My parents inspire me. I have written about the business lessons I learned from my dad and my mom in the past. When Harrison Kratz, Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the new Online MBA program at the University of North Carolina, offered to write about the business lessons he learned from his mom, I couldn’t wait to read it.
As a new professional living in the dream in New York City, I continue to find myself reflecting on the steps that I took to get here, the people I’ve met, and the lessons I’ve learned. There seems to be one person in my life whose lessons resonate stronger than ever before – that woman is none other than my mom.
It’s funny how the simple lessons we learn when we’re young carry with us, even into situations where we least expect it.
Here are some of my mom’s simple business lessons that impact my career today:
Don’t Lie, Just Say You Are Sorry
Lying or dancing around the tough question always seemed to be the easy thing to do growing up and I did my fair share of both. That being said, I started to grow and understand the power of just saying sorry after an argument or mistake – I owe that all to my mom.
Now that I am a communications professional focusing on social media, this lesson is more prevalent than ever for me. I’ve learned that brands (and people) no longer can lie or dance around questions that demand answers. In a transparent world where the public is more informed than ever, we must take ownership of our mistakes and simply say sorry before anything else when we do mess up. Saying sorry humanizes our brands and allows us to move on and grow from those experiences. Lying or not apologizing will only make things worse now more than ever.
Finish Your Homework Before You Go On the Computer
Probably my least favorite saying ever. I tried to dismiss it anytime my mom even started to say those words. I could do the work easily, I just never wanted to. Why sit there and do chemistry or algebra while I could be on espn.com or on my Play Station?
[Related Post: 7 Habits of Highly Productive Women]
Now, I realize that lesson was so much more than just getting my homework done. It was about self-discipline. I had to learn to get my work done before I immersed myself in distractions. I’m definitely growing from those past tendencies, but still having trouble blocking out distractions while I work (especially because of Twitter and Facebook). This is something I will continue to learn as I grow as a professional.
Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated
Now this sounds like an easy one, but I’m looking at it from a communications and marketing standpoint. Now that consumers have the choice of what they want to hear/see on a minute-to-minute basis, advertising and marketing has entered an entirely new era. Companies need to be genuine, engaging, and non promotional to connect with their customers.
With that in mind, I think its important for marketers to start thinking of themselves as consumers when trying to communicate with their customers. How do you want to be treated? How do you want to be marketed to? For me, this is so important as I progress because I need to be able to connect with my audiences and ultimately, treat them the way I wanted to be treated.
What Childhood Lessons Became Business Lessons for You?
I could probably go on and on about what my mother has taught me over the years, but these three lessons from my mom really resonate with where I am at in my career today. I’m very thankful for all of my mentors but clearly I am who I am because of my mother. Thanks mom.
What business lessons have you learned from your parents? We would love to trade stories!