Business Mentoring Beyond the Grave
Why Remembered Well?
The idea for Remembered Well was born out of necessity and fueled by the biggest entrepreneurial influence in my life – my dad.
As you may know, we recorded my dad during his final weeks on this earth. When it became apparent that he wasn’t going to survive cancer’s final assault, my husband suggested recording my dad telling his stories (he had many) and sharing his wisdom (he ‘d learned much). The experience was powerful for all of us. My dad excitedly looked forward to each session. Even the hospital staff remarked at how much it lifted his spirits.
What I realized by my dad's bedside was that there was much I didn’t know about him. With time condensed, the questions flew. This man, who was incredibly smart and precious to me, was leaving and I couldn’t do anything about it…except capture his great stories and make sure they were always available. After it was all over, I couldn’t help but think – everyone must do this! Sadly, my dad is gone but his wisdom and legacy live on, well preserved, and available for our whole family.
What I didn’t realize is that, in addition to the recordings, my dad had actually given me the gift of a business idea. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since he was an entrepreneur his whole life. He tried his hand at many things, and was a wiz at business. I didn’t think I had that in me. There was a restlessness in me, that had been there the whole time but I had not given it any credence. My dad’s passing turned that restlessness into drive. I knew that I wanted to do more and to create something of significance to help people.
Recording my dad during his final weeks is what set me on the path to Remembered Well. Hearing my dad’s stories and reflections during his final days was magical. It brought me closer to my dad and gave me something tangible to hold onto even after he was gone. Last week, I listened to a chapter from his story recordings. You see, even though I have a passion now for building this business, the reality is hard and I needed a pick-me-up. Perhaps you’ve felt that same way at times? When you seek encouragement, a natural place to find it is in the wisdom of someone else who’s “been there, done that.”
Both of my parents were entrepreneurs through and through. One of the businesses they created is far beyond my wildest dreams. However, my dad’s voice reminded me that every business starts small and requires faith and hard work. I listened as he recalled starting their hardware/lumber store. When you have a small business, you play multiple roles and my mom and dad embraced that. My dad told of how he stocked drywall into houses because there was no one else to do it. That’s incredibly tough work and my dad was not a big guy. There’s no parallel to that in my business. Endless networking and rejections might fill my days, but hauling sheetrock, thankfully, is no part of it!
There’s an overlap of memories between my own memories and the stories my dad told. I, as a kid, had a much different perspective on the business building days. I remember distinctly when we camped in the parking lot of the would-be store in Moses Lake – how fun! For my parents it was all work though. Getting the store up and running was the priority…a house was secondary. My dad and grandfather slept inside the store while the rest of us slept in the camper, out in the parking lot. The grown-ups would work and work , then go to sleep, and get up and do it all over again. My grandfather slept on a marble table that was part of the paint department. He said that was fine for him. How he could have gotten any sleep on the rock hard surface is beyond me. My dad slept on a fold out cot that remained in our family for years. My mom may even have it to this day, I’m not sure. It had an incredibly thin mattress atop a metal frame.
As a kid, this was all an exciting adventure, but for my parents, they were risking it all. They were bold. Hearing that story again made me realize how bold and how much effort went into establishing their business. That was the wisdom I needed from my dad and I’m so grateful that I have it. For me, hearing my dad makes a big difference. Audio has a power of conveying emotion and feeling behind the stated words. I see him so clearly in my mind when I hear him. I don’t “see him” as he lay dying of cancer, I “see him” in my mind’s eye as a fearless man who built a tremendous business and encourages me to this day.
What wisdom can you share? What struggles have you endured that you’re now on the other side of? Sharing what you’ve experienced gives hope, motivation, and courage to others in the same boat. Don’t shy away from preserving your stories…good or bad.
Wisdom is a gift. Save it today. Share it forever.