In the interest of Father’s Day, I wanted to take this opportunity and share something about my father.
When I sat down to write this post, there was one lesson that kept returning to my thoughts.
For as long as I can remember, my father has worked his ass off. I remember while growing up when he’d work the midnight shift, but still be awake the next day to be with the family.
Thirteen years ago, due to a strike and labor dispute, my father was forced to look for a new job. He found one a few hundred miles away. This meant packing up the family and moving away from the place where we’d been born and grew up.
He was our tribe leader. He led us into the unknown and asked us to trust him. It was a pivotal and life changing moment that I’m now extremely grateful to have happened.
I watch my father now and he’s still going. Sometimes I think he’s working harder now then ever before. His career now has him traveling a few times a week and putting in many long hours.
He loves what he does.
He’s one of the lucky ones. But my father has always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit bubbling up inside of him. He has always been cooking up new ideas on the side.
As an example, he told me about the potential of this thing called the “Internet” before most people had any idea what it was. He was building websites and brewing up ideas before I knew anything about the web.
When AOL spammed us with CDs offering “free internet,” he encouraged me to get on the computer and learn what it was all about. “This Internet thing is gonna be big!” he’d say.
After 30 years of watching my father working at his career, you’d think the message he would have taught me was to follow the path of least resistance.
Find a good career, work hard, plug away and aim for retirement, but feel free to dabble on the side.
But rather, my father has always suggested taking the entrepreneurial route.
He’d say things like,
“If you want a big paycheck someday, there’s only one true way of getting it. Make sure you’re writing it for yourself.”
“If you want a few extra weeks off when you get older, make sure you’re the one writing the schedule.”
The message was always the same. While school and a university education were seen as an extremely important part of the equation, my father always urged us to look at building a career for ourselves instead of allowing someone to build it for us.
It’s no surprise to me that both myself and my brother are now writing our own checks and setting our own vacation time.
As a soon-to-be father, I’ll be passing on a similar message to my kids.
The really cool thing about my dad is, he’s still planning a major ass-kicking even as he creeps closer to his retirement.
He has his fingers on all kinds of cool stuff. I make sure to keep tabs on him so I don’t miss the boat when he starts sailing off.
If you ask my father what his favorite books are, you’d hear titles like “The 4-Hour Work Week,” “Crush It,” and “Linchpin.”
He’s my Linchpin, and still crushing it after all these years.
That’s me on the left in the green. My brother Wes on the right. Dad in the middle.
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