Family Life and The Businessman
My father owns his own import and export business, giving us the opportunity to live comfortably, in reward for his hard work. My parents moved to West Africa from India, where they originated from, for my father’s business. My parents raised us similar to how you would see most within Indian culture, and similarly western cultures. Having strict concise rules was expected, but necessary for how they wanted to raise us. My brother was the older, more mature brother, and I fully immersed myself within the role of being the baby in the family. The closeness to my brother was never really as prominent when we were younger in comparison to now. He was quieter and stuck to his schooling, always on the honor roll and truthfully, I was not. I was the outspoken one who focused more on soccer, cricket, and tennis. My parents were strict when they needed to be, but they never made me feel any less when I struggled with things like school. They would always just tell me to work harder, and to use my brother as a resource, which I ultimately did. Mom was always home working around the house, while we would be at school. I became really close with my mom with my dad always working, never taking for granted what he was doing for me. My parents were very smart with their money, putting aside a lot for the betterment of my brother and me. When my brother began applying for schools, and attaining multiple scholarships, it really put this bulls-eye on my back from my parents to do the same in a couple years.
My brother and I went to an International School with a varied cultural background; Lebanese, Chinese, local Ghanaian, with the school being a British Standard Curriculum. I accredit most of my learning, though, to my parents, and the outside help they gave us. They were always helping with any kind of homework. This school was where I went to for the years up to college. My parents chose an International school over public schooling, mostly because the Ghanaian public schools were not represented well within governmental funding. A lot of the same norms that I have seen within American culture are also seen within the area I was raised in, and fortunately to my benefit. Within the British curriculum you started with English right away, and the courses were very polished. Our main focus within school was math and computers mostly, working with things like Excel and Word at a young age. There was a lack of reading and English courses, which I only really noticed affected me while I was taking the SATs attempting to come to the United States. Information Systems, Technology, and Mathematics were a standard way of living for a lot of the cultures within the community that I grew up so it made a lot of sense as to why those were the angles pursued in education. I never really wanted to go after Math or Information Systems for my possible career path, but it is working really well for my brother whom graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
For me, I always felt like I knew all that was being taught within the classes we had to take in grammar school, but those never became a passion for me. Having the ability to work with my father gave me the entrepreneur-like mind that he has as well, it was not just what my father did, it was how he acts, and goes about the work he does. He never stopped my mother from working even though she may not have needed to. He owns his own company Brite Brothers Limited Imports and Exports, which sold- general merchandise, footwear, glassware, and things like towels, all for the general Ghanaian population. He also had his own storefront, importing basic retail, from U.S., China, Indian, and many other countries as well. The way he ran his business was firm but also fair. He is the perfect salesmen which makes him a great business owner. He always told me, “You leave with your reputation”. He never went into a sale thinking it was about selling the product, he always wants to know about the costumer. My parents always wanted me to be a doctor, and with the way school was grooming us, through science and mathematics, it may have seemed that way. When it came to deciding what I wanted to do or emulate, it was always a similar status as my father. It took my parents a little aback, but they have supported me throughout everything. My father’s relationship with costumer’s was a strong characteristic I picked up on and an ability that I have always tried to focus on, because of his impact on people. Even if he was not completely getting along with a client, he found a way to relate to a person, in order to keep both the business and intimate relationship needed.
The relationship I have with my father began as influence through watching and learning the intrinsic values he had as a salesman. Our relationship got closer through me being around him in the office setting, whether it was driving him on the weekends to and from the port, or just spending time with him inside the office. My father was able to own a business that boomed and was in high demand, he could build relationships within his community, while also while raising a family in a different country. He has always been the biggest influence within how I have structured my life and path. The drive my father had really shaped who I am and what I wanted to do.