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I am Dumb!

30 October 2010 No Comment

I am Dumb, I am Dumb, I am Dumb!

The most valuable lesson I ever learned other than the plan of salvation was this: “I am Dumb.”

Before you make an uninformed assumption, you need to know that God has allowed me to create well over $5,000,000 a year for many years with gross profits of well over $2,000,000 a year. His tithes were over one hundred thousand dollars a year some years.

I was a punk growing up. Not because I didn’t come from a good family, but because I felt unloved. My father told me that dads don’t touch their sons after they turn twelve unless they are queer. I never got a pat on the shoulder, a hug or heard him say, “I love you.” I never got any discipline and ran wild. My life was all about me! I was a liar, a thief and a cheat. I would not want someone like that old me near my children.

I bought my first gas station in early 1968. By 1969 I had purchased my third. It was late 1970 and I had just sold my gas stations because they were upside down. My day was two fifths of whisky, three packs of Camels®, the non-filter ones and some woman I didn’t know for the night. Nobody in the gas station business would hire me because they thought I was a worthless drunk.

I had long hair and a beard. One of my customers suggested I try selling real estate. I applied for a job with General Development Corporation out of Miami, Florida. They called me in for an interview.

I walked into the office and all of the sales staff took one look at me and turned up their noses. The manager took a look at me and said, “Get that crap off your face and cut your hair and I’ll give you a try.” I don’t think he thought I would change. He was a multi-millionaire with lots of apartment buildings and rental properties.

I said, “Where’s your barber?” The next day was the beginning of my training. I would sit in his office and observe everything that went on. On the second day I guess he noticed that I was not as observant as he liked. He wasn’t a good salesman, he was a great salesman.

He turned to me and said, “I want you to sit in the corner and repeat, I am Dumb, I am Dumb, I am Dumb for as long as I tell you.” Some days it was ten minutes and others as long as thirty minutes.

Dumb is not stupid, dumb is not ignorant, dumb is not knowing. If you don’t know that you don’t know, you can’t learn. One of the best gifts I ever got was, knowing that I don’t know! I turned into a sponge of knowledge. My library has over 10,000 volumes and I am constantly buying more books.

Of the 400 salespeople in the company I was number one for the first year. I closed 2.3 single home sales a week because Max Sturman, my boss, had trained me and made me teachable. In a university study, only 1% of people over 40 were found to be teachable. That is 1%, one out of 100. Want to become teachable? Do what I did! Sit in the corner and repeat after me, “I am Dumb, I am Dumb, I am Dumb, I am Dumb…”

The older I get the more I want to learn. I pray that my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will gain the gift of curiosity. I pray that you will get the gift of curiosity too.

I am Dumb and proud to have the courage to appreciate, understand and admit it. I will be dumb until I leave this body and graduate to a better place.

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