Ep 127 | 5 Lessons I Learned from my Entrepreneurial Family
Being an entrepreneur is difficult. All the things happen and it’s an emotional rollercoaster. In this episode, I share with you the five lessons I learned from my entrepreneurial family.
What you will hear in this episode:
→ My backstory
→Think outside the box
→ Being passionate
→ Failure is okay
Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways
[04:30] Networking. Talk to everybody. You never know someone until you have a conversation with them.
[07:34] Think outside the box. Don’t just accept things the way they are. If you don’t like the way it is, think about it differently.
[09:11] Be passionate. Figure out what you love and go after it.
[11:11] Failure. You don’t learn if you don’t try. It’s okay to fail. Just go after the things that are. a little bit scary. Failure is a way that you can keep growing.
[12:35] Confidence. Show up and trust in what you know you’re doing and don’t be apologetic about it.
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[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey there, Sami here with another episode of the digital marketing therapy podcast. And today we're talking about five tips that I've learned growing up in an entrepreneurial household. Now, I didn't realize that these were tips that I was learning when I was growing up. But now that I've gotten into my career and worked with lots of entrepreneurs, and the nonprofit space in the for-profit space, and, you know, just gone through several different jobs, um, it's, you know, been really interesting to really uncover some of these skills and tools that were taught to me as a kid that I'm super thankful for. And super grateful for. So I just thought I would share some of these with you in some ways that you can continue to work on and grow and hone these skills because I have had to do the same. But if not just maybe ways to inspire you to keep moving forward. Because let's face it, being an entrepreneur is difficult, you might be working it on your own, you might not have the support that you want, you might have great success, and then have a period of quietness, all the things happen, and it is an emotional roller coaster. So hopefully one of these five lessons that I've learned from some super successful entrepreneurs in my family will help you out as you navigate through this crazy world. But before we get into it:
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[Canned Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. And each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.
[Body] Okay, so before we get into the five lessons that I've learned, I want to give you a little bit of backstory. I grew up in northwest Iowa and had an entrepreneur for a father who still is still working, he'll never slow down, there's a couple of episodes that he was on in my previous episodes, and I will, for sure, reference those. So you'll learn more about that in a minute. But we were busy, we had a lot going on. And he was running an international business in the fishing industry. And you know, there's four of us kids. And it was a lot. And um, you know, a lot of it was brought into our household as far as business activities. And, you know, it taught me things that I didn't even realize that I was learning. And I have since come to realize as I interact with more professionals in the business space, things that just feel natural and logical. I don't know if you guys have ever had this experience where something that you just think is so normal for you, and you realize that people struggle with or people. It's not normal, right? Like, we know what we know. And our experiences are based on what's modeled for us. So I'm very thankful to have had that modeled by my father. My mother definitely pushed us to think outside the box, I think, and challenged us as well. I'm also thankful to have grandparents, that kind of also set a great example as far as how to just push for what you want and make things happen.
The only person that can make things happen in your life is you and yes, things will happen. Things won't always be a successful failure is okay. But that is just something that was modeled for me that I'm very thankful for. So I want to jump into the five things that kind of come to mind most quickly about, you know, things that I learned as a kid and things that have carried me through into growing and building my business. So the number one thing is talking to everybody. So I definitely learned networking at a young age, which I didn't really think of as networking at the time. But as I mentioned, you know, my dad ran an international business and so we often had people coming from Australia or the Asian markets or you know, Europe. And, you know, he would host these dinners at our house
And so it was often time that we would come downstairs, we would meet and greet with everybody, we talked to everybody. And we're talking like maybe 2030 people would be in our house at one time. And we would come and chat with everybody. And I didn't realize then that I was learning networking skills and learning how to kind of have that small talk and ask questions and just feel comfortable talking to strangers, which I think is really tricky. Definitely a practice and still a practice, it's not always so easy for me to go talk to strangers. But I think something that's really valuable because really, the other lesson that I learned with this was you never know until you have a conversation with somebody, how you are going to connect what it's going to look like, who their connections are, what their passions are, as far as your organization. So I really just feel like talking to everybody, and having all the conversations can be really impactful in the growth of your organization. And the other thing that my dad used to do all the time, which was like, the most embarrassing thing for me, ever, and we laugh about it to this day, is we used to road trip a lot. And my dad would always want to go off the beaten path, never had to take the straight route. And we'd always end up in some like really small town in Montana, or South Dakota, or Wyoming or whatever. And we would pull into this town and you've all seen it, right? It's the diner on the small strip in the small town. And, you know, we walk in and the bell would ring over the door, and everybody's heads would turn and look at us. And I was like, Oh my gosh, it was so embarrassing, because but you know, my dad would go in and just have conversations with these people that were there. And he loved it, he learned so much. We had just like, such different experiences, just really getting to know people, any people having conversations and just learning and hearing their stories and getting perspective, I think it's just you never know what you're going to learn when you talk to somebody. And it's such an incredible thing. It was embarrassing to me at the time. But you know, I think it's kind of cool. My kids would kill me if I did that to them.
Okay, so that's number one, have conversations with as many people as you can, yes, it's networking, but it's also just getting to know people. And you know, building those personal relationships, because you never know where they're going to lead. The second thing that I think I learned was to think outside the box. I know that this has been modeled to me by my grandfather, my grandmother, my father, and my mother, all in different ways.
