegedly it takes 21 days to commit something to habit and if you’ve tried and failed here before but you’re serious about wanting your time back…make today day 1.


  1. Consider implementing concepts from work/school/friends/etc. that may help simplify your life.

    • It sounds like a crazy idea. Watch the people around you every day – see what they do that works well for them…and then try it yourself to see if it helps!
    • I didn’t just randomly come up with the idea of finding an app like Todoist to make my life better. At that time, I thought I had everything down pat and was getting stuff done. Then, as a realized how much more was involved with growing at work, being a single parent, buying a house by myself…all of the crazy stuff we deal with on a daily basis…I realized there was an opportunity to be even better. I saw someone do a presentation about time management and BOOM – they introduced this app that has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with keeping my life on pace.
    • Pay attention to other parents who seem to “get it” in the way you want to. Pay attention to the coworkers who you admire in the way they operate. Ask them the hard hitting questions like “what is your secret?” and start to wrap your arms around the ideas of things you could implement – short or long term – to really help you improve your life. Then DO THEM!

I would love to hear how YOU manage your life and the tools/techniques you use to do so. Feel free to comment below and let me know!

Please. Tell me more about how great of an eater your kid is.

Amidst all of the wild and crazy food challenges – including the most recent nightmare that is the One Chip challenge – I totally forgot about the challenge that hit the nearest and dearest to my childhood: The 50 Nugget Challenge. This is the challenge where you attempt to eat 50 chicken nuggets in one sitting without exploding. Yaaay.

The 50 Nugget Challenge

The reality is that although the quality of our food may have been better as a whole growing up, I definitely did not know much about nutrition until I was in my early 20’s. Although the volume of craft beer and cocktails consumed on a daily basis probably doesn’t help the cause, I feel like I have a good understanding (as many of us do) about what is good and bad for us.

Coke products? Bad. Broccoli? Good. Yada yada yada.

I (like many parents) find that figuring out how to keep Leah growing and nourished without succumbing to my secret desire to let her to eat things I know she’ll eat. You know – the quesadilla, 50 nugget challenge, entire blocks of cheese, hot dogs, entire grocery aisle of cheeses of the world.

Cheese Monster

PS This is what the Cheese Monster that haunts our children looks like according to the internet.

Although I haven’t had much luck with convincing her that trying new foods is fun and it gives you the opportunity to earn a cool name like “foodie”, I have found a few things/best practices to be helpful along the way.

  • They’re never going eat better if you don’t eat better yourself.
    • If you only eat delicious Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches and dip your french fries in Frosty’s, they’re probably not going to want to eat that garbage lettuce and veggie combo you’re trying to convince them to eat.
  • They are more likely to try things if their friends are eating them.
    • This is an example of why day care can be awesome. Regardless, you should make it a point to get your kid around other kids as often as possible just based on the benefits of social interaction…but eating with them – especially if they’re good eaters  – can pay huge dividends.
  • If you force them to eat it they will probably hate it.
    • Do you remember how you reacted as a kid when your parents forced you to clear your plate and eat all of that gross broccoli? Yeah. Don’t do that to your kids or they’ll act the same way.

What are some of the ways you encourage/convince/negotiate with your kid to eat healthy?

The Struggle: Christmas Gifting.

Let’s be honest.

You make the (cumulative) 3 hour daily drives for your kid.

You put that $$$ into your kid’s college fund instead of buying yourself those new gym shoes that you could probably use as motivation to actually get to the gym (for once in your life).

You’ve literally devoted every ounce of your life to your kid.

So then Christmas rolls around and if your kid is like many of them – and let me PC this a bit – “probably does not have the greatest appreciation for the efforts you put forth each day on their behalf” – they’ve built up an expectation that gifts are on the way. Santa, Mom/Dad, Gigi – someone is about to drop the mother load under that Christmas tree.

Some parents have it easy. “Daddy – I want a Spiderman doll!


or…”I want ELMO!!!!


…or “I want the Pawtroller!!!!!!!!” (WTF IS A PAWTROLLER)

Paw Patrol  Paw Patroller

However, if your kid is like mine they are (fortunately) still not 100% clear on the whole “ask for what you want” idea yet. Hence – the perfect time to impart with them that there’s so much more to the holiday season than that Metallic Red Disney Pixar Cars 3 Lightning McQueen Race car they’ve been seeing pop-up in their UNBOXING videos.

