The Greatest Lessons From Our Fathers

We learn a lot from our fathers, both things we should do and things we shouldn’t do.

In the end, every lesson serves a purpose.

Craig’s father was a farmer on a beef cattle ranch, so Craig learned a lot about hard work and the importance of planning.

My father brought us here from a third world country, and he instilled the immigrant edge mindset in me from an early age.

My Father Taught Me “Work is Holy”

My dad had to work multiple jobs because we were so broke. After four years, he was able to scrounge up enough money to open a small tailor shop.

I would see him fall asleep at his desk after working 13, 14 hours a day.

There was one time I asked him if we could close the shop early one Saturday to go to Sizzler.

(Where else could you get a four dollar steak? Even if it was like eating a hockey puck).

He looked at me and said “Son, work is holy. We’re never going to cut it short.”

A lot of us complain about work, but at the end of the day, if we didn’t have a job, we wouldn’t have a purpose.

It’s a privilege to do what I do. To serve thousands of people every day, and I’m so grateful I have the opportunity to do what I love.

How Life on the Farm Bleeds into Craig’s Business

Craig realized early on that work has to get done, no matter how cold or hot it was.

His dad would come home with cracked hands from the cold in the winter, and his farmer’s tan was so dark he practically looked Jamaican.

He even fed the cattle before he fed himself. He went out and did the work and planning everyday, no excuses.

That’s one of the biggest, most beneficial things Craig learned from his dad – you have to plan ahead.

He had to think about planting season and harvesting season and making sure the crops are planted on a certain date or they won’t grow.

Craig learned that not only does he need to plan tomorrow morning tonight in order to be successful, but he needs to be looking ahead to have a great harvest in his business.

You Have to Be a Little Crazy to Become Successful

My dad has a fourth grade education level, but his best lessons were learned trying to talk his way out of a problem or trouble.

Otherwise, we could have potentially been shipped to Siberia when word got out we were planning to escape to the US.

He had to lie and convince people that it was just rumors.  Of course, the rumors were true, a week later we were in Italy escaping to America.

My dad was a little bit crazy.

When we first came here, we were staying with a friend of a friend in his spare bedroom in a two bedroom apartment. All five of us in one room.

My dad and brother began work on a paper route, two days later they were pumping gas at a gas station, then a week later one is washing dishes at a pizzeria and the other is mowing lawns.

Despite the multiple jobs and still barely having enough to put food on the table, my dad would always say he was going to buy a house and multiple properties one day.

I thought he was nuts.

Sure enough, he did exactly what he said. And now, he doesn’t need any financial help.

Of course I still help him because that’s my purpose, but he has thousands of dollars stored away in Folger’s Coffee cans and buried in his backyard.

Now I look back and I think, I own this massive franchise and so much property in Chino Hills. I invested in rental homes and commercial buildings.

The very thing I thought he was crazy for doing, I did myself.

His crazy got passed down to me. I’m crazy enough to not have gone to college to learn how to run a franchise.

I barely made it out of high school.

But now, I own an international franchise and multiple properties.

All because I was a little crazy.

Behaviors are Caught, Not Taught

These lessons we’ve learned from our fathers weren’t taught in a sit down class.

We learned by watching them  in action.

If you want your kids to be entrepreneurs or do well in school or become big thinkers, you have to lead from the front.

I’m not saying my father was picture perfect and there for every moment of my life. But when you look back at the lessons you’ve learned and the character you’ve built, it was because of their hard work.

They taught us what to do, but they also taught us what not to do.

Now, I spend more time with my kids because I have the opportunity to.

When we came to this country, we were broke, didn’t speak the language, or understand the culture.

I never threw  a ball around with my dad. I never created memories like fishing or hiking with my dad.

The things you may look at as pain or loses in your life, consider reliving them in your second life as a mother or father with your own children.

I can either be resentful of what I didn’t have, or I can be grateful for what he did give me.

And the things I didn’t get, I’ll use as lessons to apply to my relationship with my kids.

To hear Craig and I cover all of this and more, watch our Empire Podcast here.