When we are very young, we are completely dependent on our parents. They have to feed us, bathe and clothe us, put us to bed and then wake us up. We gradually lose this overwhelming dependence and by the time we transform into teenagers and young adults, we believe we know everything.
It is only later on in life, when we are older and wiser and our parents are elderly, that we realize just how right our parents were when they tried – often with little success – to help us when we were younger.
All of the lessons that our parents tried to teach us years ago normally fell on deaf ears. It is only until we are grown and have matured that we realize where true wisdom lies. In my own case, I have infused what I observed and learned from my parents into how I run my business. I believe that doing so is the reason for my organization’s success.
The knowledge that we acquire from our parents can often be implicit meaning that they may not be telling us something with the intent of imparting a lesson. What they do and how they behave has a profound effect on us.
The biggest lesson I observed from my father was how quickly he connected with people when meeting them. He took the time to ask them questions, which always makes people feel special. When I meet someone, I make sure that I am listening to them intently. People want to be heard and by doing this you are able to make a deeper and more meaningful connection with others. This is especially important in the business world, where there are so many interactions among people.
Second, my father was a simple man and I have followed this ethos in my personal and business life. His whole life – everything from the clothes he wore to the food he ate – was uncomplicated. He also never tried to show off for others. This attitude of trying to show up others is so destructive and unnecessary because it is based entirely on ego. By removing ego from the equation, I can focus better on making those all-important connections with people. I always remind myself that I am no more or no less than any other human on this planet.
The third thing I learned came from my mother who always reminded me that while education and studying are important, a person must also remember to imbibe those lessons learned in the classroom. Receiving a degree from a university is not the same thing as actually learning and imparting that knowledge. Learning does not end once you are finished with school. In fact, I would argue that we learn the most once we are out of school and in the real world interacting with others.
The lesson of hard work also came from my mother, who was always the first to rise and the last to go to bed in our house. She never left any work pending and I always admired her for that. Not only did she do a lot of work, but it was also done carefully and thoughtfully. I have always strived to get things done right away and to do it properly. This saves time and effort in the long run and gives you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
In addition to the positive things I learned while growing up, I also made observations about negative things that I did not want to be involved with. For me, the only way of doing business is in its purest form.
The wisdom and clarity offered by our parents are invaluable and I am thankful every day to have learned so much from them. I would not be the person I am today nor would my business thrive without these lessons.