8 Business Lessons Learned at Mother’s Knee

When it comes to life lessons, 'mother knows best,' but her great advice can also apply to the business world.
From money management to manners, Mom taught you more about running a business than you realize. (Photos: Courtney Hillesheim, Marcus Lemonis, Mike Wolpert)

This Mother’s Day, NCR Silver is excited to celebrate the great instruction and guidance taught by moms worldwide. Here are some great lessons learned at mother’s knee that helped propel these business owners and consultants toward a successful future.

Pay attention to people first

“I was a [political science] major and a C-­minus student, but I had a great mother who raised me with the mentality that I had to pay attention to people first and everything else second. I feel like I’m really good at understanding people, how they tick and what makes them work, and how to get the best out of them.”

Marcus Lemonis, multimillionaire entrepreneur and host of CNBC show “The Profit”

Related: The Friend Zone: Boosting Sales by Focusing on Relationships

Never spend more than you make

“My mom taught me that you should never spend more than you make and that you should avoid credit-card debt at all costs. Obviously, at certain points in time during the growth of our small business, we took on some debt, but it was smart debt. And through effective financial management, we are able to pay off our small business credit cards on time and in full each month.”

— Andrew Schrage, co-owner and CEO of Money Crashers

Related: Small Business Guide to Cash Flow Management

It pays to be kind


(Photo: fizkes/Shutterstock)

“My mother has definitely been a strong guiding force in my life, and some advice that she gave me when I was a child really stuck with me. My mother told me, ‘Always go above and beyond for the people in your life. They won’t remember the things you do for them, but they will remember how you [made them] feel.’

“I have taken that advice to heart and have tried to do a little extra for all of my customers. I send them gifts when I can, and I’ve found that my clients stay longer and spend more money with me than almost all of my competitors. It pays to be kind — literally.”

— James Pollard, marketing consultant, The Advisor Coach

Related: Customer Service: To Make it Memorable, Make it Surprising

Look out for others

“As the oldest kid, it was my responsibility to make sure my siblings were safe and accounted for at all times. As an entrepreneur, you have people to watch out for, as well: your customers, employees, partners, advisors and other stakeholders. If you take care of them, they’ll watch your back, too.”

— Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls

Related: How Serving Others Makes You an Exceptional Leader

Everyone is a customer

“My mom owned an art gallery in lower Manhattan when I was young. I remember her telling me, ‘We sell artists’ work, but everyone can come enjoy the art for free. Everyone is our customer, even if they can’t buy today. If they love art, they are my customer.’

“I treat people the same way in my business. I share marketing ideas with anyone — many of them pay me, but all are my customers.”

— Mike Wolpert, founder of San Francisco-based marketing firm Social Jumpstart

Related: Why Every Business Owner is in Sales Whether They Know it or Not

Do it right the first time


(Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

“When I was little, my mom made me help her make the beds after the sheets were washed and dried. She always had me redo how I tucked the sheets on the ends if I didn’t do it like she did. She said the way she did it made the bed look nicer, and it was hard for the sheets to come undone. Then she said: ‘Why do I have to redo it when you can do it right to begin with?’

“I’ve carried that with me all my days, and if I ever feel like taking a shortcut on something, I hear her voice. That mindset has brought me numerous successes in finances and life in general.”

Andy Curry, “Cheap-Marketing Champion” and serial entrepreneur

Related: The Benefits of Failure and How to Learn From It

There will be haters

“As a child, my mother always told me, ‘You’re going to have your haters. Not everyone is in love with you.’ As a business owner, this advice helps with my marketing. Advertising on Facebook and other social media forums leaves me open to a lot of criticism and negativity. It is this saying from my mother that reminds me that this is all normal. Not everyone is going to be attracted to my business, my products and my services.”

— Courtney Hillesheim, owner of Parent Focus Consulting

Related: When and How to Respond to Negative Comments Online

You can do anything you put your mind to

“I distinctly remember truly believing this phrase when I got hard contact lenses at age 7 and put them in by myself. I remember the fear I felt about sticking this hard, foreign object on my eyeball, and I remember the pride I felt when I successfully did it. Throughout my life, my mom never hesitated to remind me of challenging times like this that I overcame by deciding that I could. In my business, it makes me remember that everything is ‘figure-outable.’”

— Jasmin Terrany, psychotherapist and owner of Jasmin Balance

Related: 5 Things Charlie Brown Taught Me About Being a Business Owner

Want A Demo?

Sign up for a POS demo from NCR Silver today.

Let’s Connect

Have a direct line of communication with NCR Silver and get the latest news on the social media site of your choice.