Off The Wall: It’s Not Where You Start, But Where You Finish

Matt Gracie writes…

Mike – I want to thank you for everything that you do for the tradespeople out there! I am 32 years old, and I have had doctors attempting to Diagnose me with High Functioning Autism since I was 11. It took me many years to find myself, and discover what made my heart beat. When I discovered welding in 2019 it changed my life. Welding brought me a sense of accomplishment that I have never felt before. I may not be making the big bucks right now but I am very hopeful for my future and I see nothing but great things. I am so proud of every single person who has reached out to you and to your organization. We may not be billionaires, but we are happy and thankful for the opportunities that have come our way. Keep up the amazing work. I may have started much later in my life than I wanted to but I have no complaints. It’s better late than never. God Bless You Mike Rowe! You are doing the work of giants.

Hi Matt – There’s an old song that says, “It’s not where you start, but where you finish.” It’s a lyric that would probably be cancelled today, if anyone dared sing it, but the sentiment is still demonstrably true, thanks to people like yourself – people with a willingness to work hard, try new things, and remain ever-curious about the options available to them.

Where we begin our individual journey is not irrelevant. Neither is the color of our skin, our gender, our tax bracket, our zip code, our health issues, our IQ, or the kind of home in which we were raised. Those things do matter. But they don’t matter nearly as much as we’re told they do. What matters more are the things we can control – a positive attitude, a good work ethic, an understanding of delayed gratification. Like personal responsibility, these are not qualities we inherit – these are qualities we choose. Or reject.

I’m glad you found a skill that resonates, and I’m impressed that you didn’t get discouraged along the way. I’m also impressed that you wrote this note at 3:17am. In my experience, nothing done at 3:17am is ever done lightly. Your note is a reminder that the trades are a viable option, and that millions of others would be well served to follow your example. My foundation is standing by to assist those people. People like you. People willing to learn a skill that’s in demand.

One million dollars in work ethic scholarships is currently up for grabs at The deadline is close, so apply today. And remember, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.

And where you finish is up to you.

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