My first exposure to small business was occasionally “working” with my father when I was a boy. I call it working, but it wasn’t really working. It was an 8 year-old boy spending time with his father and handing him tools when he asked for them (which was rare because all the tools he needed were typically within arm’s reach). So, I would sit around and complain about how bored I was, how boring THE WORK was, then ask repeatedly, “are you done yet?” To this day, I’m still not sure why he continued to bring me back to work with him.
It wasn’t until I was older and became more observant, that I started to appreciate the time my father and I spent “on the job.” I realized this valuable time was less about working, and more about learning. He was demonstrating the fundamentals of successful earning by operating a small business.
His formula for success?
LISTEN TO THE CUSTOMER AND FOCUS ON QUALITY
It’s so simple. Yet these are still two of the hardest concepts for many small business owners to comprehend, especially when first starting out.
My father didn’t attend a business school. Instead, his business education was through trial and error. His business success is not a story of huge monetary gains. He didn’t strive to become a millionaire, and he didn’t want to expand his business to more than a Sole-Proprietorship.
Instead, he consciously contained the growth of his business to ensure his role in the outcome of the finished product. He wanted financial freedom, but at the end of the day, he didn’t want to worry about the quality of an employee’s performance. Continue reading “TWO KEY CONCEPTS I LEARNED BY OBSERVING MY FATHER’S SMALL BUSINESS”