My mother was a great encourager and supporter of many people, spurring them on to try the things they were only dreaming of. I was one of the beneficiaries of her encouragement and support and from her I took at least three things that directly helped build my business.
The first thing she modeled for me was her willingness to try almost anything. Trying was an adventure and fun and sometimes was met with horrible or hilarious results. A dark-haired brunette, Mom decided she really wanted red hair like mine about the time I was 5. She barricaded herself in the bathroom with supplies and came out a few hours later to display a full head of shocking, hot-pink hair. I remember her running through the house yelling, “What am I going to do?” while I stared at her open-mouthed. Her trying to become a red head like me was a horrible failure but I learned from that and many other experiences with her that willingness to try was important. I learned to be fearless in business, willing to try and fail and try again.
A second thing I learned from Mom was the discipline of practice and study. Mom was an expert crafter of silk flowers, a Master Gardener who raised prize dahlias, a very talented seamstress, and a masterful furniture refinisher. She became all those things from hours and hours of practice and study. For me the discipline of practice and study started with piano and later other instruments. Watching her, I realized that mastery and success came with being disciplined enough to do the work. Years later when I had to buckle down and learn the technology behind online marketing that discipline served me well.
Commitment is the third thing I learned from Mom. Every project she took on was met with a full-on commitment that carried results. If she volunteered to be President of the Band Parents she flung herself into it and created a whirlwind of fund raising activities that allowed the high school band I played in to go to parades and bowl games across the country. If she took on reorganizing my brother’s elementary school library there was no stopping until the library shelves gleamed and every book was in order. She taught me through her own actions to put my head down into a project and get it done no matter what it took. Years later I wanted to quit a dozen times before I published my first book, but her strong commitment to finishing what you started popped up in me and has now led me to publish 3 Amazon Kindle best sellers.
From time to time I hear my buddies in the online industry talk about the legacy they want to leave. In a previous post I wrote of the legacy of Edith Flagg. My mom left a legacy of practices, habits and encouragement that helped build my business and taught me to encourage others to do the same. I would be honored to leave a legacy half as big as that. This post is a love note to Mom for a lifetime of encouraging and teaching others through her own actions. There is no stronger legacy.