Steve Ames’ latest book, Only Broken Seeds Grow, is a triumph of the human spirit. The four dozen or so short stories take the reader through Steve’s hardscrabble childhood. The challenges he faced were many – multiple developmental delays, abject poverty, parents who didn’t have the necessary skills to properly raise Steve and his siblings, and lack of confidence, to name a few. Through all of the adversity he faced, Steve showed his tenacity to overcome these barriers and ultimately succeed in life while keeping a keen sense of humor along the way.
Rather than feeling sorry for himself and wallowing in his misery, Steve pulled himself up by his bootstraps to overcome his circumstances and strove academically, occupationally, and financially to succeed despite the odds. Eventually, he was able to overcome the challenges of his upbringing and succeed in all aspects of his life. The stories also illustrate the important role family and friends played in his ability to overcome adversity.
It is apparent that Steve’s intent for this book is not to seek sympathy from the reader, but rather to inspire and bring hope to those who find themselves in a similar predicament. In fact, he states two points for the reader to keep in mind as they read this book:
1. If you’re struggling with disadvantages or disabilities that seem impossible to overcome, you are not alone.
2. If you have a child or a loved one who is struggling, there is hope.
For those readers who are not facing such obstacles, the book serves as a great underdog success story. The situations Steve encountered might have seemed insurmountable to a less motivated individual, but because he refused to see himself as a victim he was able to take each of these challenges head-on and rise above the obstacles in his path. Only Broken Seeds Grow is a great read that will inspire you and strengthen your faith in the ability of anyone to overcome adversity in their lives. I highly recommend you pick up a copy for yourself. –Gregory Huff
Until her death on March 13th, 2021, I was married to Steve’s sister Eileen Mae (Ames) Albertson for 46 years and had dated her for about 2 years prior to that. So, several of the stories that Steve shares in his book about their family life, the conditions they survived, and the impact that these had on their lives are stories that I heard more than once. More so than my own childhood remembrances, I found it remarkable that Eileen, Steve, and the other siblings could then and do now remember stories and events of their youngest years so clearly.
Many or most of the names of people that were influential in their lives are names I heard several times Names like Romi Amen; the “Halfers and Halfers”; their teachers; the Muhlenas; Charlie McCloud; and several that showed kindness when it was most needed. I appreciate what everyone did for the Ames family, as I personally benefitted from it through the person that each sibling has become.
Steve’s description of a home without the love of their father is the same that Eileen share with me, except of course it was from her perspective and experience as a girl. Eileen was 16 years old when their father died.
I can confirm that Steve’s ambitions started at a very early age and his drive has never stopped, even though he has become successful enough to not have financial worries now.
The take-away from Steve and the Ames sibling’s stories is that you can rise above your circumstances. Don’t let yesterday dictate your tomorrow! –Gale Albertson
I loved the opening quote: Every present-day master was a one-time disaster. It perfectly encapsulates the entire book. Steve Ames is the one-time disaster who has become the present-day master. From a tiny seed of an idea, he managed to grow massive generational wealth, even though he was not planted in fertile soil. He came from abject poverty and suffered almost every imaginable (and some unfathomable) disadvantage as well as a variety of disabilities. His page-turning stories are not only true but also captivating. As the saying goes, "More is caught than taught," and there is much to catch from these true stories of a boy who grew up scavenging his way through poverty to discover success beyond his wildest dreams. I've already read some of these stories aloud to my family and I'm eager to read more. Also, the illustrations are fantastic! –Lori
Steve Ames has produced an autobiographical book that shows the many obstacles he has had to overcome on his path to a successful business and personal life. The seemingly overwhelming amount of disadvantages he faced during his childhood and the contrast to his later life is truly remarkable, and Steve's understanding in early life that he not only had to do something but that he could do something to improve his situation is inspiring. Through hard work, study, and belief in himself Steve's life took on a remarkable turnaround and as he says himself - if he can do it so can the rest of us. –Oof