When The Going Gets Tough – The Tough Show Up


Tom Corley boats - crop

One of my older retired friends is very wealthy. He has a beautiful home on the water in Florida. He has a 57 foot boat that is one of his great passions in life.

Prior to his retirement, I had the great honor of working with him and his company. As we were waiting for the other board members to arrive for a board meeting, he and I had some time alone. For some reason, the conversation turned to his journey and he decided to share with me this story.

Back in the early 1980’s he had orchestrated a management buyout of the New Jersey division of his employer’s home building company.  In this buyout, he invested everything he had and also taken on significant debt.

During the first three years, his company incurred significant losses and he was running out of money, quickly.

Bankers were putting pressure on him almost on a daily basis.

Each week, he worried about making payroll.

Even worse, vendors were on the verge of rebellion.

Some refused to deliver the supplies he needed to build his homes unless he paid upon delivery. This is called COD, or Cash On Delivery. Since he didn’t have the cash, and wouldn’t until he finished and sold some homes, those COD vendors pushed him to the very edge of insolvency.

He told me, during those dark days, he would wake up in the morning and struggle to get dressed, shave and drive to work. He said he felt like a zombie most of the time.

Zombie days turned into zombie months and zombie years. Still, despite the intense pressures, despite the depression, despite the desire to crawl up into a fetal position and stay in bed, he showed up.

Slowly, he began closing on the homes he completed. He would use all of the money he received to complete more homes.

The company began to show a profit. After a number of years of profitability, he decided to take his company public and this produced a windfall that transformed him into a multi deca-millionaire.

To this day, my friend considers his greatest accomplishment to be – just showing up.

When the going gets tough, you either show up or you give up. Those who make showing up a habit, are able to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of their success.

There are no days off for those who pursue success. Showing up, no matter how bad things are, is a common Rich Habit among self-made millionaires.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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