This Article is About
magician
bret favre
scotch tape
right of passage
picking up the pieces
magic tricks
The Magician
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The Magician

How many of you parents, reading this, have suffered through a “Career Day?” You know the day. Your son or daughter has asked you to stand up in front of dozens, if not hundreds of teens and try to explain, what it is, you do for a living and how important the work you do is. This has become almost another right of passage. So much so that we have TV commercial after TV commercial about “Career Day”---the one with Bret Favre or the one where the Dad has to speak after an Astronaut. “Career Day”……….

It was so many years ago I have lost count. It has to be more than 15 as both sons are now grown adults. But I can still remember myself standing in the hallway outside the Auditorium of my son’s school. Still trying to figure out exactly what it was I was going to say.

That I was a Chicken Farmer---no Poultry Farmer that would sound better. But better than what?

That I was a Travel Agent sending people on trips of their Dreams? Oh that sounds more exciting. But more exciting than what?

I could tell them that I used to be a Company executive---President in fact. But that was used to be.

So what would I tell them? I could not let my son down. I had to come up with something……and I did. I remembered what it was that I had been doing all my life. I remembered exactly what I was.

So as my turn came up I walked up in front of the students---took a Twenty dollar bill out of my pocket and tore it in half.

Then in half again.

And again. And then tossed the pieces into the air.

As I was picking up the pieces of the bill I asked them what it was they thought I did for a living. Every voice shouted out that I was a Magician. They all thought I was going to perform some trick. I was going to put the Twenty back together again. And I had their attention.

The trick was on them. I told them that I was not a Magician---I did not know any magic tricks---and that I had no idea how to put that twenty back together---even with scotch tape.

So I asked again---What do I do for a living?

All I got back was confused, blank and questioning stares.

I Had Them!

After a short pause, I explained that I was an Entrepreneur---Someone who invested His time and money in businesses on the odds, the risks that they would turn a profit. I explained that I ripped up the Twenty on the odds, at the risk, that I would get their attention. And it had worked.

I rattled off all of the ventures that I had started and sold. The ones that succeeded and the ones that failed. I knew that this concept was not as easy to understand as I made it sound, but I had already known where to go from here.

So, let me ask you all a question….why didn’t I just rip up a Dollar bill?........Why?....... Because I knew that wouldn’t keep your attention. It would not have succeeded. Who cares about a Dollar?

So why not a Hundred? Why not tear up a Hundred?

It was at this moment that I knew I had Succeeded. One of the students yelled out that I thought it would not be worth the risk.

At least one more Entrepreneur was born.

So what’s the point of this story---after all these years. The point is simple. I am still an Entrepreneur ---writing a story is no different then being an Entrepreneur. I put words on paper risking that at least, at the very least, a majority will find them useful, thought provoking or at least entertaining.

That’s the Trick.

Pray for me. I’ll pray for you.

Jim

By the way---I checked with my bank to make sure that they would take the ripped Twenty back---It never hurts to minimize the risks!


Street Talk

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