What's Your Nail in the Wall?

Posted by: Global Chamber on Monday, February 1, 2016

My grandfather Joseph W. Brings - my "Pops" - was an entrepreneur. At age 50 he was having lunch at work in Queens, New York, and he overheard his boss - the owner of the machine shop and auto parts store - say to someone 'Joe is a great worker, but he won't ever be a partner here."

That was very different from my grandfather's expectation and understanding. So my grandfather stood up, got his coat and lunch pail, and left. He went home to my grandmother at lunch time - Emma, my Nana, was shocked, "What's wrong, Joe?"

"Emma, we're in business." He went downstairs in the basement and put a nail in the wall. Brings Motor Parts was started.

My grandmother cried for weeks. "How could you do this Joe, with two children?" My mother was 13 and my Uncle Joe was 8.

Well, long story short, my Pops was successful starting up his machine shop and auto parts store that within 5 years helped put the other fellow out of business. My grandmother "Mrs. Brings" was the bookkeeper. He became the go-to machine shop in the NYC area, on Farmers Boulevard in Springfield Gardens, Queens, just off Merrick Boulevard. If you had a troublesome engine or auto parts issue that couldn't be solved - "go to Joe."

His passion came to the surface a little differently than he and my grandmother expected.

He sold the business 20 years later and lived another 20 more. My grandmother lived another 30. When he retired he stayed active, becoming the oldest person in New York State to obtain a pilot's license for the first time. He took French lessons to keep his brain active.

You too have a nail you need to drive into a wall somewhere.

My nail is the Global Chamber. I'm thrilled with the response we've received around the world, and every day is filled with joy helping amazing entrepreneurs, executives and Executive Directors in metro areas across the globe, looking to grow their business globally in a variety of ways. We're building something wonderful, and it's a labor of love.

Nearly every day I think of that simple and fateful nail he placed in the wall of his basement. This was this passion and life's work.

What's yours?

If it involves global business, join us!

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