Physical Preparation Coach
My father, Gary Younkins just retired from his family owned business at the end of 2023. He was a decorated dirt bike racer back in the 70's and a lot of people know and remember him for racing for Team Penton and being a gold medal winner in the 6 Days ISDE. But through all that and after that, my dad was a worker...A hard worker!
Him and my grandfather, Ted Younkins and along with my grandmother Laverne Younkins owned a family fireplace business called Four Seasons Fireplaces. And after 50 years my dad decided to hang up the boots and enjoy his retirement playing with his toys, going on hikes, and doing what he does best, being Papa to his 5 grandchildren!
My early memories in my youth of my dad was someone who worked hard. Most days started with my sister and I heading off to school and my dad leaving for work around the same time. After school, he'd often be there to catch the end of football practice or whatever we were up to after school. He'd take us home, we'd eat dinner, and then after dinner he'd go upstairs in his loft office and do paperwork getting the next job ready.
Being his son, I did work a lot for the business. I worked mostly part-time from the time I was in junior high all the way through my mid to later 20's while building my coaching business. I got learn a lot about fireplaces obviously, but also about the construction world, and what it means to work with your hands.
Early on, I thought maybe I'd work for the family business and maybe take it over one day. Obviously I went on to do something else, and a lot of people asked me why didn't I stay in the family business. And I think there's two reasons, because it certainly wasn't because it was cool or didn't want to work with my dad.
One, I remember my dad telling me to focus on going to college and to basically don't do what he was doing as it "wasn't the same as back in the day" kind of talk.
And secondly and probably the more realistic reason: I think subconsciously I knew following in my dads footsteps would've been an extremely tall task, not just for me, but for anyone looking to fill his shoes...If you read the book The 48 Laws of Power, Law 41 states, "Avoid Stepping into a Great Man's Shoes." It basically means don't get lost in their shadow by always having to compare yourself to them, instead make your own trail and become your own person. I believe by my dad being so good at what he did his whole life, ultimately led me to find my own thing and allowed me to try and blaze my own trail.
But in getting to work with my dad and learning from him, I did get to capture a lot of awesome lessons as any son would from a guy like my dad. So I feel it's only right to share some of these things with the world. It's not just my duty to learn from these lessons passed down, but to share them with you so that maybe they will have a positive impact on you as well in some capacity.
Lesson 1: Every Day is the Super Bowl
One thing about working for my dad, you had to bring your A-Game every day you showed up for work. It didn't matter how you felt or what you had going on in your life, when you showed up to work, you were expected to do a job. Now that way sound a little insensitive to some, but you were either all in for the day or go home. The job wasn't about you, it was about business, it was about the person who hired you for the job, it was about the people who were going to move in the house and enjoy their fireplace.
Lesson 2: Chase the Work, and the Money will Follow
A lot of the way business is taught and thought of is that you make money decisions first, and then make the work fit into that. I'm not sure, maybe that's why a lot of businesses fail? But my dad and Four Seasons made a great living working their asses off, doing great work, building a great reputation for a long time. All the way to the point people started getting upset when they found out my dad was retiring and they needed him. My dad told me early on when I created my business, to just focus on hustling and getting work and doing good work, if you do that, the money will come.
Lesson 3: Don't Live in the Past
I remember when I was playing football in high school, my dad told me that a lot of people will say high school is the best years of your life. But for him, he felt like life in that moment was the best part of his life. Meaning, life keeps getting better if you let it.
Like I stated earlier, my dad was a big time dirt bike racer and he could have easily hung his hat on that reality and sat around and talked about the good ol' days. And sure, he likes to reflect and talk about the past here and there, but he doesn't live in the past by any means. My dad has always been focused on the present and planning for the future. He's probably at home right now in his office planning out his next hiking trip he's going to take. And he was the same way with work.
When we were on a job, the only job that mattered was the one we were currently on. Once that one ended, the focus became about the next one. Things that happened in the past were cool and fun to talk about, but that's over. The world keeps spinning and it's not spinning time backwards by any means. Today is happening and tomorrow is coming, what does that look like for you?
There were many other lessons I could share, like be sure to step back and look at your work once you're finished, the story of the worm learning its lesson from being shocked, and never live west of where you go to work but I leave you with these 3 lessons that my dad shared that he probably either didn't realize he was sharing or that I wasn't even listening haha!
But all in all, congrats dad! You did it, you didn't just put fireplaces in and put stone up around it, you served people and made their home a better place to live! You earned everything you got, you made an honest living, and I hope one day when the show is over for me, I can say the same thing!
1330 Seaborn Street Suite 3
Mineral Ridge, OH 44440