This was my view for 20 years while I logged 3 million miles on American Airlines.
What did I get in return for those miles and years?
Lifetime Platinum status on AA. Several million dollars in consulting revenue. And becoming a stranger in my own house.
I recently shared with my Junto group three maxims (personal principles). One was “Be famous in my own house”, a self-imposed wakeup call that began in 2002 after realizing my priorities were messed up. I was overly focused on being well known and successful in the business world instead of being a successful husband and father at home.
What caused me to re-think my priorities? Three things:
1. I read in 2002 The Millionaire Next Door. Author Thomas Stanley documented case studies that showed the majority of wealthy people do not drive expensive cars, own mega-mansions or fill their week with stressful work and travel.
2. I was asked to become an elder in my church. Elders are called to be a source of wisdom. I began to question mine.
3. My parents passed away 62 days apart in 2003. Nothing like death to give you cause to recheck your priorities.
What did I do in response?
1. To reduce the amount of time I needed to travel to pay the bills, my wife Sue and I began implementing a get-out-of-debt plan. We used the methods taught by Barry Cameron in his book The ABC’s of Financial Freedom. We paid off all our debts, including the mortgage on June 20, 2005. That’s a milestone date in our marriage.
2. I sought out and found a mentor to help me improve my business and life. The mentor asked me questions that led me to improve my priorities. When someone recently asked “What was one of your greatest mistakes?”, I replied, “Not seeking a mentor or board of advisors earlier in my business.”
3. I became more anonymous. A key Bible scripture for church elders is 1Peter 5. The anchor verse for me is “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Reading a verse is good but implementing it is much better. This scripture set me on a path of mentoring, discipling, volunteering and non-travel based business activity.
Do you need to re-think your priorities?
If you need a mentor, advisor or sounding board, I would be honored to help. CLICK HERE to contact me (Tom Pryor) or email TomPryor@icms.net.