Tim Schlindwein vividly remembers getting up at 5 a.m. to deliver newspapers as a boy back in rural Princeton, Ill., southwest of Chicago.
Tim's dad, Edward Schlindwein, handled the distribution of newspapers in his small town of 6,000. So young Tim found he had no excuses; he had to deliver the paper to customers by 7 a.m.
"And if Mrs. Jones wanted it tucked in her front door, that's where you had to make sure it wound up," he laughs.
Later, when his dad became superintendent of a country club, Tim found himself cutting "lots and lots of grass."
"My dad has always been a very disciplined type of guy," Mr. Schlindwein says.
His father, who still rises early and walks several miles a day, taught his children that they need a sense of perseverance and regimen to finish tasks.
Today, Schlindwein heads up Schlindwein Associates, an investment-consulting firm in Chicago specializing in mutual funds. Before establishing his own firm several years ago, Schlindwein was chairman and chief executive of Stein Roe, a Chicago-based mutual fund group.
Articulate and gregarious, he says he "stumbled" into mutual funds, although he majored in finance and economics at Notre Dame University.
The work is challenging, he says, in part because, with investments, the "unexpected" is frequent. But he enjoys the sense of fulfillment from helping clients achieve their goals. Being "of service" is a concept he credits to his father.
"My dad taught me that consistency in everything is very important," he says. "You have to always be looking for ways to improve and be of greater service."
"If you think you know it all in your field, you get into trouble," he says. You have to keep developing yourself, reading, studying, and talking to other experts. Schlindwein tries to pass that sense of service along to his own adult daughters: Winnie, who works with him, and Holly, a counselor for abused people.