One of Terence Tubridy's fondest memories as an entrepreneur is a simple one. It was a night in early July 2013, around midnight, on a rooftop bar in midtown Manhattan. The sky was clear and there was a gentle breeze. He remembers the lights of the Empire State Building burning red, white and blue on the skyline.
But Tubridy, co-founder and president of In Good Company Hospitality Group, wasn't alone on the rooftop that night. He was there sharing a drink and a cigar with his father, Daniel.
"The [bar/restaurant] business has you constantly moving, and always concerned about all of the moving parts," Tubridy, 35, says. "But for those few minutes, it was great to sit back with my dad and take it all in."
Founded by Tubridy and his brothers in 2010, In Good Company Hospitality Group consists of eight bars and restaurants in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. The company oversees and manages more than 300 employees.
However, Tubridy really traces his entrepreneurial roots to 1978 when his father opened his first restaurant in Rockaway Beach, Queens. Like his four brothers, Tubridy was enlisted to help out at his dad’s restaurant from an early age, and learned everything he knows about the hospitality industry from his father.
"He put us to work doing everything from prepping to dish washing to banging nails," Tubridy recalls. "My father taught my brothers and I the value of a dollar. It was so much more than a dollar. He taught us how to value education, friendship, family, each other and, most importantly, your time."
While not active in the business today, Tubridy's father, 67, still gives his advice and time to anyone who needs it. Perhaps this is the most important lesson he learned from his dad.
"When you own a business, you have a responsibility to your employees, customers and community, and he always reminded us and always practiced it. We nicknamed him 'Nostra-dan,'" Tubridy says. "He has a sixth sense for understanding people's motivations and nature. I hope I inherited those traits. I am lucky to have him as a dad."
Here are three more important business lessons Tubridy says he learned from his dad:
1. You don’t need money to have great ideas. "My parents raised five sons off of a small business," Tubridy exclaims. "My dad always told us to be honest, to take the high road, and to never be afraid."
2. Treat people well. "For his rough exterior, my dad is a compassionate and sensitive man, whose motivation was to help anyone who needed it," Tubridy says. "Give people the benefit of the doubt, always, even in times when you think you shouldn't."
3. This is supposed to be fun. As the old saying goes: Do what you love, and you'll never work another day in your life.