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The Big survey

Eyecare Pros Got This Business Advice from Their Parents

Plus: We also asked them what advice they’re giving their own kids.




WE ASKED THE eyecare business owners and managers who took INVISION’s 2021 Big Survey a two-part question:

  1. Please tell us the most important business lesson your parents gave you.
  2. What’s the most important business lesson you will try to pass on to your children? (Imaginary child is fine).

Above all, ECPs inherited respect for hard work—“Work hard, and if you fail, get up and try again,” one respondent quoted their parents as saying—and for the golden rule. Their parents also extolled the value of honesty and frugality:

  • “Always do what is right, especially when you think no one is watching. Someone is ALWAYS watching!!” and “Don’t get a Visa card.”

Other pearls of parental wisdom recalled by our survey respondents included:

  • “Every day is a good day to work.”
  • “[Get a] good lawyer, accountant and insurance agent.”
  • “Don’t assume you know what anyone can or can’t afford.”
  • “Spend money on the essentials; the decor and fancy can come later.”
  • “Be nice to everyone: You never know when you will face them in a job interview.”
  • “The truth is much easier to remember than a lie. Be honest in what you do and admit mistakes.”
  • “Write down plans and review them, as opposed to making impulsive decisions.”
  • “If you have a million dollars in the bank, you don’t have anything until you’ve paid off the last person you owe money to.”
  • “Be on time.”
  • “Dress sharp.”
  • “Don’t take s**t from anybody.”
  • “Don’t be like me.”

Similarly, ECPs’ main message for their kids is to work hard, but they appear more eager than their parents were to contextualize this advice. While “do unto others” is still high in the mix, as words to live by they have been eclipsed somewhat by exhortations to “follow your passion”, or at least strike a healthy work-life balance: “Money isn’t everything. Time is the only nonrenewable resource,” one respondent reported telling their children.

Here are some other pieces of advice ECPs have for their kids or protégés:

  • “Have fun and love what you do every day. Don’t let anyone steal your joy.”
  • “Spare no opportunity to live well. Life is short and the person with the best stories will be the winner at the nursing home.”
  • “The most important thing is to keep up with the changes of the times and adjust our thoughts over time.”
  • “Be kind, always; everyone is going through something you know nothing about.”
  • “Always do your best and set high standards for your best.”
  • “Always have a goal you are working towards.”
  • “Do not be afraid to take risks.”
  • “Be ready for the unexpected.”
  • “Highs are high and lows are low; stay humble.”
  • “You can do this.”
  • “Be different!”
  • “School comes first.”
  • “Never stop learning. Always listen to a new idea.”
  • “Make sure you hire people you can trust.”
  • “Work hard, laugh hard, make money.”
  • “Become an optometrist instead of an optician.”

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at


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