Picture this: Do Derby entrepreneurs inherit their success from their parents?
The owner of a Derby printing company is set to celebrate Fathers Day in her own unique way as she tries to discover what characteristics local entrepreneurs share with their parents.
Yvonne Gorman, owner of Essential Print Services in Derby, and self-confessed “print evangelist” has spent the last few weeks inviting successful business owners into her studio to try and understand where the desire to start-up and run a company comes from.
Yvonne said: “As we approach Fathers’ Day, it dawned on me that entrepreneurialism could be ‘nature’ and not just nurture. I got to thinking about the characteristics and traits of parents that they might have passed down to their children that may have helped or hindered their business life.”
The results are a fascinating visual and narrative exploration of the age-old ‘nature vs nature’ debate.
Yvonne asked some of her business buddies to explain how much they think their parents’ character and traits have influenced their business success.
Holly Faulkner, co-owner of The Wonky Table Restaurant in Derby and her father, Richard, was first in the studio.
Pictured: Holly Faulkner and her father, Richard. Holly is Co-Owner of The Wonky Table Restaurant, Sadler Gate, Derby
Holly said: “I like to think I’ve got a nice balance between my parents. My dad has always been hard working and always provided for us – he’s always had the financial sense, whereas my Mum has been a bit more entrepreneurial, creative and definitely the cook of the family. Although my love of quirky antiques – reflected in the decor of the restaurant – is from my Dad’s love of thrift shop, auctions, car boots and eBay, as is my love of red wine!”
Richard added: “As a father, I think I’ve always tried to encourage her in her ambitions but pulled the reigns in when necessary but the success of the restaurant has been solely down to her and her partner Andy. “Whenever conversation with friends get on to the subject of eating out and Wonky Table is mentioned I always get a kick out of saying ‘Yes, that’s my daughter’s restaurant’.”
Yvonne also attended a shoot with her father Dave.
She said: “I never intended to start my own business. None of my family run their own companies and nor did my close friends at the time. Being an entrepreneur simply was not on the horizon. I was never considered to be ‘artistic’ at school either so it’s even more of a surprise that I’m a graphic designer ‘by trade’.
“Although my Dad was unsure about my decision, he has supported me and I think he takes great delight in imparting his experience and advice about the staff and customer service. It’s not until I hear his stories from his lifetime in print, that I realise I am, without a doubt, my ‘Father’s daughter’.”
Dave said: “Yvonne has the ability to have a quick moan when confronted by a problem and then just sorts it out. Most just moan and see no answer or opportunity. Nature or Nurture? Genes, experience and the ability to do whatever it takes to get the job done, is one of her best attributes. There is a relevant saying with regards to what effect parents have on the success of their offspring – it is: ‘children grow up despite their parents’.”
“I believe that entrepreneurs do not inherit unique qualities from parents nor do they pass it on to their offspring. Who has heard of Alan Sugars parents or his children? Likewise Richard Branson’s or the panel of Sugars tv show? The list is full of entrepreneurs but not parents or their offspring. Entrepreneurs think “outside the box” and see opportunities that the rest of us would not even consider. They are able to handle the opposition from a mass of doubters. They are also resilient against those who cannot accept and welcome change. Yvonne obviously inherited my good looks and clothing sense, which must have had massive advantages,” Dave Gorman added.
Yvonne’s close friend Katrina Starkie and her father Ron Atherton were next to have their photo taken.
Katrina said: “I’ve always been careful with money – Mum and Dad took me to the races as a kid and would give me 50p to bet on a horse. I used to prefer to keep the 50p as it was guaranteed rather than gamble with it.
“I was also very small, so used to get mistaken for being much younger, and freak people out when they thought a 4/5-year-old was reading/writing at a really advanced level – I was actually 7 or 8.”
Benjamin Brain from Hannells estate agency says he “feels great” about sharing characteristics with his parents.
He added: “That blend is what has contributed to getting me where I am today. I can say with confidence that I truly love my life and the work I do and if any of those characteristics were missing, things could be drastically different – who knows if it would be for better or worse but it’s not a gamble I would be willing to take! I think one of the keys to being a great business leader is recognising and playing to your strengths, but also recognising your weaknesses and working with other talented people who can complement that.
“I have always had high expectations of myself and a drive to be successful in business which I think is passed down through my dad. But then on the flip side, I feel that I am quite empathetic and fair with people which is most definitely a quality that has been passed on by my mother.”
Last but, not least; Ian Hodgkinson owner and Managing Director of Hodgkinson Builders was snapped with his son Robert Hodgkinson who is the managing surveyor for the business.
“It’s great to have the family involved, I feel we work together as a family, as well as being a family, its great to pass on family traditions, skills and experience in the building trade. Working together towards our family values and goals. It’s also great for me to mentor Robert as my father mentored me. An unbelievable opportunity in my eyes to work with my Sons, they have also helped to inspire me and bring newfound blood and enthusiasm into the business. Robert has always been positive, enthusiastic, and never standing still for long always with a smile on his face,” said Ian.
So, what are your thoughts on this debate? Post your comment below or send us an email. But, whatever you think, let’s wish our Father’s past, present and future a very happy Father’s Day.
Images by www.jaktcommercial.co.uk