Dads impart all kinds of wisdom on their kids.
When it comes to finances, the lessons last a lifetime.
In honor of Father’s Day, we asked entrepreneurs and small business owners to share what their dad taught them about money. Here’s what they learned …
Don’t spend money you don’t have
Marty Rogers, founder of Lead Peep
“My dad always taught me that if I didn’t have money, I shouldn’t spend it or lend it, which is a lesson I’m still mindful of today. Teaching me to stay out of the red means I now run my business as lean as possible and make every penny count.”
“He used to say to me during lazy days, ‘If you’re not working for it, somebody else will be, and I think you can guess who the loser is.’”
Remember to balance through ratios
Misha Kaura, award-winning fashion designer
“My dad taught me the 80/20 rule: Save 80% of what I make and spend only 20%.
“He also told me that anything I want must be bought in cash, never on credit, such that bills are always paid on time. Perhaps the best advice he has given me is to put a third of my investments in bonds, a third in medium-risk areas, and a third in high-risk areas.
“This idea of a balanced portfolio and balanced life has been enormously helpful to me as I’ve started my career in the arts.”
Be ready to work for what you want
Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal
“When I wanted my dad to help me buy a car when I turned 16, he said, ‘There are three eight-hour workdays in 24 hours.
“‘Pick which two you want to work and you can buy anything you want.’”
“No other piece of advice has rung truer—and he was correct.”
Expect things to change
Cristian Rennella, CEO and co-founder of El Mejor Trato
“My father had his own business for 24 years. He told me, ‘The worst mistake that a business owner can make is to unconsciously think that his business model will last forever.’
“In the end, the only constant is change. That is why an owner must always be thinking about what will come.
“Your competitive advantage should not be in lowering prices but always trying new things. Try to disrupt your own business—or someone else will. Thanks to my dad, my business continues to grow and is focused on constant innovation through technology.”
Don’t place too much value on money
Elizabeth Fournier, owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services
“I gained all of my financial wisdom from my father because my mother died when I was quite young.
“Fortunately, I was raised by a very responsible man who had a healthy respect for money, but certainly did not place a high value on it.
“It was so important to him to impart that money doesn’t buy you credibility, a good reputation, or love. I learned from my father that at the end of the day, I could lay my head on my pillow each night if I kept my prices at the funeral home as low as possible to be able to help others through the toughest time of their life.
“And you know what? He was 100% correct.”
Give yourself some wiggle room in your budget
Ann Brookes, attorney at law
“It’s with credit to my father that I’m a tax attorney. My father taught me to allow for price changes when building a budget. Sometimes gasoline is $2.50 a gallon and sometimes it’s over $4.
“He taught me to budget for the higher prices.”
“If they don’t come about, I had extra money saved. If they did, I didn’t come up short. I apply this with my clients now.”
Make it easy for customers to pay you
Sophie Morrison, best-selling author, business coach, and real estate entrepreneur
“My dad is an entrepreneur and EduTech venture capitalist. He would always tell me that you should make it easy for your customers to buy your product or service.
“I remember going shopping with my dad and not being able to find a sales associate or watching him try to buy something online where the check-out button wasn’t in an obvious spot.
“Keeping things simple, logical, and user-friendly goes a long way for your clients.”
Invest in quality
Lance J. Robinson, owner and lead attorney at The Law Office of Lance J. Robinson
“My dad taught me to invest in quality, even at a higher price tag. In terms of equipment, for example, a cheap tool will likely need to be repaired and replaced countless times. Invest in the higher quality one, and you’ll only pay once.
“There is often a similar trade-off with services. If you want quality service, you may need to pay a higher price or be willing to wait a little longer.
“These are things I keep in mind whenever I make any purchase for my law firm.”
Look for ways to save and invest wisely
Cassandra D Freeman, founder of Thoughtful Inspirations, LLC
“The biggest money lesson that I learned from my father is to save as much and as often as you can. The second biggest money lesson was to find good investments to grow your assets.
“When I was a little girl, he would place a huge empty water jug in my room, and I would fill it up with change and dollars. I can still remember rolling up the coins and taking them to the bank to put them in my savings account.
“To this day, I still live by his lessons and both myself and my children all have those big empty water jugs in our rooms to hold our change.”