Sit Down with John Blakely: Trial Lawyer, Nature-Lover, Philosopher & Dad

In celebration of Father’s day, we wanted to hear from one of Sara’s biggest fans, and greatest influences: her dad. From her perspective on risk-taking and willingness to fail to her sense of humor and ability to laugh at herself, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.

Why did you encourage your kids to fail?

I wanted them to learn their limits – if you keep trying different things, and succeeding, who knows what your capabilities are… it’s a great way to stretch yourself to your full potential. And when you fail, it’s actually an asset, because you learn from it—there’s nothing to be embarrassed about in trying and failing.

I also wanted to teach my children not to be so concerned what other people think. It’s the non-conformists that change the world.

Did you have any idea the impact this would have?

I knew something great was going to come out of Sara; I didn’t know what it was going to be. I was a trial lawyer and Sara had an interest in being a trial lawyer. I’m thankful it didn’t work out because she’s found a great niche for herself.

Did you see signs that Sara was going to be an entrepreneur?

I always knew that Sara was special. As a child she was always making up games to play with friends. She was very innovative, enthusiastic and always a leader. When she grabs an idea… watch out!

Do you see parts of yourself in her?

We’re both outgoing, zany, have a sense of humor and don’t take ourselves too seriously at times. We both can be pretty persuasive… I met my match in her.

Childhood memories:

Sara could figure out loopholes in anything. Every rule you’d create she’d find a way to evade it or interpret it differently.  It was always a challenge and finally you’d get exasperated and say “Sara, this is how it should be.”

Your proudest dad moment?

It’s funny because people talk about Sara’s success and this and that, and the thing that I’m proudest of is how balanced she’s remained and how dedicated she is to causes, particularly women’s causes. I’m also proud of her as a parent.  She’s devoted, loving, parent of four children and doing a great job of it.