My Mom – My First Mentor

June 24, 2011 in Building Your Business, Goals - Being "Your" Best, Investing In Real Estate

Gala McConnell Childs

 

My First Mentors

I think for most people, you have to grow up to really know and understand your parents; how their upbringing and their “story” continues to influence your life. My mom was way ahead of her time, but I really didn’t understand just how much until I grew up and started my own business.  As I grew older, I realized she was my first mentor.

My parents were both entrepreneurs, and they were both pilots. As a child, I didn’t think it was the least bit odd that my 20 something mother with 4 kids under the age of 6 had gotten her pilot’s license and flew airplanes. It was my “normal”.

A few years before, my dad had come home one day and announced to my mother that he was going to take flying lessons. She thought just a minute and said, “OK I’ll take lessons too”. My dad got a worried look on his face and he said to her, “I’m not sure we can afford for both of us to learn to fly”.  My mom responded, “Yes we can; you’ll just fly half as much”.  That was my “way ahead of her time” mom. How I love that story!

My dad was the oldest of 4 children. He was a general contractor and he operated the family business with his two brothers until his death when I was 16. Growing up, I really didn’t spend much time thinking about the business even though he would take me to job sites from the time I was in elementary school. I loved going with him, but I certainly didn’t understand just how difficult it was to be a small business person. That was just our life; our “normal”.

The Idea of Passive Income

My mom didn’t go to work until I was about 13 or 14 years old. That was her first 9 to 5 job after having 4 children. She had what would be called today an administrative assistant type of position. She was very good at her job. Along the way, she heard that the salon where she got her hair done every week was going to be sold, and she decided to buy it. She never intended to work in this business but even then understood the value of passive income. I’m not really sure whether she even knew the term “passive income”, but she understood the concept.  Eventually she remarried and became part of another family business; my stepfather’s business.

The one thing that I remember growing up is what a struggle she had for most of her life with all of these businesses. She didn’t have a college education. There was no internet, there were no eBooks and there were no mentors to speak of. She truly had to get her learning from the school of “hard knocks.” But through it all, she just stayed on the path and kept going. It never once occurred to her to get another 9 to 5 job once she had escaped.

We really have it so much easier today. The knowledge that we need is so readily available. Opportunities for free and low cost education are everywhere, and all you have to do is ask someone to find a mentor.

Tips for Growing Your Business

If you have a business that is struggling or one that you just want to grow here are some tips for you.Mentor

Find a mentor. There are people in your field that are willing to help you. Just ask.

  • Join a group of like minded people in your field and network. Learn from these folks.
  • Hang out with people that are smarter than you.
  • Bust out of your comfort zone. Do something that’s scary. You’ll feel great afterwards.
  • Spend time everyday learning something new. This one is easy for me.
  • Read at least one book a month that will help you in your business or expand your mind.
  • Invest in yourself and your education.

It’s so much easier to learn everything you need to know than in years past, but you still have to do it! You have to take action.

One thing I know for sure is that if you invest in a mentor or a coach, you your path will be much easier and much more profitable than going it alone. My mom was an entrepreneur, a woman of courage and she was way ahead of her time” in almost every case.  She was my hero and my first mentor.

 

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