How My Parents Unknowingly Raised Me To Be An Entrepreneur
written by Allan on August 24, 2012
This article is an excerpt from our newest ebook "Parenting, Marriage, Relationships & Business". I don't think my parent's goal for me was to be an entrepreneur. At least I never really got the feeling they were pushing me to open a business.
My parents are amazing, selfless people that everyone could learn something from. I honestly know that I have the best parents ever, but they’ve created a monster….me. I'm obsessed with success, but I don't think I'm successful yet, beyond one thing: I've got a desire to make the people around me proud. I don't hunger for wealth. I seek something else. My parents didn't consciously make me this way, but I feel like I was raised to be an entrepreneur.
In case you didn't know.
I was home schooled and grew up with three sisters and a younger brother. My dad owns a string of car washes that my grandfather built in the 1950's. My parents put my siblings and I in awkward situations, maybe knowingly making us better, or maybe they liked to see us in scenes of social torture. Either way, I believe all the little things we’ve been through in our lives, build and prepare us for who we will be and how we will get through situations ahead. These are some of the lessons I’ve learned.
Socialize without being a socialite.
Not only did my mom make me and my siblings perform musical renditions of "Amazing Grace" at old folks’ homes, she made us actually talk to the elderly people there. She said people at retirement homes are lonely and love to talk to someone else. As an eight-year-old, I had to walk up to old wrinkly people and strike up conversations. That’s one example of how my parents created children that could carry a conversation by listening and asking questions.
Lead without being a leader.
I have three sisters and a brother. The older of us kids helped the younger ones do various things: put shoes on, get buckled in the car. To get a three-year-old to listen, you have to lead lead them without being bossy. Being an older kid in a large family taught me some interesting lessons on how to manipulate your siblings, but also, how to lead without being a leader. A self-proclamation as a leader has never been something I’ve seen work. If you set an example, thru actions, others will take note and follow you.
Fear without being afraid.
I don’t fear failure because my parents applauded hard work and curiosity. I do fear missing an opportunity—something passing me that I could have contributed to or should have done. I fear regret, but this fear of regret fuels me to work harder and become better.
Ignore the rules without ignoring the problem.
My parents showed me rules can be ignored and successful people often make up their own rules.
We’ve ignored plenty of rules:
- Built a profitable web app without funding.
- Thrown a profitable conference without spending a dime.
- Run a company without a business plan.
Suffer now to be rewarded later.
My parents were and still are relentless protectors of their children (even protecting us from ourselves). They “forced” us to work at the car washes. They wanted us to get our hands dirty from cleaning up the messes of others. My parents realized that all the things you go through mold you into something different. While in the moment these experiences are “terrible,” your changed self becomes something better because you've realized you can handle the next bump in the road, the next curveball or the next situation life throws at you. Whether you realize it or not, all your life, people and circumstances have been preparing you for the moment you're in right now.
My parents raised an entrepreneur whether they meant to or not. They poured love, time and resources into me. They obligated me to do something great.
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