Lessons From Dad

This morning, I came across an article in the Philippine Star about a Dad who is celebrating his 90th birthday. Incidentally, this man is a well known billionaire whom I sometimes see or bumped into at the Crown Plaza.

A majority of “Rags to riches” stories of business titans in the Philippines had lost one or both parents at a very young age. Henceforth they’re  forced by circumstances to step up and help provide for the family.

One such business titan is a Dad, John Gokongwei Jr. of Robinsons malls and a string of businesses. In his Dad’s 90th birthday, Lance Gokongwei released a book entitled “LESSONS FROM DAD, John Gokongwei Jr.”

Lance wrote:

“My father, John Gokongwei Jr., started out as an entrepreneur at age 13, after his father died. He sold fried peanuts cooked in garlic and dreamt of one day having enough money to bring his brothers and sister back to the Philippines. They had been sent to China after his father passed away. When Dad was 15, he got on his bicycle everyday to head to the marketplace to sell thread, soap, candles, and other things he felt people needed. He woke up earlier than anybody else and worked longer than anybody else.”

Here are Lessons Lance learned from his Dad:

… have dinner together at home
… take care of your siblings
… spend as much time as you can with your family
… exchange stories at the dinner table
… support each other
… learn how to share
… know your roots
… choose the right partner
… spend time raising your kids properly
… invest in education (“it’s never too late to get an education”)
… help educate others
… if you don’t work, you don’t eat
… don’t be beholden to anyone
… never put all your eggs in one basket
… know what your customers need
… don’t be afraid to be David among the Goliaths
… don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty
… women are as smart and as strong as men, maybe even more
… lead by example
… be a team player
… take care of your people
… learn from difference in opinion
… stay humble
… it’s okey to make mistakes
… everyone encounters disappointments, learn to move on
… march to the beat of your own drum
… hire the best you can afford
… learn to negotiate so you can get a better deal
… don’t give your children a sense of entitlement, make them earn it
… stay cool under pressure
… be open to change
… dream big
… get enough sleep, stop smoking, live simply
… exercise

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