503 – The Rogers Kirven Story
Here’s a great illustration you can use with your men from Is Christianity For You? Give the book to visitors on Easter, Christmas or year round for less than $1 each. Download a free evaluation copy at IsChristianityForYou.org.
As an investment banker, Rogers Kirven got tired of watching other men take his advice and get rich. So nine years after he began his career, Rogers started his own company and plunged into the world of accomplishment, accumulation, and recognition.
By the age of forty-four, Rogers had met his goal–a net worth in the top one percent of the United States. “I’m a counter,” he confessed.
Then Rogers received an unsolicited offer to sell. “My first impulse,” said Rogers, “was to take the money and run. Instead, I called up three friends who had sold their companies, told them I was getting ready to pull the trigger, and asked them to join me for dinner to give me their advice.
“These were good moral men, some of the most successful men in the world of business,” said Rogers. “As the four of us sat at dinner, I only asked them two questions. First, what was your planned use of the time you would gain? They all had the same three answers:
- I want to spend more time with my soul and grow personally.
- I want to spend more time with my family.
- I want to do some things (basically toys and travel).
“Then I asked the second question: What is your actual use of time? All three had gone through a divorce since selling their companies. Each had bought a bigger toy. All were in a deep crisis of meaning.
“They stepped into a stream so strong. They had no idea. They wanted all of life as fast as they can get it in the shortest amount of time possible. As Mike Tyson said, ‘They all have a strategy until they get hit.'”
Fortunately for Rogers, when he sold his company he remained as the president and CEO. But the subject continued to fascinate him. Since that dinner meeting, Rogers has formally interviewed thirty-nine men who have sold their companies. Here is a summary of what he found:
- None could robustly say their lives were better.
- Money and freedom had made life more fragile.
- Some who didn’t have a “keel below the water line” had breaches of character.
- Thirty-three were divorced.
- Many took up golf, which lasted, on average, six months.
- Many bought exotic cars, which held their interest, on average, ten months.
- Many bought boats, which lasted, on average, eighteen months.
- All had a crisis of meaning.