Dad - Happy Birthday and Father’s Day! Thank goodness we get it all in one go right - combined celebrations and gifts! Of course I can’t let this day go by without documenting it online - guess it is a millennial thing - but instead of reiterating the words I said last year I instead wanted to shift my focus to a few things I have learned from you over the years.
I think that my aspirations to become my own boss, and dare I say, entrepreneur (stay tuned for a later post on this word!), is because of you. We watched you for years as you worked your ass off for our family. Long hours, stressful days, overseeing employees, nurturing customer relationships, and maintaining your relationships with your kids and wife. The juggling act you did always seemed effortless and you really did care about it all - mom, your kids, your employees, the customers and suppliers you dealt with, the kids you coached. In honour of your hard work and success, I decided that today I wanted to share the things you taught me that I am trying to implement as I build my own brand and business.
- Relationships are everything. Nurture the relationships around you. In your personal life take care of those you care most about as they are more important than any career move that can happen. They will always be there in your corner to cheer you on during the good times and pick you up during the tough times. When it comes to business relationships - they are the key to your success. For me, it has been about getting to know my clients on a more personal level, ensuring they feel confident when they leave, following up after a workout or an event, and genuinely caring for each person who crosses my path. I have already seen it, but I now know that those are the people who will be loyal to you and your business.
- Keep your eyes on the prize. Although not every job you have may be your favourite, keep looking beyond to the future. Whether it is to simply earn money at the time, gain experience, build your clientele, or grind it out under a horrible manager, everything plays a role. As hard as it is to see at the time, you are meant to be exactly where you are. That hard time builds grit and mental toughness to conquer the next big move, because like anyone who runs their own business knows there will always be obstacles to overcome and problems to solve.
- Put in the hours when no one else is willing to. I remember my dad’s friend telling us how when he first started his business he worked ALL the time. He only had a small group of people working for him and it was his responsibility to get it all done. I don’t think it ever stopped but especially in the first years it is imperative to grind it out and work your hardest. I asked my dad earlier this year how long it took him to really feel ‘successful’. His answer? Fifteen years! The work never stops if you want to be successful.
- Outsource to those who have skills you lack. As much as we joke in our family the catch phrase of “”asking Ron” is a real thing. My dad has been a big supporter of honing in on your best skills. Whatever is left over is then passed on to someone you trust but who possesses skills in other areas. For me, it has been enlisting the help of friends who understand marketing and social media better as I am still learning.
Whether you are starting your own business or just want to be the best in your career this advice can be put to good use. Dad, I hope that my business can be even half as successful as yours - let’s check back in in fifteen years?
Yours in self-discovery,