A long time ago there was a man in the United States, brought up in an ordinary middle-class family. His father was a loving family man and worked in his farm. When he was 5 years old, on a summer afternoon his father came home with a fever. He saw his father in pain, but could not understand what was going on. That day doctor was called twice, he could see from far his mother crying. He got scared, that was the first time he saw his mother cry. Later that day his father died. He was too young to realize what has happened, but will always remember that summer afternoon, all his life. After his father’s death, his mother started stitching clothes of other people and also got a job in a factory. At seven, he learned how to cook, to feed his younger siblings, as his mom was away working.
One day he baked his first bread, he wanted to show this to his mother, but she was working in a factory three miles away. He grabbed the bread and took his five year old brother and sister along with him. Three of them walked three miles across the field, so he could show his mother his first loaf of bread. When they reached factory, he started searching for his mother, his mother saw him so far, carrying a loaf of bread in his hand and having a huge smile on his face. She came, held the bread in her hand and gave him a big hug.
At age 10, he began work as a helper in the farmland and then took up job painting horse carriages. He left school after sixth grade, so he could work full-time. Life moved on job after job, he sometimes worked as a conductor, then joined the United States Army for a while, then cleaned trains and even worked as a helper in railway construction. May be he was never satisfied, maybe he was still searching.
He was 18, when he met a beautiful girl they fell in love, soon got married and had three beautiful children, but one day he got fired from his job. Once he reached home his wife was gone, there was a note from his wife’s brother saying “she had no business marrying a no-good fellow like you.” He then convinced her to come back. Later, studied and practiced law for some years and after that even became an insurance salesman, all this while moving from one career to another. At age of 30, he established a ferry boat company; the ferry was an instant success. He sold the shares of the company and started a new one, wanting to do something bigger.
He establishes a company manufacturing oil lamps, hired sales people across the country. The business initially started well, with some new orders coming in every day. He felt yes finally I have made it, but destiny had some other plans. A company named Delco introduced electric lamps and the venture failed. Then he started working as a salesman in Michelin tires, but their too, lost his job when the manufacturing plant was shut down. He again started looking for some work and travelled to different cities, to find it.
While coming back, with no money in his pocket, he was looking for a lift to get back home. A man stopped and picked him up in his big car. He shared with the stranger his story, how he is looking for some work. That stranger turned out to be the state manager of Standard Oil. The manager asked him “would you wish to run a service station?” He had no experience of what it takes to run a service station but he said yes. For six years, he managed the place successfully, he sold more fuel than anywhere in the state, but then the Great Depression came, his station closed down like many other businesses at that time.