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  • Writer's pictureSylvia

Entrepreneurship: 5 essential success factors I inherited from my Grandpa

When I was in the university, I remember dreaming about developing my own business, travelling around the world and having a lot of success stories to talk about. Back then I was confident that I will work very hard, gather all the required knowledge (like it was specific and limited) and make everything right, from the beginning till the end … Professors, Business managers, Business owners, Entrepreneurs etc in my young eyes were people who knew everything I wanted to know about business success and to be fair, they taught me a lot …

Couple of decades later though, I realized that there was someone else who actually inculcated in me the fundamental rules of a successful business owner! This was my grandpa, who spent all his life in the village working as a farmer and had tons of life wisdom, although the only time he went to the university was to attend my graduation. Here are the 5 rules he followed throughout his life:

1. Love what you do

I still remember his blue eyes sparkling when he could gather the first fruits from a small tree he had planted just a year back. He was touching every plant with so much love and care like they were all his kids and he had a special connection with each one of them. People used to say that his production was always top quality and other farmers used to seek his advice when their trees were not doing well. He went through a lot of challenges and hardships but his devotion to what he wanted to do kept him going. Love and Passion about what you do can bring above average results, influence people around you and keep you going even when things are tough! 😊

2. Wake up early

I remember him waking up before 5:00 am every day. It was strange for me as none was chasing him to start his day so early. But he was clear: ‘’You need to start your day early and finish all the important things you have to do before noon’’. When Robin Sharma published ‘’The 5am club’’ to stress the importance of starting early, planning and being in control of the day I smiled remembering this strange to me routine my grandpa had. Waking up early is essential to focus, plan and prioritize away from the usual disruptions of the day.

3. Be prepared for the bad weather

Being a farmer, specially back then, it was not easy at all. A snow or a heavy rain were more than enough to destroy overnight a year of hard work and preparation and my grandpa knew that very well. He was diversifying his product portfolio with different types of fruits and vegetables, covering the trees when bad weather was approaching and always keeping a ‘’back up plan’’ in case things were going very wrong. The most important part of this preparation though was his mindset. He was focused on the solution, what to do to overcome the challenge, instead of spending time and effort on feeling sad about the situation.

4. Know to wait.

I loved the grapes … I still do … and every summer I couldn’t wait for the time that I could taste them. My grandpa was laughing when I was disappointed from the sour taste because I was ignoring his advice to wait few more days. ‘’You need to learn to wait… plant the seed and wait … it will not happen overnight my dear ’’ he used to say . Today we expect everything to happen fast. We need an information, we want to talk to someone, we press a button and we can instantly get what we want. However, in business, fast doesn’t always mean successful. Knowing to be patient and stay motivated until things happen can define the outcome.

5. Your people your family

During the high season grandpa used to hire workers to help him with the gathering of the fruits and vegetables. I was really amazed of his way of ‘’managing his team’’ as we would say it today. He treated them like they were part of his family. He had my grandma cooking breakfast and lunch also for them and if they had nowhere else to go they could sleep at home (after second world war era). He knew very well that the more he appreciated them, listened to their life challenges and supported them the better their work outcome would be and the less he had to worry about finding new workers.

World is changing, but key principles are still here because we always have to deal with People in Business 😊

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