My goal – starting this 2017 holiday season – is to start to phase in the concept of appreciating what you have, not taking it for granted, and really being motivated this time of year to give back to those less fortunate.

I’m not 100% sure how to do this yet – definitely open to suggestions on this one. Here’s the plan so far:

  • Bring Leah to a community service event where we do something (wrapping gifts etc) for other kids
  • Start to watch videos or TV shows with her where the message is around giving (versus cashing in on super loads of toys)
  • Going through her old toys with her to find which ones she doesn’t like any more and donating them

I know it won’t happen overnight but I’m hoping with time and diligence she’ll hopefully start to figure things out. Updates on the progress soon!

Unboxing Videos: The cheapest way to amuse your children without buying them crap.

Pictured here is a young man named Evan – he’s the tiny mastermind of a mega-successful YouTube channel targeted towards kids like mine. With 4.6+ million subscribers and 3.1+ million video views, this kid is making BANK and it’s all thanks to parents like myself.

The reality is that I – like many parents out there who want to get a single damn thing done during a freezing cold Sunday – fall into that demographic of parent who has trusted our fancy little tablets to help us raise our kids.

If you’ve yet to venture into this territory because either you somehow don’t have a tablet or you’ve been fearful of feeling guilt or like you’re going to be a bad parent, let me explain how this process works:

  • Give child tablet
  • Watch as child connects to YouTube (preferably YouTube kids so they don’t stumble onto that shit you subject yourself to every day)
  • Watch as your child watches the DUMBEST DAMN VIDEOS on the internet including (but not limited to):
    • Unboxing videos – these are where other kids open and play with toys so your cheap ass doesn’t have to actually buy any toys
    • Blippi – Creepy 30 year old who pushes his lame products while singing songs that are incredibly catch and will undoubtedly haunt you
    • Family trip videos to fun places that you probably won’t bring your kid(s) to like Legoland because you’re too busy going to places like “visiting family
  • Go around the house and actually get things done – laundry, cooking, drinking a half bottle of wine. The important things.

At the end of the day, if you’ve ever felt guilty about entrusting these magical devices with helping around the house – don’t. Just like anything that is bad for us, you have to moderate the usage. You can’t rely on it 100% for everything because, in reality, it will create some bad habits if you’re not careful. Forget about those hater parents (including your own if they’re busting your chops), let your kid expand their mind a bit by watching all of the great content on the internet that potentially blows away some of the stuff you’ve been trying to do push on them the past few years, and take a few minutes for yourself to get yourself (and your house/life/whatever) in order.

The adventure begins…

I have spent the equivalent of weeks on the internet in the past few years trying to figure out everything about life. Since becoming a Dad in March 2015, I am pretty sure the time spent doubled. What in the world are you searching one might ask?

Getting sucked into the YouTube wormhole of 3 AM Wafflehouse fights aside, I’ve been spending most of my time just figuring out how to be best Dad I could possibly be. Being a great person, being kind and generous – these get you pretty far in the day-to-day. However, when your kid has a crazy ass rash from who the hell knows where…being the nicest person in the world is not going to figure out how to make it go away.

When I wasn’t trying to figure out how to fix the boo-boos, I was trying to find cool gear that fit my personality. Sure, I loved the grey and “brighter than the lights in Times Square” neon green messenger bag I received at the baby shower – but it just wasn’t…me.

Fast forward to November 2017. I have an amazing daughter, Leah, who is about to turn (gasp) 3 years old. I have a great job and own a modest home in a “millennial-centric” suburb of Detroit. Still…I felt like something was missing. What if I could combine my love for being a Dad with my interest in finding cool stuff for guys like me?

This is why I started Daddy Daddy. This is a site for guys like me. Guys who are trying to figure out how to be amazing Dads, find cool stuff that makes being a Dad easier/fun, and don’t want to become Google experts and spend 50 million hours searching for awesome stuff.

Along the way, if there are ideas you want get thoughts on, products you want reviewed or if you just want a cool spot to come and talk Dad-shop…let’s make it happen!