They were very good at explaining to us, you know, or asking us to figure out solutions to the problems and like, Okay, well, that's great. That's what happened. So what are you going to do about it? Right, so not just accepting things the way they are. But saying, if you don't like the way that it is, think about it differently. Nobody has created the rulebook that things in life, in general, have to be followed in a certain way. So you don't have to do that in your business. This is your business. And if you are an employee or a team member at the business, you know, coming to your boss with a solution and saying, Hey, you know, this isn't working quite right. And I know, this isn't how we've been doing it. But here's an idea of some way we could make it better. People are more willing to make adjustments and change when you provide a solution and not just a Hey, you know, this sucks. This doesn't work. We can't make this work. Well, why can't we make this work? And how can we build upon that to do something differently? So I feel like that was something that was instilled in me through my entire family, which I find tremendous value. And especially if you're in a smaller organization, or you're all volunteer-based, or it's just you and you're not getting paid yet. It's like, all the things. So really thinking outside the box and saying what works for me at this moment, what is going to help me move things forward, right, let's come up with some solutions and some options to make that happen. So that's number two.
Number three is to be passionate. Now one of the things that I always have appreciated about my dad is that it was never that none of us in our family were primed. So there are four kids, right? I'm the oldest but none of us were ever primed to sort of taking over the business. And he said to us several times, like if any of you showed real interest in one to take it over, like yes, maybe we would have had conversations. It was never something I wanted to do. So it was never something I was going to do. And so what he taught us was to be passionate, and it's, you know, we do we work more hours than we do anything in our lives, you know, cumulatively so why not do something that you love. So we were always encouraged to kind of go after our passions to figure out what we love to learn as much as we could And growing up going to college was never an option. That was a requirement. But, um, yeah, being passionate about what we do. And I think that has led me to so many amazing things in my career in led me to where I am today because I was able to kind of have that feeling of like, you know, that job. Not really for me. This one is, and this one feels good, some were great, some didn't pay, well, you know, like you do all the things. But I think following your passion will lead you to some incredible experiences and some amazing things. And I know that I'm harping on this one a little bit, but it is, it is really important to, to do that. And I know that you guys are doing that if you're in the nonprofit space, right? Like you're working for organizations that are doing and fulfilling things that in your community that you feel passionate about. Number two, and three, thinking outside the box. And being passionate, I did record a podcast episode a couple of them with my dad talking about innovation, and all of that good stuff. So I will link those up in the show notes. So you can check those out as well. I think you'll really enjoy those.
So number four is a failure. You know, when we wouldn't be successful at things that were never like a thing of, okay, you know, shame or I can't believe you guys didn't get this done, or you have to be the absolute best at everything. I mean, they definitely pushed and challenged me, but it wasn't like a situation of you must be the best at everything it was you must complete your obligation, right? You must have fun, and you must do the best that you can do. That's what we were. That's how I feel like I was taught. And so that fear of failure is so critical. Because if you don't worry about failure, if you're willing to like I said, think outside the box and try new things, then you're going to have some that are successful, and some that aren't. And that's okay, you don't learn if you don't try. And if you don't try, then you can't grow. And so let's go after those things that are a little bit scary. And I know that's harder for some than others. But failure is not a bad thing. And I've said that several times. It's a way that you learn, it's a way that you test. And it's a way that you can continue to keep growing, keep moving forward and keep building on what you've created. So, failure, go for it all the time.
Okay, and the last one that I want to bring up is confidence. My grandfather and my father were fiercely confident, and some might say at times to a fault. Um, but you know, they knew what they wanted, they knew where they were going. And they knew what they needed to do to get there. And so they were building this business. I mean, my grandfather started the business that my dad took over. But it's just, you know, show up, be confident trust in what it is that you know, you're here to do and who you're here to serve. And don't be apologetic about it. Now, I say this to you, because you're my people. And so I know you're not rude in you know, disrespectful, I mean, we do confidence with respect. So go for it, go after it, and get it, get it done. Share your mission, because what you're doing is so important. And I think Marie Forleo talks about this all the time like we all have unique gifts to give in this world, and you're doing the world a disservice if you're not sharing them. And confidence has a lot to do with putting that out in the world, sharing it with people, and making the world a better place. So you got this. So those are the five things that I think I learned that I didn't realize I was learning as a kid in an entrepreneurial family. So let me run through them really quick.
So number one, talk to as many people as you can have conversations with everyone, you never know what you're going to learn. Number two, think outside the box, this is your world. So make it work for you, and come up with solutions. Even if they haven't been created. Be passionate, and mission-driven. And make sure that you're doing something that you love because you have one life to live. Go out with no fear of failure, because you will fail. But that's okay. Because everything is a learning experience. And we can take from that and move on and do better than that doesn't make your failure, a failure and have confidence. You know, you're doing something incredible, and we need what you're doing in this world. So keep moving forward. keep getting it done, keep kicking butt. So I hope this was helpful for you. I so appreciate you and that you're taking the time to listen to these episodes. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. I would love if you would subscribe where you listen so you don't miss out on a single episode and Head on over to the show notes at thefirstclick.net/127 to check them out and to get additional resources. I'll see you at the next one.