As I sit here this Father’s Day weekend writing my Publisher’s Column for the July issue of the magazine, I guess it is only natural to reflect on my parents’ words of wisdom that are still with me today and hopefully have been passed on to my sons.
There is no question that I am my dad’s son. My ethics, my passion for helping others, and my personality have been passed down to me by him.
First, a little about my dad, Eugene Levine. He grew up in Upstate New York and was the only son of Nathan and Ethel Levine who migrated to the U.S. from Poland to escape Nazi terrorism and sure death in a concentration camp. They came through Ellis Island and eventually became U.S. citizens. They opened a small fabric story in Nyack, New York and Pearl River, New York and recruited my dad to come to work for them. My dad had every intention of using his college money given to him through the G.I. Bill to make something of himself but accepted his parents’ invitation under one of the promises made to him that they would pay his college tuition. To please his dad and mom, he kept working in a business that he did not want to be in even though his parents never did pay his college tuition.
I knew that this business was not my father’s choice but he worked it six days a week and chose to keep it open long after my grandparents passed away. This business fed and clothed my sister and me.
So here is what I learned from my dad about business and entrepreneurship:
- Treat everyone with honesty and integrity.
- Give back to the community whether it is with your money, time, or resources.
- Always remember that there is a reason why you are on this Earth.
- Always leave places better than you found them.
- Life is short. Make yours a meaningful one.
This month’s cover honoree, Dr. Leonard H. Goldberg, must have been cut from the same cloth (pardon my pun) as my dad. Dr. Goldberg, Director and Founder of DermSurgery Associates, runs his practice and lives his life the same way as my dad ran his fabric stores, with a caring heart, a jovial nature, and a smile that lights up a room.
I know that you are going to enjoy Dr. Goldberg’s story and find the great advice at the end of his story quite helpful in running your business!