Bill Gates and I have a lot in common; Smart, rich and geeky. (Well at least I’m one of those!) We both started our businesses while we were in college, him at Harvard, me at The Ohio State University (only one of us finished though and it wasn’t him.) Ha! Neither of us saw the world as it was but rather how it could be. We both then did something that everyone whose ever done anything must do…we took action! We took our hobby and passion and made it into our careers. He geeked out over computers and specifically programming them, for me it was ponds and the creativity needed to build them. I received my first patent at age 25 and by 26 I was mailing catalogs and traveling the country pitching our Ecosystem approach to water feature construction. Bill went from writing code to selling it. He went from the back room to the front room and I went from the field to the office. And both companies grew and grew and than grew some more. He became a big fish in a big pond, I built the damn pond and filtered it to boot!
As our companies grew however, I didn’t get to build nearly as many ponds and Bill didn’t write code anymore. That is until one day, the richest man in the world decided he wanted to write code again so he did! So it is with him as it is with me. I might not have his kind of riches but I’ve got plenty of my own from family and friends to teammates I love.
I’m at that point in my life that I want to do something different again. For Bill, as for me, that means going back to my roots. I’m getting my hands dirty again coming home filled with dirt and grime without any doubt what I got accomplished that day. You know how good that feels?!
I have a new goal with my rebirth. I want to do everything I did before again! I want to invest in some new bright eyed kids and see if they can grow and become the best in the world at their craft, the way Ed Beaulieu and Brian Helfrich did before them. Those two guys are the longest teammates at Aquascape with 21 and 19 years respectively. For me working with them is like playing alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen during the second Three-Peat. We might be in our second act, but it’s only just the beginning. The first time we played together we were forming what would become the foundation of Aquascape. Today we are doing it for the cameras in our own reality tv show. Are you kidding me?! How many people get to live their dream once let alone twice?! I’m feeling like the luckiest man alive. And I’ve got the dirt, the grime, and the smell to “show” for it!
The Pond Guy