In my previous blog post, I shared with you the circuitous path I took to becoming a business consultant and the feedback I have received has been quite positive. In fact, I’ve had a number of requests to hear more about my family and how their influence has shaped me, and how that has helped me shape others.
I grew up in a middle-class home where both of my parents worked. We certainly weren’t poor, but we were by no means wealthy either. We never went without and had everything we needed, as well as some of the things we wanted. I didn’t always appreciate what I had growing up, but all these years later I realize how lucky I was and am grateful for the way I was raised.
My dad grew up on a farm and farming was all he ever wanted to do, but he simply didn’t have the necessary resources to farm at a level that would support a family of 5. So he worked a job he didn’t enjoy at the local print shop and farming was how he spent his free time. Personally, I wish he would have spent his free time doing other things because I didn’t enjoy the farm life at all and vowed my kids would never grow up picking rock, baling hay, or cleaning the barn.
But what I learned from my father all those years ago was the value of hard work. I realized that there was honor in working hard and it was a necessary component of supporting a family and living a life with purpose. I was grateful that my dad set his dream aside in order to provide a stable home for our family. I believe I owe a lot to the sacrifices my parents made and the work ethic they instilled in me. It is that work ethic that has allowed me to build my business over the past 15 years.
While I grew up in a working-class family, I was also blessed to witness entrepreneurship on a regular basis. My grandfather on my mother’s side, having nothing more than an 8th -grade education, started a trucking company in 1935 and built it up with his own 2 hands. I loved the days I got to spend with him picking up cattle or freight, seeing a man who was beholden to no one, doing things his way and earning a living. As early as 8 years old, a part of me knew that I would have my own business someday and follow in my grandpa’s footsteps.
As a kid, I knew I didn’t want to be a farmer or own a trucking company, but it’s amazing how much I was shaped by my experiences on my dad’s farm and traveling on those country roads with my grandfather. I was raised by parents and grandparents with strong work ethics, strong faith in God, and a love of family. I know I would not have the faith, the family, or the business I have today without that foundation.
All these years later, I am grateful for my amazing life. My wife, Heidi, and I have been together for 25 years and married for nearly 24. Our daughter Finley just graduated from high school and Karli is a sophomore. So much of what we have instilled in our daughters comes from how we were raised. We are grounded in our faith, our love of family, and content to live
the a simple life.
I look back on my upbringing and my career over the past 28 years, and I realize that I am living my dream. I have the family I always wanted plus a front-row seat to see so many others pursue their dream of entrepreneurship. I can think of nothing greater than to pursue what you want with the support of a loving family.
When I started my business, my goal was to build something to support my family and allow me the freedom to be present with them as my kids grew up. It wasn’t easy in those early years and my kids would tell you that I spent a lot of time working, but it was worth it to be able to be present for the school concerts, plays, and ball games. If one of my kids was sick, or needed to be at an appointment I had the flexibility to work from home or adjust my schedule accordingly.
The entrepreneurial path has afforded me so many blessings. The greatest of these is the gift of time and the ability to live life on my own clock. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting a business and are ready to pursue your dream, I hope you find my story inspiring and feel empowered to take that next step. If you’d like to talk it through with an experienced consultant, I’d love to discuss it with you and see if I can help. You can reach me at email@example.com.