5 childhood lessons from my Father, the businessman

And how we apply them in our business

Park outside the door

Our Father would get you a park right outside the door of any busy event. He’d drive past crowds of people walking to the Easter Show from where they’d parked, streets away, and he’d tell us – they all think there’s no parking right outside, but you watch this.

His theory was that drivers will park further and further away, assuming it’s the best they’ll do, until they’re walking miles and missing the wood-chopping. They never know that there are parks closer, because they start at the bottom and mistake the first park they see as the best they’ll get.

What’s the lesson? Have guts: go straight to the top, have a look around and work your way back from there. You have to work your way up the ladder no matter what, but you may as well see how far you can go, first.

We apply this every day in our business. We’ve never assumed we are too small or new an agency to get top-tier clients, and so far we haven’t been proved wrong.

You can’t catch fish in the boat

My Father was as patient as you’d need to be raising 4 sons. He now refuses to fish (sorry, Dad). It wasn’t the tangles and tying the knots that got him though – it was us winding our lines up to have a look.

You can’t catch fish in the boat, he’d tell us. You can’t argue with that. You can’t get a girlfriend on Reddit, either, a client without making some calls, or a job without putting your hand up.

Don’t talk when you’re eating fish

The lessons didn’t end once we’d caught fish. Once we were eating, the rules were simple: eat your fish, don’t talk about it.

Between our small team we balance around two dozen projects and clients at once. We rarely have meetings, and if we do they’re short and to the point, and we don’t talk projects out to the smallest detail – we make sure all in the team that are involved know the objective and the strategy and then we get stuck in. Because, as with the last lesson: you can’t code a website by talking about it.

I’m confident that being agile, responsive and multi-skilled in this way is the greatest asset of our business, and maintaining this approach will be our largest focus as we scale.

Make an excuse to do something

Almost any negative excuse you can make for not doing something positive can be turned around. Of course, you’re saying the same thing – but suddenly it’s positive.

For example –

This is an excuse not to do something: I can’t apply for that job, my resume’s out of date.
This is an excuse to do something: I’m going to update my resume so I can apply for that job.

I’ll leave out the new age theories on manifestation, but you can’t argue that less negativity in your life is a good thing.

You can fix anything with electrical tape and cable ties

Seriously, you can’t. But have a go: look under the hood, even if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Ask questions. Break things.

Cameron and myself are both self-taught in online marketing and development and we encourage our staff to learn at least a basic level of code, or anything else in our space that interests them. When we hire we look for self-starters that have taught themselves skills, questioned things, have failed.

You can’t be an expert in everything, but the more you get involved and get your hands dirty, the more valuable you’ll be to an employer or your clients.

Morris Bryant

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