Business Lessons I Learned From My Mom and Dad

Jo and John KearneyOver the past six months both of my parents have passed away.  I was very lucky to have had two great parents. They laid the foundation on which I have built a wonderful life and career.  I worked with them both closely for over twenty years and together they were my steady and consistent mentor.  They taught me mostly by example.  Now that I think about it, it was a masters course in how to do business in such a way as to make the community and the world a better place.  Here are some the lessons I learned from my parents on how to conduct business.

  • Lead with service. The number one goal is to be of service to each person who comes through the door. Whether it results in a sale or not.
  • Treat everyone well. Not just the people who you think can help you.  It all comes around in the end.
  • Be grateful. Know how lucky we are to be doing what we do. Relish in the opportunity to meet nice and interesting people.
  • Love is reflected with love. It’s amazing how nice everyone is to work with when you don’t take the bait at any point to make it confrontational. The attitude that “everyone is a friend” makes it much easier to make friends. “The Golden Rule” works in all instances.
  • Go the extra mile. Take the time to do something special. Make someone’s day. Do the unexpected. Not only will others notice, you will feel great about yourself.
  • Be Consistent.  Be someone people can count on. Being dependable and doing small things consistently adds up to big things over time.
  • See the best in others. Look for the best in others. Look to compliment, don’t look to criticize.
  • Have compassion for others. Give someone a break. Be kind. Do something unexpectedly nice. Take a chance on someone where others have passed. Use your intuition about people, not always their credit score.
  • Win-win-win negotiations are best. Be the first one to suggest a reasonable solution. Go more than half-way when needed. Take a long view and don’t take negotiations personally.
  • Have an abundance mentality – be generous. Expect the good to continue and don’t be afraid to share it with others.
  • Do everything with integrity. Honesty, transparency, fairness are always the right things to do. If it seems like it’s in the grey area, it’s probably the wrong thing to do.
  • Don’t burn bridges. Treat everyone with respect. Never leave on a sour note. Don’t take advantage of an opportunity to say “I told you so”.
  • Work hard. Showing up every day and working hard when you are at work ensures longevity.
  • Have fun! Deciding to have fun wherever you are is a great recipe for having a happy life.
  • Set goals. If you can see it and believe it you can achieve it.  Aim high and write them down.
  • Take a long view. Everything that you do should be congruent with the person who you want to be and be leading you in the direction that you want to go.
  • Smile. A warm and genuine smile help every situation and it puts people at ease.
  • Take responsibility. Don’t pass the buck. Do more than your share. Be the first to find a solution and the last to place blame.
  • Be loyal. Take care of your clients, your friends and your family.

Obviously I have a wonderful legacy to fulfill and I’m striving every day to embody these principles into my thoughts and actions. In in doing so I remember and honor my parents.