2016, what a time to be alive. No seriously, we should be thankful to still be breathing.
For nearly everyone in my circle this was the most difficult year in recent history (Minus the Cubs fans, congrats you finally did it!)
On the last day of the year I find it hard not to reflect on the hardest, most rewarding year of my life. I stripped everything down to the basics and got back to my roots, the roots that taught me to take this chance.
The roots that I will never forget because it is what gave me the strength necessary to persevere in this unforgiving terrain. The 100+ years that went into me being in this very spot, at this very moment.
As I stare a picture of my grandparents that I never had the chance to meet, I think about the Grandparents I do know, and I think about how hard it was for them. I often think of the sacrifices made by my past generations to get me to this point. The hardship and sacrifices that I never had to experience in order for me to be in this position right now typing this blog.
Centuries and decades of hard work and sacrifice is what got ALL of us to where we are today.
Think of your father or mother who worked til their knuckles bled, think of the ones who fought wars for you so you didn't have to, think about the ones that are not here to see you grow on the very roots they seeded for you.
I found myself complaining several times through this journey when things did not work out for me and my fledgling company, but these moments of weakness do not last long because all I do is picture my roots in my mind's eye.
I picture the years of my Mom going without so I didn't have to, the founding principals that I learned as a kid applied to the business world is how I am able to quickly move on and not dwell on, but learn from all my failures.
By sticking to my roots, I have been able to build something pure. Something that noone can buy, something that can't be un-done, something that is priceless.
Even if I am not the one to make it, the others around me will. This has turned into something much bigger than myself and I can't wait to be able to tell the full story of the biggest 'grass roots' movement that is about to break the surface underneath your feet.
The funny thing about roots, is you can't see how far they run. Growth comes in many forms.
Focused hard on my roots, not to pay homage, but to let them run deeper to build something so profound and strong that noone can keep from growing.
"Grass Roots" are shallow, what I have been doing is burying acorns. Seeds that were planted over the course of several years and watered with patience.
This company of mine was primarily marketed in person and on the phone. True Human-to-Human interaction for the people to look me in the eyes and hear the conviction in my voice and know how serious I am about changing this entire industry from the ground up.
The people that are left in the Manufacturing Industry want this more than I do, they want to see the change that is needed for us all to be successful and it is their hunger, pain and roots that connect us all.
By being transparent, putting myself out there, I have been able to find the best-of-the-best and begin connecting our root systems.
Filtering out the bad fruits on dead trees, by starting something new out of the scorched earth that is U.S. Manufacturing.
This company is living proof of the POWER we all hold when we are connected, the power of PEOPLE.
Because you see, this is not just one tree, this an entire forest that is being grown right under your feet.
Nothing can stop us, because even when we fail, we still win.
I am already the wealthiest man on earth because of 2016, because money cannot buy the experience that I have had but I can guarantee, one way or another, my Mom will be able to quit her job in 2017!
Look forward to making some big announcements in 2017 but until then, tonight, I will party like it's 1776!
Be the change you wish to see in this world.