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Don’t let the old man (or woman) in

Someone was interviewing Clint Eastwood (93) recently and asked him how he keeps doing movies at his age. Clint said, “I just don’t let the old man in.” What a great answer.

Many people think when they get to a certain age, they are of no further use in the marketplace. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A few examples below make the point.

Lauran Ingalls Wilder – wrote Little House on the Prairie at age 64.

Ben Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence at age 70.

Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa at age 76.

Mother Teresa received the Noble Peace Prize at age 69.

Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-a in a mall (1967) at age 46. He led the company until his death in 2014.

Ray Kroc became the owner of McDonalds at age 59.

Grandma Moses (renown painter) didn’t begin to paint until she was 76 and painted every day until she was 99. Harry Truman and JFK said she was one of the greatest painters of the 20th century.

Harry Bernstein wrote his famous memoir at age 96.

Gladys Burrill completed the Honolulu Marathon at age 92.

Joseph Campbell sold his first can of Campbells soup at age 78.

Julia Child wrote her first cookbook at age 50.

Rodney Dangerfield didn’t start acting until he was 46.

Henry Ford invented the Model T at age 45.

John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola at age 55

Peter Roget published his first Thesaurus at age 73.

If I had more time, I could write page after page to make the point – It is never over until the casket closes. To all men and women who read this blog, don’t let the old man or old woman in. KT

Trusted Advisor

When Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) was president, he wanted a personal advisor. Not a cabinet member or chief of staff. Someone much closer. A personal advisor to him and hm alone. He chose 30-year-old Bill Moyers who at the time was a journalist and political commentator.

Many of LBJ’s senior staff, friends, Congress, and Senate members looked at this advisor development as a bad idea for LBJ. One day a senior official asked LBJ, with all the resources and people available to him, why did he choose a 30-year-old inexperienced person to personally advise him. LBJ said – “Because he always tells me the truth.”

Many people reading this blog were not old enough during LBJ’s presidency to remember much about him. He was a man’s man. He was bold, brash, and headstrong. He was much loved by many and also greatly hated by many. Some described him as generous, compassionate, considerate etc. while others described him as dictatorial, grandiose, and arrogant. Needless to say, some people admired him, and others could not stand him.

He had many people (like us today) that would tell him what they thought he wanted to hear. Bill Moyers was never intimidated by LBJ and spoke his mind and opinions without any sugar coating. He would tell LBJ frankly if he liked his idea or thought it was dumb. LBJ, as many will remember, stepped into the presidency after Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 and he went on to serve as president until 1969.

It was Bill Moyers influence that greatly helped LBJ during a very difficult time of American history from the civil rights movement, economy, inflation to the war in Vietnam.

The point is this. Make sure you have someone in your life who you can really confide in and in whose wisdom, you can trust is pure and will tell you the truth. This is a very rare relationship to find, but one that could be very valuable to the person you will become. KT

A ‘Yes’ face

True story – When Thomas Jefferson was president, he and some friends were traveling on horseback and came upon a river that had overflowed its banks. Most of the travelers were on their own horse but there was one local man who did not have a horse. Thomas Jefferson waited and watched until most of the other riders were safely across the treacherous river before he and couple other riders were to take their turn. The one traveler that did not have a horse ask Jefferson if he could ride across with him. The President said sure without hesitation and the two made it across fine. Once the man dismounted from the President’s horse, some of the people ask him why he asked the President instead of one of the other men to carry him across. “I did not know he was the President,” he said. “All I know is that on some of your faces was written the answer ‘no’ and on some of them was the answer, ‘yes.’ His was a ‘yes’ face.”

When I heard this story, I could not help but think back to when my daughters were young, I only hope my heart was open and that I had a ‘yes’ face much more often than I had a ‘no’ face. Even a child can tell the difference. As I think back over my career with brokers, clients, and staff etc. I hope I used a ‘yes’ face often. Lastly, as I think about our heavenly father, I can assure you he had a ‘yes’ face most of my life. Without that, I have no idea where I would be today.

