Randy Jones | March 25, 2009
Don’t get me wrong—I know that people are hurting financially. It’s devastating that our 401(k)s have lost half their value. It hurts to see the unemployment numbers growing. I get it—uncertainty is unpleasant. But the only certainty in life is, well, uncertainty. Let’s drop the doom-mongering and do something productive. The three most important words in America are Go To Work. This may be the perfect time to build your own company—your own American dream. It may be the perfect time to reassess your life and your profession. At the very minimum, use this time to assess your talents, skills, and passions. Take Maya Angelou’s wise advice: “Pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” I think you’ll see the American Dream in all its vivid colors.
Randy Jones | February 17, 2009
I wanted to be rich from my earliest memory. In fact, I believe I was hardwired to see the world through the lens of affluence, even though I was growing up on a farm in Carrollton, Georgia, far from the glamour of what is usually associated with the so-called good life. Full disclosure: I was not poor by any stretch of the imagination. I have never known what it must be like to wonder where my next meal would come from or how I would make the late utility payment. Many might even say I grew up rich—but while I was privileged, certainly, it was not what I would call rich. At least, not by the definition I have come to apply to “rich” in my adult life. And certainly not in the strictest financial sense: I came from hard-working Southern stock; to me, it seemed my dad and mom never stopped working, and they made certain that my brothers and I “joined the fun.” It wasn’t always fun, but boy was it effective, and in many ways life-altering. Like my dad and mom, I love to work. Few things make me happier than ending a productive day or checking off my entire “to do” list. I thrive on that sense of accomplishment, that ineffable feeling that I have earned my keep.
Perhaps this is the reason I devoted the past few years of my life to writing The Richest Man in Town. And what a journey it has been: I have researched and interviewed the richest self-made man or woman in 100 American towns in an attempt to find out how they reached their American Dream and what we could learn from their seismic success.