My grandfather grew up in a rural farm town in Wright County, Minnesota. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, he fought with the Navy in the Korean war serving on the destroyer ship USS O’Brien DD-725SS. While he was in the military, he married my grandmother and started raising a family with five boys. With hard work, determination (and a lot of ingenuity) he ended up launched his own electrical contracting business in 1959, which later became ‘Olson & Son’s Electric.’ After six decades, the business is still around and being lead today by my brother and dad in Monticello, Minnesota.
My grandpa came from an era where he was expected to work for everything he had. He worked tirelessly to build his business to provide for his family. His journey was filled with a number of exciting adventures and unexpected tragedies that he was forced to overcome along the way. He lived a full life and accomplished more in 79 years than most people have in several lifetimes. Grandpa was always a fighter and towards the end of his life when he was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, one of the thoughtful things he did during this difficult time was gather and archive all the old letters and photographs that had collected from his past. With hundreds of old projector slides and 8mm films, he recorded new videos of the ‘good old days’ sharing stories with additional insights on the special moments he shared with family and friends.
These priceless treasures of family history and life lessons would’ve been lost if he hadn’t taken the time to document and share the memories with us through his newly narrated videos. It was a massive project that was bitter-sweet and full of a wide range of emotions reflecting on what he had experienced over almost eight decades of his life.
Sometimes when I look back on my life, it seems its moving so fast that everything is just a blur. In what can seem like a blink of an eye, years (even decades) have flown by.
Like my grandfather, I want to remember the ‘good old days.’ I want to share the memories and experiences that helped shaped me into who I am with the people that I love the most. I want to be intentional about leaving a legacy that truly makes a difference in the lives of other people.
Today, especially in this stage of life where I have young children at home, life can be exhilarating, terrifying, and exhausting. Some days seem VERY long, but looking back over time, the years seem unbelievably short. I want to remember and archive the precious memories of this time in my life. With the limited time we all have here on earth, I believe life is a gift from God and truly a ‘sacred journey.’ Instead of waiting until the end of my life to reflect and document what I’ve experienced like my grandfather did, I’m doing this now, right here on my website. Essentially, that’s what this whole thing is about; archiving the sacred moments that have shaped me into who I am and hopefully inspire others to live a better life along the way.
From one traveler to another on this journey, I invite you to join me in the adventures or exploring what I believe it means to truly ‘live a great life!’
From a blue-collar, lower middle-class family, author David Olson reflects on some of his unique rural Minnesotan experiences that contributed to his development as a leader, real estate entrepreneur, and father. With humor and heartfelt sincerity, David uses his unique storytelling to inspire others to live a better and more fulfilling life.
Join David, as he discusses some of the hilarious and sometimes difficult moments that have defined him and built his career. You’ll be inspired to ‘connect the dots’ in your own life to find more significance and opportunities in your own life!
David received his undergraduate degrees in Music, Psychology, and Theology at Northwestern University and a Master’s Degree (MDiv) from Bethel University in St. Paul. In the middle of the economic crash of 2007, he unexpectedly found himself switching from a full-time ministry career to building a small real estate empire as a realtor, broker, and general contractor.
If you landed on this page and you’re cringing, rolling your eyes, and thinking, “Who the heck is this guy? He looks like he’s 15 years old and he built a freaking website to talk about himself? What the heck is his problem?! What useless crap is he selling or trying to promote?”
If I was you, this would be my natural response if I stumbled across my website. So here’s the deal, I’m actually pushing 40 (I have my driver license, made it through puberty, and am married with three kids). I love being a husband, dad, business owner, musician, realtor, and entrepreneur. I’ve grown up here locally and over the last four decades, have had some pretty interesting adventures that have significantly changed the way I look at the world. My goal isn’t to sell something or promote myself, but try and share valuable content that will inspire and motivate others to be stronger leaders and be more intentional about how they live.
The unique challenges I’ve overcome have ultimately sent me on a deeper search for purpose, happiness, and significance. While getting buried with juggling the responsibilities of being a dad and business owner, I’m still driven in the midst of all my limitations, ambitions, and failures, to change the world and make it a better place! I want to be intentional about the legacy I live and the people I invest in. I want to give back & inspire others to truly live a great life. I want to use this space as a resoure to do this.
With that being said, as someone writing and sharing personal stories online, I’ve noticed that every couple of months there’s a new algorithm or online platform that comes into existence to help people connect or share content. Instead of riding that roller coaster, I’m choosing to have everything I create live here on this website then share (if desired) on other platforms.
Also, one of the big disadvantages I’ve seen in creating online spaces like mine is that they easily (and usually unintentionally) give a false impression of who a person actually is.
Over time online platforms end up becoming highlight reels of only the most exciting moments. It gives a limited perspective and only a small snapshot of who that individual actually is. At best it shows only a small slice of life that might be interesting.
No matter what you might discover about me in the process of digging through this website, there’s always going to be more to the story, additional context, or missing info that I didn’t think was helpful in making my point.
As a way to be more authentic with my community of readers, this is my ‘up front’ disclaimer acknowledging that I understand (and I hope anyone else reading this does too) that the stories shared are only a small part of my actual life. For every exciting moment, there are many more unglamorous everyday events that also contribute to who I am as a person. So as you read, hopefully, you’ll see my ultimate intention is not to narcissistically share random things about myself, but instead, sincerely help others learn to become stronger leaders.
Let’s not judge, let’s discuss. Let’s not criticize, but understand each other’s perspectives. Let’s not ‘just survive’ but instead as a normal human being, be intentional about living a great life that can actually change the world!