Growing up Entrepreneur: Lessons from Dad

As you age into adult entrepreneurship, it seems that you spend less time at your home of your childhood. For myself, I have officially been away from home as much as I ever lived with my parents and family. The excuses are many and the responsibilities pile up daily, who has time for family?

This might have been my own biggest blunder so far. Thinking that because I am young and working hard on my 5 – 10 year plan, I was too busy for family. After having great visits from mom and dad in recent months I continue to realize that “the apple did not fall far from the tree”. I am a strong mix of all my parents and learnt a lot more lessons from them than I have ever given credit for.

After a recent visit from Papa, I was inspired to take a look at what he had taught me, what he continues to teach me. I wanted to take a measure on his influence within my entrepreneurial career, and entrepreneurial attitude. It was not surprising. Of my ten core values that I hold dear, I could trace nine back to an original story with my father in it. Damn he is good..

My father is an inspiring character. He wore a blue-collar in his working days and is the kind of man who can plan, build, and finish his own home. He can then hunt and fish your meal, aside from the foraging, and cook you something delicious in that home he just built. The french would call him a man of the Renaissance, and the Greeks would call him Polymath. Math, science, psychology, sociology, philosophy, religion, engineering, physiology, seriously, the guy has a working knowledge of a lot of really incredible subjects.

Here is an ode to Dad, in hopes we all take a good look at the lessons he taught and how important they are today;

5 lessons in entrepreneurship from my dad, in no particular order;

Don’t underestimate the power of meditation. My father has always been a spiritual man. What started in the church, now resides in his personal, daily meditations. The ability to stop each day, and simply be still with your thoughts is a powerful and provoking thing.

Nothing is too hard, failure is a result that get’s you closer to success. It may sound a bit clichéd, but I learned this from my dad. When I consult with clients I always liken my fearlessness to try everything at least once back to my dads lessons in the kitchen. He used to say “The worst thing that can happen is that you screw it up you know what to change, don’t be scared of screwing it up”.

History is important, even today. My father and I are history buffs, we typically get down a “wormhole” of a topic or two when we can. War seems to be a recurring conversation point as so much was changed at war-time.

In my entrepreneurial career I will admit that I feel my study of history and profound respect for it, is the reason I continue to grow empathy and compassion. To consider the struggles it took to get here, from the ancients to our parents, we are spoiled with how easy it is.

Working with your hands is the best therapy. I may be on an island here, but I always wondered why I liked doing the dishes so much. I wondered why filleting fish [insert stink] made me happy. Turns out, nearly every time I pick up a knife, swing a hammer, chop a piece of wood, or fix my brakes, I feel immense gratification. My father has shown me to never fear getting your hands dirty, and it has turned into, in part, my happy place.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. My father asked me for help when he was in the pits of addiction. He is a proud man, but admitted he needed help and got it. He put himself in the hands of a higher power and reached his goals. I have swallowed my pride more than once because my father did. 

Growing up entrepreneur is sometimes just growing up. You start out barely able to walk or talk. You make mistakes, fail, get bruised and have a father [figure] to pick you up and teach you the important stuff. I used to think I was so “nouvo” in comparison to my baby boomer father, I felt I would have my floating skateboard and some new age government in “my generation”.

I grew up, entrepreneur, and have a laundry list of people to thank and continue to thank, but dear old dad was the original inspiration.

Get to doing. Your dad will help

Climbing with a partner

One thought on “Growing up Entrepreneur: Lessons from Dad

  1. Thank you son it is so touching I just read it now sorry son I am still learning this electronic world getting there I what to save this to my e-mail notsure how can you please send it to my email I need to save this love you son

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