As a successful business tycoon’s daughter, I’ve grown up seeing and being a part of one of the largest family-owned businesses in Vietnam. Getting a front-row seat to that kind of success has been simultaneously difficult, eye-opening, and humbling, as I have watched my parents build something from nothing. I have always watched in awe of my father as he has negotiated and fought for the vision of THP through the years. It is in those moments that I have come to understand more clearly why he has been so successful.
My sister Bich and I have worked to understand this business built by our parents and have strived to contribute in a meaningful way. For us, the future possibility of overseeing THP is one that we must work for – not one that we will automatically inherit for simply being his children.
For some, being a successful tycoon’s daughter might mean you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth and yield automatic inheritance of the empire built by the generations before. However, that has never been the desire or plan of my father. While my sister and I have played – and continue to play – an active role in the management of THP, this still does not guarantee the transference of the business to us when it’s time for my father to step down. He believes “inheriting” the family business should not be an expectation or benefit for the next generation, but rather a responsibility that must be earned. He has always been clear and upfront about leaving the business in the hands of the best successor; it’s our job to make sure we are the individuals prepared and most qualified to take on that responsibility.
Lessons Learned from Being a Tycoon’s Daughter
This is the kind of businessman my father has always been. This is the man who taught me and my siblings how to work and be successful. His tenacity and desire to work hard are core tenets of what our family stands for – and as an extension, THP. After all, THP has been built on the foundation of the very family values that my parents believe in for every aspect of their lives.
I cannot imagine having a better mentor for introducing me to the business world and expanding upon my understanding through real-world application. Through the years his approach to THP – and life in general – has taught me numerous lessons. There are tried-and-true principles that guide most of the decisions I make as businesswoman as I make the transition to help take THP into the next generation:
- Nothing is Impossible. To know my father is to understand where he came from and what he has accomplished despite the obstacles he has faced along the way. My father literally never gives up. The THP core value closest to my father’s heart is the one which states, “Nothing is impossible. There are no limits to what we can accomplish.” He has taught us to not only dream big but take action to achieve those goals – never giving up.
- Don’t Fear Failure. Of all the entrepreneurs I’ve observed, my father has exemplified a willingness to strive for more and not fear failure. Time and time again I’ve watched him actively embrace failure as a part of a bigger process of learning and success. From him I have learned that success is often a result of a series of experiments. With continual curiosity, persistence to see things through, and humility to incorporate feedback, individuals and companies become better. Failure is just a necessary part of the process.
- Where There are Challenges, there are Opportunities. Life is hard. Learning, understanding, and seeing for myself what my parents have faced and overcome throughout their lives is not only inspiring, it’s incredible. The truth is though, life isn’t particularly easy on anyone. Each of the challenges we face present opportunities too. I have seen firsthand how an attitude of resilience and perseverance can pave a path toward success – even if the odds feel stacked against you. I suppose this aligns with the principle that nothing is impossible; there is power is recognizing and embracing the “hard” in life. By doing so, you open yourself up to greater possibilities in your future.
- You Create Your Own Success. They say when it comes to wealth and success, the first generation makes it, the second spends it, and by the third it’s gone. That won’t be the case in our family. Our father has always believed in self-reliance and that each of us are responsible for our own path to success. My position in the company hasn’t come without additional education and several years of working throughout the company, gaining hands-on experience to truly understand the business. From a young age, I remember him telling my mother that it would do us no good if we were cosseted and overprotected. “No one serves you. You have to serve yourselves and serve others.” That was his refrain. Even after THP started making money, he would tell us that he planned to give it all away to charity. He wanted us to stand on our own two feet as he had done. As a result, my siblings and I strive to create our own success and contribute in a meaningful way to the entity our parents have worked so hard to establish.
My father has always been my idol. He has also always been my confidant – no one gives me better advice. He has never sought to impose his dreams on me; he has only ever followed his own and encouraged me to do the same. For that I am so grateful and blessed. So, what is it like to be a successful business tycoon’s daughter you might ask? When the tycoon is my father, it means being taught to recognize and understand the importance of hard work, perseverance, and individual contribution. It is striving to contribute to an empire built from the ground up with the same level of care and responsibility that has been invested for decades before.