Excerpt from my Statement of Purpose used for my graduate school application, slightly edited:

My name is Johnny Blaine Smith, and I was raised in a small agriculture town in the Mississippi River delta in Arkansas. My mother is a nurse, and my father is a small business owner. In our family photo albums, one can see pictures of me doing bodywork and answering calls at my father’s shop. My father is as close to the pure definition of an entrepreneur as I have ever seen. He turned $5,000 of saved money and $5,000 in debt in to a business that elevated his family from poverty, created employment opportunities for those that are disadvantaged, and has extracted value from it successfully for over twenty years.

My father didn’t do this overnight, nor did he find success with ease. Growing up, I received a view of entrepreneurship that most people don’t get access to. Many see Shark Tank and think entrepreneurship is pitching an idea to rich people and walking away with a deal. My upbringing gave me hands-on experience in growing and operating a business. By the age of sixteen, I had gathered hands-on experience with many aspects of entrepreneurship: strategic planning, marketing campaigns, maneuvering through regulation, investing in corporate social responsibility, and more.

To me, business is not just a topic of study at a university. Business is a part of who I am. I always went home from my father’s shop with a new problem to solve, whether that be fixing a process that is heavily flawed or improving upon already decent operations. I would find myself daydreaming in high school trying to answer questions that had already been answered by researchers in business and applied psychology. Years later, I found that I could be a member of the academic community that solves these problems and develops the theories that redefine the principles I grew up using.