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The Three Things My Mom (and Georgetown) Taught Me

Updated: Oct 22

The value of Compassion, Work Ethic and Diversity in running a business


Yesterday, I was honored with an award from the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance. It was perfectly timed with Parents Weekend at Social Tables so my mom was able to attend the ceremony.

In my short acceptance speech I spoke about the three values I learned from both my mom (Roni) and from my time at Georgetown. These three values, I believe, have played a key role in helping me get Social Tables to where it is today.

  1. Compassion. As a social worker, my mom was always thinking about and fighting for the underdog. This laid the groundwork for my first operating principle in running the business: “being an employer of choice” and one of our core values, Customers First. Compassion and business ethics were reinforced throughout my Georgetown education.

  2. Work ethic. As a single parent for the first 10 years of my life, my mom worked every day — sometimes more than one job — to make ends meet. Still, she managed to excel in every job she had. At Georgetown, I also learned the value of hard work because when it comes to school, everything takes me longer than everyone else.

  3. Diversity. Ever since I was a little boy my mom and I would take an annual trip together. We traveled to countries such as Papua New Guinea, Australia, and Madagascar. I learned to see life through the eyes of different people and their cultures. In the same vein, Georgetown’s diverse student body and focus on international business taught me the importance of being inclusive and hearing voices other than our own.

Bottom line: If you deeply care about the people you work with and the customers you serve, you are relentless in your pursuit of your goals, and you welcome/consider alternative viewpoints in your company, you will increase your probability of success.

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© Dan j. Berger

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