Small Business Wisdoms I Learned From My Dad

I took my Maxie for a long walk this morning and breathed in God’s green acres. As I breathed in the fresh country air and watched the birds dance in the sky, wisdoms i had learned from my father came flooding to my mind.

My father was a farmer. He was a small business man who tilled the soiled and nurtured minds. Here are the first 5 of my dad’s entrepreneurial-wisdoms I observed through the years. I just wished he had lived longer so i could share with him what i am sharing with you.

Take heart:

1. Break bread with your business associates, clients and employees. When anyone came to work with or for my Dad, the first thing he always did was invite them into our home, sit them down at the kitchen table and have a great conversation. He got to know the other person – what they wanted, what motivated them and how he could help them from the first meeting.

2. We are inter-dependent by nature. My dad taught me from an early age that independence is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Inter-dependence is where life is at. He attributed much of his business success to aligning with the right people in his life including his family, business partners and associates, and worker-bees. He believed your tribe stood be-side your ambitions and success.

3 Life is a series of negotiations. This one I didn’t just observe, it was drilled into me. In order to achieve success, you had to step outside of your own skin and negotiate fair, equitable and successful ventures for all parties involved. He believed anything less was self-serving and unsustainable.

4. The Sabbath is intended for our own health and well-being. I remember one particular year when crops were late in blooming which meant much of the harvest went into the Fall. Many of the surrounding farmers worked day and night to try and harvest their crops before that first frost came. Not my father! He used to say, “If I cannot harvest in 6 days, I will not do it in 7. Remember this. God included a sabbath because he knew if we worked hard in 6 days, we needed the seventh day to rest and replenish”. I watch so many entrepreneurs tied to their offices around the clock, 24/7. Is it a wonder that so many are drained, depleted and overwhelmed. Does this contribute to us facing the largest global mental health epidemic ever?

5. Hire passion and desire. Train skills. It was the 1950s and 60s. My father was ahead of himself in many ways. He clearly knew his strengths and spent his days applying them, and simply contracted out everything else – including accounting, bookkeeping, fixing the machinery … One thing he never contracted out was hiring people. He cherry-picked every single person because he knew what he was looking for. Passion, desire and good character was hired. Skill was taught.

I thirsted for my own business and having the flexibility and freedom I watched my family enjoy since my first job in downtown Toronto. It has taken all these years to finally put words to the powerful wisdoms my father taught me. Yes, i am his daughter.

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