4 Powerful Things I Learned From My Mom

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day and its obvious that none of us would be here if it wasn’t for our mothers. They are truly foundational to our current success!

There are many things that we are taught in our childhood that form the foundation of who we are today. Our mothers are huge contributors to these foundations. My mother did an exceptional job at providing a solid foundation that I have used to build my life on.

As mentioned in a previous post, I grew up on the outskirts of a small town in northern Alberta. My dad was in the dairy business and my mom was a substitute school teacher. We never had much for money so when my mom wasn’t trying to balance ad hoc teaching engagements with raising my two sisters and I, she was  coming up with ideas on how to reduce grocery budgets and food costs while ensuring that us kids had everything we needed to flourish and be successful.

4 Powerful Attributes

Although I was blind to it at the time, I now realize the sacrifice my mom made for us kids. I also realize the many powerful attributes that I have learned from her. I have outlined four of these powerful attributes below.

  1. Discipline– First of all, because of my mom’s training as a teacher, she had a no-nonsense approach to life. She didn’t put up with attitude, always arrived early, worked hard, provided high value, and was disciplined in her approach to everything. This has served me well in my life and career and has contributed greatly to my success. I am very disciplined in everything I do, probably to a fault!
  2. Frugal – My mom was very frugal with finances. We had a huge garden that produced enough standard variety vegetables to last most of the year. For more “exotic” foods like peaches or plums, she would buy them in bulk in the fall and “can” them in jars to last the winter. Although I have chosen to not be this frugal, I have certainly chosen a “less than lavish” lifestyle and again this has served me well in both life and business. Not spending or burning through everything you have when you have it creates margin and options in your life.
  3. Assertiveness – My mom had a very assertive personality. Although this was just part of who she was, it was definitely amplified by her training and practice as a teacher! When used respectively and appropriately, assertiveness is a critical attribute in business. I have been able to leverage this attribute well over the years.
  4. The power of reading – Reading and learning are fundamental components of success. You can usually tell where a person is in life by how many books they have read in the past year and the titles of the books. My mom stressed reading and I became an avid reader and learner. This is probably the single most important factor determining my level of success. Without a willingness to learn and grow, an individual’s only choice is to stagnate!

Each of these powerful attributes have profoundly impacted my life and my worldview. I am forever indebted to my mom for providing such a great example and for drilling home these foundational lessons through the way she lived her life!

Thanks mom!

Take Action

Spend some time this week and reflect on the foundational lessons that you have learned over your life from people who have influenced you and then thank them for this. These lessons are invaluable!

Also, take a look at these posts for some more ideas on foundational lessons:


One life stamps and influences another, which in turn stamps and influences another, on and on, until the soul of human experience breathes on in generations we’ll never even meet.” Mary Kay Blakely


How did your mom influence your life and career? Leave your comments below!

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4 thoughts on “4 Powerful Things I Learned From My Mom

  1. Dave, thanks for the very insightful reflections on motherhood and parenthood. We are indeed a reflection of Our parents, especially as we age. It’s good to sit back and reflect on those great attributes that our parents passed on to us.