(A fictional story)
A guest lecturer was scheduled to speak on that bright fall day at Holman Hall on Ole Miss’ campus. The top finance and accounting students from across the state were invited to attend and there was not a spare seat in the auditorium.
Solomon Davidson stepped to the stage. His fluid movements gave hint to a well trained athleticism that he now kept in good condition. He was rumored to be the richest man in the world, maybe even in history, Forbes once speculated. His empire was known to include construction companies, shipping and trading companies, as well as precious and industrial metals exploration and mining. His personal annual income from his gold mining company alone was measured in the 100 millions. However, even with the enormous size of his empire he was now a recluse. He kept to himself, showing remorse at his outrageously wild youth.
His youth was well documented in tabloids around of the world. The headlines read “son of national hero gone astray!” or “king’s son at it again.” He will now tell you very clearly though humbly that God gave him every advantage and he tried to waste them. He had wrote that he tried everything in life, he had the bank roll to do it, and that nothing was as fulfilling as his relationship with his Lord.
The professor introduced him as a hush fell over the crowd of students. Solomon never had a problem getting a crowd’s attention. He began speaking in the slow cadence of a wise elderly statesman. “Ladies and gentleman, thank you for allowing me to speak today. I am sure that many of you would rather be at Sardis Lake or on the Square. This is college after all.” The statement gained agreeing snickers from the students, though none would have passed up this opportunity.
“Many people ask me ‘How did you start and build your business?’ I really have a very simple answer and this is what we will talk about.”
“What I am most interested in is how my experience can impact you in your life. I am not interested in simply telling my story.”
“Many years ago I inherited our family businesses. After a unique experience with the Almighty, I asked myself what He wanted me to accomplish. What were my specific goals?”
I follow this same process today. I make time for setting goals, and I take my time when goal setting. I think about each goal. I ask myself if this thought just a fleeting day dream or is this a goal with substance worth pursuing? If the answer is the latter, I write it down. I continue this process until I am satisfied with a list of worthy goals.”
“Taking my list, I begin planning. For each goal a plan must be formulated. I start with each goal. I picture the end result, the exact result that I want to accomplish. With that picture in mind, I start constructing a plan. I dissect the big picture into manageable pieces. I break down each piece of my plan into accomplishable tasks. These plans are then put on paper, and then the work must be done.”
“For example, if I am planning for retirement, I picture my total lifestyle. I write down everything I want to accomplish: ministry opportunities, family needs, hobbies, financial opportunities, and others. The next possibly step is to look at financial opportunities. How much money do I need to provide for all that I want to accomplish? How much will I spend on ministry, family, hobbies, and everyday expenses? To retire, you must have more money coming in than going out. That is a pretty simple concept. Once I know what my monthly cash flow needs are, I will work to create that cash flow. Creating a cash flow may include investments, business opportunities, work opportunities, the potential of pension plans and Social Security. I will also research tools designed to help protect my and my beneficiaries’ cash flow, considering life insurance, long term care, and having a proper will. I will provide proper timeframes for my retirement to take place and seek out advice. Then I will get to work accomplishing the tasks that are needed to succeed. ”
“This is an oversimplification of a planning process. However, you can get an idea of how you could follow this process. Planning helps you accomplish the tasks that you desire. No one accidentally succeeds. Going through life without goals is similar to a ship sailing without a rudder.”
“Plans are great, however, keep one point in mind and I was inspired to write this proverb in a book that I compiled many years ago: The horse is made ready for the day of battle but victory rests with the Lord.”
“I appreciate your attention today and wish you the very best. I believe that you have a bright future ahead of you.”
Solomon walked off the stage as his final comment reached the back of the auditorium. His words eased into the minds of the students; teaching them a different but certain approach to victory. They had expected a grand lecture, but what they got was a simple straightforward approach of planning, working, and trusting in the Almighty. They all agreed this was not the typical college lecture and, with this man, the proof was in his financial statements.
April 9, 2009
Investment advisory services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc.("SFSG"), a Registered Investment Adviser. Securities offered through Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing, Inc., ("CAMAS") Member FINRA/SIPC. SFSG and CAMAS are separate and unrelated companies. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by CAMAS.
Posted on Thu, April 9, 2009
by Chris McAlpin