Here at AKHIA, we love our dads and everything they do. For Father’s Day, I’ve Ben Thinking is co-written by three AKHIA dads chronicling life lessons from their own fathers.

Ben Brugler
Ben Brugler, President

I never realized how hard it would be to be a good dad. Mainly because my dad always made it look easy. But what made him a great dad? Here are a few things I experienced that I hope I can pass along to my kids:

  • Being a dad=being there. It doesn’t really matter for what. I can’t remember the actual things my dad attended I just remember he was there.
  • A firm handshake. One time I didn’t stand up to shake someone’s hand. That was the last time I didn’t stand up to shake someone’s hand.
  • How to drive a stick shift. “You can get your license as soon as you learn to drive. Stick.”
  • A well-timed saying. For my dad it was “Whether the job be big or small, do it right or not at all.” Oh how those words have haunted me my whole life. Why? Because that’s what my dad has said to me my whole life. Every time I wanted to half-ass something or give up he was there to hang that phrase over my head. And I’m grateful for it. Now that phrase will haunt my kids.
  • The golden rule. Pretty self-explanatory. The world could be a better place if more people lived by this.
  • Self-confidence. “Remember, you represent this family. At the end of the day you’re a Brugler.” Well, you’re not, but you get my point.

On a side note, this Father’s Day is a little tough as I lost my paternal grandfather back in January. I had never lost a grandparent and it came quite suddenly. I know a lot of what I learned from my dad came from him, and I’m very lucky to have had such a good relationship – for so long – with him. The last time I saw him he congratulated me on being named president of AKHIA. A president of a company himself, at one point I asked him if he had any words of advice: “Don’t mess up.” Sound advice.

Nick Pfahler
Nick Pfahler, Associate Creative Director

I have looked up to my dad my entire life. From the example he set, to the wisdom he shared, there is a whole lot of me that can be attributed to him. One of the many things he has passed along is the idea of doing the right thing. He has told me time and time again that “In any situation, if you do what you truly believe to be right, then you’ll do okay.” I apply that thinking to all aspects of life, and this simple wisdom has always served me well. It doesn’t mean the decisions or choices I’ll make are always the right ones, it just means that I put myself in the position to at least get it right some of the time.

Mike Lawrence
Mike Lawrence, Associate Creative Director

Best advice I got from my dad that I can remember: “Once you start it, you’ll realize hard work isn’t really that hard. It’s the thought of hard work that keeps people from doing it. So just get past that thought and do the job, and you’ll be ahead of most everyone else.”