My mom texted me this photo last night and I immediately asked to get a print so I could hang in my office.
I want to tell this story in person to everybody who visits me.
This is my grandfather’s first business on grand opening in July 1967. It was a drive-thru restaurant in Big Bear, California, and burgers were 24 cents.
He would later also start a fence company, construction company and ultimately a motorcycle dealership (which he still works at to this day and where I worked for several summers). He’s a masterful network (a people person), a shrewd real estate investor (although he’d never call himself that), and one heck of a role model for me.
I remember the first time I told him I wanted to own a business. He encouraged me to get a job with a pension instead.
I still don’t think he realizes the impact and influence his life and work had (and continues to have) on me, as an entrepreneur, as a grandfather, and as my friend.
But needless to say in 2008 when I had the opportunity to start iThemes, I fulfilled a lifelong dream and accomplished something I’m very proud of: I followed in my Papa Leo’s footsteps.