Thursday, November 3, 2016

Happy leaving day! (and respect)

Six years ago this past October 31st, I left my dad's business. The closest analogy I have for doing this is: it was like jumping out of a plane, without a parachute, trying to figure out how to break the fall and not splat on the ground. It has been, and still is, lots of hard-earned, learn-from-challenges-and-your-mistakes fun.

Truth is I should really be saying "happy birthday!" as the past six years have seen me grow up from a naive, insecure individual (I should also add immature to that list), into a person I have great Respect for (capital 'R' intended) when I look in the mirror.

I would probably say that respect is the single most important part of this process. I say this because to achieve respect, you need to overcome so many inherent, and at many times inhibiting, perceptions of yourself. From feelings of insecurity and lack of self-worth, to the feeling of deserving others' love and appreciation. This is no easy feat, and it takes perseverance and hard work, much of it on yourself and on healing those past scars. But once you recognize and accept your abilities—some call this "being comfortable in your own skin"—do you begin to value your achievements in life and the challenges you have overcome. That's when respect starts to build in you.

For us leavers, though, there is another aspect to respect and that is the respect of our family, and in my case the respect of my father. Six years ago that respect did not really exist. I think a lot of our run-ins and arguments, during my time in the business, stemmed from me trying to gain a foothold in the realm of mutual respect (only to be kept/pushed out of it). Today, though, the picture is much different, and is one of mutual respect: We see each other on the backdrop of our accomplishments in life.

With the clarity of vision granted to us by hindsight, I can honestly say that the burden of getting here was completely my own. The person standing in front of my dad six years ago, is not the person standing in front of him today. Building my self-respect has earned me his, and it was something that I had to do on my own and for myself.

Happy leaving birthday!


  1. Thanks for the update and honesty. Still in the middle of it all over here, but I hear your words loud and clear.

    1. @Elaine, I know what you are going through. Please feel free to write: Stay focus and positive.