See that guy, up there? The one with the sweet right jab? (He's a lefty). That's my Dad, my best friend, and also my favorite role model.
My dad has an incredible story of how he rose to the top of the Commercial Lending industry, but that's for another day. Let's just say he "beat the odds" and leave it at that. He's definitely the best salesperson I have ever seen in action, mostly because he really loves people and remembers every thing about them. Here are 10 things I learned from my dad that I apply at work every day.
1) "If you can do it, it ain't braggin'" - If you dare to enter into the arena of sales or entrepreneurship leave the shoe shuffling and humility at the door. Know what you can do and don't be afraid to talk about what you're good at.
2) "Expect nothing and you'll always be surprised." - This one comes from HIS dad, but applies to sales perfectly. Go about your tasks with integrity knowing that if you do the right tasks the outcomes will come, but don't focus on the outcome- focus on doing the right thing consistently, and you will be pleasantly surprised.
3) Learn to "Eat Bread With a Fork"- As an entrepreneur you will have good years and bad years. You don't need cash to keep it classy. Be proud of who you are, not what you have.
4) "When you have to dress down, that's when you have to really dress up." Dad always prefers formal/prep attire but there are times in business (oh gosh and in the startup world) where you will be more socially appropriate in casual clothes. Make sure the "casual clothes" you select for these occasions are a solid brand name, fresh kicks, the works. I don't really understand this one, but I do it anyway...
5) "If you're gonna ski, carry your own skis"- You can engage in any activity you choose, but do it independently. You want to start a business, great! It's your responsibility to make sure it works out well.
6) "Never spend Long Term Money on Short Term Things." - As a teenager I though this meant "Don't put Starbucks on your credit card..." Now I see that it applies to investment. Use your investors' money to grow your bottom line (and not to buy an office fuzzball table...)
7) "I don't believe in Magic, but just the same... It's There." I love this quote. Maybe the divine coincidence of this universe is working out in our favor. In fact, it probably is. But work like it isn't.
8) "I made my living reading other peoples' faces." Dad understands that whatever business you are in, it's about the people. Who you can trust, who you can't, and everything in between.
9) "I will only pass this way but once." For someone with such a stressful job, growing up, Dad never really acted like it. He never missed the side roads on a road trip, the mini adventures, the artisan villages, the one millionth verse of the unchained melody, the second cup of coffee with us on a Sunday morning. He totally got that "work to live" thing way before it was popular.
10) "Sometimes you run for nothin'" Dad was a football player, but this quote showed up quite a bit during my lacrosse career. Sometimes, you give it everything you got and you come away with less than before. That's ok though. There's no shame in it. It's part of the game.
And for any of my cousins who might be reading this I will end it the way Dad ends all his stories--
"And the old man went up on the roof....." (you know the rest.)
Have a great week all!