I grew up on a small farm in McDade, Texas, near Austin. My father was a handyman at Elgin Butler Brick Co.
In 1963 with $400 and no parental financial help or loans I began the BBA program at UT, working myself through. I graduated with a BBA in 1967, and an MBA in 1968, graduating first in my class.
In 1975 with $6,000, few contacts and little chance to borrow additional capital I founded Woodmark Homes, Inc. My company survived, it grew, and it made substantial profits in its third year in 1978. But the failure of the legal system to protect small business owners (where the cost of suing the dishonest was always greater than the loss) prevented the growth of the company. At each point where cash had been accumulated to take the company to the next level, one dishonest customer would wipe it out, causing me to start from scratch. Over and over. But I persisted. For 41 years. I adapted to the changing market, first building volume homes, then custom homes and finally kitchen and bath renovations. Like many other small business owners Woodmark never grew large, but today Woodmark is the oldest residential contractor in Houston, receiving universal plaudits from clients over all those years. http://www.woodmarkkitchens.com/pages/houston-testimonials-comments.html