There sat dad.
He had left that morning for a two week long, over the road run.
We we all mentally set for the long, boring weeks ahead of us.
Boring, but it paid enough money to cover the bills.
Mom sat there, too. Mom was stressed.
Dad called us together. He had decided that he was done driving truck. We kids were growing up too fast. He said he’d finally figured out that were were going to be broke whether he worked or not, so he may as well be rich in family.
I’m not sure any of us believed him.
What ensued was the most formative 3 years of my life. Without training in any other career, Dad began working a series of menial tasks, often making little more than minimum wage. To fill the gap, he started a series of businesses and picked up odd jobs or worked overtime.
He destroyed his credit.
We ran through a rash of MLM schemes. Then some sales opportunities. He got hired as a radar technician and we traveled the country with him for most of a year, seeing over 20 states.
Not only did I see him give up everything that the world values — cars, home status — I spent countless hours with him. I’d be up with him before dawn, throwing newspapers to pay the electric bill. Or working at night, scrubbing floors at a doctor’s office to buy gas for next week’s commute. Or running booths on the weekend to promote whatever MLM product we were trying that time.
And the whole time he taught. Taught us about life. We talked about what traits to look for in a wife. What to look for in a career.
What dreams looked like and how to chase them.
How opportunities disguised themselves and how to still nab them.
We discussed finances and savings and retirement. And how some people save money from each paycheck and eventually don’t have to work anymore because they can live off of the interest.
We discussed passive income ideas and marveled at those who successfully pulled them off.
All the while watching him work his heart out (literally) for us.
At the age of 41, he had a heart attack.
Most of you have enjoyed following my success as I’ve become an internet marketer and stay-at-home dad.
What you don’t see is that my brother and sister also work from home with similar — if not more — success than myself. All three of us have been married for nearly 5 years (that’s better than 20% of the marriages out there), and have pretty impressive mates.
We learned sacrifice from watching him. We learned what passion really looks like. And what it means to give your all for those you love.
Today, he’s back over the road. After a crappy divorce (which ones aren’t?) the 4 younger siblings aren’t quite as keen on him as we were.
So he’s loving them the best he can: by providing for them.
When people ask me if they can learn how to do what I do, I say “yes”.
But unless you had a dad as passionate as mine, you probably won’t have the inner drive to do this gig. (And even if you did, you probably didn’t have two grandparents as great as mine)
But whether you had a good dad or a bad dad, you have to remember that the challenges we are to face are unique to us. And the good Lord gives us a lot of strength for putting up with the nonsense of others.
So for all of you with non-existent dads, my heart goes out to you. Forgive them. Pour everything you can into your kids, and stop the cycle.
And to those of you who have stellar dads, don’t forget to call ’em.
Here’s to the men who went before us, and the sons who follow.