I have an exterminator who comes to my house to take care of pests. In the winter he plows snow. Paul has owned his pest extermination/snow removal business for 25 years. Every time he comes to spray or trap or dust or plow, I follow him around and ask questions. We talk about the technology of his business and we talk about entrepreneurship. This week as I asked him about his business he confided that he knows he could have built his business into a bigger and more profitable venture over the years, but that he makes a conscious decision every day to be there for his family. His wife is a stay at home mom and their 3 girls are now in high school and middle school. Paul told me that he never misses a dance recital, soccer game or any other activity his daughters are involved in.
“Joel, I’ll drive 4 hours to see my oldest girl’s game for 90 minutes, just to drive back home again.” (she is on a travel soccer team and has an opportunity for a college scholarship)
I know that he has moments where he wonders if he is providing for his family in the right way. His house isn’t as big, car isn’t as nice and bank account isn’t as large as he knows they could be.
But Paul is living the American entrepreneurial dream by recognizing what it is that he is in business for. He has his life plan as first priority and his business plan to support that life plan.
I told Paul that I am proud of him. As he got in his truck and drove away, I said to myself, “there goes a successful businessman”.