Steve Montague

Things I Have Learned From My Father


Steve Montague

Steve Montague

Happy Father’s Day, Everyone!

Here are some lessons I have learned my father, and how they apply to Internet marketing. I love you, pops!

Never let money stop you from doing what you want in life.

This was probably the best business lesson my father ever taught me. I think I was around 12 years old, when my father started saying this to me. I wanted to go to the movies or get a new toy, and my father told me to figure out how to earn the money, rather than giving it to me.

As far as internet marketing goes, this is a perfect lesson. Marketing on the web can be free to very cheap. You can start your own website and business for about $15, and look very professional. It gives everyone equal opportunity to earn money and do what they want. You can build a website for anything and dive into your passions with very little investment. You can be anyone and do anything on the internet. The question then becomes what do you want in life.

Work smart and hard.

A lot of people thing this one is “work smart, not hard,” but my dad taught me that if you can do both, the sky is the limit.

The same goes for internet marketing. Some people work hard and write thousands of posts. Some people try to produce a few really great pieces of content. Why can’t you have thousands of really compelling posts and status updates? If you work smarter and harder then everyone, no one can beat your audience.

Save up to half of what you earn.

This is a very difficult lesson to learn and practice. My grandfather never made more than $30,000 a year at a job in his life. He died in 2006 as a multi-millionaire. Saving gives you options other people don’t have to invest or take advantage of future opportunities.

On the Internet, you have to realize that making money is the key to longevity in business, and saving as much as you can allows you to invest in opportunities others can’t afford. When you are pricing your services, you have to remember the government takes a third, then you pay yourself half by saving it, and whatever is left is what you get to spend or reinvest.

Have faith that things will work out, and always be optimistic.

Do you look for ways things won’t work, or do look for ways to make things happen? There are 12 ways to solve any problem. Go find one. That is one of my dad’s favorite quotes. Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”

In internet marketing, the same applies. Anything is possible, so long as you keep trying. A website is never finished, and there is no problem you can’t solve. Sure, it might take longer or be more expensive than you wished, but there is a way to make your dreams come true. Go find it!!!

Take personal responsibility for things, even if they are not your fault.

Another tough lesson, but it makes life a lot easier, you a lot happier, and other people love and respect you more. I will never forget when my dad would ask me if I wanted to do something before he gave permission. For example, if my friends asked me to spend the night at their house, he would take me aside and ask quietly, “Do you want to?” If I said yes, he would say I could. If I said, no he would say we had plans at home and I couldn’t go this time. He didn’t care if some other teenagers liked him, but I did, so he would take responsibility for the decision for me.

On the world wide web, you will come across customer complaints, frustrated employees, and competitors lashing out. It is best policy to take responsibility and resolve the issue, rather than prove you are right. Things can go viral and get out of control very fast. One customer can tell millions of people about an experience within minutes. Keep that in mind, and decide now that it is your responsibility to protect your reputation online. No one else can do that for you anyway.

Don’t judge a book by its cover, but realize that other people will.

My dad went to college in the early 70’s and graduated with long hair, a beard, and some very bad and very loud plaid suits. He learned pretty fast that you should never judge other people by their appearance, but other people are always judging you. My dad’s favorite story is when a client asked him for his jacket, then threw it in the trash outside his office, before continuing with the sales call.

The lesson on the internet, is that you have between 5-8 seconds to make an impression on a visitor. Google has done the research and people who do not like what they see in the first 8 seconds will go back to the search and check out the next site. It is a brutal reality, but you have to be extremely prepared for this. It doesn’t mean that you need to spend $30,000 on a web design, but you do have to match your visitors expectation. It means you have to give your visitors what they are looking for in a package they want, and do it very quickly.

I have learned a lot more lessons from my father, but these are a few that I remember most today. I hope it helped you with your approach, and I hope you have a great Father’s Day!

What have you learned about business from your father?

Please share in the comments below…