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My Dad Gave Me a Knife When I Was 11 to Help Him Work. That Knife Opened My World. Pop couldn't pass on much, but what he did teach was priceless.

By Jeff Walsh Edited by Frances Dodds

This story appears in the June 2021 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Jeff Walsh

The box arrived from India and contained my future. Inside was the first prototype of my company's first product. But to open the box, I used something from my past. It was a knife given to me by my father when he taught me the greatest lesson of my life.

Pop dropped out of school in the ninth grade to work in a tomato-canning factory. He worked many jobs after that but never earned much. I grew up as the youngest of seven children and decided early that I'd go to college — which would require paying for it myself. I started doing odd jobs whenever I could, including joining my dad at work.

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