Who Was Your Biggest Influence?

ptm24's picture
Rank: Senior Orangutan | 443

Title says it all. Who was the person who influenced you the most whether it be in your career or personal life (or both)? What was your relationship with them and how did they influence you? Positive and negative influences both apply.

Comments (18)

Aug 21, 2018

My mom worked for a very successful guy in the fashion industry. We were invited to a birthday party at his home in Long Island. At this time he has already sold 2 companies both for hundreds of millions.

I was maybe 13 at the time. Me and most of the people around me growing up were "well off" (whatever that means). I'll never forget pulling up to the house with my eyes wide. First impression: Sideways parked Ferrari blocking the driveway. Proceeded to go in the house (castle) and went for a little tour. Pure opulence.

He pulls me aside and says let's go. Grabs his keys and takes me for a ride in the Ferrari. He leaves me with the "you can have anything you want in life". I don't think I stopped smiling that whole day. He was truly the nicest guy. Never had a desire to go into his industry, but I think about him and that day often. Forever changed my opinion as to what is possible to achieve in life.

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Aug 26, 2018

+1SB. Loved that story

Most Helpful
Aug 21, 2018

Professionally, in a weird way, it was my father. He was one of those guys who petitioned the school in undergrad to let him take more credits than was allowed and still got a 4.0. He worked his ass off, rose through the ranks, got to the EVP and Executive Committee level, was loyal and productive, and the moment he ran into a personal issue (alcoholism/depression in his case) all of his equally high-level coworkers, some of whom he had known for 20+ years and he thought were his best friends, dropped him immediately. No substance abuse program, no leave of absence, no help, just fired.

My dad was (and is) also the furthest thing from a risk taker. He never wanted to be on commission, never wanted to go out on his own and start his own thing. He lost a lot of potential income that way and then in the end and it was ultimately all for nothing. His 4.0 GPA. His intelligence. His work ethic. His 25 years of doing the right thing to collect his paycheck. None of it really mattered when he hit a rough patch.

Everything I'm doing today is in some way working toward not ever having to be an employee. My work won't be defined by what someone else thinks I deserve every two weeks and if/when I run into adversity in my life down the road, I won't be at the whim of someone who can abandon me.

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Aug 21, 2018
CRE:

Professionally, in a weird way, it was my father. He was one of those guys who petitioned the school in undergrad to let him take more credits than was allowed and still got a 4.0. He worked his ass off, rose through the ranks, got to the EVP and Executive Committee level, was loyal and productive, and the moment he ran into a personal issue (alcoholism/depression in his case) all of his equally high-level coworkers, some of whom he had known for 20+ years and he thought were his best friends, dropped him immediately. No substance abuse program, no leave of absence, no help, just fired.

My dad was (and is) also the furthest thing from a risk taker. He never wanted to be on commission, never wanted to go out on his own and start his own thing. He lost a lot of potential income that way and then in the end and it was ultimately all for nothing. His 4.0 GPA. His intelligence. His work ethic. His 25 years of doing the right thing to collect his paycheck. None of it really mattered when he hit a rough patch.

Everything I'm doing today is in some way working toward not ever having to be an employee. My work won't be defined by what someone else thinks I deserve every two weeks and if/when I run into adversity in my life down the road, I won't be at the whim of someone who can abandon me.

If you don't mind sharing, what ended up happening to your dad? What a story - reminds us that we are treated as disposable, in the worst way

Aug 26, 2018

I would like to know what you're doing to do what you want or at least plan to do.

I have been thinking about it recently. My employee skill isnt that good and looking to branch out into something else.

Would you kind sharing via inbox?

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Aug 30, 2018

How's your dad doing now? Dealt with a very similar situation -- hope things are better now.

Aug 21, 2018

I think most on this site have a handful of people that catalyzed their growth into professionals, a few of mine are:

  • Investments professor in college who took a very unorthodox approach to teaching his class. I enjoyed his methods so much I ended doing an independent study with him the following semester and he took a lot of interest in helping me develop a more in-depth understanding of investments and finance in general. I credit him with cultivating my interest in finance and ultimately my desire to pursue IB.
  • VP at the bank: just out-of-this-world brilliant guy who didn't let the monotony of banking dampen his creative mindset. He helped me develop a more professional way of thinking critically/strategically. We stayed in touch after working together and was actually his recommendation that landed me where I am now.
  • My dad: salt of the earth hustle for the family mindset. Taught me the value of busting your ass day in and day out and accepted nothing less from me. Additionally, he managed a group at a RE ss firm and espoused the value of treating colleagues, managers, and subordinates with the upmost respect. In high stress environments, I find his style paramount in getting the best work product from the team.
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Aug 26, 2018

Mr Life. He's a hard hitter, but I'm getting stronger.

