Rick Corman learned the value of hard work from his father who was a farmer in Jessamine Country, Kentucky. As hard as his father worked, there were times when his family didn't have enough money to live comfortably. His dad would sometimes give Rick and his siblings the last of his cash just so they could eat lunch...
There’s not much money in farming, so Rick worked with his uncle on the side digging up septic tanks. Probably not the best smelling gig, but Rick learned how to operate the backhoe out of it. Soon, he became a backhoe wizard. He started using his skills to pull up railroad ties (go check out our Instagram for a sweet visual, and throw us a follow while you’re at it @squeezernation).
Railroad ties soon led to train wreck cleanups. Cleanups led to laying rail. Laying rail led to buying up short line railroads. He used his reputation and connections to build the business into something more. Rick Corman focused on quality work and building a reputation. Everyone trusted him to get the job done. He became wildly successful. He went from constantly asking the bank for more money to owning the building the bank operates out of. How’s that for turning the tables?
The railroad industry is boring. But Rick was nothing short of extraordinary. He was the type of guy to show up to golf outings in a squeaky clean red helicopter (and in a red suit, to boot). He was also a man with a lot of energy who loved to give back. He loved to leave big tips. As his company grew, his tips got bigger. His barber even recalls him starting a college fund for his barber's daughter by giving him hundreds every time he got a haircut.
In 2001, he was diagnosed with cancer. But, that didn't stop him. In his last few years, he biked across Iowa, and even ran a marathon. He kept on keeping on. His journey came to an end over a decade later, but his legacy lives on, and the company he built continues to touch the lives of everyone around it.
**Here's more resources to keep learning: this video.
**Read more FS Stories here.
If you liked reading this article, you might also like The Wedge: a quick-to-read weekly e-mail newsletter with awesome business stories that'll increase your creativity and resourcefulness just by reading them. Learn more and sign up here.