The Most Important Business Lesson My Parents Taught  - That of a Firm Handshake

The Most Important Business Lesson My Parents Taught - That of a Firm Handshake

Posted by Philadelphia Website Design in Boyertown - Media Fusion Tech on Monday, November 21, 2022

Growing up as a child in the 1970’s and '80's, my perception of the day-to-day dealings between family and local businesses certainly was much less complicated than those of today. My dad was a farmer on a large spread in western Montana who toiled from dusk to dawn - seven days a week - whether he needed to... or not. He would often take me along in his truck for the 20-minute ride to the local feed mill where everybody knew his name. Handshakes, wit and wisdom were exchanged with a smile and occasional curse correction. If they didn’t have what he needed, they were quick to refer him to another area business where everybody knew his name and offered a firm handshake and a smile.

Being raised out west, two of the most important lessons I was taught by my father and mother were that of the firm handshake while looking a man straight in the eye, and to never shake another man's hand while you are sitting down. My wife and I passed these lessons on to our sons. Lessons that have been critical throughout my life in doing business and earning trust. 

The manner of a man's handshake speaks volumes about the man.

When I was nine years old, our church had an amazing pastor who was extremely influential in my life. He was big and strong. A former football lineman and active weightlifter who had spent a short stint on the Denver Broncos practice squad in his youth. He was also the town milkman who had a super strong grip and hands the size of baseball gloves (at least to a nine-year-old). When he moved on to another calling, the church replaced him with a scrawny mid-western pastor who was quite obviously never taught the lesson of the firm handshake in his youth. 

Our congregation, women included, described the new pastor's handshake as a 'limp noodle'. They quickly brought him up to speed on the particular intricacies of the said 'handshake' lesson, should he desire to 'stay in the fold'! He went out and purchased hand grips at the local sporting goods store to build his forearm strength to... heed their call. They kept him on for a spell.

The Cyber Challenge

Flash forward to the present where we are being bludgeoned with super-cyber-everything ads and offers via every electronic device within our view or earshot. A present time where we are more disposed to firing off a text than shaking a hand. A present time where we are more likely to click the ‘like’ than to engage in some face-to-face contact with a firm handshake, a chuckle, and a grin.

Many of my Gen X will argue that the Mayberry-esque days of yore can’t possibly unite and bear relevance with today’s fast-paced, tech-savvy, “I need it yesterday”, societal demands. Seriously, when you are hiring a company to build a website for your business, how can those age-old, pre-web, flesh-pressing, archaic principles possibly apply? Enough of the nostalgia and reminiscing. Let's get down to business (albeit briefly). 

The Pitch!

What should your company look for when building your website? We would argue a refined and responsive amalgamation of Mayberry-esque and hi-tech awesomeness! We deliver just that, with a firm handshake - looking you straight in the eye (not in that creepy way) - along with the most current hi-tech solutions to elevate your business and brand. Many can do the former, few can pull off both. Your business that you have slaved to build deserves both. It's about character and integrity, and your success.

That’s it. That’s the ‘pitch’. That’s all you get. Now I turn back to reminiscing on this late evening with a friendly glass of goodness on the rocks, and a bible and firearm by my side.

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

One of my first jobs – a dream job at the time – was spinning the latest hits on vinyl after high school on our western small-town A.M. radio station. I called it ‘The After Hours Show’, meaning after school hours of course. In retrospect, I doubt that the area businesses, blue-collar community, tourists, or truck drivers picked up on that little name nuance at 4 pm, although I thought it to be clever.

I tell you all of that, to tell you this… for those who have endured my journey down memory lane. One of my fondest memories of that job – perhaps inspired by riding in dad’s truck a decade prior and him singing along to 'Mockingbird' by James Taylor and Carol King on the radio – was when I would listen to the daily genius of the legendary radio broadcaster, icon patriot, and storyteller, Paul Harvey

With his trademark hypnotic timbre, cadence, extended strategic and dramatic pauses (caesura), heart-warming tales, folksy observations, family values, love of country, optimism, and old-fashioned plain talk; Paul Harvey inspired and molded the minds and lives of millions of Americans, present company included. He always aspired to eloquently champion the American dreamer, innovator, and hard worker… the thinker, the doer. 

America was built by men in denim

Two of his most iconic airings which I had the pleasure of spinning on vinyl (when listeners thought it was live) were: So God Made a Farmer, and The Man and The Birds Christmas Story. I recommend you listen. If you have already, please listen again. I do every year. America needs more of all of this now and always.

Many of the formerly young Americans from my generation are running today’s businesses and still firmly believe that people do business with people… not with brick and mortar, not with cyber and seclusion, not with emotionless entities. Deals are done with a firm handshake and a confident look in the eye. Successful business owners accomplish what they accomplish through courage, ingenuity, risk, dedication, commitment, honor, respect, morals, values, integrity… 

blood, sweat, and tears.

In the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “Our nation was hammered and hoed and chopped and sawed and clawed out of the wilderness by bare-handed men who asked nothing, for nothing. There is one fertilizer essential to the survival of civilization, and that fertilizer is sweat.” 

Whether you hire a company to build your building or build your website, you should settle for nothing less than this same respect, devotion, commitment, integrity, excellence, and firm handshake.

May God bless you all, and may God bless America.

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