I lost my father a few months ago, after a long and courageous battle against colon cancer. Sunday will be my first fathers day without him, and I want to talk about things I learned from my father that can be applied by any entrepreneur.
On the surface, my father and I have little in common in terms of business. He was an ophthalmologist who ran a private practice in the San Diego area, while I'm working to scale a national brokerage and loan business. While the window dressing of the companies are different, there are values and principles that my dad taught me that I am eternally grateful for.
Treat Every Business Interaction as If Somebody's Eyesight Was On the Line
In the wake of my father's death, my family heard from several of his eternally grateful former patients who described him as a lifesaver for saving their eyesight. My dad offered a consistent, reasoned approach to every patient as they explored different options together to improve the patients' eyesight. I learned these principles from my dad.
It's a stretch to compare business financing to saving someone's eyesight, but we work methodically to develop the best and most rational solution to every client's needs. We want to give them the financial tools to protect their business, and take it to the next level.
It's vitally important that patients or clients understand their options and the choices they have to make.
My father's patients entrusted him with their eyesight. I only hope that I can instill the same confidence in my clients as he was into his patients.
Never Never Give Up
My father fought a courageous and tenacious battle against colon cancer that lasted more than a decade. His journey included 23 surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. He did not leave one stone unturned as he methodically did everything in his power to beat his disease. He displayed tenacity, courage, and bravery, unlike anything I have ever witnessed in my lifetime before.
I dedicated my book, "The Growth Dilemma," to my dad when he was alive. The inscription said, "In Honor of my Dad, Whose Ten Year Battle Against Colon Cancer Makes Entrepreneurship Look Easy!" I meant what I said.
Building a company is a war. Unless you are exceedingly lucky, you will encounter many unexpected challenges and twists and turns along the way. It will be a rollercoaster with ups and downs.
Over the years as I have had typical scary and uncertain moments, I reflected on my dad's struggle and put my head up high and kept plugging on. His example serves as a guide for every entrepreneur.
While I miss my dad on father's day, I am eternally grateful for the lessons he passed on to me.