Starting a business is the easy part. Staying in business for a while is harder.
This got me thinking about my own business, which has been around for more than ten years. More importantly it got me thinking about the family influences in my life that unbeknownst to me, until recently, led to me working for myself. I have often shared the story about how the idea to start White Peak Software came about, at a swim-up bar during my honeymoon, but I’ve never really talked about the family influences that helped lead me down the path of becoming a business owner. The reason for this is simple. It never occurred to me until recently.
My grandfather (my dad’s dad) was a successful business owner running his own lumber company for many years. My dad owned a general maintenance company. My aunt’s husband (my dad’s sister’s husband) opened James Middleton Jewelers back in 1955, and the store is still in business today run by my cousin Vickie.
Entrepreneurship was, and still is, common on my mom’s side of the family as well. My mom and her sisters opened and ran their own hair salon for a short period of time. My mom’s oldest sister’s husband ran his own accounting firm that is still in business today and still run by family members. My mom’s youngest sister, Beth and her husband Jay, owned Gary’s Ice Cream and Deli, the place of my very first “real” job, and later Mikey’s. My sister Renay’s husband has his own pressure washing company, and my grandmother, Dot, made and sold crafts.
I grew up surrounded by family members pursuing their own dreams and making their own destiny. Some were, and still are, successful in their business endeavors while others were not so lucky. But even the unlucky ones tried. They took the chance at running their own business. And all of this has had a huge impact on me even though I did not realized it until recently.
Thank you to all my family members who have influenced me directly and indirectly with their entrepreneur spirit. White Peak Software would not be here, and I would be living the life I live today if not for your influence.
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