By Craig Ballantyne
Luck has been in my corner since day one back in 1975.
I was extraordinarily lucky to be born in Canada into a lower-middle class family. When I was a child I was lucky enough to have an alcoholic, underachieving, embarrassing father who gave me the first chip on my shoulder, one that compelled me to work harder, achieve more, and go further so that I could escape his shadow.
I was also lucky that my mother had dropped out of high school and spent the rest of her life working for barely more than the minimum wage, never earning more than $28,000 in a year (an amount that I've made in a single day in my business on several occasions). I was lucky, because of her mistakes, that she would never let me make the same ones.
And boy was I lucky to have went to grade school with patches on my knees, for this caused me great embarrassment and instilled in me the drive to do better, to excel in school, to get into the best program in college, to make the Dean's Honour List three years in a row, to get accepted into a Master's program, to study until 10pm on weekends so I could earn a scholarship to help me pay for 6 years of post-secondary education- and so that I'd never feel embarrassed like that again.
It's as though I've had a horseshoe made out of rabbit's feet around my neck for these past thirty years.
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