A Week Away From Home

So… due to life and bills to pay, I found myself away from home and in clinic for an entire week. Now, first things first: I was very thankful to this relationship with this local clinic I per diem at. We have a wonderful working arrangement and it helps that we’re pretty darn close in terms of a drive/walk. #Awesome

Well, what was supposed to be more of a half day all week turned into practically full time work all week. It worked out in most respects in that there are bills to pay and we gotta do the work, sometimes & many times, that we rather not.

I learned a lot about the healthcare consumer, my role as a clinical physical therapist, and even how that despite such a break from clinical care these last (nearly) two years… I’m still spot on with so much of what I do. I guess it really is like what they say about “riding a bike.” Now, while I enjoyed being in the clinic again… what hurt was being away from family.

After all, this was the first time in TWO YEARS I was away from home and family at a full time pace.

Ultimately, being away all day for a full time equivalent work week… I noticed something truly remarkable in parenting. First, my son was in a bad mood most of the day. Even though I took lunch at home, my wife would tell me how grumpy he would be in my absence. Our boy just likes having both parents around. We also, ironically, realized that mommy & daddy represented certain facets of emotions… much like Disney’s Inside Out.

Mommy = Anger, Fear, and Disgust.

Daddy = Joy & Sadness.

How accurate was this? Well… one day, I came home and Nate went from absolute anger-fit to super giggle happy. He got so happy we were running around and he ran into a wall. Immediately… he began to cry in the saddest most pitiful cry ever.

Well… that seemed to be our dynamic for the week. The biggest lesson I learned was this: I belong at home. I am MEANT to be Daddy In The Raw… a work at home dad.

I can’t say it’s been easy. I can’t even say it’s been financially advisable (yet! some big news, hopefully around the corner) or emotionally stable. However, it is something I know is right for my family.

Well, after such a long and hard week, we felt there was no better way than to make a quick impromptu trip to Disneyland 🙂

Here are some highlights:


Crazy swag!


Selfie after front row seating at the Paint The Night Parade.


Entrance into Tomorrowland.


How it started in the front. Now, diamonds in the back.

Ultimately, I learned that no matter where you are on your journey… you must find your home. Your home might be your actual home. It may be your family, your friends, your profession, your passion, your hobby, etc. Whatever that home is, find yourself there and start there. Why? Well… everyone starts somewhere. Even, Walt Disney.

And, the key is: You have to START.

Feeling Depressed…

Just to add some dramatic balance to the blog… ha ha! I wanted to contrast where I am now to some of the lowest of lows from a year back or so.

The reality is this. When I was at my lowest of lows… it was so bad that my wife, Christina, who is typically very unworried about my well being… mostly because I known as this super happy, joyful, positive, constructive, can get through anything kinda guy… she came up to me and stopped the world to ask me:

“Are you okay?”

Oh, it wasn’t an emoji situation. This was the real deal loss of interest in… everything.

I was never more credentialed. I had never been more desirable a candidate to just about any company. I mean, common! I had a doctorate with honors. I had an MBA with honors. I climbed up the management ladder in record time.

And…. I had NEVER been more rejected and moreover ignored by the job market. Every application I sent in, every cold call, every networking attempt… silence.

It was nuts. It was insane. It was beyond fathomable. In fact… it was…

Truth be told, if it wasn’t for the love & patient of my wife, the joy of my son, and some amazing friends out there… PS. shoutout to the Rebellion Academy where I train in BJJ… I would’ve been truly lost.

How lost?

Nature videos lost. As in, watching every possible nature video I could find on YouTube… to the point, where I got to them them rather well. PS… Pelicans are… (this is a dad blog, so I’ll use the kid friendly term)… Big Meanies!

Dont’ believe me? Click here… it’s… wrong. And, please don’t let the kiddos see it…. 🙁

But, I’m way better now! All better, almost… 😉

I’d be lying if I didn’t mention I’d love to have more financial padding in this entrepreneurial journey. Of course, it wouldn’t actually be a startup journey if I *was* financially padded. That is, until I exit with $$$$$! That’s the goal, anyway.

So, where I am I now?

Well, the conference went well and we’re pursuing business leads to grow, scale, and quite possibly expand. I’m back to BJJ after a month off due to all the business activity in February 2016. AND, my kiddo is a major chatter box of love. AAAAAND, we’re in our anniversary month 🙂

That’s always a good thing.

I guess the moral of this part of the story is… no matter how low you get, so long as the people who mean most to you are there to help lift you back up, you’ll alright. It’s all gonna be good. You just have to keep moving.



Back with Better Plans

So… last week was nuts.

Since I work from home, my family is very accustomed to me being around and generally available. Work isn’t a set structure. Rather, my work is done throughout the day, in splurts, chunks, and segments.

That’s just how it is.

However, last week was the first week in months if not the last two years that I had to spend concentrated time away from family.

Props to my hero wife for managing the situation.

This is how it went down…

Back with Better Plans

Last week was the American Physical Therapy Associations annual national conference. It’s called Combined Sections Meeting or CSM.

The whole conference was a 100 mile an hour sprint from start to finish. The entire time, my business partner and I were booking it from one place to another, one meeting to another, covering the conference with our fancy media/press badges… getting into backroom areas no one else had access to.

PS. I’m going to EVERYTHING as press from now on.

