Nothing can prepare you for the joys of fatherhood. Everything changes the day you set eyes on your newborn, and a new path — full of love and responsibility — immediately emerges.
You must now serve as a caregiver and mentor to a child whom you will help guide into adulthood. It's daunting. It's terrifying. And it's the greatest thing you will ever do.
As every entrepreneur knows, starting your own business is another one of life’s great joys. While it differs from parenthood, of course, this journey represents a special type of creation that generates its own sense of fulfillment.
If you hope to be successful in either of these challenging and rewarding walks of life, it helps to cultivate certain characteristics. When you break it down, just about every successful entrepreneur shares four specific qualities:
1. Having Vision
If a startup has no direction, it isn’t going anywhere. It begins with a business plan and requires a commitment to building something, day by day, for years to come. Plans do change and evolve over time. New opportunities emerge. Still, it all starts with the initial vision that motivated you to create something great.
2. Staying Organized
Organization and long-term vision often go hand and hand. You may be able to have one without the other — but practicing both at the same time is the best way to make sure you stay on track. Organization, at its core, is what helps you accomplish all the small tasks and build the daily habits that help you achieve your long-term plans.
3. Understanding Risk
Your company won’t grow if you never take any chances. At the same time, you can’t be foolish and expose yourself to unnecessary threats. You don’t need to avoid risks — you need to manage them. Be smart and always understand what’s at stake. Then navigate the waters ahead with confidence.
4. Embracing Innovation
Few things work exactly as planned. You need to learn that early and embrace a spirit of adaptability and innovation. When things change course unexpectedly, you can’t panic. This is the time to find — or build — the right solutions that will ensure you still hit your goals. The best entrepreneurs believe they can innovate their way past any challenge.
Leading by Example
There’s one more thing you need to build a great business: leadership. While it is discussed constantly, many people still take the wrong approach.
Some lead by fear. This may work for a time, but you will probably lose your star employees and struggle to maintain employee morale. Some lead by trying to be everybody's friend. This will break down as well because, at some point, your employees will not respect your decisions.
Really, the only method that will prove successful over time is leading by example.
When you lead by example, you show others what is important. You show that nobody, not even the person at the top, is above doing the hard work that helps the company succeed. You show that you're willing to get your hands dirty, and you show everyone that you actually are competent and capable — not just someone who knows how to give orders.
Above all, leading by example creates respect. People will see that you really walk the walk — and they will want to follow along.
The Ultimate Mentorship
Ultimately, this is as much a lesson for life as it is for business.
Fatherhood is a humbling experience and something nobody knows how to do at the beginning. But, you get better with time as long as you put the work in and dedicate yourself to this vital responsibility.
You get the honor of spending the rest of your life being a central figure in this young person’s life. Nothing can compare with the feeling of striving every single day to become a guiding light — the mentor whom they can look up to forever.
There is no greater fulfillment and no greater satisfaction.
This is the ultimate mentorship in life no matter what you do in the world of business.
And, best of all, it's a two-way street. You will learn as much from them as they learn from you as you walk down this path together — hand in hand the whole way.
Happy Father’s Day!
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