Life Lessons

Life Lessons

By the year 2000, I had it all…great kids, a 21 year marriage, a 7,000+ square foot home, a “sweet” new BMW, my own thriving business, a growing 401K, healthy parents and a strong and balanced financial portfolio.  I had a great business pedigree as a sports marketing executive with corporate giants like the Miller Brewing Company and The  Coca-Cola Company….then Spirit determined that this was the perfect time for my “Great Humbling” and “Planned Awakening”! <!--break-->

Within a matter of six months in 2000, my wife asked me for a divorce, my kids were living apart from me, I put my house on the market and moved into a small apartment, my number one client,  Adam Petty, tragically lost his life in a NASCAR practice accident on May 12, 2000, my business began to fail, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and my Dad was rushed into surgery to have a defibulator/pacemaker put into his tiring heart, and then, just to put a cherry on top of my “misery Sundae”, the IRS targeted me for a rectal exam.<!--break-->

Looking back now, I see that Spirit knew then that I had a strong and engulfing EGO.  The Gods decided for me at “the ripe old age” of 45 to push me into the discovery of my true purpose in life.  Spirit knew then that I was just stubborn and comfortable enough to force it to take everything away from me that I thought was important to bring me down to my knees (the only true position for heartfelt and submissive prayer).<!--break-->

The truth is, Spirit had been really fair with me.  It had given me the opportunity 6 years earlier to discover my true purpose back in September of 1984, but somehow I missed the lesson.  My EGO was a very tough and rewarding trickster!<!--break-->

In late August of 1984 I had moved my young family (3-year-old daughter, Lindsay, and 1-year-old son, Jordan,) away from New York City to a place where people sounded a little more like us….Dallas, TX y’all!<!--break-->

We had purchased our new home, arranged to have all of our possessions moved and started a new role with my company of 5 years, Robert Landau&Associates.  We were ready to begin our new life “deep in the heart of Texas”.  Little did I know that on Tuesday morning at 11:11 AM, on September 4th of 1984 I would get a call that would drive a stake in my heart in Texas!<!--break-->

That fateful morning, my boss in NY called me to explain that my company had just filed for bankruptcy and that I no longer had my job which I had just started.  I was beyond disbelief and asked if I could call back in an hour to talk.  In that moment, I went to check in on my two kids and told my wife that I was going for a walk.<!--break-->

You see, having just closed on my first home, I had spent every available dollar at my disposal and I only had $233 in my checking account.  We had a $5,000 trust fund for my daughter’s college fund and a jar of loose change in the house. That was it!<!--break-->

To boot, I had run up over $4,500 in expenses on my personal credit card on behalf  my company and the moving company decided to hold my furniture that had not yet been delivered as ransom since my company had arranged to make my move and pay for it, but unfortunately, their check had bounced.  By the time I knew what hit me, I had over $18,000 in additional debt that was not of my own making!<!--break-->

That night my wife and I made a family dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches and water and then decided to drive to Target to purchase our last gift for ourselves for a while….the new Richard Pryor CD.<!--break-->

(Richard, you saved my sanity that night and for that I am eternally grateful, rest in peace my powerful Brother!).<!--break-->

That evening we laughed and we cried off and on most of the night as we tried to forget the day… for just a little while… knowing that the next morning we were about to face a new and different world.  The incredible job of making some sense of it all and then beginning to put our tumbling lives back together somehow.<!--break-->