In 2015, I opened the doors to Gravitas Investigations, a Cincinnati-based private investigations firm.
But why did I start this company?
Sure, I’ve been a “private eye” for over 10 years and have solved some incredible cases, but that’s not why I do it.
The truth is that this company was started many years ago, based on the influence of two important people. Here’s that story:
Lessons from a Single Mother
My parents divorced when I was 14 years old and my father was busy traveling the world for work, leaving my mother to do most of the raising of my younger brother and sister and me.
Mom has always been my hero in a way – we got to see her up close.
She worked full-time on top of earning her Bachelor’s degree, paying a mortgage, and sending three kids to college.
She did the best she could for us kids. And when you witnessed your mother do everything in her power to support you with little help and outside distractions you couldn’t help but feel obligated to follow suit.
You were compelled to do your best.
You wanted to make her proud.
She took advantage of her opportunities, and so should you.
It must’ve been the way she was raised. One simple question from our grandfather (her father) would disrupt your lazy behavior.
He’d ask, “What did you do today?”
Don’t mistake the simplicity of this question for a lack of purpose. That question was loaded – if you hadn’t produced something of value or worked for a paycheck that day, you had failed. A negative answer from you earned a disapproving silence.
But basic interactions like this one gave you a spark; a fire in your belly.
Squandering your opportunities in life is one thing, but when I see people cheating the system, taking advantage of other’s hard work, I disapprove.
Must’ve been the way I was raised.
A Cuban Refugee Lives the American Dream
Baseball is an indispensable part of my life. All the way through college I played the game, made friends and worked hard. But most important were the lessons I learned from coaches.
One coach stands out: Elvis Dominguez.
“Coach D” was a refugee from communist Cuba who emigrated to America at eight years old. He learned how to speak English and play baseball. He got into college and then later into the coaching profession, where he’s succeeded for several decades. He’s living the American Dream.
Prior to each practice or game, twenty-five of my college baseball teammates and I would gather around and listen to his daily teachings.
Three struck a chord:
- “Don’t take shortcuts in life.”
- “Don’t cheat” and,
- “Stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.”
Failure to learn his lessons meant you’d end up like the guy at the end of the bar spouting “woulda, coulda, shouldas!”
For me, these are valuable lessons. And it lights a fire under my ass.
So I started a private investigations firm to stop people from cheating the system.
From taking shortcuts in life.
From not earning their keep.
To stop people from taking advantage of hard-working Americans.
The saying goes, “Be the change you want to see in the world…”