Business Wisdom I Learned From My Dad

My father is a very wise man.

What’s more, he knows how to make everyone around him laugh and light up.

Though we haven’t always seen eye to eye, I have learned so much from him over the years (even the times I swore I didn’t want to learn anything from him.

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He’s a hard worker. Sometimes working night and day to get the job done.

I think of him as a worker bee sometimes. I wonder if he gives himself a break. But he seems to enjoy it.

Here are some of the nuggets of business wisdom I have learned from my Daddy.

1. “Mind Over Matter”

He has said this to me for years. When you think about “mind over matter” you might quickly disregard it. But honestly, so often in life (and in work) we go into everything with our feelings and our heart on the line. Sometimes you just have to step back and think with your head. It’s a brilliant piece of advice.

2. “First One In, Last One Out”

My father has always has a routine. He goes to bed at a certain time and wakes up at the crack of dawn every morning. He has his tea and his breakfast and he heads to work. He is always early and he always is the last one to leave.* “It shows your commitment,” he says.

3. “What’s the Worse That Could Happen?”

When I was younger I suffered from bouts of anxiety. My father always counseled  “what’s the worse that could happen? Are you going to die?” He always answers this with, “If you die we will cry for a few days and then we will get over it. It’s no big deal.” While sometimes I really felt like I was going to die, his sense of humor always got me out of my own head. In life, as in business, sometimes we might feel as if we are at the end of our ropes. That’s when you have to ask yourself, “what’s the worse that could happen?” It’s really not worth worrying your life away.

4. “Nobody Owes You Anything.”

Ego. Put it away. My father always knows when to get me off my high horse. Sometimes it is easy to get lost in the idea that you “deserve” this or you “deserve” that. While we all deserve what we work for, it shouldn’t come without hard work. This is a quote I like to look at that displays this point thoroughly:

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5. “Put Yourself in the Boss’s Shoes.”

This is a brilliant piece of advice.  It’s hard to realize the pressure our bosses are under. Even if your boss snaps at you, or is in a bad mood, or says something he or she probably doesn’t mean (which I am sure happens quite frequently) take a step back and think of the scenario from her/his shoes. Like my father always says, “If the company goes under, it’s not on your shoulders. It’s on his.” Think of it from the boss’ point of view and you might see things a little differently.

Thanks Duddie for all your great advice (and much more as the years go by). I love you!

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Courtesy of Paul Patton Photography

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