First of all, happy father’s day!
My father started his own business in 1991 or 1992. He always told me that I’ll someday be the boss of my own business. That’s about as direct as he got on the subject of work. He never explained anything about business or expressed what he wanted me to do when I grew up. Looking back, there are several things I learned about business by observing his. Some of those observations had a major influence on my perception on work today.
My father enjoyed cooking, and he loved classic soul music. This led to him starting a restaurant that played oldies music to attract customers. Basically, he would drive our big van to a specific area, set up chairs and tables nearby, put speakers outside, and cook on a grill. There was also a griddle in the van and a hot dog cart that was pulled along. That’s two lessons learned:
1. Work in a field that you enjoy.
2. Work with what you have. You don’t need a big building or an astronomical budget right away in order to have a successful business.
Mom — and for a few years, my brother — worked with him. I would always go with them because I was home-schooled at the time. My job was to help set the chairs. Being his own boss allowed my father to make time for parenthood, even at work. For the most part, he was there when I wanted to play with or talk to him at home and at work. That’s lesson 3:
3. Work in a profession that allows ample time for loved ones.
The restaurant was very popular, constantly crowded and earning repeat customers. Some customers became family friends, and people often voluntarily helped my parents set up and close down. Years after the restaurant closed, strangers would recognize me and often tell me their memories of the restaurant and my parents. You know you’re running a great business when you get that kind of respect in Newark! Here’s the lesson:
4. Building relationships with customers can lead to friendships, repeat sales, referrals, and people who are simply willing to help you.
Let’s recap. Popular business, close to family, doing something you love, earning plenty of money. What more can a business owner want? I can think of one thing.
My father died in March 1997, and Mom decided to close down the restaurant. Just like that, the business he built and loved for half a decade was gone, with little to show for it in the long term.
What do people like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson have in common? They’ve built careers that allow their families to be rewarded well after their deaths. Because people still play their music, the Jackson and Presley kids have inherited fortune and fame. In their industry, it’s called royalties.
Fortunately, the average person can earn something very similar to royalties. In this case, it would be called residual income. Most people get it through network marketing. I’ve seen widows thank my company for continuing to pay their family the money their deceased husbands earned. Like MJ and Elvis, some of those deceased husbands were financially set to the point where their families didn’t have to worry about bills.
How often do we hear of families who scrape by when the breadwinner dies? The difference between those husbands/fathers and my father brings us to the next two lessons:
5. Build a business/career that outlives you.
6. Residual income is the way to go!
I’m fortunate enough to be working with a company that allows me to reap the benefits my father had. I have fun while working. I can make time for loved ones. I have no ceiling over my income. I’m my own boss. Plus, I have residual income that I can will to my future wife and kids when I die. I believe that I manifested this opportunity through my subconscious mind holding onto my father’s words.
Thank you, Dennis Lawson, and thank you, AmeriPlan!
Make a nice day!