Above my desk hangs a picture of a cartoon general. Forward leaning, red-faced, and sword drawn, he looks like he’s heading into battle. Underneath him, in big bold letters you read the simple command, “CHARGE!”
At first glance you might think that I love the Looney Tunes character, Yosemite Sam, as the character in my picture bears some resemblance of him. When I first saw the picture, that’s who I thought it was. I thought it was really weird for my dad to have that picture at work. He’s not terribly fond of cartoons, but this one has a story behind it. I think you will like it.
AlphaGraphics Sandy is a family business with entrepreneurship in our blood—literally. I started my first business in the 5th grade. My parents are entrepreneurs. Both of my grandfathers were entrepreneurs. Even my wife’s parents are entrepreneurs. It’s who we are. It’s who a lot of our customers are.
Being an entrepreneur is risky. A lot of times it is very difficult, and sometimes it’s even down right scary. In these times of hardship and struggle, we all need a little something that keeps us moving forward with a determination to overcome and carry on.
One of the things that keeps me going hangs in this picture. It was handed down to me from my dad, who received it from his dad. Here’s the story of how my grandfather received it as told by my dad.
My dad had farming in his blood but struggled finding work within the industry. When I was 14 years old my dad was offered the job of managing the Conoco Oil distributorship. He would deliver gas and oil to farmers. This was a dream job for him—as close to farming as he could ever get, so he gladly accepted the offer.
When Conoco came to town to train him he found out that the delivering gas was only part of the job. He actually had to run their entire business there. He had to plan inventory, set competitive prices, sell, deliver, collect the money, and turn a profit. These were things he had never done before and didn't have any idea where to start. I could tell that he was scared to death. It was his first glimpse at life as an entrepreneur.
The office for the business he took over was a total mess because the person retiring was old and had kind’ve let things go. So I went with my dad to clean the office. Behind one of the file cabinets we found the "Charge" poster. My dad stopped working for about 5 minutes, and just stood there, looking at the poster. He then found a nail and immediately hung it over his desk. In those 5 minutes of contemplation I saw a huge change come over my father. Although he was still scared, he was now confident and determined that he would succeed by working hard and charging into the battle.
That poster has hung over my desk whenever I have had similar life-changing situations, giving me the same confidence and motivation.
My dad and my grandpa (well, both of my grandpas, actually… and my in-laws… and most of my customers) never looked back. No use in looking back or hesitating when everything is on the line.
“Failure is not an option” is another way to put it. That’s how we work. That’s why we work with such passion, effort, and determination at AlphaGraphics Sandy. We are in your shoes and know what it’s like to be all in. We “get it.” And we understand how valuable it is to have good people in your corner. We’re grateful for the good people in our corner and hope to be there in your corner for years to come. Charge!