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On this Father's Day, I have been thinking about my late father, David Hamilton a lot and, along with my Mom, how their raising me and my brothers made us who we are...good men and great dads in our own rights.
Dad had a high school education and though not overly academically savvy, he was extremely sharp with common sense and drive to learn and succeed.
His professional life consisted of starting as a shift fireman when I was a newborn and worked hard and learning on the job the nuances and technical aspects of how to be a good firefighter and, over time moving through the ranks to ultimately attain the rank of Deputy Chief in our city, where he held that position for nearly twenty years before retiring into a lesser stressful position in another city department.
While a fireman, to help supplement income he started and ran a successful painting business and also won a county council seat, which he held for four terms.
In addition to his work life he took the time to either assist or serve as head coach for the basketball, baseball and football teams that my three brothers and I participated in (there were many). All the while, he was easily a good model loving husband to my mother.
To this day, my three brothers and I are all business owners who have had success and he left an incredible legacy for his family when he passed in 2012.
I have been thinking about how much of an impact he has had on me and how much of me being a good father to my two kids and strong, loving husband to my wife is due to his watching him in action.
On top of that, my success in business, in particular in marketing and sales has also come from many lessons I learned from him...many of which I had no idea I was learning as I grew and matured over time.
Not really an eye-opening concept. If you approach your day trying to be that way and making it a priority and making it genuine, it allows you to be exposed to more opportunities. The saying 'you get more with sugar than with vinegar' comes into play here.
I fully believe the people I come into contact with daily and weekly, appreciate that.
Treat Others as they are the Most Important Person in the Room
Paying close attention to the one you are meeting or consulting with, smiling, not getting distracted with smart phones, making eye contact while conversing...all important in making someone feel important...it goes right along with the next point.
My Dad always believed that people had two ears and one mouth for a reason. I believe the same way. In sales, you have to understand that a lot of your success can be predicated on how much you key in on whom you are dealing with, asking good questions and LISTENING to their responses. Your prospect will undoubtedly feel important and know that you are there to help solve their problem.
Make it a priority to get out and meet people. My Dad had this down to a science...he belonged to numerous social organizations, he was a politician who believed in working both sides of the aisle, a coach of many sports teams who got to know a lot of kids and their parents. I fully understand that concept. I have tried to pattern myself in a similar way and now also try and expand that beyond the grassroots level with social media tools like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others.
Hard work and persistence
Never saw a person work so hard as my Pop! I feel like putting my nose to the grindstone has helped me achieve some nice things in business and life so far and I am far from done. My work ethic is very strong and I am going to keep hitting it hard. I also feel like, if you enjoy what you do and stay persistent with the goals within, success follows right along. I love helping business owners with problems!
Master your craft
Dad was not going to be limited by having just a high school diploma. His work ethic and ability to network was stellar, but he also mastered the crafts/jobs he did. Dad took classes and numerous training modules on the fire department and his administrators took notice of that when he was promoted.
He started a painting business to make extra money and became a very skilled painter in our community and his ability to network and make friends allowed him the chance to serve our community on council for sixteen years and continued to learn the nuances of his position while in office.
Today's world allows me to learn constantly about sales, marketing and general business by using newsletters, blogs, webinars, as well as attending meetings and continuing education to get better and better at what I do.
There were many other life lessons I picked up from my Dad that I use regularly, but I'll stop there. The appreciation, respect and love I have for him has grown more and more after his passing more than three years ago and I thank him for teaching me so much. I am a lucky man!
What lessons did your Fathers teach you, either knowingly or unknowingly?
Comment to let me know.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL!
New Year's resolutions.
Most people make them at the beginning of a new year. Many aren't able to follow through with them.
I was pondering my own resolutions this past week...I want to lose weight (15 pounds) this year, I want to be an even better husband and dad, be less stressed. Those are attainable. The first one has a number attached to it, so it's measurable; the other two, well, I will have to put in some practices and habits to allow those to happen and my family and my blood pressure will tell me how I am doing with those.
I was also thinking about how I can resolve to be a more successful businessperson and networker this year. Success can be measured. too, in many different ways. For instance, increase in sales (10% would be nice), in my retention of business (keeping it at more than 85%), in how my sales team increases their sales under my leadership (looking at and measuring the data on reports), etc.
In addition, I thought of some resolutions in regards to my LinkedIn profile on how I can improve it, make it stronger and more useful for me and more attractive to others as I try and grow my network and sales numbers. Maybe some of these will look familiar to you:
Those were my resolutions for my LinkedIn profile for 2015. Do any of these ring true for you?
What are other ways making your profile stand out more by providing value, useful information and helpful content that make you a stronger networker and businessperson?
Words of wisdom and news you can use courtesy of myself and others around the internet.