Lessons from dad: Confidence, courage and wisdom to plan for the future

A mother and father sitting together on a blanket reading a book to their daughter outside.

There are a lot of traditional things that people tend to learn from their fathers: How to tie a tie, how to change a tire and maybe how to give a firm handshake.

While we can learn those things from our mothers, too, in honor of Father’s Day, we’re focusing on lessons from dad. We asked Amway leaders and business owners to share some of the meaningful lessons they learned from their fathers. Here’s what they said:

Candace Matthews, Regional President, The Americas

Candace’s father was a minister who passed away when she was 10. Even though she was young, she has a clear memory of him speaking from the pulpit with a soothing but compelling voice. That image comes to mind every time she speaks in front of a crowd, recalling his quiet, confident leadership and drawing on it.

“He stood so proudly…not arrogantly, but quietly confident,” she said. “His delivery was so powerful in a soft way. I believe I innately got that gift from him.

“I never got the chance to have him hear me and critique me, but I remember how people reacted when he spoke. People were always engaged.”

 Jim Ayres, Managing Director, Amway North America

Jim credits his father with helping him appreciate the benefits of failure. His father would offer suggestions and help, but he wouldn’t rescue him.

“He taught me to have the courage to persevere after failure,” Jim said, “to pick yourself up and move forward.”

He said his father was also a generous man who knew the importance of helping others. He died when Jim was only 9, but he remembers that his father was always there when others in their farming community needed a hand.

“Our own family didn’t have much, but my dad never hesitated,” Jim said.

Lowell Martin, Amway Independent Business Owner since 1983

“Don’t spend your seed money.” That’s the mantra that Lowell’s father, Lester Martin, drilled into them as they grew up in a family business. He has taken it to heart as he grows his own business.

The old saying, with roots in farming, meant that you need to save money to have seed for next year’s crop, or you won’t have any income.

“So no matter how hungry a person is, they can’t ‘eat their seed,’” Lowell said. “If they do, they will starve.”

He learned that the same concept applies in business.

“You always need a little bit of capital to reinvest into your business to keep it growing,” he said. “(People’s) tendency is to ‘eat the seed’ … instead of planting it in the ground to produce more so they can sustain themselves.

“If they understood the principle of sowing and reaping, they would plant their seed by investing those dollars into their business to produce more.”

Steve Victor, Amway Independent Business Owner since 1994

For Steve, one of the most important lessons he says his father taught him is to have a “servant’s heart.”

“As I graduated from college and began building my Amway business, I realized in order to be successful, you had to serve people,” he said. “I would hear my dad’s voice in my head, ‘Service to others must be central in your life,’ and I would focus on doing just that.”

That philosophy guided him to prioritize helping his team become successful first.

“In life, you get back the very thing you give out, and I am blessed I was able to witness firsthand what it means to have a servant’s heart,” he said. “By serving and helping enough people win, you will automatically win.”