3 Secrets to Business Success I Learned from My Grandpa

Freedom Writers

The Invaluable Business Lessons My Grandfather Taught Me


I recently lost someone very dear to me – my grandfather. He lived a long, fruitful life and while he was not a traditionally educated man, he imparted great entrepreneurial wisdom onto me over the years. My grandpa started a successful machine shop back in the 1970s through sheer grit, savvy, and determination. While he never read business books or took courses, the business principles he intuitively understood from real-world experience proved invaluable. I wanted to share some of the greatest lessons about life and business that I learned from my grandpa.

Lesson 1: Believe in Yourself and Success Will Follow

My grandpa used to tell us stories about how in casinos, the big winners were almost always the arrogant, boisterous types who acted like they already hit the jackpot before even sitting down. He believed that success breeds more success. If you carry yourself with unshakeable confidence that you will prosper, you subconsciously take actions that lead to that outcome. Self-confidence becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Conversely, he noticed that the timid, nervous gamblers who secretly doubted their chances were much less lucky. Their internal beliefs manifested external results. My grandpa extrapolated this to business – if you steadfastly believe you will build a thriving company, your mindset aligns with decisions that make it happen. He recognized the power of self-confidence decades before modern research demonstrated its impact.

Lesson 2: Surround Yourself with People Smarter Than You

While my grandpa referred to it simply as “drinking with the boys,” what he practiced was the powerful concept of mastermind groups – assembling smart, driven people to elevate each other’s success. He intuitively knew the value of surrounding himself with those Possessing knowledge, experiences, and skills exceeding his own. Ironically, the “mastermind” group selected itself organically.

As grandpa told it, friends who fell on hard times drifted away from the group while those finding success seemed to float to the inner circle. He saw tangible proof that associating with bright, ambitious peers amplifies your own abilities. Their energy and ideas rubbed off. It’s no coincidence that many luminaries like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie practiced early forms of mastermind alliances. My grandpa reaped the same benefits.

Lesson 3: Identify and Align Your Strengths

My grandpa had particular passions that fueled his motivation. He loved the thrill of negotiating deals and leveraged his age to play the wise elder. This translated to prowess at securing favorable contracts in business. He also procrastinated yet accomplished things faster than peers half his age. This seemingly contradictory combo stemmed from his love of high-stakes gambling. He made split-second decisions at cards while ruminating endlessly on lower-risk choices.

Rather than fight these intrinsic strengths, he aligned them to his benefit in business and life. He negotiated aggressively and delayed on small stuff. This allowed rapid progress on goals despite a tendency to postpone. My lesson learned was to map my own innate abilities and proclivities to optimize success. Don’t try becoming someone you’re not. Apply your unique skills strategically.

There are many more lessons my grandpa imparted that stick with me today. Though he never used such sophisticated terms, the principles he intuitively grasped through real-world experience proved timeless. While I miss him dearly, the practical business wisdom he bestowed will stay with me forever. He proved one does not need fancy degrees to understand the core tenets of motivation, self-confidence, networked intelligence, and playing to your strengths. I hope I can honor him by practicing these same common-sense principles of success.

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