Allow me to introduce Jerry Geroulis, my dad! My sister and I have lovingly nicknamed him Poop. Poop owns an auto-body repair shop with his brother, Sam and lots of employees. I grew up watching the story unfold… from my parents not being able to afford junk food (my great-grandma would supply my mom with potato chips), carpooling with a station wagon that was lucky to make it up hills and my dad working all hours just to make ends meet. Today, my dad owns his dream home, buys trampolines on a whim for his granddaughter and is my #1 source of inspiration and advice.
We’re tackling a tough topic today. Quitting. Yeah, you don’t like thinking about it, but I just know the thought has probably crossed your mind. I talked with Poop tonight about his thoughts on quitting:
Q: How many times did you feel like quitting before you became successful?
A: I was eating lunch with my brother in the back of a Subaru and we talked about how we could make more money flipping hamburgers even after three years into the business. We never had that conversation again.
Q: And the next time you felt like quitting?
The fire department came in and let us know that we needed an air-system that would cost $300,000 to install. I replied, “I’ve never heard of a fire in a body shop in this county.” The response, “Well, we don’t want one.” That was a time that I was gonna walk out of that shop and never walk back in.
As it turns out, like everything else, you take life one day at a time and things work out. Don’t panic. Go with your gut.
Q: What if you go with your gut, but you feel like your gut is betraying you?
A: No, that’s not possible. Not possible. You just didn’t stick it out. Go with your gut. It will always work.
Q: What if your gut has put you in debt?
A: That’s okay. That’s what makes the world go ‘round. I was always in debt. Always. Starvation mode. To start the business I sold the Corvette I completely restored.
Q: Mom chimes in with a question: What about having supportive spouses?
Spouses are not necessary. Just kidding… gotcha there! (my mom pretends to hit Poop with a frying pan and calls him an ass, for a really fun interview party bonus!). But, sometimes the people closest to you can unknowing hurt you because they don’t have the same drive that you have. So be careful who you share your dreams with.
Q: What if you think you’re failing?
Stick it out.
Q: And while sticking it out… what should someone do to motivate themselves?
Well, I do believe that after you’ve tried everything there’s no reason that you can’t treat yourself to something, whatever that may be. There’s no one who’s going to come out of the woodwork and pat you on the back. You used to get a pat on the back at your other job… but that pat on the back is so expensive. You’ve paid dearly for somebody to tell you, “Good job, worker!” But you don’t need that pat on the back. You reward yourself by your achievements and they aren’t gonna come overnight. It’s so slow.
Q: What if someone does all the right things? Working hard, learning, rocking their business… but has no money to show for it yet?
Then I say to you, you haven’t done it long enough. We live in this world of instant gratification. Everything happens at its own pace. You have to wait for it.
You just work harder. You hit it harder. You go after this thing with a vengeance. You live and die by it. You’ve made this commitment to yourself. You don’t give up. Keep on keepin’ on. Make it happen. Because you’re smarter than that.
The easiest thing is to quit and throw up the white flag and go back to work for somebody else. But you’ll never be happy. You’re always gonna have that feeling that you let yourself down. But it’s out there. It’s out there. Keep plugging along even if it seems impossible. It will happen. Don’t give up.
Let me know what you thought of this post in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for e-mail updates as well! Until next time…
Great article. Anyone thinking of starting their own business should read this especially as they hit that first hurdle.
Thank you, Anne! The first hurdle is no joke!
This is a great interview. My husband has been slogging his guts out for 2 years on his start-up and no pay. Not a cent. Zilch. There has to be a point when you cannot go on? I really want him to succeed but it’s killing me. I take the term “supportive spouse” to a whole new level. We have 2 kids and they are happy, so that’s a bonus. But I do love reading these stories – it makes me feel that our happy ending may just be around the corner – that I too can write funny and insightful posts. One day. I’ve written my “I was poor once but pulled through” story already! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Clara! I’m glad you found some encouragement in this story and I have no doubt that your husband can make it happen! Hang in there!
This is great. Going to bookmark it for when I am feeling discouraged. Your dad is very wise–and I believe every word!
Yes, this is a good one to come back to on those rough days!
It’s as if God sent this message to me today. Sunday would’ve been my dad’s birthday. He died when I was just 10 years old and some days it is just so hard to keep going without the support of a father to guide you. It’s a hole in my soul that can never be filled – but your post felt like a message from my dad through your dad. Thank you so much. You are a blessed woman to still have your parents and thank you for sharing them both with me today. (my mom died when I was 16 – so I especially loved the fun banter between your parents in the article as well) xo
Hi Kathleen! I just love love love this comment from you! I am so glad that you found this post to be special in your own way. We always joke in my family that when people visit they just become part of the family. I’m glad that I can kinda sorta do that in a small way for you via this blog post. And yes, I am very thankful to have my parents!
There is a lot to be said about believing. Your dad has gained much wisdom as he held on to his belief it will happen, and it did. He offers now his own power of belief to change each one of us who read this interview. Why thank you, yes I’ll take your belief, Poop. I see the God who believes in me, in you. Thanks Sara! BTW, I know an awesome belief healer in Cinci. Andrea Ciafardini at Holistic Connections.
I trained her and she is amazing! If you get an appointment with her, tell her Annette sent you.
Hi Annette! Belief is very important. I’m happy that you liked the post… and I will look up Andrea!
Love ‘Poop’s Scoop’ today, Sara. The one word that resonates throughout this piece ~ and that we all forget * DRIVE*! When we keep on, keeping on ~ it’s that we are DRIVEN to succeed. ‘Golden handcuffs’ keep us at the job we really don’t love but the money is great ~ for someone else. I say, like Poop, don’t give up. Even when you are down, you have no money, you have your DREAM that keeps you trying something new. Thanks Poop !!!
Hi Bee! I know you love Poop’s Scoop! Glad you liked today’s post!
Love your Dad’s advice Sara! It’s something we all need to hear at one time or another. Thanks.
Loved this interview! The part with your mom made me laugh out loud 🙂 Miss all of you! It is great that you are able to show how wonderful and hardworking your parents are. Great people!
I love this! Parents are so wise, especially dads! 🙂
Great motivation. I really needed to hear this. Thank you!
Aw, excellent excellent post! Thanks so much for this inspiration. I just love these two parts “You’ve paid dearly for somebody to tell you, “Good job, worker!” <– Yes. And, "As it turns out, like everything else, you take life one day at a time and things work out." Ahhhh… comforting words. 🙂
Thanks for the scoop, Poop!
Love our Poop 😉
What a great guy he was. He was one hell of a entrepreneur. It’s been 14 year since I worked for him. I’m a business own because on him. . Miss you Jerry …. Yea baby………..
Hi Andrew! I’m glad my dad was able to make an impact in your life. Thank you for your comment… it really means a lot. : )
I found out of his passing when I went to brockman sign. I saw a picture of him in memory. I knew Jerry went there a lot. I last saw Jerry eating by him self at Wendy’s in Dent. We talked . Wish I would have talked more. I use to run into him all the time at home depot . I remember the funny stuff The L-Honda , His love for crappy movies like Austin Powers, But I liked it too. I drive by Body works and think what’s it like with out Him .I was last on here in august and was thinking about him .Back when I found out of his passing My wife asked me why I was acting sad for like a week, I said I lost the only boss I ever liked.
What a great post ! will be sharing this on Twitter . Thank you 🙂