Just like every other kid, I had two grandpas. One of them was a carpenter in Arizona who had tons of fun tools, and the other one was a farmer with tractors and a small dairy with a few hundred acres. Both of them were amazing and unapproachable to a young boy who only visited occasionally and got in the way exploring without permission.
But, what my grandfathers didn't have was a deep formal education. They both had experienced college from opposite sides. My father's father was raised in Utah, and always expected to go to college, but did so as an athlete in football and was very outgoing. My mother's father only went as an attempt to try and better himself but found out quickly that he wanted to be a worker more than submit to someone else's curriculum.
Both men were excellent scholars and loved to read and understand the world around them.
When I grew up I found out that my father's father (the farmer) had started a lucrative career in construction with another family member and had built many homes from Orem to Kaysville Utah.
Following a prompting, he sold everything to purchase some land in the far distant desert of Vale Oregon. There he raised his kids to become the good hard working farmer stock us Saunders' clan are now known to be.
He passed away when I was just finishing the 6th grade, and so I don't remember learning much from him, other than he had a beautiful singing voice and would sing while working and tending his garden, and that he loved to watch a game of sports or play with the kids in the grass outside.
My mother's father was always a quiet man but firm in what he commanded. I was flown down to work for him one summer as were all my siblings. We would sweep and help carry things, and my older siblings were allowed to use the tools and actually do the fun stuff, but I was always too little...which I found out was more a fact of my curiosity and disrespect for his rules. His work fascinated me and I wanted so much to have his acceptance and to become just like him.
My mother's family never had much growing up as her father worked for himself and always underbid his work.
As a direct result, I was fed the most crippling advice from my mother which would impede my dream for years to come.
She told me when I declared in High School my dream to have a career in construction, "You cannot make a living in construction...at least not anything worth raising a family on."
It was the truth, and she knew it.
She had lived in a home where there wasn't enough money because (as she witnessed) you can't raise a family on construction. And surely this was true because my father, his 5 brothers, and my mother's siblings all worked in a different industry. They were lawyers, college professors, engineers, accountants, and even High School teachers, but not one worked in construction (though many built their own homes and were very handy with tools...
And so I took my deep desire and passion for tools and working with my hands and treated it like a hobby, and told myself that I had better get all the funds from the industry I could and save it up before I started a family and had to get a real job...
So I did.
I framed homes in High School working on a crew I found through church and my neighbors. I saved up $18000 dollars in 2 years of work while spending recklessly throughout High School.
I took a 2-year hiatus to serve God and my church and came back to work with the same crew.
A word from a friend recommended that I start my own company, and so when I was trying to impress my future wife and bride to be, I told her I was a contractor and took my first home to remodel! Whole house flooring, move structural walls, update a kitchen, and build a bathroom all for $7000 plus materials...maybe $10000 total (this was not in the 90s...sadly that was how under-bid my work was...this was 2006!
It took me a year to realize that the difference between being a paid laborer and the owner was more than the independence of when I work...but that a laborer in construction should make between 10-30/hr depending on skill and trade, where an owner can make between 100-300/hr depending on the job bid.
This fact alone drives many to start their own business, but many many little demons crawl out of the closet the day you claim to be an independent business owner...
...most of which are taxes, liability, licensing, and insurance...all the legal garbage that attaches state and federal regulations onto you like a leech on steroids.
But, this topic is a blog for another day and a few days worth of classes...all of which we will get to, but not so fast! For now let it suffice to say that you don't want to quit your regular job just yet...take the occasional side job, make the crazy money in your spare time while you read up on the "demon history" and prepare yourself for business ownership while you still have an opportunity as a regular citizen...unmolested by the state and federal regulations that devour small business owners.
I'm not bitter and exhausted...except that it is 10:25pm and I was slightly under the weather today...ok. I'm bitter and exhausted. Tomorrow I'll pick up on the "demon history" as I explain my own narrow escape.