“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

We inhaled soil and hay until we coughed black.

On a cold autumn day on my family’s farm, the field crew was spreading winter cover over the strawberry field. We hauled wet hay bales off the pickup truck and dragged them down dirt trenches. With numb fingers, we grappled to dislodge straw clods to protect the strawberry plants. The frigid air seeped into our flannel shirts and boots. Our backs ached. Hour after dull hour ticked by, and yet the work seemed unending.

As I hoisted yet another bale off the truck, I realized: I couldn't wait to go back to school that Monday. Moreover, I couldn't wait to begin a career with clean clothes, central heating, and easy bathroom access.

Compared to many other farm workers, I was blessed to expect this. I think often of this memory as I pursue success in business. In the corporate world, it is far too easy to discount the tremendous feats of everyday laborers whose jobs are physical, taxing, and monotonous. All workers — whether they report to a field or an office — deserve to be rewarded with a living wage, generous benefits, and the prospect of future advancement.

I want to do more than run a business. I want to raise the bar for what workers can expect from their employers. I will not forget the strawberry field. From farm to factory, I will create good jobs.

— Molly Jacobson