The anchor of ‘Special Report with Bret Baier’ was inspired to create his teenage landscaping business after seeing how hard his father worked
As part of a series to mark Father’s Day, Moneyish asked some prominent people to share the lessons they learned from their father or father figures about money and leadership. Read more here.
I was born in Red Bank, New Jersey and remember spending time during my early years outside with friends non-stop. It was an idyllic kid’s life, well before the draw of iPhones, laptops, DVDs or even much TV. So at 9-years-old, when word came that my Dad, Bill Baier, who worked as a salesman for Sunoco, was being promoted and would be transferred to Atlanta, it felt like the end of the world.
But I remember my Dad telling me: “Bud, this is part of business. You always have to keep striving for the next rung on the ladder and sometimes that means you need to move.” I learned from watching him that hard work really did open a lot of doors.
My dad’s work ethic is what motivated me to start a grass-cutting business as a teenager that eventually was so popular, I was booked every weekend. It wasn’t exactly a grass cutting empire – but I was pretty busy and able to buy myself a moped.
Fast forward almost two decades to when I met the father of Amy Hills, my girlfriend at the time. Paul Hills – who would eventually become my father-in-law – was a self-made man who embodied the message that hard work pays off. Paul’s father ran a bowling alley and bar in Lamont, Illinois, and he went from humble beginnings to co-founding Sage Products, an extremely successful medical device company. (It went from an idea he had with his business partner Vince Foglia in 1971 to a multi-billion-dollar company.) But, with all of his financial success, Paul made sure that his four children – including my wife Amy – were always driven and incentivized to work hard. It was important to him that his kids remain hungry to succeed, which is really not the easiest of values to instill.
Now Amy and I are trying to teach Paul’s namesake, Paul Francis Baier, 9, and his brother Daniel, 6, those same values. They are also the same values that my Dad shared with me, the ones that spurred on my teenage landscaping empire, and the same values that led to a massive success for a medical device company in Illinois. Their stories taught me that success comes to the people who work the hardest to dig it out, and they have both influenced my own work ethic is a monument way. When you have the opportunity, put the pedal to the metal -then give back to your community, try to teach someone what you’ve learned and enjoy life.
Bret Baier is anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier” and chief political anchor of Fox News Channel, whose parent company shares common ownership with Moneyish publisher Dow Jones.
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