Entrepreneur Ivan Garcia shares how he blends business and his family life.
1.)Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
I’m one of seven kids. My parents, who just celebrated 50 years of marriage, immigrated to the US in the early ’70s from Mexico in the hopes of providing a better life for us. We started in Compton, CA, and ended up in Northern Illinois. Jenifer and I met at Southern Illinois University and moved to St. Louis in ’98. We are very close to our families, and, one by one, every last member of both of our immediate families moved to St. Louis. Jenifer and I have been married for 21 years and have two girls, Dale 11, and Herbi 8. Both girls are named after their Grandpas.
2.)We know you have a few different hats that you wear, how do you balance business goals and family time as an entrepreneur?
I don’t think I balance anything well. I obsess over projects. I’m trying to learn to breathe between projects. I feel guilty when I’m not working, and I know that is not healthy. I’m also slowly learning to be more present when I’m with my family.
3.)How has fatherhood changed you as a person?
I’m more emotional, quicker to cry like a baby at movies like “Lion King.” Holy crap, I really had to collect myself after that one. I’m still not a “kid person,” but I am now profoundly aware of how precious babies and children are.
4.)Where’s your favorite spot to kick back in St. Louis?
The truth is, I don’t go out much. But we are about to open a bar on Kingshighway for our neighborhood, The Golden Hoosier (@thegoldenhoosier), so I’ll be kicking it there.
5.)What is your hope for St. Louis? Is there anything you wish you could see happen overnight?
To see more people chasing their dreams and starting small businesses. Not just building them to sell, but to do something they love with people they love. To express who they are and what is important to them. Imagine that 1000 people start businesses, and they each hire just two people. That’s 3000 jobs! Coming from a biology background, I see the business landscape as an ecosystem. In nature, diverse ecosystems are much more resilient and sustainable. I feel the same is true for business.
6.)Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself in St. Louis, still trying to make a difference.
7.)What advice would you give to another man or dad about realizing one’s goals?
- Be patient. Nothing worth a damn makes money fast. If you are making money fast, then what you are doing is not important.
- Do something you like. Being successful or getting really good at anything takes A LOT of time and effort. Your chances of putting in the necessary time and effort go up dramatically if you like what you’re doing.
Ivan Garcia was born in Los Angeles, CA, but grew up in Dekalb, IL. He and his wife, Jenifer Garcia, have been married for 21 years, and have two daughters, Dale 11 and Herbi 8. Ivan owns Garcia Properties (@garciaproperties) and Garcia Construction and Development (garciastl.com )as well as a.casa community event space (@a.casastl) and a.companie event planning (@a.companie_events). He is opening a neighborhood bar on Kingshighway called The Golden Hoosier (@thegoldenhoosier).