A successful real estate investor, contractor and entrepreneur, Scott McGillivray is not only growing his brand, but also a young family. He and wife Sabrina have two daughters, Layla (3) and Myah (1).
Why should families with young children check out your new Good to Grow series on YouTube?
It’s all about healthy, organic harvest-to-table type eating. The series has been a really fun experiment. We have lots of freedom digitally, so the format is very clean and casual, and we make sure there’s great takeaway information on how to grow your own veggie garden and we follow up with recipes for some of the things we do with the items we’re growing. It’s all about the family.
When you think about parents with young families, what’s the biggest mistake you see them making when it comes to purchasing or renovating homes?
I think people underestimate how much work needs to be done. They will typically get emotionally wrapped up in the property before they do their fundamental due diligence. People will get excited and buy a property, and then they get in there and realize it’s a lot more than they bargained for.
You started investing in real estate at a young age, which has obviously worked out well for you. Have you thought about what business or financial advice you plan to pass along to your children?
We definitely want to teach them the value of money and being smart with their money, and the value of earning. Kids get interested in money very young, I’ve noticed. They love to grab all the change out of my change holder, and they love to fill their piggybanks. We don’t just give them money, you can’t give them money for doing nothing. Teaching kids about earning money is important.
What are your favourite and least favourite parts about being a dad?
There are so many favourites! Being a dad in general is amazing. It completely changes the way you look at the whole world, obviously. There’s a lot to do as a parent. You don’t have a lot of time to yourself anymore, that’s for sure. The easy answer for what I like least would be changing diapers, but people overplay it – it’s not that bad! The hardest part about being a dad is balancing time with a busy career and the new dynamic of having kids. You want to be involved in absolutely everything you can, but it’s almost virtually impossible to do that and manage everything else that’s going on. I’d say that’s my least favourite thing, not being able to be involved in everything.
We had a question from a Twitter follower who wanted to know how the girls react when you get recognized out in public or strangers approach you?
My oldest daughter kind of gets it, she’s three and a half, so she knows Daddy is on TV and people ask about it, but she doesn’t react much to it. She’s a bit protective. When strangers come up or people get excited around me, she’ll get shy and hold on to me really tight, like “Hey, that’s my dad!” But they both seem to be fine with it. Most people are pretty respectful when I’m with the family. Nobody gets crazy outrageous. It’s usually when I’m alone that it’s a free-for-all!
You put out a funny video calling to light the sexism of “mother and child parking”, “mommy and me” fitness classes, etc. What prompted you to do that?
The first time I went to a location – I won’t say where it was – I pulled in and it was really busy, and I thought, “Wow, look at all these empty spaces – they’re just for moms!” I’ve got two young kids, I have to carry them both because neither of them like to walk in a parking lot, and then I’ve got the diaper bag. Just because I’m a dad I don’t get the same privileges? It’s not that I really care that much, I just thought it was ironic. That sort of opened up my eyes to how many things are just for moms, and it’s interesting to me. I take my kids to this craft class, and I’m the only dad there, and people are surprised: “Oh, you’re here!” I also take my daughter to dance class, and she’s three years old, and I’m not allowed in the change room, so I’m changing my daughter in the hall while all the moms are changing their kids in the change room. I mean, it’s three-year-olds! Just because I’m a guy I’m unfit to use the change room. I can blow it off though, I’ll do anything for my kids. I’ll change a diaper on a bench in the mall if I have to, if there’s no baby change table in the men’s washroom, but it is interesting. I think moms deserve a tremendous amount of credit, because being a mom is tough, but dads deserve some credit too!”
You seem to keep popping up on lists of “most beautiful people” and “sexiest men”. What does your wife, Sabrina, think of that?
Ha! The first time she saw it she laughed at me, so I don’t know if that’s funny or an insult! She’s on board, and we laugh these things off, like “Really?” Recently there was a most beautiful competition where they put me against a bunch of people, and every time we went to the next round people at my office were saying, “We have to post this! We have to get the fans to vote!” and I kept laughing, “I’m not going to beat this guy!”, and then I would, and I’d say, “Well now I’m not going to beat this guy!” We were laughing about it. My wife was saying, “Wow, you’re beating really famous good-looking people!”