Entrepreneur, Author, Dad, Coach and Inspirational Speaker
In 1994 I tied a tie for my first time, I put a dress jacket on for my first time, and I set at my first executive meeting. Only 150 miles from home, but a million miles from my roots. I remember looking around the room and it was obvious that I didn't fit the mold. That evening I called Dad and told him that I was like a John Deere tractor in a 1/2 acre field and I realized I didn't belong. I told him I was packing it in heading home. My dad was never one of those "Mike Brady " type dad's with warm and fuzzy fatherly advice. He would just always say what was on his mind, so he just grumbled a response and said, don't be a quitter. Before I could respond, he continued, and don't be fake. I paused for a minute and said, then what do I do with that dad? He said, Well, don't be either one.
I got up the next morning and not wanting to let dad down, I decided to just start being me and see where it takes me. Well, here I am, a lot of years later, still tying on the tie and slipping on the jacket when I need to. I'm not the most polished executive in the room and certainly not the most politically correct, but, I've never swayed from my roots, I've never checked my morals at the door, and it's worked out pretty well.
I have been blessed with a successful career as an executive for large organizations as well as my own companies. However, I didn't take the traditional path to an executive level. I made it to the boardroom table with blue collar roots, callused hands, and sweat on my brow. I now share some of the life lessons that have helped me along my journey in hopes of inspiring others to always reach for the stars while always staying grounded in your roots.
"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway"