“Simple question, simple answer.
But it changed the course of my life, and I thank my dad every day for his guidance and love for me.”

ErichSchlegel8826homepagelogo2Photo by Erich Schlegel

I was in college at SMU (Southern Methodist University) and was majoring in business. We lived in Latin America while I was growing up and my dad had an international business consulting firm. It was small — just him and my mother and couple of other partners throughout the years. It was successful and interesting, and I figured I would study international business and take over his company some day.

Early in the summer between my junior and senior years at SMU, my dad came to me, and we had this very short talk. But it was a conversation that would change my life.

He simply asked me, “So what are your plans after school, Son?”
“Oh, after I graduate, I’ll go to Thunderbird, get my masters in International Business and work for you,” I replied.
“Aha,” he said. Then he asked me what I liked to do.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“What do you like to do?”
Simple question. Simple answer. I like taking pictures. So I said, “I like taking pictures.”
“Well, why don’t you do that!”

HOLY SHIT! It hit me so hard. I had developed a passion for photography, a true passion, and he made me ask myself the question so that I could answer it for myself. That was it! I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT MY CAREER WOULD BE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I totally knew it.

It was such a honest and unselfish act. He started his company because that was what he wanted to do for himself. He saw my passion for photography and knew that was probably the answer for me. He helped guide me to ask the question about what it was that I truly wanted to do with my life so that I would understand and realize it for myself.

I thank him ALL the time for his guidance and his love for me. I’m doing what I am doing because of that conversation. I love my father and I love my career in photography with a passion!!!

Mom & Dad are still around, retired and living and loving life in Lake Chapala, Mexico. I talk to them almost every day.

I’ve been wanting to share this with you and finally got the words out.

Erich Schlegel
Austin, Texas

Thank you, Erich, for sharing this with us, and sending gratitude and wishes for a very Happy Fathers’ Day to all our dads for their support, guidance, love and the epiphanies that they inspire in our lives! 

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