I’m a trial lawyer, and when I go to court, I’m usually surrounded by a lot of really smart people. For the most part, the judges are brilliant, and opposing counsel usually brings their “A” game.
But here’s the deal; despite being around all these bright people day in and day out, none of them come close to being as smart as my father-in-law. His name is Mike, and he’s a retired milkman.
He has a year or two of community college under his belt, he enlisted in the army, didn’t finish his formal degree, and the rest is history. Mike majored in people skills and minor in street smarts, common sense, and hard work.
His business career started out with loading heavy milk crates onto the back of tall trucks. Twenty years later, it ended with him owning a successful dairy distributorship and being selected as Chairman of the Board of his bank.
He retired at 52. Not bad for a milkman.
Mike’s one of the brightest guys I’ve ever been around, and he’ll tell you that one of his best early decisions in life was marrying Joyce, his bride of 57 years. She’s not only been his business partner since day one but also a big reason their three daughters have all grown up to be smart, intelligent and successful independent women.
After Mike and Joyce had sold the dairy distributorship, he and some friends decided their community needed a new bank, and so they started one. None of them had any banking experience, and I still remember Mike sitting on the living room floor playing around with different bank logo designs, with stacks of banking regulations and documents stacked beside him for review. As things turned out, the bank thrived and was eventually sold to a large national banking institution for a very nice profit.
Mike’s Three Keys To Success
Before I married his daughter, Mike asked me if I had my priorities in the right order. The look I gave him must not have been very reassuring because he immediately added, “Mitch, here’s what you need to do. Here are my three keys to success…