Happy Birthday Pop!



by Skip Cohen

I realize one of the Cardinal Rules of blogging is to stay away from getting overly personal. On the other hand, if you can’t use your own blog to wish your Dad Happy Birthday on his 91st, then what fun is having a blog?  So, meet my Dad who’s 91 today.

Growing up the poor guy never had a decent birthday dinner, because we were out of the house trick or treating the minute 5:00 PM hit. Then when he finally had a chance to eat, the doorbell rang every five minutes.

A few years ago, when Dad was a kid at 88, I talked him into writing a blog post that was loaded with the wisdom of his years and so relevant to the issues we struggle with in business today.  So, in honor of Dad’s birthday, I’m running his post here on the SCU blog. Trust, me, it’s a good one!

Pop, you’ve been my best buddy my entire life. I couldn’t feel more lucky to be at my age and still have my Dad to hang around with. Happy Birthday! Sure do love ya.

Just Watch the Left Front Fender! Guest post by Skip’s Dad

Last week I talked about working to convince my Dad to do a guest post now and then.  Well, I finally closed the deal, but only after we negotiated a life-changing compensation program that hopefully won’t disturb his Social Security and is comparable to what he underpaid me as a kid!   What I’m most happy with is simply being able to draw from Dad’s years of experience.  His message in this first blog is everything so many icons talk about.  

This blog is a prime example of as much as things change they stay the same!  The principles of business, while the vehicles to deliver the message might be different, the message itself is still the same.  So everybody, meet Pop, Skip’s Dad, with some great foundation tips to help you build your business.

Yesterday was my 88th birthday.  I have been happily retired for many years, and unemployed for at least 15 of those. Now, out of the blue, comes our son, Skip, threatening me with employment! The pay he considers adequate is $.02 per word. So gathering together, my 50+ years in business experience, I thought this would be a good time to put my two cents in.

I am not a plagiarist, but I must quote my father who spent the last months of his life writing advice to his children:

“Conduct your business in an upright manner and remember, the most important thing in one’s life is to be honest with one’s self. Maintain the high standard and dignity that your business requires. Do not go into deals hastily and be visible in your business as much of the time as is possible.  If you take time to play, do it away from your business, because your livelihood needs all the attention you can give to it.”

Early on, I concluded that the best testimonials came from my many friendly competitors.  We didn’t really compete with each other, in the true sense. True, we were in the same field of endeavor, but we all knew we were there to help each other. Happily, the “tough competition” fell by the wayside. 

I remember giving Skip driving lessons and I told him, “Watch the left front fender…..the rest will take care of itself!” I’ve found this is really true of everything in life.

An old axiom says “If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said.”  That is all part of reputation-building. I found that, sadly, in the field of real estate, truth is hard to come by for many. In our case, it was a major building block in the reputation which we enjoyed, and helped us to thwart the competition.

Goodwill is all of the above, plus a lot of caring for your clients as well as your competitors.  If life is a give-and-take situation, giving is the more important of the two.  The taking will come with time and be far more appreciative.  Just remember – you heard it here!  Ralph Cohen, Founder and Creator of Skip Cohen!


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