I followed in my father’s footsteps by creating my own company before the age of 25. My father was a paper boy at 15 and slowly started to meet the people who run the printing plant for the newspapers in his city. Eventually he opened a paper supply company and sold raw materials to print presses throughout the country. My dad gave me a job at a young age, but he encouraged me to carve out my own future instead of feeling indebted to taking over his business after his death. At least he gave me a lot of important business experience that made it possible for me to start an HVAC company. Around the age of 20 I got my certifications to be an HVAC technician and started working full time for a large heating and cooling supplier. It was a good experience during the four and a half years that I worked there, in part because I was trained to do everything. One day we would be installing new air systems in houses being built and another day I’d find myself in a tight crawl space under an old hospital trying to run refrigerant lines. But this is the exact sort of work I needed to be doing if I wanted to go out on my own and start a separate HVAC company. Once I hit 24, I started to make concrete plans. Things have gone so well in the past 30 years that I have my sons and daughters working here. It’s great having a family-operated HVAC business that is also rated highly by members of our community.