Business Is In My Blood
I’ve been extremely lucky. I was raised by parents who took the time to pass on their wisdom. My mother, an accountant, has incredible business talent. She used that talent to help my father keep his own books in shape. While working outside the home and working to help my father succeed in his own business, she also managed to find time to recognize and gracefully utilize natural “teaching moments” at home while raising my brother and me.
My father, like my mother, is an inspiration to me. He was a plumber and shared his business wisdom freely and put me to work at a very young age in his entrepreneurial business. By the time I was in high school, he allowed me to take on more responsibility and learn more of his business. He made sure I would have the experience and work ethic that most of my peers didn’t.
I had the opportunity to repay him when his health began to fail. Together, we were able to keep his business open longer than he would have been able to manage alone. But, as his health worsened, he had a choice to make: he could sign up for disability or he could change his career path to a business model he could manage with health issues. My father went back to school in his late 40s and got his degree in Social Work. He became a Family Therapist and retired from that career in his late 60s.
In college, before graduating with a degree in Business Administration, I had the opportunity to see another perspective on how successful business men view the world. A retired gentleman (with extraordinary business acumen and a lifetime of experiences) took me under his wing. I manned the front desk, during the graveyard shift, at the motel franchise he ran (because he couldn’t bear full retirement). To this day, I consider this gentleman, Pat Lalonde, a personal and professional mentor. I still hear his wise voice in my head — and often find myself quoting him and sharing his insight with my own clients.
I love that I’ve had the experience of helping others run their business at a young age and the opportunity to run several businesses of my own as I’ve matured. Having been a business owner (and being one now), I understand how business owners think, what worries them, what they need, and what they want. I enjoy helping my small business clients plan for their futures, protect their families, and reach their goals.
Becoming a Lawyer
Like my father, I took the opportunity to pursue a new path after establishing a solid career. In short, I made lemonade when things started going sour. At 38, as the real estate career I had chosen endured the first major housing bubble, I was working on a huge land development deal — a deal that would mean my company would weather the real estate storm and flourish.
At that time, I made one terrible mistake… while on the construction site, I forgot to check a ladder before I climbed it. I fell off that ladder. The resulting injuries — a leg broken in two places and a broken knee — meant I would be in a wheelchair for months with a long path of physical therapy in front of me in order to recover. I couldn’t work. The effectively ended my business.
Once I healed, the housing bubble had burst and I had to make some hard choices. I had to start over… completely.
I decided to return to school and get my law degree. I wanted to help other small business owners, I wanted to help protect them from circumstances like the one I experienced, I wanted to help them succeed. I make sure my clients always “checked the ladder” before making decisions.