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An Old Lunch Pail Reminds This Founder to Embrace the Tough Times

Working through setbacks and overcoming hurdles sometimes yield the greatest lessons.

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This story appears in the July 2020 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

I grew up in the 1970s in a small town in central Pennsylvania and spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house, a railroad-style home just down the street from my parents. My grandfather, Charles, would come home from a long day’s work, covered in dirt and oil, and share a sugary sip of coffee from a thermos he kept in a banged-up aluminum lunch pail.

Minick Photographer

My grandfather was an entrepreneur. After serving in WWII as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers for the U.S. Army Reserve, overseeing construction projects across France and Germany, he returned home and realized there was a need for his skill set in the local community. He started his own custom grading and excavation business and got to work. And the work was hard.

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