Everything is OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.
— David Krueger, MD
My business experience began on a farm in central Texas. At age 10, the day came for me to sell my first pig that I had cared for; my Dad had to console me while I cried at giving up Stubby. I graduated to cattle, but discovered an even greater potential for emotional involvement. So I turned to registered Hereford breeding stock, since I didn’t have to sell them. By high school, cotton farming became my unemotional niche.
My original Mentor, my Dad, showed me the ethic of hard work, watered by our daily sweat. Springtime for him was the anniversary of birth, of planting new seeds. It excited him to see things grow. Perhaps his excitement became the root of the joy and privilege I experience in seeing people grow. Even though at times it seemed that his interests stopped at the boundaries of the fields and fence lines, certainly at the small town less than three miles away, he taught me not to dream too little or too low.
Leaving the farm far behind, I graduated from medical school. Although specializing in Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis, I became a scholar of personal success and self-actualization. After heady experiences with internationally recognized figures, I ultimately learned that my best mentor was each person, in that moment, teaching me what it’s like to be him or her.
My children mentored me for two decades. A child gives birth to parents. As parents, we are really their students; they still know what we’ve forgotten. Parenting can be the last enclave of true creativity, that variant of fame called being needed. And children teach us about ourselves, not all of which we necessarily want to learn. On some days, in fact, not very much. Finally, by the time you’ve got the rhythm of the thing, it’s over.
When my son reached a first business age of 12, rather than livestock, we invested together in a public company he recognized. A paper stock doesn’t even know who owns it, and can’t look pleadingly when sold. He now owns a Capital Management firm, helping individuals and companies invest to enhance their future; he has five children. My daughter is a Doctor of Psychology, and specializes in Asperger’s children and families in Boston; she has four daughters.
I listened to many life and business stories to become expert at helping people exit their old stories and write new ones. I mentored other healers, researched and wrote papers and books to help people grow. Fifteen years ago, I was the only Psychiatrist in Houston to discern when to refer to a Professional Coach: when someone didn’t require psychotherapy, but needed to construct a life or business plan.
I applied my growing understanding of motivation, behavior, systems, emotional intelligence, and how people succeed to found and serve as CEO for two healthcare companies, and, with partners, take a third startup corporation through venture capital funding to merger/acquisition.
I now spend weekends writing and hosting an occasional business meeting at my ranch close to Houston. No cattle or cotton here, although I oversee two cotton farm ventures elsewhere. Now, I have an emotional attachment to the matriarch of a flock of Canadian geese. But that’s another story. And I’m starting an exotic game operation (axis deer and black buck antelope) to supply organic, free range meat to specialty markets.
These experiences prepared me for MentorPath®: To help you articulate a powerful personal vision that will inspire you and others, and establish strategies to reach your goals.