My Biography - The Perfect Life
My life has been blessed with numerous challenges that have honed my strengths which make me uniquely qualified to be your Congressman They have instilled in me the attributes of helpfulness, sense of contribution, courage, resiliency, optimism, determination, love for learning and personal growth, belief in the potential in all of us, etc. Here I will share some very personal tidbits about myself and what I learned from these experiences which may give you a better idea of who the kid inside Rick Olson really is.
I feel I need to tell you these stories to help you understand my background, for without your knowing these, my cold credentials on my resume would not appear to make any sense.
The Glass is Half Empty Perspective From one perspective, my life has not been easy. I have tried things and failed. Companies I have had major leadership roles in have failed, three in one eight year period at one point. I have been disappointed, grown impatient, and frustrated many times. I have felt that I have had to create things on my own, with no mentor or person to aid me. Growing up without a dad made me want someone who could teach me the ropes about things all that much more. Wow! The glass could be looked at as half empty.
Family Colorado Vacation, 2008
Lauren (granddaughter), me, son Brad and my Mom in 2008 (died on May 2, 2010 at 98 years old )
Married, 49 years to Linda, Father to Brad and Kirk (ages 43 and 41)
My Life Looked at Through a Different Lens
But my life’s trials have made me what I am today. They have pushed me up one learning curve after another. I have worked in many contexts: employee, entrepreneur, volunteer and civic leader, business manager of small businesses (up to $35 million per year), company President, Vice-President of Finance, and Chief Financial Officer, as well as having worked in the fields of agriculture, finance, law, state government, education and now mortgage banking. I have traveled to all 50 states in the U.S.
I have moved so many times, moving away from one group of friends after another, more times than I ever wanted. My brother-in-law jokingly once told me, “Rick, if you just paid your bills, you would not have to move so often!” Another friend told me, “If it weren’t for the law on your tail, you could stick around longer.” Oh, my! Life is too important to be taken tooooo seriously.
I have participated in numerous sports, and involved in whatever the wonderful local activity that was available where I was, from mountain climbing, flying airplanes and acting in musicals (the last being in 5 shows from June, 2005 to July, 2006 – yes, I do things intensely). These life experiences have given me such a broad perspective; shared by very few others, that now I bring to understanding the issues confronting the people of the state of Michigan.
And I have participated in numerous personal development programs, attempting to improve my skills and my effectiveness. Wow, a mountain of knowledge, and I am still not “fixed”. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. Life is a constant learning opportunity, and I continue to be challenged, and to grow and develop. My life has not been easy, but what is “perfect” about my life is the preparation to be able to serve you as your State Representative in Lansing. The broad perspective and the diverse experiences has allowed me to synthesize a broad array of things I have learned about myself, other people and what makes people tick, all into what feels like a coherent understanding of human nature.