NEWS FROM SUMO SAM
A TRIBUTE TO MY HARD-WORKING DAD
I always wanted to be like my dad, even if I never imagined myself owning a roofing company like he did. In fact, I thought I'd never be involved in his business at all. As a young man, I worked for him during the summers and was never fond of it. But age can give you the right perspective, and there are many things I've realized since being a kid. For one, my dad always made our family his priority. Running a business as a father today, that's one of the things I still admire: No matter how busy he was with his business, he always found time for us. In fact, he kept a small sofa in his home office, and if one of us kids would come in and sit down, he would stop what he was working on and let us talk and tell him about our day. That meant a lot to all of us. Of course, when I was a kid, some of his greatest lessons were the hardest to learn. When I was about 9 years old, my dad signed me up to run a 5K race. I've got to admit, it was really hard. We practiced a couple times running around the block, but you often need more than a couple of practices alone to finish middle- and long-distance running events. You need strong willpower. My dad was there to teach me that every step of the way. On the day of the event, we all started in a high school football stadium in Plano. The route included one lap around the track, then out into the neighborhood, and then back around the track for a final victory lap. Well, before we even finished the opening lap, I was ready to quit! "Are we almost done?" I complained. My dad helped me get perspective and encouraged me to endure. "We just started and we have a long way to go, but you can do it!" He didn't run ahead of me; he stayed with me and was a big supporter to get me to finish the run. And I finished without stopping or walking. I got a little trophy from that EDS 1984 run, which I keep in my office. It reminds me that even when things are at their toughest, you keep going. You do your best, and that's the best you can do.
My dad stayed involved in our lives and took us camping all the time. We had a boat and
went water skiing as a family in the summers. He did a 150-mile bike ride with me when I was a teenager, and during my senior year in high school, he and I hiked 30 miles in the New Mexico mountains. He always pushed me to explore. These experiences helped lay the foundation for my life as a father and a business owner. After I came back from a two-year missionary trip in Japan, I got married and worked for my dad for four years. Despite doubting that I'd ever get into roofing myself, that's just what I did! I learned a lot about business administration, organization, sales, and customer service while I worked with my dad. Working hard in our recreational sports was one thing, but it wasn't a huge leap to apply that same work ethic to business. After those four years working for my dad, I started a home improvement company of my own, and he was very supportive. Several years later, when my brother, John, and I teamed up to create QuickSumo Pest Control, my dad was supportive but cautious; he didn't want our familial relationships to be damaged by business. However, after seeing how well we work together, our dad sees all the benefits of it. He's never been happier with our accomplishments so far, and, as you can probably tell, I owe a lot to him. I've continued pursuing and teaching his lessons to my kids because I think pushing forward despite intimidating challenges is a powerful ability in life. In fact, a few weeks ago on a Saturday, I ran 50 miles. That was a long day! During that run, I thought back to my first 5K and drew from that experience to get me home. There's nothing like breaking the mold for the first time and realizing you can truly do anything. Thank you, Dad! I hope you all have a happy Father's Day. Stay healthy and safe out there!
“When I was about 9 years old, my dad signed me up to run a 5K race.”
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