I like the story where Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways, described his first job.
When Joel was 11, he started a fresh-produce delivery service in a small Michigan town where he grew up. He planted, cultivated and harvested his own crops. He also hired his six year old brother to transform his toy wagon into a delivery truck.
Joel ran this small business for an entire summer, bringing in a gross income of $14.
What did Joel learn?
“I learned that running your own concern is hard – especially when success depends on the weather and the neighbor’s vacation plans,” Joel said.
Joel learned what was at the heart of a business – work.
“From twenty years of teaching future business leaders, I can tell you that many of them hail from top schools, have traveled the world, speak several languages and know their way around Wall Street. But there’s a common gap in their impressive resumes: plenty of MBA students have never had a job that required hard, physical work,” Joel said.
Manual labor – bussing tables, working on a farm, etc – used to be a right of passage into any kind of industry. Now, many people are thankful they can avoid that kind of work.
Not me. I’m thankful for it.
I was born and raised on a farm in rural East Tennessee. My family was not poor, but we were not well off by any means. We were a subsistent farming family – we farmed so that we could eat and we had plenty.
I had several jobs growing up –
I started off as a big time salesman. As I went around town delivering newspapers, I sold Christmas cards and candy to my customers. I really enjoyed the entrepreneurial aspect of selling, even if it meant fighting off the country dogs that tried to bite me (no one kept their dogs).
This job lasted up until high school when I went to work for my brother, the brick mason. From daylight to dark, I carried bricks with the philosophy that my brother bestowed on me, “work was hard and you had to get after it.”
Also in that time, I worked for the local newspaper. Starting at 3:00 or 4:00am, we loaded bundles of paper until all the papers were loaded. Throwing 50 pound bundles was hard work, especially on Sundays.
In college, past lifeguarding, I worked for Eastman Chemical. They had a summer program in which you worked, and in return they would help with your college tuition. There, I shoveled out dry chemicals from big centrifuges.
Sometimes, if I was lucky, there would be an accident with one of the machines causing a lye spill all over the room. The boss would bring me in there at the start of my graveyard shift at 11:00pm and I would get to work past my normal 7:00am end time and earn overtime.
To sustain these kinds of jobs, you have to work hard – it’s character-forming.
We appreciate people that work hard.
Many times, tough financial situations can find you no matter how hard you work. You can work hard your whole life until an unexpected and uncontrollable disaster strikes you. Often, these situations can leave you with no means of income, but the bills keep rolling in.
If this is you – if you’re overwhelmed with debt you can’t pay – then we can help.
Darrell Castle & Associates was one of the very first firms in Memphis to concentrate in individual consumer bankruptcy. Our experience allows us to determine if a bankruptcy is right for you. We want to help.
Come see what we’re all about. Contact us online or call us today at (901) 327-2100.