How Fatherhood is a lot like Being a Small Business Owner

by Leah Edwards

small business owners
We are approaching Father’s Day on the heels of an unprecedented pandemic, and no one understands challenges more than fathers and small business owners. Some even represent both of these categories, and some have the opportunity to work with their adult children professionally. In all types of seasons, family members who work closely together create shared experiences, something that many of us have learned not to take for granted. Interestingly, being a father and being a small business owner have the following four things in common:

1. Both require sacrifice

No one ever says starting a business is easy and neither is being a father, especially the first go around. From sleepless nights to uncertain days, both of these life experiences require going all in. 

“My Dad is one of the hardest working people I know and he's a wealth of knowledge. Being able to learn from him has been my favorite experience since I've started working with him, and I know his guidance is setting me up for success,” said Larissa Croll, fellow franchisee at FASTSIGNS of Englewood - Littleton, CO with her franchisee father, Matt Metcalf.

2. Both provide learning experiences

Whether witnessing their child’s first steps toward growth or the first day of a business opening, both of these experiences enable many to learn a wide variety about business, relationships, and life in general. 

"Working with my father through the FASTSIGNS business venture has been rewarding," said Matthew Romero, franchisee at FASTSIGNS of Lake Charles, LA. "We have the ability to work closely yet independently, and I'm thankful I have had the opportunity to learn many business lessons from him over the years.”

“My parents have owned their FASTSIGNS center for over 20 years and my first memories of the location are from when I was about 10 years old,” said Larissa Croll, co-owner and daughter of Matt Metcalf, Franchisee of FASTSIGNS in Englewood - Littleton, CO. “I loved to weed vinyl decals, even though I wasn't very good at it. It's been great coming full circle to now own the center with my parents and husband.”

3. Both show you what you’re made of 

Both fatherhood and entrepreneurship fully push you out of your comfort zone and require you to dig deep to find your reservoir of courage. 

“It has been a great experience working in the business with my Dad for the last 20 years,” said VP of Operations Chris Mengel, son of franchisee, Kevin Mengel (FASTSIGNS locations in Exton, PA and  Phoenixville/King of Prussia). “We have gone through so much together in business, as well as personally. Some of our experiences could have led someone to give up, but working together in the business has kept us strong and focused. I think working with family can be difficult at times, but when you succeed, there is nothing more rewarding! I could not have a better business partner and life coach than my Dad. I am thankful every day we get to work together.”

Kevin Mengel & Chris Mengel_Million Dollar Award

4. Both can be incredibly rewarding

Nothing worth having ever comes easy. Fathers spend countless days caring for and training their children while entrepreneurs oversee their business endeavors, protecting their business in ways and helping it grow. 

“I treasure working with my sons because I value family as the fabric of life and feel incredibly blessed to be part of their professional lives,” said Chris Farr, father and franchisee at FASTSIGNS of Conroe, Texas. “I’m also proud to have created a legacy that they desire to participate in now and carry on after I retire. These things give me joy in abundance!”

“Together my son and I have built this business from a zero volume startup to a mature successful business that has provided both of us a good living. Over time, I have had the opportunity to watch my son grow in so many ways - as a child, as a dad himself and as a partner in our business. Without the family business of FASTSIGNS that would not have been possible,” said Kevin Mengel, father and franchisee at FASTSIGNS of Exton and FASTSIGNS of Phoenixville-King of Prussia, PA. “I have the gift of watching my son carry our family business to the next level. Not only am I able to sell my business and positively move into retirement, I am also blessed to watch my son begin his journey as a successful business owner.”

Happy Father’s Day 2020 to Fathers across the world. Whether you are a father, a small business owner or just appreciate both, the benefits of family and being in business with family are great. At FASTSIGNS, we are thankful to those who sacrifice, provide care, offer protection and lead by example in business and life.