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The First Business Lesson I Learned From My Father


Road through colorful trees in autumn

I was 11 the first time I asked my dad for permission to start my own lawnmowing business. It wouldn't be too difficult, I reasoned. Dad owned all the equipment. I was big enough to easily push the mower down the block to any neighbor's house. All I needed was permission.


Dad pointed out that there was only one problem. I had never mowed a lawn before.


"You should practice on our lawn first," he said. Dad took me out to the yard, helped me start the mower, and showed me how to use it. After a few minutes, he left me alone to finish the job.


Within an hour, I was inside again. "I'm done with the lawn," I said. "Now can I start a business?"


Dad stepped outside and inspected my work. Then he told me to get in the car. We drove to the front of our neighborhood and entered the small front office building, where a middle-aged woman sat alone behind a desk.


"We live in the neighborhood," Dad said. "My son mows lawns. If any neighbors need some lawn care, or if anyone new moves to the neighborhood, here's our home phone number. People can reach Alex at that number."


And just like that, I was in business. Thanks to my dad's marketing mind, I never had to promote the business again. The phone began to ring within a day and hardly stopped ringing until our family eventually moved.


That one conversation kept me busy the whole summer and beyond.


I've learned many business lessons from my dad over the years, but I think this was the first: If you take the right deliberate action, demand takes care of itself.


Today, I follow a similar philosophy in my writing services business. I've found that good writing is its own best marketing strategy. That's why I only do one marketing practice consistently: I write.


Eight years in, that deliberate action still keeps me busy and keeps the bills paid.


Thanks, Dad. And Happy Father's Day.

2 Comments


Nina Mina
Nina Mina
3 days ago

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JoeR Enfo
JoeR Enfo
Jun 26

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