My grandfather is the definition of enterprise in our family.
Born in 1885 and raised in a coal mining town in Southern Illinois, the first Clinton Richardson was pulled out of school in the third grade to work in the mines. His first job was sorting rocks on the tipple.
My great grandmother used to tell how she knew when my grandfather was returning with her husband from the mines after dark. Each wore a light on their hat and carried a metal lunch pail. She could hear young Clinton's lunch pail scraping on the ground as they approached. The lights from her two boys' hats, one high adult light and one much lower light from young Clinton, made them unmistakable.
The picture on the cover of Richardson's Growth Company Guide 5.0 shows my grandfather as an adult in 1923 leading a team of men in opening a coal mine in southern Illinois. The mine would become the largest coal mine in the world.
Hard work, business savvy and a fierce loyalty to a set of values that included honesty and compassion helped my grandfather succeed beyond his expectations. While running the mine, he also became the mayor of the nearby town of Virden and raise a family that included my father.
My father learned from him and passed his values on to his children, including this one who was named for his dad. There were 'no excuses' in our home just as there were none in his dad's. You could make mistakes with no recrimination but you owned up to them and went about setting them straight.
With hard work and a spirit of enterprise, these values helped my dad start and grow his own business from scratch. With great partners, he innovated in his industry and grew jobs for the local economy. And in the process, he built a great life for his family and co-workers.
In our posts, we will celebrate the people who make things happen. And, we will do so, in part, by talking about concepts and tools that can help entrepreneurs and their investors build great companies. Many of these tools and more are discussed in the Guide 5.0.
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