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7 Habits and Business Skills Learned in Hawaii at Age 11

The Emergence of Entrepreneurial Instincts: A Hawaiian Childhood Experience

When I was 11 my mother, Margo, a true embodiment of free-spiritedness, had met a charismatic man whose mustache was ironically reminiscent of Tom Selleck. This new chapter of our lives began in 1977 when we traded California for the tropical splendor of Honolulu, Hawaii.

The man with the ‘Selleck’ mustache was a taxi driver with a minimalist lifestyle, and he moved in with us in no time. I don’t remember his name. My mother held a garage sale within days and less than two weeks later, we found ourselves airborne, en route to our new home. This marked my initiation into the world of air travel.

Our living pattern in Hawaii deviated from any norm. My mother’s new partner worked night shifts as a cab driver, and my mom was out at night as well. Our transient existence was spent in various hotels, and I developed a knack for self-care. I ensured that I was back home by dusk, spent some time with my mom before she left for her nocturnal pursuits, and greeted her in the morning before I embarked on my adventures. Her daily allowance of $5 to $10 supported my self-reliant lifestyle, and I embraced the newfound freedom wholeheartedly.

Within a month, I had seen most of Honolulu on foot. To people, I was just another vacationing kid. Conventional schooling didn’t feature in my life at this stage.

However, I soon found limitations to my explorations. Restaurant food and attractions and events demanded fees that were beyond my budget, and surfboard rentals consumed most of my allowance. It was at this time that I determined that I would approach the hotels and offer my immediate services in return for a small wage or food. I pitched myself as a helpful, unobtrusive, and dependable resource.

Much to my delight, two different hotels agreed to my proposal. I assisted staff for a few hours each day and earned between $5 to $10 from the employees and manager, alongside a sumptuous meal, which effectively covered my lunch. The remainder of the day was spent riding the ocean waves.

In 1977, up to $30 a day was a considerable sum for a child without housing or food expenses. no longer required my mother’s financial aid. This news made her happy and proud of me. I even managed to buy my first surfboard.

My Hawaiian escapade lasted for nearly two years. After my mother’s relationship ended, we returned to California, and I transitioned back to a traditional school setting seamlessly despite having missed almost two years of school during my Hawaiian stint.

This isn’t a critique of parenting norms in the ’70s. Albert Einstein said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

Reflecting on my childhood, I see how it shaped my professional ethos and characteristics:

How do the skills and tendencies introduced in this personal story relate to a business role?

1. Embrace Change and New Things

I readily embrace change and new things and I鈥檓 ready to take on a new role and lead teams in new directions, based on experience and research, and emerging trends. That doesn鈥檛 signify that I can鈥檛 commit to a company long-term. It means I am flexible and willing to try, and readily accept challenges.

2. Autonomy and Resilience

I embody a spirit of independence and strong determination. This, however, doesn’t impede my ability to heed instructions. Managing pressure and assuming responsibilities necessitate robust character and tenacity. Working harmoniously and respectfully with others, valuing diverse perspectives, and standing up for my own convictions form the crux of my professional demeanor. In addition, I am confident enough to make mistakes, accept them, and importantly, learn from them.

3. Candid Self-Reflection and Proactive Problem-Solving

I firmly believe in the virtues of candid self-reflection and proactive problem-solving for both personal development and career progression. In my quest for solutions, I am open to altering my approach or even aspects of myself. An inherent love for learning fuels this mindset – to learn, one must acknowledge what is yet unknown. I am confident that everyone on the team, including you, has valuable insights from which I can learn.

4. Calculated Risk-Taking

My experiences have taught me the significance of calculated risk-taking. I’ve learned that it’s essential to voice your aspirations, given that opportunity and valuable rewards seldom come without a proactive approach and demonstrated results, especially in competitive environments. Prior to embarking on any risks, conducting thorough research, understanding the environment, and formulating a plan are crucial steps. Taking intelligent and measured risks is often a necessary step on the path to not only meeting but also exceeding expectations.

5. The Power of Diligence

Competition is intrinsically challenging, which is what makes triumph so rewarding. While the mantra “don’t work harder, work smarter” often resonates, I firmly believe in the efficacy of hard work. I advocate for rigorous effort complemented by the utilization of cutting-edge tools and data-driven strategies. I fully endorse a balanced work-life dynamic, but I also understand the importance of outperforming competitors who might be eyeing your clientele, market share, or top search engine results page (SERP) ranking.

6. Pursuit of Accountability

I inherently gravitate towards accountability, focusing on collective performance and outcomes rather than individual accolades. This extends to the professional realm and intensifies with the added responsibilities that come with leadership. By actively accepting responsibilities, I continually demonstrate my value through actions, thus proving my ability to shoulder increasing levels of responsibility.

7. Prudent Resource Management

Adhering to the axiom “measure twice and cut once,” I exercise vigilance when managing the budgets of my client’s or employer’s resources. I am committed to ensuring every dollar is spent wisely, a principle that is especially crucial when determining the allocation of a marketing budget. Success begins with a careful and judicious approach to budget management.

In conclusion, my personal journey has shaped me into a multifaceted professional with key strengths rooted in adaptability, resilience, self-reflection, proactive problem-solving, and the courage to take calculated risks. I have a firm belief in the power of diligence and a natural propensity to accept responsibility, always emphasizing collective performance over personal credit. Furthermore, I apply prudent resource management in every situation, understanding that successful results are underpinned by wise budgeting. These core qualities, cultivated in my early life, make me well-equipped to handle diverse challenges and seize opportunities in any business environment.

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