I have been influenced in many wonderful ways by my dad, both personally and professionally. While it’s not uncommon for a son to say that his dad was a big influence on his career, in my case it is a bit unusual given how different my dad’s career is than mine.
My dad, Steve Wentworth, is a corn and soybean farmer in Central Illinois. Like me, he is the owner of a small business, but the fields that we work in (pun intended) are very different. His farming business is capital-intensive and somewhat dangerous, requires in-depth mechanical skills and scientific knowledge, and creates a commoditized product. My business—leading a team of financial writers who work with clients in the asset management, investment banking, private equity, and consulting industries—is basically the opposite of those things.
Despite these differences, my dad has had a profound impact on my career as a financial writer. Here are three of the most important lessons about financial writing that I learned from my dad: