Shirtsleeves to Shirtsleeves

The progression of wealth begins with a Builder, transferring down to a Janitor, and finally disappearing from the clutches of a Debtor. There is a better way to leave an inheritance for our Children.

One of the greatest burdens on children is the inheritance of wealth. Yes, I know this sounds counterintuitive. Yet, with 35+ years of experience working with three generations of families, I can attest to the validity of the premise.

Each culture has its phraseology:

  • Old English: “there’s nobbut three generations atween a clog and clog.”
  • Italy: “from the stable to the stars and back again.”
  • Japan: “rice paddies to rice paddies in three generations.”
  • China: “from peasant shoes to peasant shoes in three generations.”
  • Scotland: “father buys, son builds, grandchild sells, and his son begs.”
  • America: “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

Why is this true? Answer: “We want what we don’t have.

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We Learn By Doing

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Until we get our hands in the clay, there is no way a new masterpiece can be formed. All works of creation require effort by able and willing hands.

Colleges and Universities have profited greatly from the most vulnerable: our Children. Higher “education” is big business. Literally, the focus is on the money available to these institutions via student loans. Our young people are encouraged to be Debtors before even beginning their careers and professions.

The result of all this hubris? Answer: educated idiots! We have lost what at one time not long ago was defined as “common sense.” Now, Ignorance is the norm, with a large portion of society working for Cents. Yes, that’s right, slaving — in servitude to a Banker — for pennies on the dollar.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)

Those are the choices: Tell, Teach, or Involve. Professors everywhere are coy to assure us they are Teachers. Of all professions, teaching is a noble cause. Yet, the matter at hand is that seldom do we find skilled Teachers in our classrooms.

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Jump for Jump

Early in the bull riding Crusade of my son, Ryan, he made the comment, “Dad, it’s really pretty simple. You just stay in the middle of ’em and ride ’em jump for jump.”

At the time, we were sitting in a Truck Stop across the Interstate from the Horse Palace, where Ryan was waiting for his turn to ride. I was sipping on my coffee and Ryan was stirring his hot chocolate.

The cafe was noisy from the farmer and trucker banter, and distractions were constant because of the shenanigans from the waitresses and busboys. I didn’t hear exactly what Ryan had said. So, I asked him to repeat it.

“Dad, you stay in the middle and ride them jump for jump.”

Yep, from the mouths of babes, or in this case a high school student at the time, comes the secret to life.

Stay in the middle and ride ’em jump for jump.

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Four Horsemen

Well Balanced

Four Horsemen of Silverado Heroes

All great thriller movies have this in common — there are four heroes, each with a different and extreme temperament type, who are brought together by the hand of fate to overcome impossible odds.

During the adventure, it becomes clear to us that all four of those different and extreme temperaments — combined into one powerful force — were absolutely necessary for good to triumph over evil.

For each of us, individually, the same principle holds true — we must incorporate the four temperaments into our hero persona to be well balanced and successful in our ventures.

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All In

If you have the passion for building something special (Attitude) and you have done the challenging work to define who YOU are (Boundaries), then, the final step to success is YOU must go All In (Commitment).

Success

Success is not going to magically waltz into our lives. It is not a destination, at which to arrive. Daily, we must create success — the unique version each of us has determined to be right — for the benefit of ourselves and the rest of the world.

The reason people join cults and gangs is that they want someone else to provide the answers to Life. In other words, they want to shirk the responsibility of making their own choices — and, of being held accountable for their own decisions and actions.

All I can say is, “Good luck with that.” I’ve seen how those stories end — and, it’s never pretty. There is a better way. We get our Attitude right and we get our Boundaries right. Then, we go All In — by sacrificing all of the other options, for a single choice — with Commitment.

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Point of Light

The gleam in a father’s eye is waiting for each of us as we emerge from darkness into the brightness of life. In fact, the eyes of new Dads get a little misty as they witness the miracle of birth.

As days go by, the initial excitement dovetails into the responsibilities of fatherhood. Oh, how grand are the visions of being the perfect dad. Then, we encounter the reality of how messy relationships really are.

Although, literally, tongue-tied upon entry into this world, once that little member was set free, my insatiable curiosity was the driving force behind the questions in my mind. It was the beginning of my twenty-question routine, which later morphed into the Cowboy Poet & Philadelphia Lawyer shtick.

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Trust Fund Babies

I must confess my sin. For more than thirty-five years, as a CPA very good at what I do, I assisted in building little empires.

Having grown up poor, the intent was pure. I wanted those for whom I served to have the best that money can buy. Although, I discovered my Grandpa Foard was right, “Too much money will make people go crazy.”

There is never enough money. The more stuff people accumulate — the more unhappy they become. Which then fuels the fire for them chasing after even more of what is making them miserable.

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Pet Dragon

The Stuff of Fairy Tales

Well, I did it again.

After listening to the fears, concerns, and apprehensions of a woman whining about the dangers before her, I rode in on my white horse – with sword in hand – and stuck that fire-breathing beast. He tipped right over into a heap of problem solved.

And, then, oh, wow! — the ship hit the sand.

Come to find out, that was her Pet Dragon.

Once upon a time…

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The CARE Credential

Alphabet Soup

At one time, I was quite proud of all the initials behind my name —

  • CPA ~ Certified Public Accountant
  • CITP ~ Certified Information Technology Professional
  • CGMA ~ Chartered Global Management Accountant
  • AMM ~ And Many More

Yes, they demonstrated the discipline and commitment to play the game of achieving recognition in the eyes of academia.

Yet, no one other than I knew, fully, the extent to which sacrifice was made to achieve these designations.

And, the humorous point of this whole exercise in bragging rights is how times have changed. Now, another meaning for the acronym of CPA — in the realm of Digital Marketing — is Cost Per Acquisition.

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