This week has been a busy one. I just turned 19 and my sister turns 14 today. My 19th birthday wasn’t anything special but it was eye opening. I opted to drive my dad to Connecticut where he has a convenience store in a city that was once a city of industry similar to Detroit, but now filled with poverty and crime. I always love going to the store because I can watch my dad work and I feel like a child in the TV shows when it’s bring your child to work day. I watched all the commotion made over few cents worth of goods, I watched as the customers disrespected my father, cursing at him for not giving them a discount, and I watched my father bagging beers and ripping out lotto tickets for hours. In these hours of observation, I learned a few life lessons.
Purpose: Whatever you do in life, you must have purpose behind it. Purpose is the fuel to productivity. Now my dad’s purpose in life is not to bag beers and sell cigarettes. His purpose is to make sure his children have a better life than him, gain a college education and move on to bigger things. That’s the purpose that drives him to open his store at 5am and argue with crazy customers for about 14 hours for the last 6 years. That’s the purpose that enables him to afford my college education and finance all of our needs. I would never be able to do my dads job as well as he does because he has purpose behind his work. Find purpose in the tasks you need to accomplish and productivity is inevitable.
Dirty work: No matter how big you get, you always stick to the fundamentals, YOU ALWAYS HUSTLE IN THE DIRT. The workers in the store could have stocked the fridges by themselves but my dad decided to join them even though he is their boss. This creates a better atmosphere in the workplace and shows the workers they are never given a task the boss wouldn’t do himself. My dad didn’t need to stock the fridges, he could have just wandered around the store and complain about how slow it’s taking the employees to stock the fridges with beverages. Instead, he realized complaining would only negatively impact the business so he joins and does the dirty work, not only getting the task done much faster but also creating relationships with the employees. Always play in the dirt in business even when you’re the boss it pushes and inspires others around you.
This isn’t a sob story about my father’s tough situation working at his deli. Although his work seems tough in my eyes, he has purpose behind his work. Yes, working at that deli for over 14 hours for the past 6 years has had a toll on his body, however it doesn’t matter because he does it for a purpose. The purpose behind your work takes away from all the pain you endure in the process. It makes your productivity peak. Find purpose in what you do, even if it seems like a horrible situation. You find purpose, YOU WIN.