Dad’s is the voice that urges kids to go higher and says,
“I know you can do it.
Why don’t you get up and try again?”
I am writing today on what would have been my dad’s 86th birthday. I want to share a few of the lessons I learned from my dad. He was gregarious and lots of fun, not to mention a genius – literally Genius IQ. He loved all kinds of cars, but his favorite was his pickup truck, especially when the camper was on and he was heading to the lake to fish. He also believed everything was negotiable, it doesn’t matter what he was buying, he always asked for a better price! This made him very successful in business.
Many of his lessons were valuable and have helped me advance in life. I am excited to share those. Then there were a few painful ones that created barriers for me that I have been able to move past. I will share those another time.
Lesson #1: Take Care of Your Stuff
My dad loved cars. He did most of the needed work on them and I would assist as his junior mechanic. He taught me how to check all the fluids, change the oil, switch out the spark plugs and change the tires. And most weekends, my brother and I washed the cars, cleaned the windows and scrubbed the white-walls on the tires until they were pristine.
One funny story about my dad’s convertible Corvair — not Corvette — you may have to Google it. My dad picked my brother and I up from elementary school to get ice cream in his new car. We went to Baskin Robbins, and we got ice cream cones with double scoops to eat on our way home — with the top down. What do you think happened to most of our ice cream? And if you need a hint, my dad loved to drive fast! Of course, most of our ice cream ended up all over the car. Guess what we did next — washed the car!
My dad taught us we had to take care of what we had, so it would last longer and that lesson has continued in my life.
Lesson #2: In Negotiating — be willing to walk away
In negotiating, especially for the purchase of a car, you have to be willing to walk away. I remember my dad being thrown out of a dealership — he was very passionate about getting the best deal.
I have taken the skills I learned from him and have refined them over the years with my own experience.
1. Understand your motivation for the purchase
2. Decide how much you have to spend
3. Next choose what are your “must haves”
4. Comparison shop other suppliers
5. Be patient
6. Negotiate the deal before you arrive
From his training, I have purchased most of our cars and keep them maintained.
Lesson #3: Business Success
The times spent with my dad in learning about business have proven to be pivotal markers that have brought great success to me over the years. And these times embrace some of the fondest memories I had with him.
My dad was an early riser. On Saturday mornings, whoever was up early got to go wherever he was going — sometimes we would hang out at Dunkin’ Donuts and then there were those mornings we drove up to the lake to fish.
I spent many Saturday mornings riding around in his baby blue Ford pickup truck. My dad would tell me all about business, stories about his work problems they encountered and what the solutions were or could be. Then, he would ask me, “What do you think about that Cindy-Bug?”
There were many times his friends would come over and I would sit with them at the table and listen to their conversation. There was so much to learn when they talked.
These mentoring times, as a young girl, brought early success in my business career. Here are just a few highlights I learned from my dad.
First, my dad taught me the importance of listening. There is so much to be gained by listening, such as, understanding their motive and need by what they are sharing.
Next, my dad taught me to ask questions that require more than a “yes or no” answer. When they have to elaborate, it provides an opportunity for clarity.
My dad also taught me there is a difference when you interact with men versus women. In his career, there were few women executives, and in order for me to succeed in the business world, I needed to learn the language of men.
Finally, my dad taught me I could accomplish anything I set my mind on. He drove me toward a career as a successful business executive.
There were many other good things I learned from my dad. He was not perfect and we had many clashes. It took me years to realize how much I really learned from him, but I never doubted his love or his desire for my success and happiness.
Did you learn something from your father that was pivotal in your life?
I would love to hear from you.
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Remember, you are the best investment you can make.
I have three upcoming events for 2018. You can access them on my website: cindy-stewart.com/events
Women on the Frontline
June 15-16, 2018 Tarpon Springs FL
Featuring Patricia King, Brandi Belt and myself.
Invading the Heavens Conference
August 16-18, 2018 – Tampa, Florida
Featuring Sid Roth, Robert Henderson, along with Dr. Kynan Bridges and myself.
Frontliners: Kingdom Advance
October 19-20, 2018 – Tampa, FL
Featuring Dr. Clarice Fluitt, Brandi Belt and myself.