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Happy Father’s Day: Entrepreneurs Share Their Dads’ Most Important Business Lessons

June 16, 2022

By Lindsay Friedman, Entrepreneur

Dad, papa, papi, father, vader, baba, padre, babbo — no matter how you say it, the word has the same meaning around the world.

For many, their fathers have had a significant impact on their outlook and perspective of life. They taught them the difference between right and wrong, how to treat others and the values they choose to live by. And for some, their dads played an even bigger role: They inspired them in their business practices.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, we asked several founders the lessons they learned from their dad on how to be an entrepreneur.


If you don’t know it, learn it.

Name: Jessica Dilullo Herrin

Company: Stella & Dot

He taught me how to self teach and crack open a book and learn something. You shouldn’t expect other people to show up and instruct you. Information is widely available, you just have to go get it and cultivate them.

I’ve always been a student of life, and I get that voracious appetite for learning and that spirit of “you don’t like it, go change it” from him.

Measure twice and cut once.

Name: Melissa Bushnell

Company: Baked By Melissa

Measure twice and cut once reminds me that it’s important to think before you react. Being Melissa of Baked by Melissa, I’m so passionate about what we do and there are naturally times when something happens at work that triggers an emotional response. It’s during those times that I measure twice or give extra thought, before responding. You only have one chance to respond so it’s important to take two beats before you do.

Be obsessed with perfection in your craft.

Name: Tom Harari

Company: Cleanly

My father is a home painter and has been self-employed since we moved to the U.S. He never built a scalable business and is not wealthy, but he always taught me to be obsessed with perfection in your craft. It’s what he became known for amongst his clients.Perfection is impossible but striving towards that can help you create impressive and beautiful work.

It’s okay to be vulnerable.

Name: Ryan Fey

Company: Omelet agency

He taught me how to be 100 percent vulnerable — to just be me and to be fearless about showing it.  I’ve really applied this type of vulnerable thinking to our client relationships. I will never say that I know how to do something if that means I’d be lying. I’m also not afraid to show them when I’m sad, upset, happy or scared. Being able to share your true emotions and thoughts with people you work with and for is a powerful thing.

In business, some might see a vulnerable leader as a weak leader but my dad taught me it’s the one trait that actually makes a leader strong.