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A Father’s Life Lessons Taught through Small Business Ownership
Gary Williams Jr

Father’s Day … a time to reflect and appreciate each and every dad out there for their efforts of being a father and, in my case, a boss.

The UPS Store is truly a family business for me. My parents have dedicated the last 32 years of their lives to The UPS Store franchise, beginning back in 1981, the same year I was born. Much of my weekends growing up as a kid were spent in the car with my dad looking at new potential UPS Store locations. And anyone that has been in a family business can relate to many of the topics of the day being discussed at the dinner table.

Along the way, just like any family, we have certainly had our ups and downs. But on this day, I think it’s important to share some of the many life lessons my father has taught me along the way.

Love what you do

I love this business, but let’s be honest: it’s difficult to be passionate about packing boxes, sorting mail and printing. Over time my Dad has taught me to think bigger. As an employee of a store, I am a small important piece to a much larger puzzle. We are in the business of helping others. Logistics. As a franchise system, we are a network of helping others with their small business needs. When you think in these terms, it all makes sense and it’s easy to become passionate about this business and The UPS Store family. This same concept can be applied to your job: you may not be passionate about what you do specifically, but what your company does as a whole for others is what should be important.

The challenges of being an entrepreneur

There is no “clock out” when you own your own business. Embrace it. There are times your phone rings in the middle of the night, your employees call in sick at the worst times, the dinner table quickly turns into what seems like another conference call – these are times when you wish you worked a 9-5. The trick is to embrace those times where owning your own business makes life easier. The joys of creating your business – there are no rules, there is no set vacation time, you call the shots – it’s those aspects that you must always remind yourself of.

Life is about balance

Take time for yourself. Explore your passions in life. A majority of us are not able to pursue our true passions in life and get paid for them. For me, I love auto racing. I have participated in various motorsports events, including the Baja 1000, and, at times, was second-guessing my career choice. Maybe I should have pursued motorsports? My dad’s answer is that you can pursue both, and he was right. By focusing 100% of my time on The UPS Store, it allowed me to take some time off to pursue racing. And most recently, those efforts paid off, as I became the overall winner of the Norra Mexican 1000. Balance.

As you can see, I owe a lot to my dad for his contributions to The UPS Store franchise and the life lessons he has taught me along the way. I hope you can use some of what I have learned and apply it to your future career goals. Happy Father’s Day!

Category: Business Insights
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    Comments [8]

  1. Very inspiring article… Thank you for honoring Fathers Day with a beautiful message on Respect and endearing love for our Fathers e everywhere. and an Honest perspective on the American Dream.

  2. Gary, Thanks for sharing these life lessons and your passion for what you do. Mark

  3. Well done sir. Excellent message and tribute that can be applied to many aspects of life! Say happy Father’s Day to your dad for me and thank him for being one of the early “Fathers” of this business.

  4. Truly Great Article Gary Jr.! I can remember you in the playpen at the store! & also visiting your mom and dad in their apartment, many, many years ago! You have all worked very hard! Love, being a part of such an awesome Family! Love U Guys! Big Hugs to all! & Happy Father’s Day Uncle Gary! xoxoxoxo

  5. Our parents often are our best coaches and role-models helping to guide us to be our best and wanting what is best for us! What a great compliment to your Dad who certainly has always had your best interest at heart and has wanted you to experience life lessons; the good along with some of lifes challenges, so that one day you become the coach and can experience the same pride that your Dad has in the relationship you have with each other!

  6. Awesome message in an amazing article! Cheers, Sammy

  7. This is a great story. My father has run our family UPS Store for the past 12 years. Once me any my brother grew up we have run it with him. We have had some great moments at our store. From day-to-day tasks, to real life lessons, we have run it together. Our life revolves around running the store, but in a good way. After school everyday we work with our dad. Sometimes we don’t like working, sometimes it can be interesting, but we’ve always stuck together.

  8. So many people in your position take a family business for granted. There’s much to be said about your father’s leadership and your ability to listen and respect him and the opportunity set before you. Congratulations on your success thus far—there is so much more ahead for you!

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