Lessons From My Father - Happy Fathers Day (from an entrepreneur)

It is only fitting that as Father’s Day is nearing that I share some amazing business lessons I have learned from my father, Obie L. Jarmon, Jr.  I jokingly call him the ‘Joe Jackson’ of business training.  Please understand this is truly a joke BUT his passion to see his family, particularly his children succeed can be felt hundreds of miles away.  He taught me phrases like ‘burning desire’ and ‘if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything’.  I use these words as a guide for my business practices, my personal aspirations, and the legacy I hope to leave behind.

Take a look at the list of a few lessons learned!

Have a short-term memory: I remember one day a couple of years ago I was complaining about something (don’t recall what it was) and my dad said “you should have a short term memory about that”.  He went on to share that sometimes we give too much energy to things that we should release.  I have since changed my whole lifestyle and hardly ever dwell on negative thoughts or people.  Business dealings with others can sometimes bring out the not so great side of someone and you experience manipulation, let down’s, negativity, and gossipers.  However, I have a short-term memory for those folks.  I don’t and won’t entertain such foolishness because it is time and energy in my life I can never get back.   And you know how I feel about my time ;) The moral here is forgive quickly and move on. 

While you might not forget it is not worth it to have such negative thoughts at the front of your brain.

Sometimes you have to fall:  When I was 5 we lived on a dead end street and my dad decided to teach me how to ride a bike.  We practiced and practiced as he ran alongside me holding the back of the bike.  I remember knowing that I wasn’t quite ready for him to let go and I even voiced my concern however he apparently (insert eye rolling) saw something different. He let me go and I FELL!!!!!!  I was so disappointed that he let me go but I now understand.  Sometimes, it’s best to fall quick and fast because you can always go at it again.  He realized that I needed to understand what the pavement felt like which has prepared me to hit the pavement, jump back up and it would seem as if I never missed a step.  Moral of the story, you will fall a lot in business and in life and many times no one is there to pick you up.  You have to believe in yourself enough to know that you can keep pressing forward, even through the falls…also a FABULOUS pillow to fall on doesn’t hurt either ;)

Tap into your burning desire:  Long before Oprah begin talking about burning desire I was hearing it at home.  Sounds silly but it has been an important phrase in my book for quite some time.  There is desire and then there is that ‘thing’ that allows you to overcome mountains.  Russell Simmons said that selling his company wasn’t quite as fun as the journey it took to get there.  He enjoyed the feeling of over-excitement, even through failed attempts and other misfortunes.  In business, it is essential that you work off more than passion alone and it must be coupled with skills, your calling, and a burning desire that makes you understand the great lengths you will go through to be the type of successful you desire to be.

This list could go on and on forever because I have learned so much but these resonated the most with me.  I hope that you are able to celebrate your father this Father’s Day and would love to hear/read the lessons you have learned!

Kia Jarmon is a brand strategist and PR coach with boutique public relations firm, The MEPR Agency.  She speaks, blogs, mentors, and is soon to be an author.  You can find more information at her personal brand site, www.KiaJarmon.com.