A. The biggest thing that impacted me early on was my dad passing away when I was 7. We were a very successful middle-class family. He was a real estate appraiser and had his own company, but he died suddenly right before my seventh birthday. He had no life insurance, and we went from having most of what we needed to penniless.
My mother was left to look after five kids and his mother. Mom was a rock star and took care of us all — she went back and got her graduate degree and was named science teacher of the year for the state of Florida.
I am what I am today in large part because I was driven to never leave my kids in the same kind of position. I also had to start working early on. I was a paperboy. In high school, I worked at a bedding factory at night.
Tell me more about your mother.
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