I have always looked up to my dad as my role model and as I reflect on the last 10 years, which have been my most formative, everything I have achieved is because of him. My dad’s decision to move us to the U.S. from South Africa 10 years ago was probably one of the toughest and biggest decisions he has had to make. All of it was a sacrifice for me so that I could attend college and have a brighter future.
I owe all my success, both past and future, to him. He sacrificed a career, a home, and culture so that I could have a more stable and promising future. He hit the reset button on his life, left everything behind and had to start all over. My dad has always been an entrepreneur at heart and everywhere he has worked he has built the business from the ground up. He has taught me to:
Take Risk: My dad always taught me to never fear taking risk. I learned this from him at an early age when I started playing sports. From a young age I was very good at soccer, cricket, and golf and he always pushed me to try new things. I sucked at rugby and hockey but thanks to him I was never scared to try, fail, or embarrass myself. This has been an important life lesson for me. I’m always willing to try something new and I usually don’t concern myself with the risk or fear of failure. I push forward, give it 100% and if it doesn’t workout I move on and try again.
Adapt and Embrace Change: I have learned from my dad that in order to be successful in life you have to accept change and be able to adapt to the situation you are in. I see too many people that are rigid, comfortable, and scared of change. Change and adaptability go hand in hand. Thanks to him, I have grown up being able to accept change and adapt. I have moved around a lot throughout my life, changed schools several times and those experiences have enabled me to adapt quickly and easily. Moving to the U.S. was quite a shock for me, but after a few months I was able to adapt to the new culture and way of life. Such a large shock and change, I feel, has prepared me for pretty much anything. I am extremely thankful he moved us here. It was tough and times we often questioned the decision, but as I look back it was probably the biggest inflection point in my life.
Be Persistent: This is probably the most valuable lesson I can take away from my dad and I think it goes hand in hand with risk and change. You have to be able to take risk and with risk comes change. However, change is a difficult thing for many to accept. I see many people wanting to give up when they face a huge obstacle or moment of change where they have to think quick and adapt. It innately causes an uneasiness as you step away from the status-quo. My dad has always instilled the never give up mentality in me. It has given me an extremely strong drive and determination to succeed, build things, embrace change, and most importantly, accept risk.
Thanks dad! I love you and appreciate everything you have done for me!