He Was 77, I Was 27
The first time I visited England was 1997. It changed me. I came home a different man.
I've had mentors my whole life. I owe much of my success to others who took the time to pour into me. I was wise enough to just listen to what they were saying, while refining my ideas.
Bill Miller was one of my early mentors. A wise old sage and serial entrepreneur who was my travel companion for my first big adventure "Across the Pond"
Driving around England on the "wrong" side of the road in a little compact car and touring the largest water garden shops I had ever seen, I discovered something that would change my life and impact the lives of many others in the process.
The English had nothing on me!
The unique way Aquascape was building water features was so advanced, so much more modern and logical, nothing stood in my way of "Changing The Way The World Builds Ponds!"
YES!!!...that's so AMERICAN of me I know, but it's the exact inspiration that struck me leaving this island to return to MY continent of North America!
Like many others I'm a big dreamer. Fortunately for me I've had others willing to support me in my dreams.
Bill Miller and I might have made the odd travel pair but he was the perfect sounding board for a big dreamer. He encouraged my thoughts, was a fantastic refiner, and gave me something that's too valuable to put a dollar figure on...CONFIDENCE!
This is the last picture I took of Bill. I took it knowing it probably would be. We had just gone to lunch in the faculty lounge of his alma mater, Northwestern University. The last thing he told me was how proud he was of me. I had to bite my lip as I hugged him.
Bill passed six months later at 93.
Everyone should be so blessed to have a Bill Miller in their lives.
As I leave this beautiful island again this time at age 46, I feel similar to how I felt at 27. Confident.
I'm motivated to continue dreaming big and working to pursue turning those dreams into reality.
Without the Bill Miller's who've come into my life through the years, I have no idea where I'd be today. Here's to all the "Bill Millers" out there!