A Good Man Has Just Died — This Was His Roadmap For Wealth

By SMU Central University Libraries [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

A good man whom I’ve known for years just died. His name is irrelevant. He joins the pantheon of good men and women in my life and yours that have died. It’s a story we name and color as we experience it. Your image like my image will be a tapestry of collisions. The point where possibilities met choice on a calendar of breath.

We’re human, we’ll triumph, we’ll fail, and many times we’ll plod when we should be soaring. It is the example of those that went before us that will embolden us to get up, try again and succeed. “Good men, women, and children” are not better than their peers but “their truly living ratio” in deference to existing far exceeded the accepted norm of their time and thus is worthy of our attention. The professional success this good man enjoyed was a direct result of the courage with which he lived his life. As a baby, there was no silver spoon in his mouth. Everything he achieved was earned through sweat and pushing through the fears we all face, but many shy away from in life.

His journey had many bumps and washed out roads, but he perpetually found other routes and never lost sight of the destinations he knew he could reach. His working life began in the oil fields of Oklahoma (energy) segued into construction (infrastructure) and peaked at a pinnacle of the financial sector (the life blood of business). He went from dealing with crude to dealing with Kings.

For many people work is a means of survival. It’s a roof over the head and food on the table. That is an “existence” mindset. Money was always a tertiary consideration for this man. Knowledge acquisition and self-expression were always his primary considerations. He knew that if he brought all of himself to the workplace and worked with a purpose in deference to fear that promotions and money would follow and his hypothesis proved successful throughout his career.

Working with purpose became a voyage of personal discovery and ever increasing financial abundance for his family. Work was never dull because for him it was always a case of what can I learn today and how can I apply what I know thus far into the tasks before me? Until his dying day, he was at his office at 7 am and home funnily enough by 4:30 pm when his wife would be home from school (and later from the very successful business she established after decades in the classroom). Both in his work and in his daily commute he was always heading in the opposite direction to the masses.

The other important thing to know about this man’s career was that he was not afraid to segue, pivot or reinvent himself to embrace the opportunities before him. No matter what the field or opportunity was his game plan remained the same. His simple formula of courage to make a change and humility to know when a change was necessary fueled his personal and professional life with positive momentum.

He lived in a nineteen-million dollar home and drove a Ferrari to work. Not for show but because he worked hard, played hard and liked to have fun. The man took care of his responsibilities, and the little boy within the man enjoyed the toys.

You would think a house worth nineteen million dollars with three different maids working shifts throughout the week would be ostentatious. You’d be wrong in your assumption. It was a home for his teacher wife and their three children, two dogs and a cat from the pound. A home where all were welcome and charitable events were held throughout the year. The elevator was repeatedly sent down to lift up peoples’ lives from Africa to Oklahoma and provide sanctuaries for animals from dogs to cheetahs.

He didn’t need telling or asking; he knew he’d been blessed and quietly passed those blessings on whenever he could. Not just in dollar bills, but in listening quietly, offering advice when needed and calling bullshit if you were ever going off course in your life.

Throughout the media, we are regaled with systems, methods, and protocols to become classy, thoughtful, kind, decent and live with integrity, but few display those qualities with the ease that this man possessed. When my two younger children were born the first person to the hospital was my ex-partners uncle and his wife. No matter the time of day or what was going on the family was his foundation for living. He bought his niece a luxuriant dressing gown as he had bought for his wife when each of their three children was born.

One time we were amongst his guests at the Bel Air Beach club for dinner and July 4th fireworks. If you win the lottery and live in Los Angeles, I highly recommend applying for membership at this club. For some strange reason as we sat in deckchairs on the beach waiting for the fireworks to begin the group consisted only of men and the conversation propelled I imagine by booze, and the contented consumption of Cuban cigars by the smokers in the group turned to women. When asked for his opinion he didn’t hesitate. As all good men do he loved his wife with all his body, mind and soul and if he could rewind the years or look forward to the next life, she was the only woman for him. If you had seen the face of the man saying this or heard the tone of his voice, you would understand why the group went quiet for a moment as people saw his real wealth and dreamt that one day they might be as rich as he was.

71 years young. For those at that age or above it seems like just a number and the blink of an eye. For those younger than that it seems a lifetime away but therein lies the rub. Your seventy-one might be tomorrow, a year from now or be written as ninety-one when the final tally is recorded.

Today, why not pay yourself first and think about why you work, what you seek to accomplish and what is your definition of success? As I sit here as the undisputed world’s worst drinker after one glass of wine, I feel both sad and glad that I could share this man’s wealth with you and thankful that I had the pleasure of meeting him on my journey in life. I wish you the same riches that this man found in his life.

I enjoyed writing it, and if you reached this point hopefully, you enjoyed reading it so if you think this article worthy, please share it with your friends and colleagues. Thank you.

We live in exciting times and if you have an opportunity I can contribute toward I’d love to hear from you.

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Photography Reference:

Sculpture “Body and Soul” (Duk-Kyu Ryang, 2015) in front of the office building of the LVM, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Dietmar Rabich / Wikimedia Commons / “Münster, LVM, Skulptur -Körper und Seele- — 2016–5920–6” / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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