Parents are asking their children if they want to “build your own business” or risk getting a job. With reports of corporate downsizing, relocating and “going out of business”, security is a very obscure word.
Many are turning to other alternatives like to start their own business. Something they are passionate about, maybe even to work from home.
Baby boomers like me are looking at retirement creeping in with no real security in sight. Social Security benefits are a real scary issue for those depending on it as their sole source of income.
Thinking on the many dilemmas facing many today made me think of my grandparents. How they took their future security into their own hands many years ago by starting their own business.
A few things I remember Grandpa sharing with me.
One of those things was about the American dream; to “build your own business“. You see, grandpa had had many jobs. He was in sales, worked in the fields and finally he landed a “good job” for the Navy. Grandpa was a civilian machinist working at Mare Island in Vallejo, CA.
Grandpa never gave up his dream of being a business owner though. In fact, while he worked away from home building ships and gunnery, grandma was working to build their own security at home.
Grandpa loved wine…
So naturally, he soon owned a “rootstock” vineyard.
The vision my grandparents had for their own business kept them focused. Their goals inspired them to do the day-to-day tasks in the fields. It did not matter if it rained, snowed or was 115 degrees in the baking sun; they had to show up and work.
Part of their dream was to be able to share that spirit with their family. All of my siblings and I were involved in the workings of business from its early beginning in the mid 1960’s. We all learned what it took to make business profits.
My grandparent’s rootstock nursery was one of only two in the whole state. Their product was high quality rootstock. That quality stock helped the wine makers develop high producing vineyards. The vineyard owners would take grandpa’s rootstock sticks and “graft” them together with different varieties to develop new ones. Although I was too young to understand the whole process, I certainly learned the beginning steps to “build your own business“.
Early mornings and back breaking work was not easy. The pay was not that great by standards today. My starting wages…a whopping $.25 an hour! However, I was only in grammar school and back then yes I am in my 50’s that was great spending money for a kid! My mom earned a modest $1.20 an hour. Any extra money earned back then helped with essentials needed in the household of seven.
Basic ideas have not changed, but mindset has…
Although 30 plus years has gone by since working in the fields with my mom and grandparents, the basic idea to build your own business has not changed. My mindset was not on the right path was all, I was afraid of failing.
I had worked in corporate America for most of those years. The work ethic grandpa taught helped me to rise quickly within each company I worked with. Each promotion brought more responsibility along with the increased paycheck. You could also say who I am today was formed by those years of learning.
Like many others, I thought my career at the bank was secure. Thinking it would provide solid retirement benefits for my golden years. Then in 1985, the banking industry started changing, centralizing operations. I found myself being demoted. By the time childcare was paid for I would have paid the bank to allow me to work there. Sound familiar?
The decision to leave the bank and work from home was one of the best decisions I ever made. My mindset changed and for the better.
The security that was sold to many others and me? After ten years with that bank, my retirement payout was a whopping $200! Is security real or is it a lie attached to a gold ball and chain?
There were twists and turns during those formative years. Nevertheless, well worth the time spent to learn. What was the biggest lesson learned? There is no such thing as a “secure job” within corporate America.
Thank you Grandpa…
I remember as a young child not liking grandpa very much at times. I thought he was mean for making me work. He taught us not only how to work, but how to take pride in what we produced.
“Do it once and do it right”, he would say with a stern voice. We learned how to watch out for our fellow worker and protect the crop that put food on the table.
Many a weekend I wanted to go play with my friends instead of standing on my head in the fields. However, it was the family business. Not only was pride involved but grandma and grandpa’s future security was at stake.
Today I thank my parents and grandparents for working side by side in the family business with me. Not just telling me what to do, but also showing me how to do each task. By setting the example themselves they helped form the work ethic necessary to “build your own business” today. Nothing is expected, it is always earned.
Sure there are still days I would rather go play with my grandchildren. I have been able to “live my life, on my terms” by owning my own auto transport business. When we work, work smart so we do not have to work hard as I did in the vineyard fields.
To grow a thriving auto transport brokerage does take work, there is no denying that. Developing relationships with customers, other brokers, truckers and dispatchers is part of the job.
Fully serving them in their time of need without thinking about ours is what has set us apart from the rest. By focusing on the customers, an amazing thing has happened in our business. Our needs have always been met and then some.
So the next time someone says “take a job with benefits” or “build your own business”; stop. Really, think about what risking security means to you.
Invest into your life, your future, your family. “Build your own business” for the security and future of your family.
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
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