3 Secrets to Business Success I Learned From My Grandpa

There’s nothing that can replace the wisdom of a grandparent, not even in this day and age of computers, smart phones, and instant access to information via the Internet. Here are three priceless lessons one businesswoman learned from her grandfather.

My 96-year-old Grandpa recently passed away, and as a tribute to his memory I wanted to share some of the gems he passed on to me.

Grandpa was a successful entrepreneur. He started his business, a machine shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, over 50 years ago.

Even though he never was able to get his head around the idea of Internet marketing, one thing he DID understand is business. Below are three tips he shared with me in order to help you build a solid, successful business:

1. Being lucky is contagious. Grandpa would often tell us stories about how his successful friends and associates were the ones who were lucky in Vegas — the ones who weren’t successful were also the ones who weren’t so lucky in Vegas (or other areas for that matter).

This sounds a little like law of attraction, right? Except grandpa would never call it law of attraction. I think it’s more like a core belief — if a core belief of yours is you’ll make a lot of money, then you’ll make a lot of money. If your core belief is you’ll struggle financially, you’ll struggle financially. Grandpa believed he would make a lot of money — therefore not only did he have a successful business but he also made money investing in various things (not to mention he also got lucky in Vegas quite a bit).

2. Being in a mastermind helps you grow your business. Except grandpa would never call it a mastermind. He would call it hanging out with his friends and associates, drinking, playing cards, talking about business and trying to one-up the other.

(This is also a good example of who you hang out with determines your business results.)

What’s even more interesting about all these stories is how this “mastermind” would self-select themselves in and out of the group. If you read between the lines (and after listening to the stories over the years) you start to see that his friends who hit hard-times financially and weren’t able to recover, quit hanging out with the group, but the successful ones stuck around (or new successful ones would join in).

3. Know your strengths and use them to your advantage. Again, grandpa would never say it like that but it’s what he did. For example, grandpa loves to get a deal. Especially in Laughlin and Vegas. So he would often negotiate with the hotel (to get a free meal or room or whatever) and he would use his age to his advantage. He would stand there and hem and haw and move as slowly as he possibly could until they gave him what he wanted just to get him out of their hair and help the next person. He especially liked doing this when there was a long line behind him.

There’s no question grandpa was a character. I have all sorts of stories about him, like how he used to go to Bingo games in Vegas and shout out ‘Bingo’ only to have the Bingo caller tell him ‘sir, there haven’t been enough numbers called yet for you to have Bingo.’ Grandpa would say “Oh,” then two numbers later yell Bingo out a second time. (I’m surprised he would make it out of those Bingo lounges intact.)

And of course, we have his girlfriend, who is 20 years younger than he is.

Ah, I will miss him.

But the point here is this — grandpa never really went in for a lot of self development or personal development stuff, yet he still came to many of the same conclusions those disciplines teach. Mainly you need to the right mindset if you want to be successful. So take it from grandpa — if you want to be successful, start with the obstacles and blocks in your head.

Copyright 2011 Michele Pariza Wacek.

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