Sitting with a Hundred Millionaire to relate to them & important Partnering Lessons

Chris Knight
Jul 24 · 9 min read

Yesterday I sat with some very accomplished people. As Chief of Staff for HESCO Global Inc my job is to support the Chief Executive Officer. We are conducting a huge public private partnership (P3) undertaking. I was recently invited to go speak in New York on Fox News.

Our project will launch one of the poorest counties in America out of poverty. Over the course of the project we expect to add over 30,000 jobs. It’s a privilege to be part of something that will positively affect so many lives.

My job entails everything from CEO scope management to stakeholder meetings. I am the hand to the king (so to speak). In my meeting yesterday I was fortunate enough to meet two people.

The first person was one of the original founders of Carrabba’s. Rosie Carrabba founded Carrabba’s Italian Grill on December 26th 1986.

The revenue realized from this chain is 687mm USD per year. There are approximately 247 locations throughout the United States and Brazil.

Here is a picture of me and Rosie.

Speaking with Rosie I discovered a very kind, empathetic and hard working individual. She is not very different from any one of us that toil our days away hoping to be successful. There are distinct differences to her success versus others’ failure. Much of it has to do with how she views challenges, work, and what it takes to build something that lasts. Many of the items that are important are not found in money but values.

Rosie’s value for people is clear as the sun on a day without clouds. This important fact differentiates success from failure.

The second person I met was Mr. Paul Somerville. Mr Somerville was born into a military family in Pennsylvania in 1947. Mr. Somerville is a Lifetime Vice President, Director, and past Treasurer of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Mr. Somerville also served on the Audit Committee and Skybox Committee. He currently serves on the International Committee, Educational Committee, the Long Range Planning Committee and the RITE Program Advisory Committee. His business involvement with the International Committee has led to hosting numerous visits from Heads of State and government representatives.

Mr. Somerville rubs elbows with the likes of Donald Trump. Mr. Somerville has done well for himself financially. Given his private nature I’ll skip saying what his net worth is.


Interesting to me is the initial approach other people take compared to me. When people anticipate talking business their minds are in preparation mode. Everything must be said perfect. The focus of the conversation narrows. Goals are set. The mind essentially becomes a one track race to a pre-determined finish line. Most people are a steel box that cannot adjust.

This is the worst way to be.

People are people. Regardless of their station and profile the people you are speaking to are human beings. The most important faucet of building a relationship is being genuine. Too many people are false. Even if the person is a good person they cannot help but build up a visage for their meeting.

Playing a role is disingenuous. Being disingenuous can be interpreted as fake or at best “not authentic”.

Being disingenuous is like casting a visage. No one is looking at the real person. I often find disappointment in people because of their visages. People who amass wealth are very good people readers. They did not get to the positions they scaled through luck. Much of business is knowing people.

People in business tend to like to build relationships. You cannot have a relationship with someone who appears fake.

Let’s look at a good way to be a “Relationship Builder”. It’s better than being a “Closer” trust me.


Respect is an easy word to say. Respect seems like an easy concept to understand. Unfortunately respect is not something readily applied as a behavior pattern. Respect is not “yes sir” or “yes m’am”. Respect is genuine recognition for individuals. Appreciating people for themselves is the starting point. Genuinely paying attention to someone is another sign of respect.

Most people do not appreciate others’ words or candor. A sign of this is when conversations veer off. People who lack respect try to “get back on point”. If someone who is your guest is not staying on topic there is a reason. Respect the point they are bringing up and listen. Silencing the topic means you are telling them their thoughts do not matter. This is very disrespectful.

Pay attention to what someone says with undivided attention. Undivided attention is a profound sign of respect. I learned how to do this when I was 16. Most adults I know do not do this. Undivided attention means looking someone in the eye, focusing on their words, taking them in and applying them to the conversation.


Speech patterns are the flow of conversation. Your conversation is dictated by what someone else wants to talk about. You must adapt not plan. If you invite someone to talk about a project and the person constantly veers off to speak about another subject…stop talking about your project.

The individual is kindly saying they are not interested.

Listen to people. They might bring up a completely separate subject because they think you are better placed in their issue. If you realize you can solve their issue it is possible you might have purpose. Do not waste time and energy fitting someone into your box. Ask yourself how you can apply to someone else’s box.

Speech patterns are set by the person who is the focus of the meeting. If the person you invited does not focus on your project…you are no longer the focus.

If you are asking for money…you are definitely not the focus. Listen to how people view life, work and relationships. Without asking for a dime you will know quickly if the person will part with their money. You are looking for someone who can “relate”. No one gives money to things they don’t understand or fail to relate to. More importantly no one gives money to someone they don’t trust.


People don’t do business with people they do not like or do not know. The latter is most important. A person will not do business with you if they do not know you. Many think the first part is what makes a deal.

Knowing someone is the foundation of trust. How can you trust someone you don’t know? Would you give half the money in your bank account to someone you don’t know? How about a quarter of it? How about ten percent of it?

This is what you are doing when you are asking a stranger for money (i.e. a person you are just meeting at a networking event). You are asking someone who doesn’t know you to trust you. That’s a tough cookie. I can’t trust someone I don’t know. I’m pretty sure you cannot either.

