Few people would argue that Bruce isn’t successful.
He’s been married 31 years and has 2 adult children, both successful in their own right.
He has a highly profitable business, actually multiple highly profitable businesses.
He lives on the water in a beautiful house in one of the most expensive areas of the country. And he’s not leveraged to do so.
So why am I telling you about Bruce? I was fortunate enough to spend an entire day with him recently and I learned a lot of lessons. I figured I’d share them with you.
The first lesson is to learn from people who are where you want to be in certain areas. I consider Bruce successful in multiple areas that I would like to be and consider it a blessing to have had the opportunity to learn from him.
There are a lot of myths when it comes to success and from my short time with Bruce, his life countered the ideas that….
- To become successful you have to sacrifice other important areas like health and family – On the contrary, Bruce is very fit and although he works hard, spends lots of time with family and friends. We spent 4 hours together on his kayaks and jet skis during the work week. As a matter of fact, while Bruce definitely discussed business, it’s clear that it doesn’t define him. He talked quite a bit about family, hobbies, and his involvement at church.
- To become rich you have to be greedy – It couldn’t have been clearer that Bruce is a generous man. With me he was generous with his toys as well as his most valuable asset, his time. He regularly takes missions trips to underprivileged countries. He spoke with a particular passion about helping Haitian earthquake victims.
- Rich people are jerks – Some might be but most are not. Bruce is one of the kindest people you’ll meet with a heart to serve people. I have no doubt that part of the reason he’s so successful is because of the way he treats people. He values integrity above all else. He told me the secret to business success is investing in people, not businesses. He told me about a handshake deal to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars that worked out fine because he knew his partner was a man of integrity.
- Success comes quick – It’s easy to see someone like Bruce now and assume he’s always been successful or that he doesn’t have problems. He has problems like everyone else. In fact, he told me about a situation growing up that I couldn’t imagine. He chose to not let it get the best of him.
I was also surprised to hear him talking about his early struggles in business and how he was once broke. I learned that before he bought the beautiful house he currently lives in, he lived in a very small house for 15 years and then a slightly bigger one for another 15. He told me that it takes time, to be patient, and keep re-investing in the business.
A lot can happen in 30 years of being disciplined!
I realize none of this is rocket science and we’ve all heard these principles before. It’s pretty cool to see the results of someone who lived them out for the long-term!
I hope like me you are inspired to not only embrace these time tested principles for the results they are likely to produce but to become the person they are likely to help you become.