Successful business people are often portrayed as greedy, fat cat, money grabbers but in reality, it’s often very different

“After forty years in business running a printing company, technology evolved and became digital, which coincided with the recession and my father’s whole life’s work went into liquidation in only a couple of years. He had tried to keep it going for a good while, he wasn’t taking his salary, him and his business partner thought they would get through this bump as well as they always had, but this time was different. As bad things never walk alone, my mother got diagnosed with Parkinson’s and got dementia later as well, so while my dad’s business was going downhill, my mother’s illness was getting worse too. He was going in to work every day feeling bad leaving mum at home but also weighed down with the pressure of keeping the company afloat and all the staff employed. He tried to keep it all going but eventually, things came to a head and the decision was made for him. This may sound like a sad story but he always told me that he didn’t feel any less successful closing it down. Some of his staff worked for him for 30-35 years and at one stage he employed about 70 people. Being part of their lives, seeing them developing families, and learning and working together was a real success to him. He looked at his part in all of that as something to be proud of. Successful business people are often portrayed as greedy, fat cat, money grabbers but in reality, it’s often very different. My dad’s story taught me that you have to enjoy the good times while they last, and to measure success by human relationships, both in business and in your personal life, rather than the numbers in your bank account.”