To Fish for a Lifetime A short story of how one man changed another manâ€™s life
By John Lowery
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I want to share with you a short story about how one man changed another mans life. This story is about overcoming obstacles and helping others achieve their dreams. It’s also about an industry that many think is a scam, as many don’t believe that true wealth can be achieved outside of working hard and saving diligently. I used to think that way too, until about 5 years ago, when I got my hands on a book called, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad". I hope as you read this fictional story, that you will walk away having a different point of view on how 2 men changed their lives for the better. Randy came from a very modest background, he was born and raised in a small town in Oregon and loved to play sports and go riding on his motorcycle near the farm where he lived. He didn’t mind having friends over after school, and he loved to stay active in his community. He sometimes went out of his way to go on missions with his local church. His family wasn’t wealthy and all Randy knew was that in order for him to ever become more than his father who was a farmer, he had to go to college and get a degree. He knew, deep down, that farming just wasn’t for him, like it had been for so many other generations before. His own dad knew that farming was hard work, and he really desired to see his only son go to college and get a degree. He would be the first in his family to ever go to college. Randy spent his summer’s working on the family farm to save up enough money to pay for college. Randy’s dad Les had always dreamed of a better life for his son, but knew that his son would never cherish his education, if he had paid for it. It was in Randy’s first year of college in 1985 that he got a part-time job as a cook in a local retirement home near the small town of Corvallis, Oregon where he was attending college. Randy's favorite acquaintance was a man named Bob. Bob was a WWII veteran and talked a lot about his life with Randy. Bob had worked for many years throughout most of his adult life as a lumberjack in the Oregon Timber Industry. When Bob was in his early forties he became disabled from a serious accident on the job, which forced him into early retirement. Having to live on a fixed income and rely on the government, it wasn’t until Bob was about 50 when he read a book called, “The Richest Man in
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Babylon”. This book changed Bob’s mindset, and he started to think of ways that he could make some extra money in his spare time. Being disabled with limited funds, Bob knew it was going to be tough, but that didn’t stop him from researching. Bob spent hours at the library reading more books and opening his mind up to very big possibilities. After almost 4 years of research at the age of 54 Bob met a guy named Alex who introduced Bob to a company called Amway. Bob had never heard of Amway, but after their first meeting at a local Denny’s Bob was sold. Everything that Alex had talked about made so much sense to Bob that he couldn’t believe he had never heard the Amway story. Bob didn’t make much money with Amway for the first few years, but he did attend meetings and plenty of trainings. He also met lots of interesting people who had similar backgrounds. After about 3 years of pursuing his business Bob started to earn about a $1000 a month. This was almost double the value he was getting from his social security check, so he was quite happy. This was also money that was coming in every month, whether Bob worked or didn’t work. He no longer had to rely on his government check of $500. Bob shared with Randy how after a decade with Amway his income had grown to over $10,000 a month and at the age of 67, he was now earning more in one month than he had ever earned in an entire year as a lumberjack. He went on to tell Randy that he doesn’t worry about taking care of himself at his age as Amway pays all of his overhead. He also has a huge savings account and real estate holdings to leave to his 4 children when he dies. Bob’s wife Dolores had died of cancer just a few years earlier, so Bob’s major concern was his children. His wife’s death was also the main reason that he had moved into the retirement community. Unfortunately, for Bob his spinal injury in his early 40’s left him severely disabled, so he spent most of his time in a wheelchair or walking with crutches. He told Randy if it wasn’t for all of his research and meeting Alex that he for sure would’ve died or been broke within a few years shortly after his 50th Birthday. Alex had bought Bob more time through sharing The Amway Story with him. Bob and Randy spent many years together. Randy even signed up for Amway a year after meeting Bob and of course Bob was his sponsor. Unfortunately, Randy was more
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interested in partying and chasing girls than being an Amway distributor, but he did attend some local events and did sponsor a few family members. Bob passed away a few years later at the young age of 72 due to complications from his injury years earlier. However, Randy never forgot all the hours, he had spent with Bob. Randy actually admitted that he had learned more from his meetings with Bob then he had from his entire 4 years earning his bachelors degree at Oregon State University. After graduation, Randy got his first job at 22 in a retail store selling men’s clothing. He went on to get married to his high school sweetheart Janice and a year later they had their first child. 2 years later Randy got a job with The Xerox Corporation and was selling copiers in Portland, Oregon. He was making good money, but he was working as many as 60 hours per week just to keep up with his monthly and quarterly sales quotas. Randy always remembered his talks with Bob in the back of his mind, but somehow with the rent, bills, marriage, and the arrival of his second son Brandon, he felt trapped and didn’t feel like he could escape the Monday – Friday grind. Randy took his first vacation with Janice and their sons after his first 3 years with Xerox. Randy was only 26 at the time and this vacation was to Disneyland and lasted a total of 5 days. It was the most time that Randy had spent with his eldest son Luke, since he was born. He had only taken 2 days off when Luke was a newborn. Randy worked extremely hard to keep a roof over his family’s head and made sure that Janice, Luke, and Brandon were well taken care of. He even got promoted to Sales Manager the following year, which allowed them to purchase their first home. They were finding it tough to save money though, as the majority of Randy’s money went to pay for the mortgage, cars, and taxes. Randy was now working closer to 70 hours per week and was beginning to see his life slip before him as the only time he ever spent with his family was on the weekends. Most of the time he was so worried about work, he couldn’t even relax or enjoy his time at home. During the week he would leave the house by 6AM and wouldn’t return until sometimes as late as 8PM just in time to see the kids off to bed and grab a last-minute bite to eat. This went on for a few years longer until something happened unexpectedly - Randy got
