Gala McConnell Childs
My First Mentors
I think for most people, you have to grow up to really know and understand your parents; how their upbringing and their “story” continues to influence your life. My mom was way ahead of her time, but I really didn’t understand just how much until I grew up and started my own business. As I grew older, I realized she was my first mentor.
My parents were both entrepreneurs, and they were both pilots. As a child, I didn’t think it was the least bit odd that my 20 something mother with 4 kids under the age of 6 had gotten her pilot’s license and flew airplanes. It was my “normal”.
A few years before, my dad had come home one day and announced to my mother that he was going to take flying lessons. She thought just a minute and said, “OK I’ll take lessons too”. My dad got a worried look on his face and he said to her, “I’m not sure we can afford for both of us to learn to fly”. My mom responded, “Yes we can; you’ll just fly half as much”. That was my “way ahead of her time” mom. How I love that story!
My dad was the oldest of 4 children. He was a general contractor and he operated the family business with his two brothers until his death when I was 16. Growing up, I really didn’t spend much time thinking about the business even though he would take me to job sites from the time I was in elementary school. I loved going with him, but I certainly didn’t understand just how difficult it was to be a small business person. That was just our life; our “normal”. Read the rest of this entry →