In my new book I have been writing on success I have decided to include some of the stories of my family and those I am related to that are famous because of what they have accomplished in the entrepreneurial world. Today I felt like sharing some of these stories with you!
I couldn’t start sharing without first mentioning my grandfather, Hesley. Now everyone in my family would testify of what a horrible person he was. But I at least got to see some of the good and I used to write him letters before he passed away. I also know his life was quite an example of the successful entrepreneur.
My grandfather as a young teen was a professional dancer, and he loved the restaurant business, from starting the first donut shop in Seattle to a candy shop in Spokane. He became friends with Bing Crosby because Bing loved hard candy and he would visit his shop often. He was a man that could negotiate anything. In fact, he was in the Army but he also wanted to be in the Coast Guard. Apparently, you cannot be in both. But he purchased the fastest boat in Washington State and the Coast Guard wanted the boat. So he cut them a deal, if he gave them his boat they let him in the Coast Guard. For this reason I am pretty sure he is the only who served in both (which by the way we have photos of but no government record).
They moved around a lot, Spokane, Seattle, Idaho but at one point lived right close to where Bill Gates now has his home. My dad told me that some of the neighbors he grew up next to are still living there.
My grandparents owned a resort on Whidbey Island and they got to meet many people including a famous boxer, Harry Kid Matthews, whom I have a photo of with my grandfather. My grandmother, Lorene, was the master at sales and people and my grandfather was the one great at building businesses. Everyone I have met that knew my grandmother has always raved about how much she loved people and they loved her. She understood influence and charisma!
My grandfather was also a pilot, along with my own father and his brother. My parents first dates, as told to me by my mother, were flying straight up and straight down so your stomach is in your face. Because of that I have always refused to fly. I am the only one in my family who hasn’t flown! But I knew my stomach would be in my face and that doesn’t sound like fun.
Jimmy Doolittle was my grandmothers cousin and he used to come to visit and take her up flying and do tricks. I have a few photos of all the airplanes they owned. I don’t know about you, but I think my grandmother had a bit of an adventure streak!
My second cousin has a mini museum in his house dedicated to Jimmy as well as much of the Apperson family history. He is pretty famous himself I think since he was one of the engineers that invented the bar code scanner, but I suppose nobody really looks that up. In this museum is also stories of how the Apperson family invented the first automobile. Most people think it was Ford but in fact they copied the Apperson Jack Rabbit and beat the competition. I found that pretty interesting.
My grandmother is the one who’s first cousin is Phoebe Apperson Hearst. If you do not know, she is William Randolph Hearst’s mother. She started the PTA and really invested a lot into education. My grandmother used to share stories about this but because she drank a lot most people thought she was just drunk. I was told by a cousin a few years ago that family has access to stay at the Hearst Castle, but I can imagine there is red tape involved in that, such is how much I give to the Hearst Foundation. Luckily most of the information about that side of the family is pretty well known. It’s because of the extensive research Phoebe did of family history that we can trace that family line back to the 1300’s. That side of the family is related to King Henry IV through marriage. It’s my mother’s side though directly connected to The Royal Family.
So from some of this history you can easily begin to understand why I am passionate about building businesses. I have had so many in my family that have succeeded beyond the norm. I want to continue to share some stories with you but also keep some to include in my book as I am using their stories to explain how and why certain practices “work” to achieve success.
Some of the people I am related to are no longer living, and I just know because of my family tree and proved with DNA tests. But I still feel they deserve my attention because they are still related and still made a huge impact. Such as Leo Tolstoy or Andrew Jackson.
One story I look forward to sharing is that of my 4th Great Grandfather, 5th Great Grandfather and all of their family who were the first to settle the Dallas area. The movie “Dances With Wolves” along with countless others were made about aspects of their story. One of my cousins recently published a new book about my family and because I am the first descendant in the area of my 4th great grandfather, he seemed to take liberty to blame him for everyone’s death. However, he seemed to feel bad once I introduced myself. I am the descendant of a son my 4th Great Grandfather left behind in Chicago. But if you enjoy stories of cowboys, Indians, and the wild west I have some interesting things to share.
Anyway, I hope that as I share some of these stories it is fun for you to hear. Not all the stories I have include extreme details, I can only share what I know. Like knowing my great aunt dated Ronald Reagan, he gave her a teddy bear she never put down for years and she never married. One might say Ronald broke her heart or maybe she just liked being single.
Hopefully, I can take what I do know and at least draw from these stories the lessons we can all learn on how to succeed in business and life and make it interesting at the same time! You don't have to be related to apply the same principles they lived by.