Tuesday, March 1, 2011

On the art of the favour

On graduation from university my father and a number of other fathers rented out the top floor of our favourite pub, Das Fas, for our graduation party. Dinner finished at a nice hotel in town, the dads sent the moms back to their respective rooms and took the boys out for a beer - the imparting of wisdom from one generation to the next.

Bob Kirkhart, father of my roommate Tom had the best advice of the entire evening as I remember.

"The secret to being a successful businessman is simple", he told us. Mr. Kirkhart had sold industrial pipe his entire career and had been extremely successful as a pipe salesman.

"For the first twenty years of your career", he said, "Do people favours. And for the second twenty?", he continued, "Collect em'".

I'm a few years or so over the first 20 year period of my career, and wondering if somehow I had forgotten to do enough favours for people on my way up the ladder. I don't have people chasing me on Facebook or any of the other places I can be found by people I might have screwed over. But I've decided for sure, that I am definitely in the second have of that 40 year career Mr. Kirkhart spoke about - and would like to start living the way he described.

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