I’m sure there have been a lot of opportunities I’ve missed, but not because I didn’t want to gamble on them if there was even a decent chance to be successful. I was more than willing to take that chance. I got burned on a lot of my decisions but I did well on the others. Not one time have I ever said “If I’d only.” I’ve taken chances. I’ve been delighted by the ones that are successful and I have no regrets on the ones that were not successful.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Any time an opportunity came up, even if it even smelled close to being good, I took a very close look and if it had merit I did it. I’m 75 years old. When I look back, there’s nothing I didn’t do that I wished I had done. I remember as a kid, and I must’ve heard the story 20 times, people saying, “When Coca-Cola started, my father had the opportunity to buy into the company for nearly nothing.” When a salesman came through town selling Coca Cola stock all of my friends didn’t want to take a chance and buy. They later joined in unison to say “If I’d only bought $20 worth of the stock I’d be a millionaire.” I don’t want to hear those words and I don’t like the stories. I don’t like them because they only show that the person telling them was short of confidence and character.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The worst words in the English language: If I’d only. I get so tired of hearing people say, “If I’d only bought that stock,” or “If I’d only gone to school,” or “If I’d only taken that job” and so on. All my life, I made a conscious effort never to put myself into a position where I would later say “If I’d only.”
Monday, September 16, 2013
Yesterday I turned 75, and I took the opportunity of a captive audience to again expound the importance of education in Nevada. Without a well-educated work force, without a citizenry capable of critical thinking and clear communication, America has little chance of competing on a global scale. And make no mistake--we are a global economy and a global citizenry. Education is not a privilege; education is not a luxury; education is the basis of every civilized society. Let's show the world we care, and we can. Support education in any and every way you can.
Friday, September 13, 2013
My family didn’t have two cars until I was 14. Our house had a one-car garage with no plans or ability to make it a 2-car garage. My father had an excellent job that paid good wages and mother didn’t work until I entered the 7th grade. Under today’s tests for determining success, my family was a failure. Yet looking back over those one car, one garage, one parent working and one parent staying at home, it seems to me my family was far more successful than its counterpart today, which must have both parents working, often more than a 40 hour week, both parents being stressed to the limit, and their children being denied the necessary time and attention from the parents. How can we have more, and at the same time, less?
Thursday, September 12, 2013
I want you to do yourself and me a favor. I want you to ask yourself why you are so ineffective in persuading others around you that if they don’t spend at least 20% of their time participating in government, education or health initiatives, that it won’t be long until the government, education and health care systems completely fail. When I graduated from law school in 1962, I took the bar review course in Arizona which was taught by a Chester Smith. He also was probably the best professor I had in my nine years of college. He made the following point over and over, and though I’m not sure that his mathematics were accurate, his concept of how one should spend his or her time was sound. He said, spend a third of your time working, a third of your total time involved with your family and a third of your time involved in the activities of your community. I’ll bet a survey of Americans would show that they spend 90% of their time thinking only of themselves, 7 ½% of their time thinking and being involved with their families, and 2 ½ % of their time being involved with the communities in which they live. It seems to me that’s a recipe for failure. May I suggest you take inventory of your own life to see how you invest your time, your money and your energy.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Luck has been a major contributor to my financial success. My net worth far exceeds the aggregate of my intelligence, efficiency, productivity and ambition. My family has given more than 80% of its net worth to education. It did so with the thought and belief that we could help raise the standard of living, even if by a little bit, of those around us. But I have to tell you, it’s very discouraging to see what poor use is made of our financial support. It depresses me to the point where I’d simply like to stop sending the checks and start building my bank accounts. Yet for some reason, I keep putting our family’s money into an education system that seems destined to implode.