Chapter 1: Wisdom is Like a River

Get ready to hear things you may already know expressed in ways you never even thought of.  I often relate to friends and acquaintances the story of my early days in business and how I came to be an entrepreneur.  It’s a rather inspired story and fancying myself a story-teller I am sure that I have embellished them a time or two.

As a matter of fact, I know I have added a little something here and there to make the stories more interesting and it is also a fact that I’ve started to confuse fact with fiction.  With that admission out there for everyone to contemplate after all the years it really doesn’t matter how ‘accurate’ the recounting of these stories are because the lessons these stories teach about business are relevant for any era.

The bottom line is nobody really wants to read a boring tome where a business person relates in a very text book way the things one should do to achieve success.  It is my hope that these stories of how I learned my lessons will leave lasting impressions and help others to achieve success.

River of WisdomWhat really matters to me is that the stories have lessons and if one can extract the wisdom from these tales then life will be easier and I believe success in life and business can be achieved more rapidly.  There will be those (probably in my own family!) that will roll their eyes and say no-way!

That didn’t happen that way!  But I don’t care, this book is not about them and their recollection, it’s about me and my perception of the events.  It’s about how these mini-mantras have come to lead me to a life of happiness and success.

The title of this book and one of the best chapters (in my opinion) came out of a conversation with a long-time mentor, friend and business associate.  He lives near a neighborhood dive that I owned with some partners and he had been promising for months to come by and see the place.

Side Thought:  A sports bar! Every young boy’s dream … to grow up and own a sports bar! …

It is just walking distance from his house.  So after a long day and an even longer week I was getting prepared to leave and head to my house for a little down time and he just pops in with his significant other.  After several drinks and a lot of catching up we started to tell war stories.  I love to tell the story of how my father taught me to be self-employed.  It is a time in my life when most of the lessons my father tried to teach me finally stuck.

Heck, I love to tell stories period and as I get older I realize that many of those stories come from my father or from being with my father.  I realize that there is a fountain of wisdom there and I am partly who I am because of the experience he gave me through the espousal of his wisdom.  I didn’t have to live his life’s experiences in order to benefit from what he learned.  All I had to do was start listening.

Whether it is a father, mother, uncle, aunt, grand parent, or business mentor there is wisdom all around us.  If I could give anyone one piece of advice it would be to look around you and discover the place where the wisdom flows.  Trust me, it’s there, it surrounds us every day.  There is a place where the wisdom flows like a river and once you are in its stream you’ll be swept in a direction that will make life better and success easier to attain.

The Lesson:

  1. We’re not as smart as we think we are!  That’s right; when we stop learning we’re doomed.  Business, technology and culture are always evolving.  Just like a wave that comes in from miles out in the ocean and builds as it gets closer to the shore eventually crashing on the sand, business is the same.  You don’t want to ‘ride’ that wave all      the way to the shore because the end of that ride ends in a crash!  You’ll be smashed into the sands of time, forgotten and swept back out to sea.  As a business person you want to transition smoothly to the next      wave and the next and ride them all as long as possible.  That can only happen if you are constantly open to new ideas and trends.  Keep learning!

Want to ride the crest of never ending waves of success?  Want your career to flow like the greatest rivers of the world bringing their fertile, life sustaining waters to the shore?  Find where the river of wisdom flows and get in that stream and success will follow.