Since the age of 13, I’ve had deep interest in business. While other 13-year olds were out playing, riding their bikes, and getting into all kinds of shenanigans, business was on my mind. Unfortunately, this was the age when I moved to the U.S. and my first encounter with the “Western” world. For a kid from Eastern Europe, well to most I was known as the foreigner from a third-world country. It was a difficult time for adjustment with plenty of emotional rollercoasters. More than any average 13 year old should have to deal with in all honesty.

My dad’s story resembles mine in many ways. His work ethic is simply unprecedented and am yet to find anyone who puts forth such valiant effort on daily basis even to this day. As an observer naturally, I paid close attention to my father’s work ethic. In the early years, he owned a small local pizza joint that perhaps was his first real experience at entrepreneurship. On weekdays, after school I’d have the bus driver veer as close to the next bus stop and drop me off so I could head on over my dad’s pizza joint. Naturally, homework followed shortly after to ensure that I didn’t fall behind on my school work. Both of my parents were actually quite supportive with school endeavors. Once school stuff was finished, I’d help around the store where needed. Anything from making fresh dough, cleaning the giant pizza oven, stocking the cooler, or even helping out with dinner rush.

On the downtime though, typically after dinner rush I’d always immerse into my inner geek and naturally plop myself on the computer. In the winter of 1994/1995 the hottest thing around was Windows 3.11. Yup, that was over 20 years ago and quite hard to believe. This was perhaps one of my first real interactions with technology where I immediately realized the deep interest. While it’s not exactly digital marketing in its entirety, it was most definitely a starting point of what later turned out to be a career revolved around technology and digital advertising.

Hard Work ALWAYS Pays Dividends

Put the time in and success shall follow. As I watched my dad grow the business, the constant of unconditional hard work on daily basis was simply unprecedented. My father put in anywhere from 12-16 hours per day, 6 days a week. He was always the first into the store, prepping up for that day, ensuring everything was good to go for that day’s operations. Ensuring fresh dough for pizzas was made on daily basis, oven was clean for cooking, mixers were clean and ready to use, all ingredients were fresh and cut properly. After some time had passed, many of the regular customers peaked interest in the daily processes. Once they learned the hard work that was put in on daily basis to ensure proper food preparation, it inclined them to visit more frequently for lunch or even dinner. Work hard and reap the rewards later!

Dedication IS Commitment & Caring

Putting in the exhausting 12-16 hour days was no easy task to accomplish. With two kids in tow, my father strived for ultimate dedication and commitment in his business. In a sea of competition and other pizza joints, he knew that it was no match for a small mom and pop shop. However, his unmatched dedication and commitment to quality product and customer service ensured competitive local positioning. His pizza joint offered the most competitive lunch special price in at least a  5 mile radius with the freshest ingredients and fastest customer service. During weekends even or certain holidays, people of all sorts flocked in to experience a quality product paired with an excellent customer service. My father pushed hard for ensuring that each customer had a great overall experience while enjoying quality food. Dedication and commitment to your customers shows a true sign of caring that will come back to you tenfold. It’s only a matter of time!

Consistency Shows Dependence

Being consistent in the business world is always a key ingredient to success. Customers want to feel a sense of dependability and trust while being able to gauge the pattern in a product or service they’re receiving from you. For example, in my father’s pizza joint, customers expected a lunch special Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. thru 1 p.m. and therefore were reliant on the consistency of this trend. After a period of time, consistency slowly turned into accountability and an expectation for our average customer. Clients tend to dislike shady tactics, fluff, unclear expectations, or even late deliverables.