Growing up in Cincinnati, I came from a line of hard working and entrepreneurial people, with a father who was the hardest working man I’ve ever known. He was the consummate provider.
When I was growing up, my parents had decided that my mom would stay at home to raise all three of us. We weren’t wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but my dad did the best he could. Armed with just a high school education and eventually a CDL, my dad worked blue collar jobs in warehouses and factories rarely, if ever missing a day right up until his career was cut short with the City of Fairfield due to an untimely death.
This was an extremely difficult time for me in my life, but it also made me really think about the impact my dad had. I realized that through my father’s example he taught me four things that have become pillars of who I am today. First, he taught me the value of working hard; he never complained about working different shifts and 50+ hours a week. He did what it took to get the job done.
Second, my father showed me the importance of family. He worked as hard as he did and made the necessary sacrifices for family. Once again, we weren’t rolling around in money, but we were able to take great family vacations and do awesome things together because of his willingness to shoulder the financial burden.
He believed that if doing the right thing was easy, everyone would be doing it. My father exemplified doing the right thing no matter what. He saw many people taking advantage of the “system” but not once did he ever give in. I’m positive he was tempted because there were times we could’ve used the extra money but he stuck to his core beliefs.
The final pillar is to lead by example. My dad was always well respected by his bosses/supervisors and co-workers because of his character. He would never ask someone to do something he wouldn’t (or that he hadn’t already done before), no matter how menial or “dirty”. He was always willing to help others, personally and professionally, even when it wasn’t convenient.
My father is no longer here on Earth, but I will continue to carry on his legacy. At the end of the day, it’s not what you say but what you do that will be remembered. I carry these beliefs with me every day in the way I communicate with our clients and serve them by solving their problems in a meaningful way.