My father is a goofball, a gifted businessman and a great soul. I am beyond lucky to have him in my life. He turns 67 today and I wanted to celebrate the milestone with the lessons he has taught me:
Look at Where Your Bias Is
My Dad manages investments for a group of clients. His favourite investors are Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. In university we would talk about what I was learning. I would buy into some ideas immediately and rail against others. He would counter with “Don’t discount the facts you don’t like. Look at multiple viewpoints and figure out where your bias is. Then you can make a decision.”
Do the Right Thing
“Would you that on the front page of the paper?” - Dad after I explained a nasty email I was going to send after a trying meeting with a client. Okay fine. It would have felt good! For about 5 minutes...
Buy Quality, Not Quantity
To my mother's chagrin I get my love for clothes, stereos and cars from my Dad. He’s taught me that you don't need a lot, you just need things that last and are a pleasure to use.
Leave a Margin of Error
Something we don't do enough of anymore. Inevitably things will go wrong and it happens more often than we think (The Black Swan is a great book on this topic). So build in time, money and resources into your plan so when the inevitable hits, you’ve got some breathing room.
Try a lot + Love What You Do
My Dad started a high-end used menswear store, was a venture capitalist, a CFO and a fisherman. He's raced cars, remodelled half of our home and has a wonderful garden we eat out of all summer. He's up at 5:00am and in the office before 7. He's pursued a lot of careers and hobbies that interest him. That’s given me the courage start my own businesses and pursue them with reckless abandon.
Give it Your All
He's taught me there is no better feeling then giving a day all you've got and going home 'good tired.' That being said, I always get calls in the winter: “Hey. You wanna go skiing on Thursday?"
Just Show Up
Whether it was a hike, school play or helping me build furniture. My Dad has always been there, lending a helping hand or just hanging out. He’s told me that if I wanted to know someone or something all I have to do is show up and ask for it. It’s led me to travel around the world and have friends and mentors I couldn’t dream of.
Thanks for everything Pops, I love ya.