What's the Best Advice Your Mom Ever Gave You?

Mothers are our first and best mentors. What did your mom tell you about life?

By Colleen's Contributor, Jerilyn Willin, CSI

Much is written about the importance of having a mentor in the workplace. People who have achieved career success rarely say “I did it entirely on my own.” Rather, they acknowledge a person or two who were key in guiding/advising them along the path to success.

These mentors are often identified as challenging teachers (a shout out to Pat Lueke and John Sims), company executives (thank you, Robert Denker), or simply more tenured people in the person’s career field. In other words, folks who kept an eye out for them, suggested or even sent opportunities their way, or imparted wisdom they had collected over their years in the business world.

Using that definition of mentor, I maintain we are “mentored” far earlier on by an important person in our lives who rarely is identified as a mentor. That would be our mother. As May is the month we honor mothers, I asked people, via LinkedIn and Facebook, “What guidance did you get from your mom that has served you well in your work life?” Below are some responses:


“Though it seems difficult or painful, push through it, you can do it.” –Beth FD, Presbyterian minister, former corporate marketing professional


“Have your own money and control it”.  –Regina S., VP Culture change consultancy


“You never get a second chance to make a first impression. As true today as it ever was.”

–Ann Marie C., Consultant/Meeting Facilitator, former IT professional


“The customer is always right. That has carried through for me in being extremely customer-focused in my business. It has served me well.” –Janet K., Business owner


“Be yourself in any situation and always tell the truth” –Nanci M., Church Administrator


“Learn to type. She was thinking secretary, but it’s an essential skill today for everyone in business.”

– Paula S., Recruiter/Business owner


“Get a college education and you got yourself into this, now you get yourself out. The second part taught me self-reliance which is vital to success.”

–      Linda K., Writer/Entrepreneur


“Patience is a virtue. True in business, true in life.” –Aileen G., Virtual Assistant


“What goes around comes around.” –Colleen F., Entrepreneur


“Don’t burn your bridges behind you.” –Edie F., International Freight Specialist


What did your mom tell you that helped you in your career? If you’re a mother, what have you told your children that, while told to them as kids, may help them be successful in whatever endeavor they chose to pursue?


I would love to hear from you. Add your comments below. And Happy Mother’s Day!

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Sherry May 13, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Always put God first...be a good girl...tell the truth and say your prayers...Miss you n love you mom..Happy Mothers Day..Sherry
Linda Edwards May 13, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Trust your instincts!
Lori Howard May 13, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Maintain marketable employment skills so you can always provide for yourself in the event your significant other is no longer able to...
Harry Dorfman May 13, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Beer on top of whiskey - mighty risky....whiskey on top of beer - never fear
Diane Gornell May 14, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Never go to bed mad and if he hits you once, leave him!


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