Seattle Sutton, Founder of Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating, shares a lifetime’s worth of advice for both business leaders and people in every walk of life.
By Seattle Sutton
Life lessons learned in childhood tend to stick with you for the long haul; I know my parents taught me invaluable lessons that have lasted me a lifetime. The biggest one that I try to use every day is: “Those to whom much is given, much is expected in return.”
One other very important lesson my father taught me as a business owner was that he believed in being community minded. This was good for the community as a whole and also for the businesses he ran.
I am grateful for my parents’ guidance and knowledge, and I’ve often drawn upon that wisdom throughout my 82 years. I know that when our children were small, my husband Kelly and I often used those same gems to teach our kids right from wrong. We were no non-sense type of parents who believed in the truth, doing the right thing and respect.
One lesson we stressed with our kids was always to do more than what is expected of you. This is especially true in the work world – work harder than the rest, and you will be given greater responsibilities.
All five of our kids went on to have their own children and passed along the lessons learned so long ago during their childhoods. It made me proud to see them in the role of parents extolling the same advice we had given them years earlier.
Today, working side-by-side with my daughters and now also my grandchildren, I am reminded almost on a daily basis a few lessons that I passed along from one generation to the next.
One major lesson is to not be afraid of hard work. I know it sounds simple, but it is often overlooked or avoided at all costs these days. I believe in playing hard too, don’t get me wrong. But that’s after the work is done.
My mantra, “Nobody ever died from lack of sleep!” is well known around the company and my family. Ask anyone and they will recite it with ease.
Our kids all helped out in my husband’s medical practice while growing up. Each child had his or her responsibilities after school, on weekends and each summer. They were given tasks according to their age and skills. This helped them develop invaluable work ethics that have served them well in life.
Here are a few more we passed onto our kids that have helped them in life:
- Enjoy stress — make it productive!
- Get along with others.
- Do onto others as you would have done onto you.
- Invest your money wisely.
- If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it.
- A deal is not a deal if you don’t need it.
- Go to college.
- Education is never a waste of money or time.
- Find something good in every situation.
- Honesty is always the best policy.
- Count your blessings – don’t focus on the negative, rather the positive.
- Live every day to the fullest and make the best of each day.
- After giving careful thought to a new idea, don’t be afraid to take a gamble and “go for it”!
- Jump every hurdle.
- Don’t give up!
These are all helpful lessons in life and business and can be applied across the board in numerous situations. I am thankful that with our support and guidance, our kids all learned them and lived them. They also continued the positive cycle with their own children.
I believe it’s a parent’s job to help shape their children to become productive, honest, hardworking adults who contribute to society.
By providing positive lessons each day, parents accomplish so much not only for one generation, but for generations to come.