Biz Features

Advice from Fathers That Are Great for Startups

by . June 16th, 2014

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I was supposed to post the third Taboo Trades today instead of its usual Saturday schedule, but remembering that yesterday was Father’s Day, I decided to post this instead.

For a lot of people, fathers are a great source of wisdom, whether they’re actually living wisely or not. Sometimes, they show themselves as great men which you wish to mimic, and at other times, they can be foolish and you agree to never do THAT thing again. Sometimes, they make the worst jokes which leave you and your siblings cringing, but sometimes they give the best sage advice, imparting you with wisdom they’ve gained through the years.

Here’s some fatherly advice I’ve rounded up from multiple websites that may apply to many facets of life, including business.

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10. “Work hard for what you want, you’ll never appreciate it if it was just given to you.”

Everyone knows that in business or anywhere else, free stuff are great. However, when the legacy of your company is just a benefit of privilege and not your team’s actions, your sense of purpose may degrade, which will also bring down productivity and the will to improve. Always find a team with a reason to be there. Look for the most indispensable people you can get within your budget.

9. “Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.”

I like this quote. It’s a lot of great advice bunched up into one and they all make sense. When making a startup, you’re going to go through a whole lot of mess, and it may possibly even depress you. Bad initial sales, funder backed-out, someone with more resources stole the idea, family says you’ll fail, etc. Whatever your case, remember to stay strong. As long as you stick to your company’s purpose, your product may change completely but that’s alright.

8. “It may take little time to get where you want to be, but if you pause and think for a moment, you will notice that you are no longer where you were. Do not stop—keep going.”

Continuing from the above point, your startup may take some time to develop. You may have a slow start, but patience is key. All that’s important is that your reach your quota by the deadline you set. Do not give up prematurely. A failing project has not yet failed.

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7. “All you have to do is put on your running shoes and let the front door shut behind you.”

There’s a great number of startups that haven’t failed because they never even started to begin with. If you plan on creating a business and have the passion for it, follow that athletic shoe company slogan and just do it. You’ll never know if you’ll fail until you’ve tried and gone through it. A lot of times, I think about missed opportunities in high school and college. Maybe I should have gone out with that girl. Maybe I should have stayed friends with that group. Maybe I should have taken more care of my body. Learn from life, and apply it to business.

6. “Every day, you get the opportunity to change your life. Change what you do not want. Change what makes you unhappy.”

Businesses will not improve if the team behind it does not make it improve. Sometimes, it means weeding out that which is unhealthy, rather than cultivating the good. And this can be hard at times, whether it means firing a long time partner, killing a plan that you spent three months on, or realizing that your whole business model is screwed up. Remove whatever negatively affects your business and do it quick.

5. “If you’re willing to take the blame, people will give you the responsibility.”

This is great advice for PR. If you admit your mistakes and stand up to fix them, people will trust you more and more. I remember losing confidence in a lot of Kickstarters I funded because an intelligently delivered complaint was handled with an immature “Lol. Haterz will hate. :P” Or how annoyed do you get when you call a service desk to report an ongoing problem, and the customer service representative acts like nothing’s wrong and it’s just a figment of your imagination?

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4. “Always hold truth with you, and you shall never go down.”

In business, communication is key. And a lot of that is lost when the team starts lying to each other. These lies are not always done out of bad will and sometimes have good intentions. The vanity statistics to let you feel more empowered don’t matter. Transparency saves time, money, and awkward situations.

3. “You make your choices, then they make you.”

Business and other aspects of life are all about choices. They may be risks, but can always be calculated whether they incline themselves to success or failure, so you must take them wisely. These choices pile up and mold themselves into the future of the company and everyone involved. Every choice you make is a step closer to the destiny you create for yourself.

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2. “We are not always right, and sometimes we make mistakes.”

As you get more and more into business, there may be bigger ones that you look up to in terms of sales, management, whatever. Just like anything or anyone else you fawn over, you start to white knight them and fail to see their flaws. However, they aren’t perfect. More so, it isn’t wise to model your company after one you idolize, brick per brick. Every company has its own flow and each one differs greatly.

1. “Don’t believe everything you hear.”

When doing research online, whether it be searching articles or posting a question on Reddit, remember to dig deep until you find trustable sources. The internet is filled with wrong information and satire sites that delve too close to the line between truth and lies. My rule of thumb is the first 5 results on a related Google search, the comments on those results, and keep continuing until I’m more or less sure that the information I have is legit. If I know sites I trust for the specific topic, I check those.

And lastly advice from my own father:

“If I cover your face with my hands, what do you see? Nothing. When things are going wrong, step back, assess the situation, then solve the problem.”
sources: Advice My Parents Gave Me; Nairaland; Gretchen Rubin;

photo credits: wysz via photopin cc; sis via photopin cc; epigraph via photopin cc; faby74 via photopin cc; ultimorollo via photopin cc; giovannijl via photopin cc

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