When you’re young, you’re controlled and watched. But when I was about 10 years old, I was out of town in Vermont (I’m from Wisconsin) with my uncle and older cousin. And my uncle let me carry a loaded shotgun. I think we were probably just target shooting. I had an opportunity once to kill a deer with a crossbow, but I just couldn’t do it. In any case, he said, “Be careful. You could hurt someone.” But he let me carry it. Now, of course my parents–most parents–wouldn’t want me to do that because they’d think it was too dangerous. But my uncle, he never took it away. He just told me, “Be responsible with it.” And I was. I felt . . . trusted.
Fast forward. I’ve been in the commercial real estate business for almost 40 years. When I first got started, it took between 6 months and a year to accomplish my first breakthrough. It was one of those things where I was able to solve a problem that no one else could fix. And my solution went uncontested. When you’re younger and still learning, that’s a big thing. Again, I felt . . . trusted. You need to get to that point when you don’t question yourself anymore.