As many of you know from reading previous articles of mine, my WWII veteran/physician/real estate investor/all-around amazing father has taught me -- and anyone that spends much time around him -- life lessons that span generations and societal fads. This past Father’s Day, I decided to sit down with him and a voice recorder, ask a bunch of questions, push “record” and just sit back and listen. I am still blown away by what will surely be the first of many recording sessions. The first question I posed was around lessons he learned from his own father or father figures in his life as he was growing up. He told me all kinds of great things about his father, but what stuck out to me most were the things he told me about his uncle Vincent.
Uncle Vincent grew up as a farm boy in Southern Maryland during the early 1900’s without much money at all. But he ended up graduating from Georgetown Medical School and became an amazing surgeon who helped many many people both on and off the operating table. My father told me that Vincent enjoyed helping his nieces and nephews out financially and otherwise. Vincent took a particular interest in my father and made sure he had enough money for living expenses while in college and even helped him buy a new car after my father graduated from medical school.
After graduating in 1952, my father went into private medical practice and, at the time, drove a 1934 Dodge that I can only imagine was pretty beat up. Uncle Vincent did not want my father to park this old beater in front of his medical office as it might project the wrong image to his new patients. So Vincent supplied my father with enough money to purchase a new Plymouth that would look nice and shiny parked in front of the new doctor’s office. My father went on to run the largest OB-GYN practice in the Washington DC area for 20 years straight! And while I’m fairly certain the new Plymouth supplied by Uncle Vincent was not the main reason for my father’s success in business, I am also certain that it did not hurt.
Vincent was so intent on helping my father and others that he became angry with my father when he decided to obtain a small $200 loan from his life insurance policy when he needed some money rather than asking for financial help from Vincent. He told my father that under no circumstances was he to go into debt when he needed help, but rather come straight to him. This was Vincent’s way of ensuring that my father really got started on the right foot in life with the deck stacked in his favor.
As you can see, Vincent invested in other people and invested in them in a deep and meaningful way. And as I listened to these stories about Uncle Vincent, I recalled my own early years. As I grew up, I witnessed my father habitually investing in others (friends, extended family, and really anyone else he came across that had a need) in the same way that Uncle Vincent had helped him.
The “I” in Rewire stands for invest and we have facilitated our clients investing in others both in mass and in individual ways just like Vincent did with my father. Our observation is that when we invest in others, we seem to be less focused on ourselves. And when that happens, very good things start to occur around us.
How about you? What do you think about all this? We would love to hear from you in the comments section about any stories you may have about investing in others and what came as a result from those investments (both for those you invested in and yourself).
Author's note: If you'd like to hear the audio from my conversation with my dad, it's posted to this video on Youtube.