Lessons Learned From an Entrepreneurial Upbringing
When I was growing up, my sisters and I had the advantage of being surrounded by entrepreneurial parents.
When I think about it, there were many positives to this type of exposure and it really helped to form not only our activities in life, but our personalities.
Although all my other sisters chose not to pursue the entrepreneurial path, I know they agree with me that the skills, attitudes and behaviours learned from this upbringing helped them to become successful in their careers and other pursuits.
People that haven’t grown up in an entrepreneurial household often assume this environment is more challenging for children and that family time was harder to find. This wasn’t true for us or for other entrepreneurial families that we knew.
Even during the times that my parents were away: the fun, the energy and the anticipation of everyday being something different and new made life so interesting!
We still had routine – we went to school, did our homework and all of that… but, I always felt that we had the “edge” because we had experiences and exposures that many children only encounter (or maybe encounter) when they become adults themselves.
Let me go further into this and briefly explain just a few of the lessons learned and how they helped me as a person and businesswoman.
Very Dedicated Business Ethics – I learned a solid work ethic from being around entrepreneurial parents as they cared about the products and services they were selling, the way they marketed their offerings and the effect they had on their community.
Treatment of People – I observed this very early on that in the way you treat other people should always be the way you want to be treated. My dad was more of a talker, promoter while mom behaved more dignified and quieter (probably why their marriage lasted!) but they knew how to respect their customers, suppliers and others in their industry, they never lost sight of that.
True Commitment – I seen how having a consistent commitment in order to be successful was required. It needs to be that way to ensure that even if on the challenging days that you can stay committed. It was never about what was convenient, but what was necessary.
Precious Time – although they spent a great deal of time in their business and despite the staff they had (over 35 of them), they still knew how to juggle all of it so there was time for the family. We valued our time together and it was spent in qualitative ways. There was always family time with my grandma and uncles and mom had our “baking days” and of course celebrations for all religious and other important occasions.
Handling Problems – although situations would occur that could potentially be unpleasant, having dignity and maturity towards these difficulties was important. My parents taught through example that other people have problems too, so it was unacceptable to feel sorry for yourself or to dwell on it. Their solution was to work through whatever it was, learn from it and move on. I really think about this one a lot!
Energy and Tenacity – wow did they have energy – it always seemed never-ending! They would go from one activity to another, sometimes without a breath in between! This high energy made everything exciting and interesting and still remained focussed.
Action Agility – schedules would change, circumstances would come up, but it made me so aware that you must be flexible in life and in business so that you can adjust to the situation at hand.
Variety in All Things – you know they say “variety is the spice of life” well it was so true for them! We had different people, opportunities all of the time. No two days were identical and it always made things enjoyable, even though it was sometimes quite hectic! We had such fun!
I guess the overriding lesson I learned from my entrepreneurial parents (that is still true now) is that you need to keep positive, work hard and accept the fact that some days will be a bit challenging, but you get through it if you just… keep going and smiling!