As we just finished celebrating Father’s Day, I was thinking of some of the life lessons that my father has given to me. I do feel that I am a product of my upbringing, my friendships, and my experiences, and my dad did a lot to mold my life. Here are a few things that I know I learned from him.
Buy for quality. We didn’t have a lot of extra money growing up, and my mom shopped very frugally. My father, however, would research and purchase large ticket items with great justification. He felt strongly about spending more upfront instead of having flimsy cheap items just to have them. He also said that he wants things to last for a long time so he doesn’t have to replace them as often and it would probably cost less. He stated that when you have nice things, you tend to take better care of the items. I believe this is true considering I am still driving a 12 year old vehicle that is in great shape, am carrying the same purse, and am wearing the same earrings for the past 15 years.
Your appearance does make a difference. When I was an awkward teen, my father was adamant about making sure that I had the opportunity to look good. He took me to the dermatologist to get rid of a mole on my face. He fully supported all orthodontics. I was in contact lenses at an early age. And finally, he told my mom to stop home perming my hair. He said that he wanted to eliminate any physical obstacles that would make me self conscious or uncomfortable about my appearance. When you feel good about yourself (inside and outside), you tend to exude the confidence needed to carry you through a client meeting, a job interview, or any situation that you have to show your skills and experience. Once your outside appearance is taken care of, you can focus on maximizing those skills and talents.
Don’t exclude yourself. When I spoke to my father about taking over his business, he taught me a few things that might help me in business. He said that it might be more difficult for me to establish relationships in a predominantly male industry. So he gave me lessons in a few things so i wouldn’t be excluded in social situations. The first skill/hobby he wanted me to learn is how to play golf. He bought me my first set of golf clubs and a 10 pack of lessons. This skill has given me the opportunity to meet and work with several clients and generate millions of dollars of revenue for our company. He also showed me how to smoke a cigar (which i don’t do as much anymore), and he taught me how to drink hard liquor like ports and whiskeys. To this day, I am not afraid of being left out nor being excluded from a group of “those in the know”.
There are many other life lessons my father bestowed upon me whether through verbally telling me or sharing through example. I am appreciative of the time and focus that my father has given and continues to give me. And I still think there’s more to learn so I’m going to keep on listening and watching. Thank you, Dad.