Fabian Pfortmüller on How Family Relationships Change With Age

In Chapter 4 of 15 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, community builder and entrepreneur Fabian Pfortmüller answers "How Are Your Family Relationships Changing as You Get Older?"  Pfortmüller reflects how he sees the relationship with his parents entering a short window of opportunity to enjoy life together.  Pfortmüller is co-founder of the young leader accelerator, Sandbox Network, and HOLSTEE, an apparel and design firm that sells meaningful products to mindful shoppers.  Pfortmüller graduated from Columbia University and its school of General Studies. 


Erik Michielsen: How are your family relationships changing as you get older?

Fabian Pfortmüller: In retrospect, I would say that the last year probably is gonna be shown as a little turning point when it comes to family relationships. I was at Burning Man and I had an awesome time at Burning Man, but I also had this really deep moment of reflection where I realized that family is really becoming important for me and it wasn’t really in the past and I also realized something special about my parents.

We’re really in this interesting window of opportunity right now where they are young enough that I can enjoy them and I am old enough that I can enjoy them, you know, and I think that window of opportunity is relatively short and I really wanna, you know, take the most out of it. And so, I’ve definitely developed a stronger appreciation of -- for my parents, for my family that I did not have before and at the end of the day I also realized how much I am like them. I thought I was not like them at all. I thought like, my parents?

But, you know, at the end of the day I definitely have very strong things that are like my mom I have very strong things that are like my dad. I see how my sister does things and I'm like it’s kind of crazy but I think, you know, it’s not a coincidence, it’s not a coincidence and -- thirdly I strongly believed that the reason I can do what I do today is because of their support. I would not have been able to just go out and try crazy ideas without thinking about money, without being worried about the risk I take, not having such a strong support network at home.

And very often entrepreneurship programs are focused on giving people access to money and training them like about what tools they need to use but actually people should be influencing parents, I believe. People should like start a program where parents encourage their kids to be more entrepreneurial, that it’s okay for their kids to start crazy things. I think that would have a huge impact.