THANKING THE ONES WHO SHAPED US.

How a matter-of-fact mentor shaped a future

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Tom,

Over the years I have gotten to know you as a father, a business person, and a friend. I have watched you raise your kids with an amount of love and patience that you made look easy, but I know had to be hard. In your relationship with Dawn, I have seen you unconditionally love and support her.

Your business is you personified. You are able to take your values and your passion and make them come alive in your company. Your employees love you and talk about how cool you are with your ponytail and white suits (do you ever get tired of hearing about how cool you are?). They even all keep bobble head dolls of you on their desks to prove how much they love working for you. The reason they all love you so much is not because they want a promotion, but because they respect what you have made and want to be a part of it. You are a brilliant, matter-of-fact, cutting-edge, unique person and I admire your ability to stay true to yourself and be successful doing it. When I feel myself trying to be someone I'm not, I just think of you and your image grounds me.

While your uniqueness has encouraged me to be true to myself, the most important impact your example has had on me in my entrepreneurial journey has been in the way you relentlessly seek out new business. Travel is a regular and frequent part of your weekly routine. If there is a co-op whose business you don't have, you do not wait around for them to have a problem with their current advertiser and call you to rescue them; you go to them with your best people and show them why they need you to be successful. More often than not, you win their business. You have grown your company over the years this way, slowly adding co-ops and other accounts one by one, and now your company has over 300 employees and is still growing.

Your example of going out and getting what you want enabled me to get my first clients for my consulting business. You helped me overcome my fear of being rejected by a prospect and realize that the only way I am going to be successful is to go after what I want. These lessons I have learned from you, to be loving and patient, to be true to myself, and go out and get what I want, have already helped me in my career, and I want to say thank you for being an amazing example to me. I am so grateful to be able to call you family.

Lindsey

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