Lessons Learned from Dad

April 22, 2016 – Rochester, Michigan

I had the privilege of attending my Dad’s retirement party last month. My Dad had one job, one job, his entire working career. He was a Professor of Chemistry at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.  As a business owner, I think my Dad’s commitment and dedication to one employer is pretty awesome.  As impressive as his dedication is, the fact he did it for 50 years is simply amazing. Can you picture yourself with your employer for 50 years?  I struggle with it and I own the business!

As I sat listening to my Dad give his farewell speech, I learned a few life lessons.  For one, do what you love to do.  My Dad loved to teach and as he said “I would have done it for free but the tax payers of Michigan paid me anyway.”

I love my work at eimagine. I’m often caught saying I equate eimagine to my first child in how much I enjoy watching eimagine grow and evolve.  To see our employees working together and bringing value to our clients is probably the most rewarding thing I do professionally.

My Dad told a story about the “old days” when he and his colleagues would have lunch together. How they would sit and talk, discuss ideas, challenge each other, and be present for each other.  The few years leading up to his retirement, he’d say many of his lunches were spent alone in his office eating over a keyboard. How often have I found myself eating over my keyboard “working”?  I wonder what friendships, collaboration, or light bulb idea I missed in the vain of getting ahead of my emails?

As obvious as it sounds for someone who worked 50 years, my Dad was never shy to roll up his sleeves and get to work. I cannot remember a time where he wasn’t doing something. For those of you who know him, Cory Lewis reminds me of my Dad in that way.  When I thought I put effort or work into something and was thumping my chest a bit in pride, my Dad would always ask me, “Could you have worked harder?”

To this day, I never underestimate the value of hard work.  Good days, bad days — it doesn’t matter, you can always put in the effort.

Having started eimagine in 1998 and being 18 years in, I’m curious to know how the next 32 years unfolds. I know I love doing what I’m doing and hopefully, through some hard work and a little bit of luck, we will make it to 50.

Thanks for all the love, life lessons and friendship Dad.  Enjoy retirement and good luck living next door to Cory. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from Dad

  1. So true Joel,
    I don’t consider myself old yet, but I remember how enjoyable it was to meet, talk and eat etc. with my co workers … many of whom later became great fiends. I’m sure that comeradery is still around .. but no as much for business owners my friend!

    Good to hear from you.

  2. I meant to type “Friends” but now that I reflect more on my buddies in the “wayback” “Fiends” also fits lol.

  3. Nice post, Joel. I agree 50 years is quite the accomplishment, and one that seems almost unattainable in the current employment market. I do get a chance to collaborate frequently over lunch with co-workers and friends; we also incorporate weekly walks (walking, 1-on-1 meetings) with supervisors and team leaders. These walks allow us to connect professionally and personally with one another and solve problems in a non-traditional setting. Plus, we get to enjoy waling around Bloomington.. a win-win! Hope all is well with you and Jenny and the famil

  4. I love all the lessons we learn from parents and those who have been around the block a little longer than us. What a great work ethic your father showed and instilled in you.

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