Well… it was a crazy amazing conference. Very productive. And, we were completely exhausted. It required soooo much phone use. Speaking of… I basically do 60% of my work via my phone. Thankfully, I brought this with me:

I… rather, my phone wouldn’t have survived the con without it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PURCHASE!


Also, we absolutely HAD to make a stop at Disney 😉

Where else? #Disney. #DaddyInTheRaw #DadBlog #dadblogger

A photo posted by Ben Fung (aka @DrBenFung) (@daddyintheraw) on

So, now that I’m back, here’s the plan…

I’ve had soooo many posts scheduled; but, as this blog developed, things got more current and relevant. However, I also know there’s a lot of interest on how everything came about. So, my plan is this: I’m going to basically put all of my posts prior planned as TBT posts…. just to catch the story up to where I am now.

THEN, I’m going to move onto current happenings of my story as a Work At Home Dad.


I’m STILL flirting with the idea of a regular broadcast. Honestly, I just don’t have time to do a podcast. However, I think a regular Periscope with a weekly recorded vlog addition may be of interest…???

Let me know!

Okay… that’s it for now. I’m going to gather my posts and will start to get them out again. Looking forward to more fun stories…. some stuff, going waaaaaay back.

Until Next Time!



Are We Ever Going To Make It?

Written in Fall 2015.

What’s more raw then talking about money? This post is a really vulnerable one. I’ll be sharing a little snippet as to how we’ve been making this work out financially. Also, there’s a huge psychological component of being a Work At Home Dad: The terrifying experience of being in business for myself, an entrepreneur in a startup no less — and — the feeling that, I should be more by now! That the world has seen me as something respectable… that I might be my own best impostor.

Are We Ever Going To Make It?

My wife and I have always lived within our means. Financially, things were tough at first since I was getting a new grad salary as a Physical Therapist (which was quite severely low balled, as many new grad PTs are — also another post for another time). We were trying to start saving right away and were very careful about where we spent our money. Our working financial philosophy was basically this: If we don’t need it, we don’t buy it. Once it becomes a need, then we buy without reservation. We’re always looking for a good deal, buying generics, always calculating out price per unit, always figuring out the opportunity cost to make sure we’re not losing out or losing period… at least as best as we could figure at the time.

When I got my promotion as a Rehab Director, I got a raise just shy of 15% of my salary at the time. It was a BIG bump. We were really thankful and truly blessed. Funny enough, we didn’t actually spend more money on ourselves. While we did save more since we didn’t up our expenditures, what we ended up doing was giving more to charity and blessing others who weren’t as fortunate financially. We weren’t necessarily lavish or even liberal with our spending on others — we were just happy to do so and to be able to. We were given much, so we wanted to give to others.

Still, our discipline in spending on ourselves as well as saving regularly was ironclad. We were able to save a lot.

As time went by, finances got tougher and tougher, particularly when I finished the MBA program and all bets were off. I was back into this situation where I had to find work and find work fast; I couldn’t hide behind studies anymore and also didn’t have the savings to hang out. It was getting scary.

We thought about cashing out retirement funds (to which I’m still holding on the back burner), selling our home and living off of whatever is left.

Just as times got really tough, I would get just a little boost in private clientele or find per diem work, just enough to keep us on the path. I didn’t want to run back to full time physical therapy work since I felt called to pursue the startup business and continue on my journey of working at home. I also wanted to be sure that whatever I was doing was worthy of the sacrifice (not to mention price) of getting an MBA. Not that I felt the need to ditch PT per se; it was that I felt called to be a PT in a very different and pioneering dimension.

It was a deeply emotional and philosophical struggle to make ends meet while keeping to the purpose of doing what I was doing. I didn’t want to make running back with my tail between my legs as the ultimate defeat of all this sacrifice — quitting high paying jobs, pursuing the entrepreneurial spirit, and most importantly, being available for my family at home.

Well, we’re still here. And, we’re still kicking.

Month by month, it seemed we were just making enough to get by. Many times, it was by a razor thin margin. This month, I finished a 15 day super sprint to get enough income to sustain us… hopefully even into the New Year! Compared to the stability we had before, knowing with some confidence that the next month’s bills are likely to be covered is a strange revisitation of the old days of being a new grad, newly married, and all that jazz.

It’s made me more thankful; with certain humility, that what we have is never to be taken for granted.

I do want to take this time to thank some very special people. My family, for the unwavering support & for believing in me. My friends, for having more confidence in me than I sometimes have in myself. My martial arts family at The Rebellion Academy, where through training, they kept my morale up and my mind focused. I also have to give a major shout out to my partner at UpDoc Media, Dr. Gene Shirokobrod, for keeping me motivated in our work. He has always been the what and I have always been how. The more ideas, challenges, and initiatives he presents to me, the more I get to apply myself — with purpose. Hehe, aaaand this is quickly becoming a different post… so, I’ll wrap everything up by saying:

Are We Ever Going To Make It? Yes. Yes we are! Making Ends Meet, with all its glorious financial concerns, business failures, and freak out moments… “making it” is a question of perseverance. You may lose heart. You may even quit, especially quit on the ideas that seemed so awesome at the time and turned out to be totally moronic. However, you didn’t do one thing — you never gave up. You always kept going. And that, is why you’re going to make it. Whatever you do, don’t stop. You can change lanes, just don’t turn off your engine. Keep driving… keep driving.