Archive | 3:02 pm

Choose Wisely

20 Feb

No talent there . . . or is there?

Let me take you back to 1957, the summer of my eighth year on this planet.  Our family took a road trip back to Charles City, Iowa, to see my dad’s family, a family he hadn’t seen in nine years since he and my mother had moved out west to Tacoma, Washington.

No freeways back then, just highway driving through small towns, across the Great Plains, over mountains, seeing the backroads of America in a Mercury, exciting stuff for me.

Charles City was magic for me in 1957.  My grandparents had a corn farm, shrunk since losing most of it in the Great Depression, but a farm nonetheless, and it was my first experience on a farm and I loved every minute of it.  Meeting all the relatives, marveling at the small town and how everyone knew everyone else, the majestic oaks and elms and lightning bugs at night, bullfrogs croaking, tractors and chickens and lemonade on the front porch . . . yes, magical indeed.

One of my uncles, Uncle Ike, was fairly famous in town for owning the only Vespa Motor Scooter.  He had it shipped from Europe following World War 2, and he was quite the sight in that farming community, puttering around town on that scooter, weaving in and out of pickup trucks, dodging tractors, a wiry man on a tiny purple scooter, and that wiry man would come to the farm each day and take me for a ride on that scooter, and I thought that was probably the coolest thing I had ever done.

Our rides would always end up at A & W where we would have either a root beer float or an ice cream cone, either one, every single day, Nirvana in Iowa, and I remember each visit to the A & W involving that one tough decision, float or ice cream cone, and Uncle Ike telling me I could only have one, so choose wisely.

It’s funny the things we remember, isn’t it?  Sixty years have passed and I still remember those words “choose wisely.”

And I remembered those words about four months ago when a very rich customer, a real estate entrepreneur in Fort Worth, Texas, asked me to fly down to Fort Worth to work on his next “inspirational business book,” as he put it.  He would pay for the airfare, of course, put me up in a hotel, and pay for my time down there while I interviewed people and discussed the parameters of the book with him.  All told it was probably going to be about a $10,000 windfall for me.

I turned him down.  It really came down to two choices: extra money or staying home with Bev and the animals.

“Choose wisely, Bill!”

I don’t need the money.  I do need Bev and the animals.

It turned out to be an easy choice.

Being in business involves choices and decisions.

Choose wisely!


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