Chapter I – The Ride on the River
This story begins the day I graduated High School. A friend of mine had asked me to drive him to his job interview with a cardboard box manufacturing company. He was looking for a summer job to earn some extra money. He was planning on attending the US Coast Guard academy in New London Connecticut. I had no plans for college and really wasn’t thinking of working that summer at all.
When we arrived at the manufacturing company, the Secretary handed my friend a job application and then handed me one. I was too embarrassed to do anything but fill it out. To make a long story short, my friend didn’t get hired and spent the whole summer goofing off. I got hired and I haven’t missed a day of work since then. That was 56 years ago. I have had many jobs since then all varying in position; from the bottom to the top. Today, I am the CEO of three different companies, a writer, a lecturer and an entrepreneur. I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich (still am), and I can tell you this: Rich is Better!
What amazes me is that I have been the same “me” through all the different levels of prosperity. As I told you before, my formal education ended when I graduated High School. I’m not very talented and I’m pretty much just an ordinary guy, yet somewhere I figured out the secret of success without knowing I knew it. I’ve often said: “When you know what you know and you know that you know it, then this life is a piece of cake”.
For most of my adult life (I’m 74 years old now) I’ve been trying to paddle my canoe up river. Unfortunately the river of life has a very strong current and trying to reach the top, by hard work alone, is fruitless. Every time I got near the top I would stop paddling to rest and the current would drive me back so that I would have to start over again. This happened several times until one day I saw a sign that said “STOP PADDLING UP STREAM AND GO WITH THE FLOW”. Well, this seemed very radical and a sure way to the poor house I thought. But, by analyzing all the jobs I had had, I realized I made the most gain when I stopped struggling and was able to relax and go with the flow. Since I had no mentor, I thought maybe it was just a coincidence. Then I realized that there was no such thing as coincidence, coincidence is a mathematical term that means to coincide: when two like angles come together they form a perfect match.