Reaching Your Potential
I felt the need to email you and share my thoughts on your Editorial entitled "Reaching Your Potential" from the January 2012 edition of Locksmith Ledger. That story really struck me and stood out. I saw that a lot of my father in that story, and well, I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as they say.
See, the Locksmith business has been in my family since 1962, started out of my grandfather's basement as more of a hobby than anything. As demands grew, it moved to the garage. As volume continued, employees were added and moved to a small store. The pattern continued on and on.
My father started with the company back around 1972 and I grew up all through the 80's and 90's watching him rise early and come home later as he worked to take over the family business. Hearing stories of the value of a dollar, watching expenses, and servicing the customer were a constant theme as a child growing up. As all small business owners know, your business is your life.
The family work ethic rubbed off on me. I started helping my father doing odd jobs at the "shop" and then at the ripe age of 16, I got a job....not as a locksmith, but working retail. Minimum wage and the 1-9 p.m. shift. I learned how to budge money for gas, car insurance and the occasional Friday movie with friends.
As I finished up high school and departed for college, I continued on working retail, full time. My folks told me, as long as I got a good education and did well in school, they would cover my basic expenses. I thanked them but continued on working 40 hrs a week, all odd hours to get my hours in and still finding time to study and complete my degree.
I graduated in 2003 and continued working. In 2004 I went a direction even further from Locksmithing and small family business - I went in to Retail Bank Management. I last held the job of a Regional Vice President for a large Retail Bank here in Chicago. I got to witness firsthand the worst banking collapse in history and the effect it had on employees and more so customers.
Long story short, after 16 years out on my own, the apple has come back to the tree. I have left corporate America and have come back to be the 3rd generation to work in the family business. I find myself here learning the ropes, reading magazines such as yours to get caught up on the technology and trends. I got my PERC card and I am currently enrolling in every educational thing I can to work towards my certifications. One day I might be the 3rd generation owner.
I couldn’t agree with you more in your editorial when you said "Under our rules, the government does not owe us a living. We have to individually find a way
Mr.Johnson, thank you for reconfirming the decision I made to come back into small business. Your article was spot on and I surely hope the youth of America find that work-for-pay ethic. As I raise my 3 children, I know it will be a very important staple of who they are and ultimately become.
DuPage Security Solutions
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