Couldn't think of a better sparring partner.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

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Aug 26, 2018

...

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Aug 26, 2018

Money

Aug 26, 2018

My Dad: Always managed to put his family first and still worked his ass off to climb the ladder and still made time for all of the soccer games, PTO meetings, concerts, etc. Despite how much he's achieved coming from a not well of family with a bunch of siblings, he's easily one of the most humble people I've ever interacted with.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there" - Will Rogers

Aug 26, 2018

Donald Trump, because of the way he proves all his haters wrong, accomplishes something monumental despite everyone in power being against him. Thinking about his presidential run - the way a will to power is all it really takes to grasp it away from others - is more often than not what gets me out of bed in the morning and gives me energy to keep plugging away in IB. Reminds me that one day I can be like him too.

Also love the way he has sycophants orbiting him all the time (Giuliani, Cohen, Christie, Manafort, etc.) and they always take the fall while he wins. Truly something to aspire to.

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Aug 31, 2018

Trump doesn't take shit from anyone and its all on his terms.

Aug 27, 2018
  • Dad had a dazzling intellect for a self-taught person, his formal education having ended at age 12, taught himself about 6 languages and read anything/everything he could get his hands on. He was my personal Google before the interwebz. He was a feminist and a pragmatist, teaching me to do all sorts of home repairs and more plus made me carry a knife along with teaching me how to defend myself.
  • Mom totally leads by example. Hard worker, fiercely independent, still amazingly curious at age 80 and always looking for something new to learn, she's probably the number customer on the Great Courses website, LOL. She's a great fan of "take a pencil and paper and do the math... seeing things in black and white, whether numbers or words, helps you just about every time." She hated some of my father's thinking in regards to defending myself ala "She's a girl! She's supposed to be a lady!" and he would reply "The world isn't going to care that she's a girl or a lady... that's not going to stop a mugger or a rapist." They taught me you could disagree with your significant other and not always seeing eye-to-eye isn't a bad thing nor does it mean either of you is actually right or wrong, that experience and perspective are both important and valid.
  • Both of them along with my step-dad have fed and fostered my life-long loves of music, literature and film.
  • One particular college professor who taught a residency that I attended who thought I'd benefit from a trip to Cuba for the International Film Festival, amongst other things. Made me realize that not all learning should be in a classroom setting and that not all learning should be to simply further one's career, but to expand one's minds and life's experiences.
  • One of my first bosses, at one of my first corporate jobs. He put a lot of faith in me, even though I'd been hired as a secretary at first, he gave me responsibilities and duties far beyond administrative stuff. Sent me to Chicago to observe Dow Jones New Retrieval in its infancy, when investment banks were just starting to use databases like Compustat and SDC. He often asked for my thoughts about how to address information needs when the home office wouldn't increase our budget, teaching me early on how to think outside of the box [e.g. we needed to compile a list of yeast manufacturers and distributors but the market research was obscenely pricey. My solution - I called a couple of my local supermarkets and asked them to visit their baked goods aisle and recite the names of all the yeast products they carried]. He also encouraged me when I showed frustration over said department budget being stagnant for several years while subscription costs, conference fees and database expenses all rose yearly - told me I was free to try to solicit more funds from the home office. I put together a trend analysis spreadsheet showing the yearly costs we incurred and I successfully got our yearly budget increased by 20% and also allocated separate monies for sending analysts to conferences. One of many instances in my life where Mom's "grab pencil and paper" argument served me well.
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Aug 28, 2018

Your username finally makes sense to me

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

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Aug 31, 2018

My dad. First 8 years of his life he lived in a caravan park but he grew up with great parents who were caring but just couldn't afford the best upbringing (Grandfather busted his arse for a good 60-70 hours a week running his own business doing physical labour). First person in his family to go to university and get good marks. Worked his way up and has been an MD for over 10 years now. Dad will be the first to tell you he isn't the smartest guy in the room but he is humble and has a great EQ. I used to spam him with questions as a child and he answered 95% of them and encouraged me to be curious. Dad was always there for me and always took time out of his week to do stuff with me (soccer games, plane watching etc) Despite working 65 hours a week.

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Aug 31, 2018

Myself.

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Sep 1, 2018
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