5 decades of being Pete Schopen


May 15, 2019

The author (pictured in back, left) is thankful for sons Caleb and Trey (in front from left to right), and wife, Tami (in back, right), this milestone year. PHOTO: PETE SCHOPEN

The author (pictured in back, left) is thankful for sons Caleb and Trey (in front from left to right), and wife, Tami (in back, right), this milestone year. PHOTO: PETE SCHOPEN

Happy birthing day to my beautiful mom, Jeanne Ray. Fifty years ago, on May 30, 1969, she brought my baby blue eyes (and the rest of me) into the world. As I work my way toward senior discounts, I thought I would reminisce about 50 things I’ve learned, am thankful for or have changed my life.

  1. My single greatest achievement is being a dad. I love being a dad and I work very hard at being a good dad.
  2. I love being married to my wife. She is my life partner.
  3. At the age of 48, I discovered the world of flying in first class. I will not fly coach again.
  4. I can’t drive and find an address if the radio is on.
  5. My dad was the single greatest influence in my life.
  6. Watching my older son, Trey, swim the 200 butterfly is a thing of beauty. I will miss that immensely when he graduates from college.
  7. Attitude and effort are what guide successful people.
  8. I learn something new every day, but when I listen to PMP Hall of Famers Dr. Austin Frishman (Class of 2002) or Dr. Bobby Corrigan (Class of 2008), I learn something every sentence. Same goes for Kevin Thorn, ACE, president of Thorn Pest Solutions in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
  9. Key lime pie can only come from the Florida Keys.
  10. I learn more when I am quiet than when I am speaking.
  11. No matter what the score, never leave a baseball game until the final out is recorded.
  12. I teach all my employees — and my sons — to work with urgency and consistency.
  13. In October, I will be going to my first PestWorld.
  14. I loved coaching my younger son, Caleb, in baseball for 10 years.
  15. My favorite sandwich is mayo, cheese, peanut butter and pickles.
  16. The Hoover Dam is the greatest man-made structure I have ever seen in person.
  17. Thirty-one years later, “Die Hard” is still my all-time favorite movie.
  18. Not everyone should go to college. I have five great young technicians, all under the age of 24, and none of them went to college.
  19. Baseball is my favorite sport, but nothing compares to watching a National Hockey League game in person.
  20. Easter is my favorite holiday.
  21. Paul Bello, BCE, is doing some amazing things in our industry.
  22. I love being an exterminator.
  23. My cell phone used to be a blessing …
  24. Soda pop bad; water good.
  25. India pale ales (IPAs) are overrated.
  26. Spaghetti sandwiches are not complete without a sliced pickle on top.
  27. Tomato bisque is like manna from heaven.
  28. I prefer to be hot vs. cold.
  29. Taco Bell is both my best friend and my nemesis.
  30. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have, I cherish.
  31. “Tombstone” with Kurt Russell is far superior to “Wyatt Earp” with Kevin Costner.
  32. When I’m in Albuquerque, N.M., I like the “red” sauce.
  33. “Skyfall” is my favorite James Bond movie.
  34. Puddles the clown singing a cover of “Royals” on YouTube gives me goosebumps.
  35. Outside of the Bible, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman is the best self-help book I have ever read. (Editor’s note: Find other resources at the PMP Bookstore)
  36. I give thanks to PMP Publisher and Editorial Director Marty Whitford for listening to my crazy idea about writing the ups-and-downs of a start-up company. Marty would later call it “Start-up Diaries.” Love you, brutha!
  37. The Scotts Bluff National Monument is my favorite place on Earth.
  38. To Pee or Not to Pee” is my favorite article I have written for PMP. (Editor’s Note: The American Society of Business Publication Editors liked it, too, giving the January 2015 column an award.)
  39. Mean people suck.
  40. Smiling is contagious. Even when you’re talking on the phone. It makes a difference.
  41. I love having a passport.
  42. Walter Payton was the most beautiful athlete I have ever watched play any sport.
  43. Rooting for the underdog is always more fun.
  44. No matter what size your company is, you must have a vision for its growth.
  45. I am thankful my town has one of the last drive-in movie theaters in America.
  46. Cancer sucks.
  47. With apologies to “Caddyshack,” “Blazing Saddles” is the greatest comedy ever.
  48. My favorite cities I have visited include Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. Louis, Mo.; Denver, Colo.; New York, N.Y.; and Phoenix, Ariz. Cities I want to visit include San Diego, Calif., Vancouver, B.C., Canada; London, England; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Nassau, Bahamas.
  49. I want to run a 24-minute 5K this year.
  50. Taking a nap on my deck in the May sunshine is as good as it gets.

Schopen is owner and founder of Schopen Pest Solutions, McHenry, Ill. You can email him at pete@schopenpest.com or reach him via Twitter: @schopenpest; Instagram: @peteschopen; or Facebook: Schopen Pest Solutions, Inc.


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