I grew up in a small town in rural Pennsylvania. And when I say small town, think no stop lights for over 10 miles and a bull chasing my Mom's red car up the street (no joke).
My Mom was a banker who started her own training business once my sister was born. And my Dad was a pastor which he felt was his calling after he recovered from Guillain-Barre syndrome that left him paralyzed for months.
Because our house ran like two businesses in one, we always answered the phone “Bernecker residence” (my maiden name). And I saw hard work from every side.
But even though they both worked all day, and even late into the night, they were always there to coach our soccer team or run our Girl Scout meetings.
They taught us more than just business. Our parents taught us how to go after our dreams.
Years later when I was in college, my Mom insisted I study abroad. I wasn’t so convinced. I remember landing in Paris and crying in the taxi. I’d count to ten and then stop; then the cycle started again.
But then I excelled. In total, I lived in three countries with 17 different roommates over the span of six months. It was a whirlwind, to say the least. I loved the adventure so much that after I had graduated I moved back to the UK to work.
These experiences taught me how important people, acquaintances, new friends, and opportunities are in shaping the people we are meant to be.