Are you doing enough today for your ROCK?
In an earlier post, I told you a little about my own dad. (That’s him in the photo; I’m the girl in front.) I call him my “Dare to Be Great” dad because he never settled for good enough. My dad’s parents, who came from a small town in Italy, immigrated to America without a dime. No education, no driver’s license, no English, no nothing.
My grandfather got a job working on the train tracks, and my grandma had a baby every year until the headcount was nine. As a kid, my dad got a paper route as soon as he was big enough to carry a sack of newspapers. Later in life, he worked for years at the steel mill—the best career in town at the time. One day, the owners offered him a prestigious position as a manager. The word spread like wildfire through the town:
“Johnny’s getting the job!” And then he did something no one expected. He turned it down. Why? Because he dared to be great. He wanted to start his own business, and be his own boss. He wanted the American dream. So he left the mill, and took out a one-year lease on a butcher shop. Unfortunately, he was squeamish—and all day long, surrounded by bloody cuts of meat, he had to fight the urge to barf.
At the end of the day, he couldn’t wait to get out of there. After the year was up, he opened a barber shop. It was a great idea—until the mop-haired Beatles came on the scene, and short haircuts went right out of style. Undaunted, my dad put a row of bowling balls in his shop window and started a new enterprise: drilling bowling ball holes and selling bowling balls, bags, shirts, shoes, and trophies. It became a family affair, with my mom engraving the trophies and me arriving every day after school to dust the trophies, clean the windows, and vacuum the floor.
The sporting goods store took off, and my dad realized his dream: to be a successful entrepreneur. (Oh, and that steel mill? It folded.) Watching my dad single-mindedly pursue his vision, despite the risks and pain and hard work involved, inspired me to dare to be great myself. From his example, I learned that you need to roll the dice—sometimes over and over again. I learned that you can achieve huge goals through hard, HARD work.
I learned that you can succeed honestly, rather than reaching your goals in an underhanded way. And boy, did I learn to be positive. I tell you, the man never has a negative thought. With my dad as my role model, I followed my own vision. Sure, sometimes I fell flat on my face. But like him, I kept going until I achieved my dreams. And he’s stood by me every step of the way. If your dad is a rock like mine, he’s encouraged you to work hard and dream big.
He’s taught you to be honest, kind, and fiercely loyal to the people who matter to you. And through his example, he’s inspired you to become the best “you” that you can be. What’s more, he’s always been there for you. Over the years, he showed you how to peddle a trike, ride a bike, and drive a car. He tolerated your boy-band crushes, helped you with algebra, and tried to understand your teenage moods. He helped pay for the braces, the pizza parties, the prom limo, and college.
And he hated every one of your dates, because he thought that not one of them was good enough for you. All that loving care deserves a great-big thank-you. So don’t just buy your dad some golf balls or a gift card. Instead, go out of your way to tell your dad (or the father of your own kids) how amazing he is. Think about the things you love and appreciate most about him, and then TELL HIM about them. Better yet, write your words down so he can read them again and again. (While he may not admit it—after all, he’s a guy—he will treasure that piece of paper forever.)
Remember, ties and gift cards are fine—but most of all, dads need to know that they matter. A letter that says “I love you because…” is worth more than any gift you can wrap. Also, instead of baking him a Father’s Day cake or taking him out for a fattening breakfast, tell him you care by giving him gifts that are good for him. Sometimes, a rock needs a little nudge to trim off those extra pounds and get healthy.
So consider gifting your dad or the father of your children with a gym membership, a set of weights, or some of my protein powder. Your rock is always looking out for you, and this is a good opportunity to look out for him. Send him the message, “I love you—and I want you to be around for a long, long time!” From Team Kellyann to all the great dads out there: You’re awesome—and may your Father’s Day be awesome, too!
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!