Categorized | Business

Add Value to Your Small Business by Serving Others

By Tom Irmen

If you have ever wondered where small business owners derive their entrepreneurial drive, oftentimes you do not have to look any further than the parents that raised these individuals.

One of eight children, my father’s life was centered around his family, so it was not surprising that he left school at an early age to help support his family after his father lost his job during the Great Depression. In fact, until my father married, he endorsed his paycheck over to his parents every payday. He never regarded his choices as sacrifices but merely something that family members did for family. When the second world war broke out, he volunteered for service in the United States Navy. I remember to this day his first-hand account of sailing into Pearl Harbor and his description of the devastation that still remained from the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack.

Like most veterans of that time, he returned from the war without fanfare and immediately returned to work. He married our mom soon after, and they went on to raise six children. But little had changed for Dad. His life remained one of hard work, with often more than one job, and a dedication to his friends and family. Regardless of what he was doing on his few days off, if any family member or friend was in need of his help, he would drop whatever he was doing to lend a hand.

When our mother unexpectedly passed away at an early age, Dad was left to care for my four brothers and sisters who remained at home. Balancing work and parenting proved to be difficult for him, and he often struggled, but he did the best he could.

His life’s journey, although marked with some disappointments, was nonetheless one of service to others. He had a true love for his family and friends that he seldom expressed in words but rather by his actions.

I appreciate my dad’s sense of duty and loyalty to others, and my hope is that I demonstrate these same qualities I learned from him, both in my everyday life and in my interaction with others. I am proud of my dad and know that he did his very best for his family, friends, and nation. He truly was part of this country’s greatest generation. Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

My dad passed away on October 4, 2016, at age 90, less than a month before his beloved Chicago Cubs won their first world series in 108 years.

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