A Dad and His Kids

Every year around Father’s Day, I reflect on the profound impact my own father had on my self-confidence and work ethic. His encouragement and the fine example he set forth have contributed to my ability to succeed in business.

And every day, I see Phil—my husband and co-founder of CorpNet—encourage self-assurance within our four children, laying the foundation for their future successes.

I imagine many of you have had similar life experiences.

Fathers, regardless of whether or not they’re entrepreneurs themselves, influence and shape who we are as business owners.

Their values, fearlessness, empathy, and other qualities have taught us valuable lessons that we’ve used in starting a businesses and running a businesses each and every day.

Dads teach us that…

  1. There’s no substitute for hard work.
  2. It’s possible to be both strong and sensitive.
  3. The only way to fix mistakes is to first own up to them.
  4. A little healthy competition strengthens your character and skills.
  5. Forgiveness frees you to move forward.
  6. Laughter can heal.
  7. Patience pays off.
  8. It’s important to think before you speak.
  9. Earning something is always more gratifying than having it handed to you.
  10. Picking your battles saves your energy for what’s really worth fighting for.
  11. You can’t please everyone all the time.
  12. Leading by example is the key to earning respect.
  13. Long-term goals cannot be accomplished without action in the short term.
  14. Saying “no” isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s the best answer.
  15. Taking yourself too seriously will weigh you down.
  16. A positive outlook will make any task less difficult.
  17. It’s OK to take a break now and then.
  18. Showing appreciation of those around you strengthens relationships.
  19. Fear of the unknown is normal—and it can be overcome with determination to achieve a goal worth pursuing.
  20. Motivation needs to come from within.
  21. Going beyond your comfort zone is the best way to test your limits and discover what you’re capable of.

Of course, everyone’s experience with his or her own father is unique, so what you’ve learned and have taken with you into entrepreneurship may be a bit different. But I think it’s accurate to say that we’ve all learned something from our dads that has helped us in launching and managing our businesses. We’ve all taken away advice and insight that has made us the strong, resilient, and determined professionals we are today.