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laid off from his job. It was the mid 90’s at this point and Randy had just turned 30 years old. He didn’t know what to do as he and his family had spent most everything he had earned throughout his career and were in debt. They had only accumulated about 4 months worth of savings. Randy was now stressed more than ever as he had a wife, a mortgage, and 2 young boys to look after. Where was he to turn, as he couldn’t possibly live off the $150 per week in unemployment and the $100 a week in severance pay that he would collect for the next 6 months? That night after telling his wife what had happened and having her breakdown in tears, Randy thought more about his meetings with Bob. For the first time since Randy was 20 years old, he read an old copy of “The Richest Man in Babylon” that Bob had left him. The following week he read a copy of another book Bob had left him called “Think and Grow Rich” and for the next 2 months, while he sent out resumes and went to job interviews, he was at the library almost every day – studying personal development. He became like a sponge to all these classic books Bob had shared with him on building wealth and prosperity. Of course at the time when Bob was sharing them, Randy wasn’t overly impressed as he was more interested in partying and chasing girls. Randy finally got a job after 3 months of being out of work, but this job was different as it was a part-time sales job that he could do from home primarily. This job only required Randy to work around 20 – 30 hours per week at the very most and the rest of the time Randy could focus on his research and possibly building a network marketing business like Bob. This also allowed Randy to spend more time with his son Luke now age 10 and Brandon 7, since he had missed most of their early years. Janice took a parttime job working as an office manager at a local marketing firm, and they managed to keep their home and pay most of their bills, even though their income was about half what Randy was making at Xerox. However, that didn’t matter so much to Randy as he knew that if he went back into a career like Xerox, he would never have the freedom, which he so much desired in his life.
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After 6 months of hard-core research, Randy came to the same conclusion as Bob did, that network marketing was the best way for Randy to achieve his dreams and live the lifestyle that he so much desired. Just like Bob, it was only about a year after Randy got laid off from Xerox, that he met a guy named Mark, who introduced him to a new company he had never heard of called NuSkin. Randy like Bob spent most of his free time around his family and part-time job working with NuSkin. Randy having been a sales manager previously had a pretty fast learning curve and within about 6 months he was earning around a $1000 extra dollars per month after all his expenses. Janice was now able to quit her job and come back home. After another 12 months Randy could quit his part-time job and just do Nu Skin full-time. He did agree to stay on with his previous company to help train new salespeople on an as needed basis. He also came into to do some motivational speeches to get the sales guys pumped up. However, that wasn’t work to Randy that was all fun, as he always enjoyed helping others. Randy knew that his calling was to help other people become successful. Randy knew he had found his dream career, not only was he helping people with their wealth, he was living his dream. Now at the age of 32, Randy and his family could spend a lot more time together. Randy still put in a good 30 – 40 hour workweek, but without the commute, no boss, and no set schedule, he could work around his family’s timetable. This also allowed Randy to pursue his passion of golf, which was one of the main reasons he joined Xerox in the beginning. As he thought he could take all of his clients golfing, but no one’s schedule would hardly allow for it, so Randy could only play once or twice a month on the weekends, and it was usually with his college buddies - not his clients. Now with his new career, he could play 2 or 3 times a week, take the kids to school, and go to soccer practices. Randy had become his own boss and was now living the American dream. No employees, no commutes, and no boss. He even had become Luke’s Baseball Coach and Brandon’s Cub Scout Leader. 10 years had now passed and Luke was just entering college. It had been over 20 years since Randy first met Bob and Randy sure feels great that he doesn’t have to borrow any
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money to pay for Luke’s Education like so many of his friends. Randy is now earning well over $50K per month as a Nu Skin Distributor and he not only has set up retirement accounts for he and his wife, but just paid off his mortgage and bought a second home in a city called Pacific Palisades, just minutes from his son’s campus at UCLA in Westwood7a small suburb on the edge of Hollywood and LA. This new investment will allow him to spend more time with Luke while he is away at college, but also be back with his wife Janice and son Brandon in Portland. Even if Randy had stayed with The Xerox Corporation and become VP, or Senior Manager, he would’ve probably never made the kind of money he has made with Nu Skin. He also would have missed out on a lot of ball games, Cub Scout Camping Trips, and building a strong marriage at home. He certainly would not have been able to take off for 3 weeks to go to Africa to work on a mission with his church. And he would have never been able to take the entire summer off last year while he and his family vacationed throughout Europe. Not to mention all the headaches of upper management or having to manage a large team of salespeople. Randy like Bob has discovered The New American Dream – Working From Home or from wherever, for that matter.