My Dad was a winner. In every sense of the word.
He wasn’t famous. Or rich. Didn’t have any degrees. Never even went to High School.
He was an immigrant who came to this country with a strong work ethic, burning desire to succeed, and a dream.
And he fulfilled that dream. He was no quitter. He was a winner.
But he didn’t know when to quit.
“Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”
Wait a minute. Isn’t that contradictory?
What I mean is, he did not know when to call it a day. Could not tell when the sun had set on his career.
Much like an aging athlete, having slowed a step or two, batting average slipping below three hundred over the last several seasons, he did not know when to say, “I’ve had a good run. I’m done”.
I saw it with my own eyes. The last several years, still a formidable man, but less effective than in his prime.
Age 89, my Dad would arise every weekday morning at 6:00 AM and drive himself to work in Hialeah, Florida. He’d sit in the office, call his customers, place their orders, resolve their problems. Every day. Rain or shine.
Until one day. I received a call from his boss. “Don’t know how to say this to your old man. He shouldn’t be working here anymore. I need you to tell him.”
Well, I had a thing or two to tell that guy. I thought, “what a coward!”
But then, I realized that my Dad was the kind of man that would not take that news well. I grudgingly understood why his boss did not want to tell him.
After all, winners hate losing, and Dad would definitely see this one as a loss. So, I broke the news.
Arguably, the toughest discussion I have EVER had, with anyone.
Here’s the point: You need to know when to hold them. When to fold them.
So to those of you I hold very dear, and are good friends, or those even casual acquaintances, just in case I am like my Dad, I invite you.
If I haven’t figured it out on my own, feel free to tell me: Henry. Dude. It’s time for you to call it quits…