The summer after eighth grade a friend and I started a window washing business because we knew some people who needed theirs washed. We worked about 10 days over the first month of business. One day someone asked us if we could paint his house. Why not? So we said yes, officially ending “Homeboy’s Window Washing” and welcome “Homeboy’s Painting”.
I remember that first deal. The guy asked us “How much?” We took a minute to walk around, not so much to look at the house, but more like trying to put some perspective to money. We were only a few years past learning how to count money, much less knowing how to value it. So we decided we would each pick a number and split the difference. We had no idea. The spread was wide between my number and his, but we decided on a number which would have been a gold mine for two nearly ninth grade boys. I had the responsibility to tell the customer. When he said “When can you start?” we tried to hold back our laughter. To no avail. We must have looked silly. I am so thankful he hired us. But he must have also been elated to have someone do it for that amount.
I have always loved entrepreneurship. Seeing a need and finding a way to meet the need that is valuable to someone. The entire focus is on people. Their need. Valuable to them. We are made to derive satisfaction from serving others. Business should be built on that premise, and when so, it is typically successful.
I am sitting by Tara’s side in the hospital room. She already looks and feels better. The drain is in. The antibiotics are getting pumped in. I pray this is the course that will give her more energy and strength. We are hopeful. I feel the weight of entrepreneurial responsibility at home. My family has needs and I must serve them in a way that is valuable to them; in the way they need the help. But when I have spent all my energy doing that at work, i am tired and all I want to do is rest. I may try to meet their needs, but in a way that is convenient to me. And it doesn’t work.
The entrepreneur finds a way to stay focused to be successful. So I need to keep digging in my heels at home and save my best efforts for my family. They are the customers that matter most.