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Honor Thy Father

Jack Craven
May 4, 2016

My Dad Sam ran a wholesale candy company for 50 years.  Yes, he was "Sam the Candy Man."  He was my best friend, mentor and cheerleader. After practicing law for five years, I was seeking something more exciting.  I joined the business.  There was action every day. I learned a ton.  I was allowed to make a lot of mistakes along the way. Sales, buying, finance, employees, culture, you name it. Trial by fire. I LOVED it. Dad taught me and modeled the importance of keeping your word, treating everyone fairly, with respect and appreciation.  And that your name and reputation are passed on to the next generation. There is a connection being in a family business, and true meaning - keeping a legacy alive.  After Dad died unexpectedly in 2000, it meant so much more.  By continuing to run the family business, we stayed connected. I hung my favorite photo of Dad by the front door of our offices.  His smiling face with his favorite license plate - YUM.  In the past five years, I began to lose my passion running the business.  I re-examined what I wanted out of life.  I joined the Conscious Leadership Group and a spark ignited inside of me. As I discovered my new passion, I resisted thoughts of letting go of the business.  I felt the duty and honor of keeping a 65 year old family business going.  It was my identity. I was Craven and Craven was me.  Honor Thy Father.  Recently, I let go of the story that the best way to stay connected with my Dad was through the business.  I allowed myself to pursue my dream and be happy.  Happiness, not legacy,  was what Dad always wanted for me.  It was a huge leap. I could not have done it without the support of so many friends and my family. I let go of the "should"  - that I should run the business for the rest of my life.  I created a new story that pursing my dream is the BEST way to Honor My Father.  I've never been happier. My favorite photo of Dad now hangs in my garage. I can clearly see his smiling face every day as I leave for work, and when I come home.  I'm smiling too.       

Jack Craven
Jack Craven is an executive coach to business leaders, and the teams and companies they lead.

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