Business Integrity and How My Dad Shaped My Life

Who Do You Admire?

This post is about how I developed business integrity, confidence and morals thanks to the most important man in my life, my Dad!

My dad passed away on December 31, 2004 and I still miss him. He taught me so much about life and business that I’m not even sure where to begin. But, here are just a few thoughts I definitely want to share with you.

My Dad was my chief counselor, adviser and supporter

The first significant decision I made that shaped pretty much the rest of my professional life was the decision to purchase an accounting Firm in my home town from an established CPA. This was a monumental undertaking for me as I was only 24 years old, newly married and had a family to support. My father not only supported my decision to move forward with this, he gave me the confidence I needed to be successful. Throughout the earliest years of my business I made many visits to my dad’s house to seek his advice on different situations and events and he was always there for me, no matter what I needed. He consulted with me on business integrity, making good decisions, and simply helping me to overcome the hurdles that came my way.

The second thing I will always remember about my Dad was a lesson he taught me when I was headed to college. As with most young adults this would be the first time I was truly away from home and on my own. He wanted to convey to me the importance of integrity and staying true to the strong morals I had developed growing up, thanks in no small part to my Dad and Mom. He explained to me that I would face many situations and opportunities to do whatever I wanted because he and my mom were not there to watch over me. During our talk, he made one statement that I have never forgotten. You see, I was an avid golfer leading up to this time and my Dad used the analogy of hitting the ball into the rough in the trees where no one could see. From there, it would be easy enough to kick the ball away from the tree or out of the rough and no one would ever know. However to play the game with integrity that would be something I would never do.

He said to me, remember Bob, while you are away at school and on your own, “don’t kick the ball in the rough.”

My Dad was my moral compass

Finally, my father was in the life insurance business for many years. While I was still in high school, I remember asking him why we weren’t rich because I knew that he had colleagues who were making a lot of money doing exactly the same thing. He told me that in the life insurance business there were many occasions where his potential customers were uneducated especially in terms of the products he was selling. He explained that some of his colleagues would sell insurance that was far in excess of what the customer needed. This of course resulted in higher commissions. My dad on the other hand, told me that it was extremely important to him that his customers first understood what they were buying and second that he never sold anything to a customer that they did not need. Consequently, his income may have been lower, but he could sleep well at the end of the day knowing that he did the right thing for his customers.

These are just a few of the many lessons my Dad taught me and I am grateful for his love and guidance over the years. He was a great man, counselor and supporter, but most of all a great dad and I owe him everything for molding me into the man I am today.

Thanks so much for reading my personal account.

To Your Success,

Bob Swetz

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