My Father’s Entrepreneurial Gifts Keep Giving

My Father’s Entrepreneurial Gifts Keep Giving
My Father’s Entrepreneurial Gifts Keep Giving

It was clear that my apple fell very close to my father's tree when I was four years old. With my toys neatly arranged on my blanket one afternoon in 1978, I eagerly waited for my Dad to come home from work and "shop" in my "store." A shrewd shopper, he carefully considered each item for sale and finally asked me how much his final selection would cost.  With blonde tilted head, I naturally responded, "Well...how much do you have?" My parents love retelling that story, and
I know it still makes Dad happy how I have taken after him in many ways.

It was never anyone's plan or intention for me to follow his footsteps in business and franchising. Regardless, I am forever grateful to him and my mother for paving the way for me. With Father’s Day in mind, I give thanks for a few of my father's gifts.

Showing me that fortune rewards the brave. My grandmother went to church, lit four candles and called my Dad begging him not to quit his “secure” job at 3M when he told her he was
moving our family to Atlanta where he would open his VR Business Brokers franchise. I was eight, my brother was two, and my mother was a homemaker. There was no other paycheck, and we didn't know anyone in Atlanta. It was indeed a risk. And it paid off. Our family has enjoyed a quality of life that we likely would not have if he had stayed in corporate life.

Hard wiring me to work for myself. Ups and downs were definitely a part of being a child in an entrepreneurial family. Hence, I entered adulthood wired that way. Being responsible for signing my own paycheck that goes up and down is as natural to me as turning a doorknob. Over the years peers have expressed their desire to be their own boss, but cannot make the mental transition as to how you go from relying on a regular paycheck to managing the irregularity of entrepreneurial compensation. I admit there are moments when I think a regular paycheck would be nice when I'm having a stressful spell. But having been on the other side and seeing what tradeoffs my peers make for that regular paycheck, I prefer the ups and downs and am grateful for that training at a young age.

Forcing me to take jobs that were not "cool." Dad insisted that I work and that I take jobs that would teach me a skill that would benefit me later. I knew something about sales, customer service, daily reports, working in a team, and managing others upon college graduation.

"I did not know it at the time, but all that prepared me to take on running a franchise on my own at 22 years old."

Bragging about me to me. Dad is in the "silent generation," known for not being expressive with their feelings. Silent is not a word that anyone who knows my father would ever use to describe him. He's never been bashful about telling me directly and to many others how proud he is of me. At times, working for yourself will test your confidence and those words of belief and pride mean a lot, especially from the primary male model in my life.

Speaking of my Dad, he just published some great advice for graduating millennials about the impact of setting goals. He gave me this same advice when I graduated college 20 years ago and it’s paid in spades. For this and so many other gifts, thank you Dad.

Exploring multi-generational family business ownership? Learn from the experiences of franchise owners, Jada and her mother, Cindy and enjoy watching the video series with Michael and his mother, Fran.


Leslie Kuban is the Owner and CEO of FranNet of Georgia; an Atlanta based Franchise Consulting Firm. Leslie has a proven track record of helping over 400 people successfully transition from corporate life to business ownership. Leslie and her team offer over 60 years combined expertise and her personal experience as a franchise owner gives her a unique perspective to help her clients assess their real opportunities, risks, and timing to make sound decisions.

To stay connected to a wealth of information on becoming your own boss, visit our Facebook and "like" our page. Leslie can be reached at lkuban@frannet.com.

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