The best entrepreneur I ever knew, and the person who inspired me to start my own business was my sweet dad, who passed away far too young.
He was only 50.
But in those few years, dad packed in a lot. He started not one, but two very successful businesses. His first, a chain of carpet stores in Southern California, grew at the rate of a new store a year. After it got too big, dad found that he was more manager than entrepreneur, and so he sold his share to his partner and he then opened his second business – a giant carpet warehouse.
Dad the entrepreneur loved that warehouse because it allowed him to try out all of the tricks he had up his sleeve. When a salesman would make a sale, a bell would ring in the middle of the store. Hokey? Sure. Or what about the time he had me and my pals drop fake $20 bills downtown. When people would pick them up, his card would be found on the other side.
I’m not sure any of these sorts of gimmicks ever helped him sell an extra roll of carpet, but one thing I am sure of is that it taught his son an important lesson about being in business for yourself: It’s supposed to be fun.
Happy Father’s Day dad – we sure miss you.
(photo credit: House of rugs.)