Opinion: The foundation of success
Commentary by Jim Serger
Hurl that newspaper, paint that fence, sell those thin mints, pull those weeds, sell that lemonade, walk those dogs, cut that grass, watch over those little swimmers, carry those golf-clubs and let us not forget, allow those parents to go out for date night. What do all of these have in common? The foundation to a successful and fulfilling life.
As I watched my 12-year-old daughter conducting her precise paint strokes on the front porch, with me at her side, I thought, is this building confidence? She is 12, but at 12 what were you doing? The next day she was cutting the grass, I was trimming. I wondered if I am pushing her too hard in today’s world. I quickly decided I am giving her responsibility and accountability.
What is success? How do we characterize it? Who do we look to as a beacon? Who do we glance to in our daily lives to demonstrate the way: Mom, Dad, neighbors, teachers, coaches? Is the theme of giving children tasks still prosperous today? Are kids being given it? Or are they earning it, through effort at a young age, that leads to a successful being?
In 1987, Bill Pulliam started his own business, which today is known as Pulliam-Scott Construction Inc. As we drive through Crooked Stick Golf Course and glance at the marvelous homes, it was Bill that constructed quite a slew of those gorgeous homes. As we gawk at the homes in Bay Hill, Bill as well built a ton of those astounding homes. At 64 years old and with 30 years of ownership, is that success? What about him helping assemble the Indianapolis Zoo or him helping erect the RCA Dome, is that success?
Now this is food for thought. Bill has been married for 35 years. Is that commitment, success? I say, yes! Bill raised three children, put them through college. Is that success? I say, yes! Bill is a college grad, a U.S. Army veteran. Ss that success? I say, yes!
Building custom homes throughout Carmel and Hamilton County, as well as surrounding counties, where did Bill learn his trade secret of success? Where did Bill learn words such as: commitment, honesty, integrity, grit, ownership, timing, accountability, discipline, punctuality your name stands for something? It all started at the young age of 10 and kept growing: shoveling snow, cutting grass, helping the neighbor out with little tasks, cleaning out a barn. Bill even had a paper route. His mom even volunteered him to help neighbors. For some tasks he earned a buck, with others he learned the value of being a first-class individual.
A little push can go a long way. I will give my daughter a little shove to boost her confidence. I’ll keep her cutting that grass, painting that fence. I’ll give her direction and teach her that a little manual labor never hurt anyone. No matter what the future has in store for her or anyone.
My first job as a teenager were some of the best days of my life. Raking leaves, cleaning gutters, painting the mailbox post, will that lead to success? I don’t know, but I would rather have the foundation stable and keep that ball rolling forward. Bill and millions of others understand success is a life-long commitment, and I will continue to guide my daughter down that road.