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Valuable lessons to be learned from Mother

There are many valuable lessons to be learned from mothers. Lessons taught early in life and throughout growing up years have been influential in my life and for many others. A mother’s influence on a child’s life is very powerful, and can be good or bad. Some of the teachings that help in every day personal and business life follow.

1. Treat people with dignity and respect, regardless of their position. Be kind and nice to others, especially those who cannot repay you or return your favor.

2. Work hard in everything you do. There is no free lunch. Nothing was handed down to my parents and I was taught you make your own fortune. It is not an entitlement.

3. Life is not always fair. You don’t win every time. Success or failure is not always in your hands. Give it 100 percent and learn from every experience.

4. Set goals and reward yourself. Set realistic goals for yourself and celebrate by rewarding yourself when you reach them. Break larger goals into smaller ones and use meeting them as motivation to continue moving forward.

5. Sacrifices are necessary to be successful. There are risks in starting out in business. The balance between work and personal life becomes hard to maintain. The rigors of entrepreneurship demand sacrifice. The more you invest the higher the rewards. 

6. Recognize your weaknesses and work toward improvement. Depending on others in your team who have strengths in areas in which you don’t have expertise is smart. Team members can complement each other. Practice, practice, practice. Accept negative, constructive criticism.

7. Play to your strengths. Continue to develop your gifts and talents by leveraging your natural skills and abilities. People respond to praise. Use it wisely with team members to tap into others’ strengths.

8. Develop leadership skills.  Managers who are outstanding are also great leaders. They take charge of situations. Make good decisions. Listen to team members to bring people together and accelerate growth. Be willing to say, “no”.

Learning is a lifelong process. Remember where you came from. A passion for learning from mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, bosses, competitors, colleagues, etc. can make the difference in success and failure. 

Take time to thank those who have had a positive influence on your life, especially your mother, if she is still living. Pay tribute to her by following her advice and guidance. If you are a mother take stock of your life and the impact you have on your children, regardless of your age or theirs. Celebrate the relationship.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.