Bill Hawkins grew up in a Minneapolis suburb as a part of an upper-middle-class family. His family always told him he could be whatever he wanted to be when he grew up. And like most kids whose parents tell them to reach for the stars, Bill believed them.
He knew that to get what he wanted out of life, education had to play a part in his plan. Thus, Bill ended up attending college in northern Minnesota, where he met his future wife and business partner, Sandy.
Both Sandy and Bill had grown up in the suburbs with every advantage and opportunity afforded them. Having been raised in very similar circumstances, the couple held the same conservative values and both hoped to lead meaningful, successful lives once they graduated.
Though their core values and beliefs were in line, Bill and Sandy weren’t totally in-sync in every way. In fact, they were quite opposite in most respects. Whereas Sandy was quiet and shy, Bill was the absolute life of the party. Bill was—and still is—an outgoing, gregarious social butterfly. He loves to crack jokes and never shies away from striking up a conversation with a stranger. Bill knows that strangers are just friends you haven’t formally met yet.
When Bill met Sandy, everything seemed to fall into place. Bill’s warmth and outgoing personality instantly attracted Sandy to him, and Sandy’s demure sweetness drew Bill in the first time he met her. Their courtship perfectly exemplified the old cliché, “opposites attract.” After a little over two years, Bill asked Sandy to be his wife—and she gladly accepted.
But it wasn’t happily ever after…just yet. Like many young couples just starting out, they had their fair share of struggles. While they were still just dating, Bill had taken a job as a high school English teacher. As soon as they tied the knot, they tied themselves down to a hundred-year-old house that they affectionately called “The Pit.” The young couple had hoped to take the ancient home from horribly dilapidated to shabby chic, but on a teacher’s salary, it seemed like an impossible dream.
The breaking point came when Bill discovered that he owed $600 in taxes one April. That in and of itself would not have awakened him to the reality of his situation. What really served as a wake-up call was the fact that he had to ask his father for that seemingly insignificant sum. On top of driving an old beat-up car and living in a house that was quite literally falling apart, Bill didn’t have $600 to his name. He knew it was time to change something.
That’s when he decided to change everything. Bill’s father was a small business owner and constantly told him that owning a business is where he could reach his full potential. Six months after his realization, Bill had launched his very own business. He and Sandy had decided that they would keep their day jobs while they figured out how to get their business venture off the ground—and that they would give it five years.
But their greatest achievement? Raising two amazing daughters together. Thanks to their unique career choices, they’ve been able to spend far more time with their children. Above all else, they feel blessed to have grown their business and their family together without sacrificing in either area.
Bill devotes a great deal of time now to helping others achieve their true potential. Just as he believes strangers are all potential friends, he believes that everyone he meets has good in them.