The Impact that My Grandfather Made on My Life

When I was in elementary school I was always terrified to go to my grandfather’s house. My grandparents lived several hours away which made the anticipation, and my nerves even more unbearable. The reason that I was so afraid to go to see my grandpa was he was brutally honest. When I was young I was overweight. My grandfather would remind me every time that I saw him that I needed to lose a few pounds. Looking back on my experience with my grandpa now I realize that he was not such a bad guy, and his words are part of the reason I am who I am today. Here are a few important lessons that I learned.

Be Comfortable with Who You Are

My grandpa’s words and criticism of my weight has taught me now to be comfortable in my own skin, and be thankful for who I am. I always use to let his criticism affect me emotionally. Today, I am not afraid to tell others when they hurt my feelings, and I don’t really care as much about what people think of me. Why? Because I am happy with myself….and that is what is important. Pleasing others may get you somewhere in life but pleasing yourself will get you through the entire journey.

Don’t Be Afraid to Identify Your Challenges

As I mentioned earlier in this blog post my weight has always been a clear-cut challenge for me. My weight has fluctuated my entire life. I am now in my thirties and still struggle to stay in shape. Fortunately, my grandfather taught me to not be afraid to identify challenges in my life. I do not necessarily agree with his approach, but I do thank him for calling me out on an area that could use some improvement at least in my own mind. I am not saying that being overweight is a bad thing but in my opinion focusing on one’s health is very important.

Every day now I spend thirty-five minutes on the elliptical machine, in the morning, before starting my work. I think of my grandpa every time I finish my workout. His criticism has become my inspiration for wanting to be a healthier version of myself.

Anticipation and Nervousness Does Not Help the Situation

One of the most important lessons going to my grandpas as a child has taught me is that negative anticipation, and nervousness does not stop or make a situation better. It only prolongs the emotions you are getting ready to feel. Learning how to cope with my feelings has helped me in my personal life and in the business world. I have learned to be more patient which has helped me to make better decisions. I have also learned to accept the outcomes that we can not change and make adjustments to prepare for all possibilities. Learning to understand your emotions really does allow you to feel free.

Love yourself in order to love others

The final lesson my grandfather’s actions taught me was to love myself enough to let others into my life. I treat everyone who I meet the way that I want to be treated, I work hard to lift others up emotionally and not affect them negatively. I am consistently thinking about how my actions could have an impact on the people around me, and I do my best to optimize my actions to add the most value to the most amount of people.

My grandfather may have been very honest, and sometimes that honesty really hurt. But at the end of the day, my grandfather was a hardworking man who had a lot of love and compassion in his heart. He taught me so much that I wish I had an opportunity to thank him for helping to shape me into the man I am today. Thanks, grandpa!

Life Lessons From Parents

Life Lessons From Parents: What My Parents Have Taught Me about Success, and Failure.

I had the opportunity to visit with my mom and dad this weekend, and came to the realization of two things.

  1. My mom and dad are getting older.
  2. I need to cherish the time I have with them.

Visiting with my mom and dad also reminded me of what they have taught me over the course of my lifetime.  I have had more ups and downs over the past 2.5 years than I ever thought possible, and I don’t know if I would have been able to get through the struggles and realize the wins without the guidance they have provided me.

Life Lessons From Parents: Realizing How to be Humble

In 2013 I had the opportunity to leave my job as a digital marketing specialist at a large home care franchisor in the quest to start my own digital marketing business.  When I started the company I had $1000.00 to my name, and a vision to create high-quality service at an affordable cost.  My business boomed! Fast forward 2 years, and I had over 50 franchise clients and a yearly revenue of around $250,000.  I had come along way from the $40,000 a year salary that I made prior to starting my own business.  My parent’s guidance allowed me to stay humble, and save a lot of the earning that I made from the business.

Most people would have bought a new car, maybe a house, or luxury items.  Every time my heart told me to use the money to buy a want I remembered my parent’s guidance on investing money only into needs.  I focused my efforts on maintaining my financial situation and living for the future not just today.  I also began to give more than I ever had in previous years.  The influx of money allowed me to make more of a difference in the community, and have an impact on the landscape of my own life.

Life Lessons From Parents: Realizing How to Pick Me Up Again

I know what you are probably thinking…..why would you need to pick yourself up? It sounds like you are on the right track? The truth is I made a terrible business decision.  The business decision would rip the business right out of my grasp.  Last year I decided I would take on a partner in the business versus hiring additional staff.  I was hoping that a partner would allow me to focus on specific aspects of the business day to day.  Unfortunately, the business partnership did not turn out to be a healthy choice.

The partner was not focused on customer service and started to create a negative impression from our book of business.  After several hard months, and the loss of many long term clients I decided the best move for me was to sell the remaining business to the partner.
The situation only grew worse when the partner accepted the business on a promise to pay, and then informed me that they would be unable to pay for the business.  I considered taking the business back over but at this point, most of the clients were gone.  My strategic decision had killed the business and kicked me out in the process.

This experience has been one of the hardest challenges I have ever faced.  There have been several nights where I have cried myself to sleep knowing what I have lost.  Thankfully my parent’s guidance has always stuck with me, and I know they would say you need to pull yourself up, and take this as an opportunity to reflect, and learn.

The past 6 months I have been doing exactly that.  I took a new position with a great company as a marketing communication manager, a role I probably would not have been able to obtain without my entrepreneurial background.  I have also taken this opportunity to really plan for my next business opportunity in the future.  Careful planning will allow me to overcome some of the issues, and bad decisions that I made the first time around.  I have not let a bad decision, and the loss of a larger income ruin my spirit or my outlook on the future.

Life Lessons From Parents: Creating a Life of Long and Short Term Goals

My parents have also reinforced that to be successful you need to be able to set both long, and short term goals.  In the past few years, I have achieved several long term goals.  1.) I bought our first home this past summer 2.) I began to save for retirement and created a rainy day fund. 3.) I took my first international trip to Ireland 3.) I am 4 classes away from getting my bachelors degree, and hopefully taking my career to new levels.

My mom and dad worked very hard to instill the belief in goals.  When I was growing up they would always have me set goals, and work with me to achieve them.  I thank my parents for their continued support in helping me reach my dreams.

Life Lessons From Parents: Putting Family First

Let’s face it there’s not a lot of hours in a day.  The time we do have is filled with work, school, and other activities.  My parents have always taught me that family should be my primary focus.  Every decision that I make has the best interest of my family in mind.  An example of this is going back to school.  Does going back to school have an impact on my time? Yes of course it does….but the time I am spending at school is short term, and it will provide my family with value in the long term.  The point is putting family first does not always mean providing them with more of your time.  It means that you are always thinking about how your decisions will impact them.

Life Lessons From Parents: Takeaways

My mom and dad have taught me more about life and overcoming obstacles than anyone else in my lifetime.  It is easy to forget that our parents are aging, and they will not be with us forever.  Make sure that you take the time to spend with them, and leverage the experiences and guidance that they have to offer you.  My parents have changed the course of my life, and I am so thankful for them…. I love you, mom and dad.