On February 17, 2014, our 29-year-old daughter died; in this blog, we hope to pay tribute to her. We weren’t sure exactly how we were going to provide business advice to you and, at the same time, honor Jae, but then it dawned on us.
Just like you, there were things in Jae’s life that she knew were out of her control. Despite those limitations, she managed to rise above her circumstances and, through her loving care, she positively impacted hundreds of children and parents all over the world. We continue to receive notes from so many people, telling us how much Jae meant to their families. One mother made the comment that her teenage children don’t know life without Jae. A sobbing young man told us he didn’t know Jae, but he had come to the funeral representing his deceased father, who had worked with Jae in the church nursery and always spoke fondly of her.
In many ways, Jae was like you (a business owner or an executive running a business). Owning and/or running a business is a lot more difficult than most people think. (See our June 4, 2012, post) If you own a business, your family’s wealth is at risk every day. Many of you operate in a world filled with giants, where your customers are large multinationals who often treat you unfairly and/or continually ask for price concessions. Your suppliers, too, are giants, and they dictate pricing. It seems like the federal, state and local governments continuously pass laws or regulations that increase your costs.
To stay in business, you — like our daughter — need to rise above your circumstances. For Jae, the experience of caring for hundreds of children over the years was worth it — and your perseverance in your endeavors is worth it, too. Think about it this way: How many families does your company support? You provide great training and opportunities for advancement. Your team members are mostly good citizens in their communities who pay local, state, and federal taxes. Many of them serve on their local PTA or volunteer their time on their church’s boards and committees.
Yes, like Jae, you make a huge impact on this world. And, like Jae, you may never get any special recognition for the efforts you put forth. But what you do is important, so keep it up. We’re cheering for you.