Most people don’t think that fatherhood and business have much in common. Personally, I do think that they are very similar to each other. To me, being a father is about being a leader to my son, my daughter, and my home. It’s very much the same concept in a business—a successful business needs a leader who has several different traits.
The first trait that comes to mind is courage. You definitely need to have a lot of courage, both as a father and as a business owner. Courage is a strength because you’re dealing with adversity all the time, especially with children. They get down and discouraged sometimes, and they might have things that they fear. That’s why they need someone to give them encouragement.
Integrity is another important trait because we need to keep our morals in line in terms of the way we think, talk, and act. Communication is very fundamental as well. I’ve seen families and businesses that don’t have very good communication. On the flip side, I’ve seen families and businesses with great communication. I think It’s an underlying factor in success both in the home and in a business.
Empathy, discipline, and vision are some other traits that come to mind. There are circumstances where the best you can do is tell someone, “I understand.” The reason you might understand what they’re going through is because you or someone you know has been through something similar. You can’t always fix someone’s burden, but you can at least show empathy by telling them that you understand. I think discipline is a trait that speaks for itself. Vision is about making sure that our families know what our purpose is. In a business, it’s about making sure the team understands the big picture and where we’re headed in the long term. It’s more than just the day to day monotonous details that we go through. There is a purpose for the actions that we take.
You also have to have a willingness to learn, both as a father and a business owner. There’s always something new to learn, ways for you to improve, and things you can do to adapt to new situations. When a situation sideswipes you because you weren’t expecting it, you should be able to embrace the challenge. For instance, my son just started school and it’s a new experience for me. There are things that I wasn’t expecting, and being able to understand, adapt to the situation, and move forward is very important.
I would also say that it takes a lot of patience and endurance as a father and as a business owner. Endurance is needed because this is definitely a long game, and sometimes you have to think about events coming three or five years from now. You definitely want to take the time to enjoy the moment you’re in right now, but on the other hand, you have to be very intentional and proactive. Otherwise, you’ll wake up one day and wonder, what in the world happened?
I’ve always heard that children teach you patience, and as a leader, patience is incredibly important. People can be a blessing and a curse, and sometimes the patience that you have makes all the difference when it comes to which category you place them in. You definitely want to always stay positive and see the good in every situation, no matter how bleak it may appear.
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