On Leadership, Growth and Doing it Anyway

Do It Anyway

Do you know that song by Martina McBride titled “Anyway?”  

In the very first verse of the song she says this:

You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway”

On Life and Making Lemonade

My husband graduated from college and spent 6 years in the Air Force.  Then we settled down in my home town to raise our family and he went to work as an engineer for a large company.  We raised 3 boys.

I began a business. We invested and began preparing for the day that we could retire. We seemed to be on the right track as a couple and a family.

But despite our best laid plans, life brought us some lemons. Our lives changed in directions for which we had not planned:

  • We did not expect that my husband would lose his job after 15 yrs
  • I did not anticipate that my business would begin to lose money
  • We did not know that our son would cost us everything that we had worked for (at least as far as the things of the world are concerned.)

Lemons, Lemons, and More Lemons

Our youngest son became involved in drug and alcohol abuse.  He spent 4 years going to jail, hospitals, and rehab. There were about 3 years that I did not sleep through the night in anticipation of a phone call from the police. I was never sure if they would want us to pick him up or identify his body.

To say the least, these were very difficult years for our family!

The courts held us financially responsible for the crimes that our son committed while he was a minor child.

  • We paid fees, restitution and hospital bills
  • We paid for couple of rehabilitation periods
  • We suffered emotionally, mentally, and career-wise

Because of the time away from work for court and family rehab sessions, my husband’s work performance decreased. When it came time for layoffs at his workplace, he was on the list.  When he lost his job, we lost our ability to pay for our home. My business began to fail and our property investments no longer rented for enough to pay the mortgage.

…More Lemons

As a result, we lost 2 properties, our home, and my business. We continued to fight to save our son. My husband finally found a job in a different state and he relocated. I had to remain where I was to close my business, sell the properties, and be with my son who was not finished with school.

On Making That Lemonade

Over time, my son finally completed his GED and got a good job. It took all the worldly possessions that we had, but our son is alive, healthy, drug free, and working.

After 18 months I was able to join my husband in our new home. I had to start over. He had to start over. I won’t lie, it was the most difficult time of our marriage. We became stronger than ever as a couple by pulling together for the sake of our family.

Although we were financially ruined, I can say with all the confidence in the world this:

Losing your fortune is not that big a deal. After all, it is just money. You can get more of that.

There is no battle more worth fighting that the battle to save a child. There is no amount of money that could change my opinion on the financial, emotional, and family decisions that we made. In fact, I would do it all over again for what we gained.

Keep Trying. It’s Worth It All

Now it is time to start building again.

Did I hesitate to start over? 


Did I fear the idea of losing again?

You better believe it.

Is it going to be painful and difficult?

You better believe that, too!

Did it stop me?


There is nothing more painful than the thought of losing a child. Losing “stuff,” well that was easy by comparison. Your true success lies in what you put your hope in.

So, what sort of life-altering challenges have you faced that you were able to overcome? How did that build your character, your family, your relationships, or your business? Are you facing something now and need encouragement? If so, please connect with me and I think I can offer some sound personal advice. I would love to help.


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Phyllis Rodriguez

Phyllis Rodriguez is a Producer at Insphere Insurance Solutions
She serves as an Associate Broker, Short Sale and REO Specialist
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web | Personal | 520-220-4021

Image Sources: rlv.zcache.com.au

L2L Contributing Author


  1. Jim Trunick on July 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Wow! So powerful, and so real. Thank you Phyllis, for your leadership and your message. Powerful and so many people seem unable to reach deep inside themselves to admit their failings. And through your efforts here to help others, you touch your values and we all pray for your family’s continued success and strength!!!

    God bless

    • Phyllis Rodriguez on July 9, 2014 at 12:26 am

      Thanks Jim, somethings are not easy to share. I am glad it helps others to open up

  2. Brent Hedden on July 8, 2014 at 2:04 pm


    It is stories like yours that make us take pause and consider the important things in life. Additionally, it provides a retrospect into the ability to persevere in the face of adversity. I am thankful to hear that you were able to stick to your convictions and that all worked for the good in terms of your son.

    With regard to everything else, you have hit the nail on the head when you stated “Losing your fortune is not that big a deal. After all, it is just money. You can get more of that.” As true as that is, it does not make it any easier to digest. Everyone experiences some form of setback(s) in life. However, the severity of the setback(s) can vary greatly. Your setback was extensive which will make the comeback even sweeter. Good luck on your rebuilding journey!

  3. Jocelyn R Davis on July 8, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you for this post. Your story is inspiring. And so true: “Build it anyway.”

  4. Phyllis Rodriguez on July 9, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Just to give an update, my son that I spoke about will celebrate one-year of marriage this month and has given us a beautiful granddaughter. They are very happy and he is great!

  5. Al Gonzalez on July 9, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Phyllis, you are an inspiration! I have a 14-year old daughter and a 10-year old son. It’s great to see how a parent can lead through such adversity toward a positive outcome. Thank you for sharing your moving story of leadership as a parent.