How My Dad's Advice Shaped My Career and Business SuccessJan 29, 2024
From the classrooms of high school to the boardrooms of the business world, the guidance we receive in our formative years can be the lighthouse that guides us through life's tumultuous seas. In this episode of "Keep What You Earn," I, Shannon Weinstein, share a deeply personal narrative, reflecting on the resounding impact of my father's advice on my career trajectory and the ethos of my business philosophy.
Growing up, I was introduced to the world of accounting at 16, a subject that spoke to my soul. It was more than just numbers; it was the clarity of critical thinking and the elegance of applied theory that captivated me. My dad, ever the insightful mentor, noticed my affinity and nudged me toward considering it as a career. "If you can understand accounting with ease, imagine how well you could teach it," he said. His words were prophetic—not only did I eventually thrive in the field, but I also found immense joy in empowering others with financial literacy.
The decision to attend Elon University over the more specialized Bentley was a testament to my yearning for a diverse experience. Padding my academic pursuits with variety seemed more appealing, and my dad's influence was pivotal in arriving at that choice. In hindsight, the exposure to different people and ideologies at Elon enriched my worldview and embedded within me a certain adaptability that would serve me well in the professional world.
My dad's sage counsel didn't end at college doorsteps; he continued to guide me through course selections and defining career steps. His wisdom was never prescriptive; it was always about nurturing my potential. This thoughtful nurturing led me down the path of becoming a Certified Public Accountant, laying the foundation for my achievements in public accounting.
My tenure at a big four firm was both an honor and a trial by fire. It was there that the value of integrity was crystallized. I faced ethical dilemmas that not only tested my values but also the resilience of my character. But when papers bearing my name were found to be tampered with—although not by my doing—the burden was unbearable. I was daunted by the prospect of legal battles and my world was upended by stress, manifesting in panic attacks.
In that crucible of uncertainty, my dad's words became my refuge. He encouraged me to "do whatever the fuck" I want. It was permission to prioritize my well-being and forge my path—a sentiment that only grew louder after his passing. Armed with his words and the support system he had diligently built around me, I made the bold decision to leave the firm.
Transitioning to various careers, I took to heart the luxury of choice my father's support afforded me—each step was made without cowering to discomfort or clinging to the rigid armor of stability. This journey of professional metamorphosis wasn't merely about embracing change, it was a homage to living a life true to one’s desires and values.
Parents, take a page from my dad's book. Recognize in your children the tinges of their passion and nudge them towards their strengths. It's not always about what our children are good at; sometimes, it's about the joy they find in it that truly matters. For me, accounting was more than a subject—it was a palette where I could blend logic with creativity.
In our latest episode, I unpack these life lessons with the hope that they resonate with you. Whether you're a parent seeking to guide your child or a professional feeling adrift in the corporate seas, remember the power of insightful advice and the courage it takes to pursue fulfillment.
Join me in honoring the legacy my father left behind—a legacy that transcends the confines of familial bonds and blossoms into the wisdom that we, too, should pursue our inclinations with vigor and heart. Don't forget to download your free tax deduction guide and let your presence be felt with your ratings and reviews. Here's to keeping what we earn, in wealth and in happiness, inspired by the lessons passed down by those who truly knew the value of both.
What you'll hear in this episode:
04:06 High school electives included fine arts options.
07:14 Understanding teen's passion can have broad impact.
12:57 High school accounting class set me up.
15:59 Firm accused of forging documents for inspection.
18:17 Job offer dilemma: stick with current company?
23:04 Lesson from father: be patient and persevere.
26:23 Realized late that he wanted me independent.
29:47 Seeking fun opportunities, I explored diverse roles.
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