Kicking and ScreamingBy
But, that’s not where the story starts. Actually, I guess, it starts back in 1962 when a fellow saw this young high-schooler (eldest of 11) working at a school fair and offered him a job in his restaurant. With lots of twists and turns (and I promise you – some of them were wild and wooly! Maybe more about that later), and the help of a very good woman, I’ve become what I was always probably meant to be…an entrepreneur in business for myself.
Fast forward from 1962 to 1987 when Mary started her business in the living room (little did I know what that would eventually mean)! I was hard at work at an impoverished hospital as one of its administrators (tilting at windmills) and trying my best to be the kind of father from whom my boys would benefit.
Now, I don’t know how it is/was for most guys but, for me, my wife’s business had been nothing but a headache! Early on, I had to spend my off time doing her books. Later, I got called in when there was a crisis of some kind – financial or otherwise. Since I was never there for the fun, you can imagine, it didn’t seem like a particularly good deal.
I can remember this one conversation – during extreme distress – where I told Mary that either she had to start making money or we were shutting it. (I look back on those times, now, and just shake my head.)
Time went by — the call-ins became fewer and fewer. During those same years my work at the hospital became less and less satisfying. The hospital was not breaking even and no one would tackle the problems. Then, my boss retired. I was supposed to get his job but was seen as too much of a clone. The Board of Directors (rightfully) wanted a new direction. The new guy took 4 months to decide he didn’t need me any longer.
I took one afternoon to drown my sorrows, sucked it up, and looked forward to the rest of my life.
(Phase 1 – Novice in a World of Women” in my next edition).