The next time you are in a meeting with others or speaking with your children (young or old) remember this story, because it the expression on your face that people read first. KT

Hunting dogs are like sales people

I have been quail hunting several times with a personal guide and trained hunting dogs. It is one of the most outdoor experiences I have ever had. It’s quite fascinating actually with the fields, woods, smells, birds, shotguns and dogs. What more could a guy want?

During these trips I love to study the bird dogs. See what drives them and how they hunt. Let’s face it, every salesperson is a hunter and there is probably not a greater correlation to a salesperson than a trained hunting dog.

When you get to the hunting club, the guide has several dogs already loaded up in the crates in the back of the truck. The guide can’t let them lose (first lesson) until they get to the field they are going to hunt. When the guide stops the truck and everyone gets out, he checks all the hunters and their shotguns and gives instructions of things to do and not do, (second lesson.) After the instructions he usually takes out two or three dogs at a time and puts the shock collars on the dogs (not the hunters-ha.) This is so he can control the dogs and keep them close (third lesson), so they don’t go off on their own.

When he opens the cages, most of the dogs will leap out to the ground and start sniffing (fourth lesson) so hyper they can hardly wait to get going. It usually happens, that one of the dogs will lumber out of his crate in no hurry at all. This is the dog you don’t want to follow (fifth lesson.) When the guide is ready, he says “hunt” and the dogs go bananas, sniffing, snorting, barking and even taking a poop (sixth lesson.) The dog you want to follow is the one that just took a big dump. Why? He is so excited and ready he can’t wait to go and when he poops, he is telling you – “ok, boss, I’m ready.”

The lazy dog will just walk around sniffing the air, while the real hunting dog will go as fast as he can with his tail hanging down and his nose to the ground. Thorns and briers don’t even faze him he is so excited. When he finds a bird or a covey (group of quail) he gets about 20 feet away and stands as rigid as a stone with his tail either sticking straight out or straight up (seventh lesson.) He knows not to move until the guide gets ready to flush out the birds. As a hunter it is important to know when to shoot and when not to shoot (eighth lesson.) The guide will ask the hunters, “you ready?” and he takes a long skinny stick and flushes the birds (runs it across the ground where the birds are) and holey moley, the bids fly off all directions. After the hunters miss most of them (ha) the process starts all over again. That’s quail hunting at its finest.

For the salesperson, you have to want it, you have to be ready, and you have to know when to move and when to shoot. If you have a salesperson that hears about a lead and has to go take a poop first. Ha. He/she will probably be your best salesperson. KT

Yearnings versus earnings

I heard a guy say recently, “don’t let your yearnings overtake your earnings.” Another person I know said, “if your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.” Both of these sayings express the same wisdom, live within your financial means.

There is no end to the number of smart people who let ego, pride, arrogance, and lack of common sense get the best of them.  Its not just people, it is also large corporations like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Sears just to name a few. I know a guy in my line of work who some years ago started wearing five-thousand-dollar suits, driving exotic sports cars and even bought a jet. Well about two years later, we found out he committed fraud and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.  

Regardless of the media noise on all sides, every single one of us know the difference between right and wrong and we also know if we are spending more than we bring in. It is referred to as getting ahead of your skis. I water ski (sometimes) and I can tell you it hurts when you lean too far over your skis trying to go faster. Its face plant city and it will slap you back to common sense. Same thing is true financially.

Our national debt represents basically what I am saying here. We are going further in debt every day because as a country, we are spending way more (every day) than we are bringing in. National debt aside, we as citizens are forced to live on what we earn or we go into debt and sooner than later as the debt increases, it causes a downfall.

Having come through a deep financial crisis when I was a young husband and father, I can tell you, it ages you quickly. The stress can be found in many heath areas, and it seems to affect almost every area of your life. Especially your rest and peace. So, if you are about to make a financial decision to impress someone else. Don’t do it. KT