Nothing positive comes in life without a sacrifice. Owning a pest control company is one of them. Creating a successful company requires an enormous number of hours of blood, sweat and tears. Blood is spilled in terms of the stressed family relationships as you pour yourself into the business. Sweat beyond belief is extended as you play field and office chief cook and bottle washer. Tears like you wouldn’t believe are felt when you realize that you have hired people who you may not be able to trust, people who don’t care, who damage your business (sometimes willfully) and all of whom go on the chopping block to save your business.
But today my thoughts are on my mom. I have done the blood, sweat and tears for years, losing many chances to spend time with my mother 3000 miles away. I have told myself that I could not leave the business to others when I well knew from experience that I would return to find unpleasant reminders that the business got lazy, slow, sloppy or unprofessional in my absence.
It is only in the last two years that I have felt a true “warm, fuzzy” that I could get away with my family without returning to troubles. The team I have now takes pride in high performance during my absence. But along the way, I let 7 years of my mother’s last slip by without the attention she deserved.
Now, toward the very end of her life, I am back where I need to be with her, yes, 3000 miles away from by business, attending to mom on her final road. I don’t regret working hard for my dream business, for a dream role of making a difference through something I built from the ground, up. But I also reflect with anger directed at myself for not doing more, for not being there. My mom is my mom. That’s it.
Last night, I flew the red-eye to NY and had a great day with my mom at New York Booth Memorial, attending to her, joking a bit, reminiscing about most everything in her life dating back to the depression, romance, kids, love and loss, and yes… accepting what is to come.
As we go about our work running our pest control operations, don’t let anyone think for a minute that you have not made great sacrifices in pursuit of your goals and that if they are to be a part of that dream, they need to respect the blood, sweat and tears you have put into your business. Most of all, we must not fool ourselves as we are sacrificing others in the pursuit of our goals.
Today, I have few regrets, but great sadness.