I do what I do because of my father.
Spurgeon Young DeWitt was a big man, born in 1918, the first of six children. Like many who grew up during the Great Depression, he learned to work hard as a youngster and had a strong work ethic by the time he graduated from Orrville High School in 1938. He met his bride in the closing days of World War II in Stockton, California, where they were both Sergeants in the Army.
A few short years later, he was an entrepreneur struggling to feed a family of ten in Alabama’s Black Belt. Although he never became financially successful, he worked harder than anyone I’ve seen before or since, and between his pest control company, truck farm, plant nursery, and dabblings in other businesses, he scratched out a living. But his life was one of constant struggle, and he died from heart disease when I was only 14.
Dad’s greatest legacy to me was the gift of an education. Dad never got to go to college, but he wanted to make sure his children did, so at great personal sacrifice, he moved us across the state we could be near a public university. He would have been proud to know that we all graduated from college and went on to lead successful, productive lives.
I had only a few years with him, but I’ve continued to learn from my father throughout the 40 years since I lost him. The memory of my father’s dedication and determination is what makes me get up at 4:30 on weekday mornings and go right to work.
The only way I know to repay him is to help my clients; to be the advisor for them that he never had. To help them see a way to be more successful, and to live the lifestyle of financial and emotional freedom that eluded him.
This is what I want for all my clients:
Thanks to my Dad and what he taught me, I have all these things and the ability to help others get them.
When I help someone build a business that serves his or her life rather than consumes it, I’ve done my best to honor my father and the legacy he left behind.
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