172: Growing Up First-Gen in a Family Business

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Did you know that 48% of business owners grew up in an entrepreneurial family? Growing up in a family business provides you with hands-on experience that no book nor formal education can provide. The family business teaches you the ins and outs of running a business and the implications of poor decision-making. So, if you’re wondering why some people leave the nine to five effortlessly and start their own business, it might be because they grew up watching their parents do so successfully. As a first-gen, you might not enjoy such privileges, but wouldn’t you want your kids to have hands-on experience managing a business? They won’t necessarily join the family business but have a 48% chance of launching their own business one day. 

Growing up in an Entrepreneurial Home – 10:22

We are all, to some extent, products of our environment. The things we’re exposed to during the early years of our lives can play a significant role in who we end up becoming. For example, children whose parents are more educated tend to boast exceptional grades in school as well. In Dr. Tom Griggs’ case, business was that one topic that never missed during dinnertime conversations. His parents were serial entrepreneurs with multiple successful exits in the world of retail and hospitality. Thus, their family’s entrepreneurial focus in his upbringing had a lasting impact on him becoming a business owner. Further, he gained invaluable business experience long before any of his agemates knew anything about running a business. 

First-Generation College Graduates Owning a Business – 18:01

First-generation college graduates often don’t have the luxury of relying on a parent or older sibling’s experience when launching a career. Even attempting to build a professional network can be a daunting prospect, for the most part. For Dr. Tom, working in a family business meant that he had to shift his mindset when he started working in the corporate world. First, he had to accept that he could get fired without notice, unlike his parent’s business. After three attempts at employment, getting fired twice, and quitting on a separate occasion, Dr. Tom decided it was time he ventured out on his own. As a first-gen, Dr. Tom is more committed to improving the world, an invaluable mindset the business world desperately needs today.

Benefits of Investing in Yourself – 22:54

Investing in your family, friends, or community is the one thing humans tend to gravitate towards. But, how much time, money, and effort do you spend on yourself? You see, investing in yourself is more than buying a home or setting up a retirement account. Self-investment is often directed toward the present and manifests in the things you do daily to better yourself. As a speaker, Dr. Tom constantly reads material on leadership and keeps himself updated on the world’s happenings. He’s also a martial arts enthusiast, a skill he says is used in self-defense and stress release. So, if you want to evolve and become the person you are meant to be, make learning and developing yourself a priority. Investing doesn’t have to be paying for expensive courses. It can be as simple as listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube video. Always remember, your knowledge, skills, and experience remain with you even when you lose everything. 

Being Smart Versus Being Gritty – 31:30

What role does effort play in a person’s success? Experts agree that grit may be as essential as intelligence when it comes to high achievement. For example, you probably know intelligent people who aren’t overly successful, and you probably also know high achievers who never had the best grades. For the longest time, IQ was considered the one thing that defined successful individuals. Interestingly, a higher IQ does not automatically mean that a person will be more successful. Dr. Tom believes it takes a bit more than that, especially in the real world. People have to be smart as well as gritty. But to be truly accomplished, you need to know when to be smart and when to be gritty. 

Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs is a native Houstonian, martial artist, and a passionate educator. His multicultural background coupled with his tough upbringing lit a fire in Tom for success and growth. 

He believes that education, character, and grit are the keys to achievement but having a goal or a “why” is the anchor point. 

Through his company Lead Connect Grow LLC and his brand website www.ntgriggs.com, Tom works with TRIO programs, education groups, and business associations to help young people and working professionals find their inner black belts. Connect with Dr. Nguyen “Tom” Griggs on LinkedIn