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Taking Ownership…

High School was not a good place for me.

There are many sayings:  “If I knew then, what I know now…,” “If I could go back and do it all again…”   But I can’t, and besides, that’s not really the focus of what I wanted to address here… but it is a means to an end.

In High School, I didn’t know who I was, what I wanted, or where I thought I should “be.”  When I was 15, like most teenagers, I got a job… Except it turned out, I got a career ! 

At 15, I went to work for John Lecky and Thunderbird Enterprises, who ran a variety of stores in different areas of Vancouver… Windmill Toys, Czar Nicholas & The Toad, Dig This, P.S. and The Thunderbird Shop at UBC… and my life changed.  Work, even at that young age, afforded me a focus that High School did not.  I still went to school, and on to University and Computer School… but I was more engaged and enraptured by the challenges and the opportunities, so I poured myself into working at, and then, years later, helping run and Manage a Store.

When I started, the money was negligible… (at that time, people under the age of 16 got paid a lower minimum wage) … so I started at $2.65 an hour.  But I didn’t care !  Soon I was working 40+ hours a week… and loving it.

John, or as he was then, “Sir”…. let every member of his Teams contribute, and feel valued.

The skills and energy I offer today, are as a result of , and built on, the lessons I learned then.

On reviewing my resume, this week, I proudly read “Team Builder and Cheerleader,”  alongside skills that are probably more often posted, but, in some ways, less necessary.

John allowed every member of his Team, the gift of being able to perform… As if they owned the Business.

Work hardSupport your teamLearn as much as you canLook at things from an “outside” perspective… Always try to exceed the customers’ expectations… I could go on and on, but perhaps most importantly… Have fun and enjoy what you do !

Times changed, and the businesses closed… (the late 90’s was all about Malls, and not about Destination Retail) …but the lessons learned during those 21 years have laid a foundation for my work, and my work ethic.

High School was not a good place for me.  I found my place at Windmill Toys, in Kerrisdale.  And on the shelves there, amongst Lego sets, Fisher-Price Toys and Playmobil, I found hard work, diligence, self worth and a set of work ethic values that will carry me through the rest of my days.

Thank you for reading this, and have a great day !

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