13 Business Lessons I Learned from my Dad…

13 Business Lessons I Learned from my Dad…

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It’s a pretty special day today…  My Dad’s 70th birthday!

My Dad has recently retired, but was self-employed for decades doing building and maintenance contracting. 

His main client was the local council housing authority, followed by the every day public who he did everything from landscaping, maintenance jobs, right the way through to renos and major residential builds for.

In this post, I’ve shared 13 of the many things that I learned from him, that have been fundamental to my growth and successes today.

He didn’t sit down and literally ‘teach’ me these things, they are my observations and interpretations of what I learned by watching him as I grew up…

There are so many, but I’ve picked some of the key ones that stand out to me in business – particularly in the hope my dad helps some of you too…. 💖

So here we go…



My Dad ‘built’ things for a living.

He’d work sometimes for weeks or months on a project, continuing to build build build, brick by brick, nail by nail, saw by saw…

Watching him, it looked like it would never get done. 

(Sound familiar?!)

Then one day, it would be.

Ta-da! The finished result!

I’d look and think ‘WOW! He literally made something amazing – from NOTHING!!!’. 

Making something, from nothing, is absolutely possible.

With nothing but will, skill and determination you can create something useful, awe-inspiring and highly valuable.

Thats alchemy.

Thats creation.

And creating is everything if you want to become anything

The Value of Hard Work:

“Hard works doesn’t kill you. But laziness will”.

My Dad is now in well earned retirement, but when he was working was the hardest working person I’ve still ever met. 

He showed me that simple action, creates results. If you want something, go work for it, go EARN it, and you’ll have it.

Never Give Up:

Dad always said to me “where there’s a will, theres a way”.

No matter what challenges I’ve watched him face, he’s showed me that there are always multiple ways of tackling a problem.

No matter how impossible it seems – as long as you have WILL and determination, you can solve anything and always win –  if you refuse to be beaten by circumstances or your own frustration.

Sacrifice is Investment:

“Mummy, why does daddy go to work every day?”, a tiny me asked.

What might look like sacrifice (or feel like it at times), is actually investment in tomorrow’s survival, joys, luxuries and legacy.

When you start feeling sorry for yourself, look at what you’ve ALREADY got, and what’s to come if you keep ‘investing’ that time and effort.

The impacts of your seed-sowing will ripple far beyond what you could ever imagine.


I witnessed such integrity in how my dad ran his business.

At a time when many trades-based businesses were ripping people off, I saw my dad show absolute transparency with his customers in his pricing and what a job would involve.

I listened to him explain in detail every step he’d need to undertake to complete a clients job request so that they understood the scope of work, and then break down his supplies, materials and labour costs meticulously in his quoting. 

He got repeat business for decades from Council and public alike for being a ‘proper good egg’ as they would say.

A decent, genuine person, always always wins.

If your competition are treading on your toes right now, just keep being a good, honest egg, and you’ll be just fine when they’ve crashed and burned.


“Sometimes life is a crock of sh*t Sarah, but you just gotta get back up again and get on with it”

Dad showed me that resilience isn’t about being immune to life’s hard knocks, it’s getting back up again everytime you fall down that counts. 

Complaining doesn’t help.

Picking up the tools and trying again is what helps. 

Accountability & Responsibility:

“Nobody is going to do it for you Sarah, so if you want it, you’ve gotta get on with it”. 

We all have stuff we have to do that we dont like doing.


It’s your responsibility.

Do it.

Stop waiting for other people to do things.

Take responsibility and get it done.

You want to be the captain of your ship?

Take the helm and start sailing it.

It’s not going to sail itself.

For Goodness Sakes, Have a Laugh:

“We’re all gonna die one day, might as well laugh about it”.

Stop taking yourself too seriously.

Stop giving a cr*p about what everyone thinks or what everyone else is doing.

Have fun.

Be ‘daft’.

Be the stupidest, silliest, maddest, and happiest person in the room.

Wear the stupid hat.

Dance the ridiculous dance.

Don the crazy costume.

Go on the insane adventure.

Make a fool of yourself.

Be different.

But whatever you do, don’t be BORED and BORING.

Have fun, laugh your head off, do silly, spontaneous and hilarious things.

Life is for living.

When life gets you down, laugh at it and say “yea, is that all ya got?!” and cackle at it like a mad man.

Extraordinary Has ‘Ordinary’ in it:

My dad can turn the most ordinary, every day, boring tasks, into the most fun and hilarious adventures.

Got lost? 

It’s a wonderous ‘magical mystery tour’.

Gotta find a dumb screw in the giant hardware store? 

It’s a treasure hunt.

Only got random stuff left in the fridge and can’t be arsed to go to the shops? 

It’s a tapas floor-picnic.

Going under a bridge? 

It’s where the Trolls live.

Create your own adventures in every day things, and life becomes much more fun and magical!

Give a Cr*p:

I watched my Dad go above and beyond for everyone he served.

Every customer he had, he treated like family.

He took CARE of people way beyond his ‘job quote’.

They trusted him to go into their homes to do work, and then ended up trusting him with their LIVES. 

We became ‘family’ to so many people because of how well Dad treated people he served through his work. 

That REALLY stuck with me, and I’ve built my business on the same foundations of really, genuinely caring about the HUMANS that I am honoured to work with;

When you love the people you get to work with as if they are your best friends and family, every day feels extra meaningful. 

Walking The Talk:

Dad taught me by SHOWING me.

He taught me deep life skills, personal skills and business skills not by sitting me down and teaching me ‘lessons’, but by BEING the things he did. 

By DOING them every day.

By having congruency with what he said and what he did.

By walking the talk, and talking the walk.

Teach what you do, and do what you teach – you’ll leave imprints on people far beyond what you could ever imagine.

Have Agency:

Too many people forgo their own personal agency to appease the needs of others.

“Would you jump off of a cliff just because everyone else is, or somebody told you to Sarah?”

My Dad let me make massive decisions about my life at a very young age.

Including what school I went to.

He made ME research and talk about the pros and cons I saw in decisions I had to make about my life, and rarely made them for me.

He told me to think critically about the various consequences and benefits of my options, and what I wanted as a result for MY life.

This is what AGENCY is.

Making your own decisions for YOU and what YOU want for YOUR life.

When you have agency, you have power, freedom and if not happiness, at least good experience that you can own as yours well-earned to grow from.

And last but not least:…

🌟 Dont be a D!ck.

I think that one speaks for itself 🤣

👏 THANK YOU for coming to my dads TED Talk that he never knew he wrote 👏🤣🤣🤣

I hope my dad taught you something today too.

Sarah x

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