You might like someone initially but that doesn’t mean you know them. When you approach wealthy investors give them the same courtesy. It is disrespectful to demand money from someone without giving them opportunity to know you.

I like many people I would never do business with. I don’t do business with them because I took time to know them. These people are moral people who are terrible at business. They will lose my money.

People who have wealth are similar. Most people care about relationships. How do you offer someone something that has all the things in the world?

Do you know what the answer is?

You don’t offer them any-THING.

Offer a lasting relationship with a person (i.e. you) who genuinely cares about their well being and legitimately improves a situation through intrinsic value.

That’s what you offer a person of wealth. Don’t offer them more money. They don’t need it — they already have it.

Give your new relationship something most wealthy people lack. A person who won’t try and rob them blind or pretend to be their friend simply to get paid (I know plenty of them). .


Poor is not a state of finances. Similar wealth is not a state of money. Poor is inability for a person’s mind to reset its perception on dire situations. Great leaders make great things out of what they are given. There is no perfect situation. There is no idea circumstance in business. Seldom will situations line up in manners to agree with your plans.

Every so often (I call it God) life will give you something with little effort. This happened to me maybe once or twice in life. Statistically speaking people call those events “dumb luck events”.

My mind sees solutions in all aspects of each situation. No matter the circumstance there is a way to accomplish our goals. The mind state I speak of is the state of wealth. Wealthy people are nothing more than people who find solutions where others fail.

Out of the box thinking, persistence, devotion and integrity make the foundations of this view point. Some call it a state of “delusion”. Will Smith has made a few comments surrounding this and I agree. A certain amount of delusion is required to be successful.

Wealth is cultivated with knowledge and applied through the lens of perception.

Poverty is cultivated through lack of knowledge and similarly applied through the lens of false perception.


Wealthy people are similar to a Silver Back Gorilla in a jungle. When an alpha Silver Back Gorilla sees another alpha there is mutual respect. Even if the other gorilla has no tribe or land a certain courtesy is offered. No words are exchanged between the two. Each knows their boundaries. Both understand crossing to each other’s territory means a fight to possibly death.

Mutual respect will ensue if one is not in mind to conquer the other’s territory.

Wealthy people see the same thing. Talk about money, relationships, cars or exotic business trips are not methods to flaunt wealth. Similar to a professional sports star talking all day about their sport.

People seek people who understand them, relate to them and genuinely want nothing except mutual benefit.

This is rare.

This is usually what I am. Regardless of rank, status or personage I only care about practical solutions that mutually solve our collective goals.

No one can ever offer me anything that I want. I told my wife the other day my life is perfect. I don’t have the most wealth nor do I have the biggest business. What I have is happiness. This is something that eludes almost all people (rich or poor). Due to this state of being it is easy to interact with people.

I truly do not care about money. I care about other things. Such as winning or accomplishing things. This can sometimes be money driven but not always. I never do things solely for the sake of money. People sense my genuine intention when they are around me. It is why so many people with wealth get along with me.


An example of a person with wealth I do not desire to meet is Producer Michael (look him up I constantly view his youtube channel where he talks about watches). I love his channel but I have no reason to meet him. I’m sure I would get along with him; however, I have no reason to speak to him.

I don’t meet people with money just because they have money. I would rather meet with my wife and daughter to spend all day with them.

In a meeting if you realize you have no reason to know someone…don’t know them. Be polite, respectful and considerate. Don’t ask for a business card from someone who you can’t do business with. I see this all the time. It see it as a waste of time. Guess what? People who are wealthy see it as a waste of time too.

I hope this article opens your eyes on the psychology necessary to interact with wealth. Remember wealth is not in money but in knowledge.

How will you take advantage of your newfound knowledge? Follow me on Medium or subscribe to my newsletter to learn more insightful advice.

To your knowledge success!


About Christopher: Christopher Knight Lopez is a Professional Entrepreneur. Christopher has opened over 7 businesses in his 14-year career. Christopher’s purpose is to take advantage of various market-driven opportunities. Christopher is a certified Master Project Manager (MPM) and Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA). Christopher previously held his Series 65 securities license. Christopher also has his General Lines — Life, Accident, Health & HMO. Christopher has managed a combined 286mm USD in reported Assets Under Management & Assets Under Advisement. Christopher has work experience in 29 countries, raised over 50mm USD for various businesses, and grossed over 7.5mm in his personal career. Christopher worked in the highly technical industries of: biotechnology, finance, securities, manufacturing, real estate, and residential mortgages. Christopher is a United States Air Force Veteran. Christopher has a passion for family, competitive sports, fishing, martial arts and advocacy for entrepreneurs. Christopher provides self-help classes for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Christopher’s passion to mentor comes from belief that entrepreneurs need guidance. The world is full of conflicting information about entrepreneur identity. See more at

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Chris Knight

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Christopher is a Professional Entrepreneur with over 13 years of experience, a Master Project Manager, Financial Analyst, & Master Financial Planner

Dialogue & Discourse

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