3 Business Lessons Learned From Mom
Even though parents raise us to be good humans, their job doesn’t stop there. The lessons we learn as kids carry into our adulthood and our businesses.
Mom taught me a lot about business (without even knowing it).
1. Be Persistent
I started playing flute in second grade. I loved it and carried my flute everywhere. As I got older, junior high school, I joined the marching and concert bands.
Band was fun. I had a lot of friends and we goofed off a lot (remember what it was like to be a teenager?). Between all the band practices and fundraising, it was fun, but also a lot of hard work.
One band trip to San Francisco we were going to be away from our parents for 5 days. (I don’t know about you, but when I was in junior high I wanted to be as far away from my parents as possible.)
Each kid had to raise their own money, so I hit the pavement.
I was selling candy bars door-to-door. For every “yes” I heard at least 15 “nos,” but I wasn’t about to let the “nos” get me down. I was determined.
My mom asked me daily, “Did you sell any candy today?” She reminded me that in order for me to be successful that I had to go out and sell every day. Thank you mom for teaching me persistence.
2. No Means Yes
Mom and dad often didn't agree with each other, so when it came time to ask for something, I had to decide which parent to ask (you know, trying to manipulate the “system”).
One day Patty and I wanted to go to a movie, so I asked mom because I KNEW she’d say yes. Well, mom's answer was actually, “Go ask your dad.” Yikes! I hated when she said that.
So, with my head hung low and feeling defeated, I asked dad, “Can I go to the movie with Patty?” Dad said, “Go ask your mom. If she says “yes,” then you can go.”
So, feeling like a ping-pong ball, I made my way back to mom and said, “Dad told me to ask you and if it’s okay with you then I can go.” So mom, with a look of uncertainty, said “Yes, you can go.”
You see, what this taught me is that even though you feel defeated by hearing no, you need to keep pushing forward in hopes of hearing yes. No means yes.
Thank you mom for teaching me to not listen to “no.”
3. Build Long-Lasting Relationships
When I was 16 years old my dad was arrested (for his third time) on drunk driving charges. His driver’s license was suspended and he was remanded to Alcoholics Anonymous for a year.
Why do I share this? Because of the relationships my parents made while in AA programs. You see, long-lasting relationships start with that first meeting.
Dad liked to tell the story about his first AA meeting. He was angry that he had to go to AA. He said, “I do not belong here. AA is for ‘those types of people.’ I’m not one of them.”
Then he attended that first meeting, the meeting that would forever change his life.
He pulled his car into the parking lot. He sat in his car for a few minutes because he didn’t want to be there. He considered leaving, but he didn’t want to face the legal consequences. He begrudgingly got out of his car and walked into the room where he was greeted by several people who welcomed him with open arms.
He had an immediate sense of belonging, a feeling he had never felt before. Even though he had a wife and five kids, he never experienced the love that he felt in that room, with those strangers.
Throughout dad's 40 years of being sober, he and mom consistently attended weekly meetings. The friendships they gained during those 40 years lasted their lifetimes.
When dad died at the age of 75 mom received more than 350 sympathy cards and there were more than 150 people at his memorial service.
Their friends would do anything for them. They were true gifts for my parents. Building those long-lasting relationships gave both of my parents peace of mind and friendships to last a lifetime. That’s something you can never take away.
Lynda M West
Being a woman who grew up in an abusive environment and having been previously married to an abusive man, I know the feeling to not have a voice. As I began my journey to find my voice, I realized I always had one. Through the discovery of my voice, I noticed how much of an impact I made. Utilizing all of my personal development experiences, I want to help people become influencers and leaders in their field to make an even greater impact on those they serve.
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