A throwback pic to when my husband had only been a dad for a few weeks.
Today we celebrate Father’s Day and the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that men who stand up and serve as fathers, whether they are biologically connected to a specific child or not. I’ve been blessed to have a dad who has always been involved in my life (sometimes too much, as our similar temperaments clash, but thankfully much less often than they did in my teenage years) and other important men who stand out in my mind as wonderful fathers. So today I’d like to reflect on some life and business lessons learned from various fathers in my life.
1. Never stop learning. My Grandpa J was an avid learner – if there was anything he didn’t know, he researched it until he knew that topic inside and out. As he was preparing to build his home, he wanted to install a solar room to naturally heat the house. He enrolled in classes at the local community college and at 3 times the age of his fellow students, learned what he needed to in order to successfully build that room. He demonstrated that we should never let anything – age, lack of knowledge, or fear – hold us back from learning all about the world around us and putting that knowledge to good use.
2. Go for your dreams rather than being miserable working for someone else. – My dad was downright miserable in some of his jobs while I was growing up, but yet he stayed with it to provide for the family. I saw his frustration and wished there was something else he could do. I resolved early on that I would not stay at a soul-sucking job like he did. Since I became an entrepreneur, he has been a vocal supporter and he helps remind me that even on the bad days, I’m happier than I would be working for someone else.
3. Be true to yourself – it’s ok to go against the grain. I’m blessed to have learned this lesson from my brother, J. He and I are oh, so different in many ways, but at the same time, similar. Nothing has impressed me more than the way he jumped in and became an insta-dad to two beautiful girls. He’s given his heart and soul to being there for them and even now raising his ex-wife’s nephew. His family (and the way he approaches many things) is unconventional but it suits him fully. I love that he’s comfortable in his own skin and doesn’t care what others may think or say. I wish I were more like him in that regard.
4. Measure twice, cut once. My father in law, J. is an incredible bricklayer. His handiwork is intricate and beautiful. He is methodical and slow moving – the opposite of this move-at-breakneck-speed action taker – but his results remind me to slow down sometimes and think about problems from all angles before hastily jumping in, to avoid course correction down the road. An entrepreneur himself, he gets that I’m rarely truly off the clock and since I love what I do, it doesn’t seem like a burden to me.
5. Incorporate fun into each and every day. My husband is truly an amazing man and father. We’ve been together 10 years and in that time he has taught me countless life and business lessons. He is my biggest champion and supporter and though he doesn’t have the same entrepreneurial vision/revulsion at the idea of working for someone else he has stood by my side as my businesses grow and evolve.
One of the things I love most about my husband is his sense of humor – he makes me laugh every day. He is a total goofball with our kids and I love him even more watching him with them. His approach to living life to the fullest has certainly rubbed off on me as I work to infuse more fun into my daily life.
I’m blessed and thankful for the different fathers I’ve had in my life, and the many lessons they have and continue to teach me.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a father figure in your life? Share in the comments below.