April 20th, 2020. I was ascending the corporate ladder as director of the Program Management office at a prominent Technology company. I had just successfully crafted the enterprise security roadmap and influenced Accounting to modernize its project policies when I was abruptly terminated without cause and no notice by the new Chief Information Officer in the middle of the COVID-19 global Pandemic
So ... not a great day
With my career abruptly disrupted alongside 20 million other people who were displaced in April 2020, I took control and charted out my own course. From the depths of career despair, I proceeded to create businesses in expense reduction, business growth acceleration, startup business architecture, and Information Technology resourcing.
Silver Lining - Going through this career trauma is what prompted me to start the Terminal Value Podcast.
I was born in a blue-collar community near Portland, Oregon called Gresham. The majority of my childhood was spent in a house my parents purchased in 1979 for $65k that they still live in to this day. The legacy of my grandparents growing up during the depression left an indelible effect on my childhood.
While we were not destitute, we never spent a single dime that was not absolutely necessary. My father purchased used vehicles and went to extensive efforts to keep them running for 10, 20 or even 30 years. The benefit of this frugality was that my sister and I were able to go through junior college and complete our undergraduate studies at Portland State University with no student loans.
If you also grew up in a family that stretched their nickels, please reach out ... I would love to compare our stories
My father was drafted into the Army shortly after completing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After being shipped off to Vietnam for 365 days as an aircraft mechanic, he returned to discover that his degree was no longer favorably viewed by engineering firms, rendering it functionally obsolete.
From this point, he engaged in work with a local construction company where he met my Mother, who was born in Prosser, Washington and spent her childhood traveling between small towns in the Pacific Northwest where her father worked installing electrical lines.
Their life was disrupted when my Father was terminated from his job on the same day when he had planned to propose to my Mother. They decided to go forward anyway, lived frugally while attending the community college and my Father eventually found employment with the City of Portland where he would spend the remainder of his career.
The big thing I learned from my Father was that there is always a way. He found his way by tightly controlling his expenses. I know others who have found ways to dramatically boost their income. No matter what happens in our lives, I believe that there is always a way to recover and thrive.
This brings us to my current family. My wife works at a technology company on the other side of town and my son & daughter both attend a private religious school that is a half-hour away from our house.
Our daughter is active in the dance team for her school and our Son is active in Scouts BSA. These activities spawn a continual sequence of competitions, events, meetings, and practices. The parent in me knows that I will never get this time with my kids back and that I need to treasure every moment.
In addition to all of this, our house is on 3 acres that need to be managed & maintained. In addition to this, we have two dogs, two cats and eight chickens as part of our extended family. I serve on the board of Elders in my church congregation, am the Committee Chair for my son’s Scout Troop, and am active in the Newberg Rotary organization.
As you can see, our degree of family activity is so high that it borders on insanity. If you have a similarly crazy schedule, I would love to connect and compare stories.
Throughout high school and college, I worked in 15 different ‘joe jobs’ before starting my first ‘grown-up’ job. (Also known as a career) While going through college, I signed on as an Amway distributor and was on my way toward the entrepreneurial experience of trying, failing, pivoting, and trying again.
At one point, I temporarily left college with the belief that I would make my way as an Amway distributor and build my fortune through the school of Hustle. Unfortunately, a sketchy character from my high school class impersonated my identification and wiped out my bank account leaving me with no financial resources. At this point of ‘rock bottom,’ I decided to go back and finish my degree in Finance.
So ... it would appear that the desire to find my own way has been present for quite a while.
The most influential person in my life is most definitely my father – He is a frugal person who became frustrated when things did not work as expected, but he made the sacrifices that allowed my Sister and I to grow into the lives and careers that we have today.
The primary experience that shaped my life was the time I spent in the Marine Corps – I joined the Marine Corps Reserve (contrary to my Father’s wishes) in 1996 and attended the first of two cycles for Officer Candidate School in 1997.
The Marines require that you develop extensive discipline and the ability to adapt to unfavorable circumstances that rapidly change. I believe that the ability to withstand hardship and continue fighting is the defining characteristic that separates the people who are ‘lucky’ to succeed from those who are ‘destined’ for success.
It is truly remarkable what you can do if you absolutely, positively refuse to quit.
Many people are surprised to learn that I have attended the same church congregation since I was five years old. My family currently travels 50 minutes one way to attend Sunday services.
A Thousand Mentors
My mentors are the hundreds of authors whose books I have read and re-read to create the base of knowledge that I bring into my business every day. Because of this, I am constantly looking back at my prior self wondering how I could have been so foolish.
My career began with 20 years of progressive leadership experience in corporate Finance and Technology. I attained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) alongside my wife while both of us were working full-time. I served in the Marine Corps Reserve while in college and at the beginning of my career. During this time, I engaged in a continual string of ‘side hustle’ entrepreneurial ventures.
Throughout my career, I at the forefront of influencing and implementing a consistent string of value and profit positive business decisions
Results are what ultimately matters and what I am most proud of.
The thing that differentiates me in my current work is that I deliver guaranteed bottom-line results and use the financial resources I create to invest in my community. There are thousands of consultants and resourcing firms who fail to produce real value for their clients. I have seen the lack of results and exorbitant fees firsthand and decided to create a better way.
You read that correctly ... GUARANTEED results. If this sounds interesting, we really need to talk.