Sunday, March 1, 2015

Success or Failure?

“I think I fear success more than failure,” he said absently, sitting at a conference table with his business partner.

“What?” his business partner asked, looking up from a pile of bills spread out in front of him. “What’s so scary about success?”

“Success can change a person, totally change their life.”

“That’s right, Einstein. Success can transform a starving, hopeless and disgusting business failure into a rich, well-fed entrepreneur practically overnight. Man, you beat everything…worrying about impending success while everyone else, including me is busy worrying about bankruptcy.”

“No, I’m serious. Have you ever thought about what you would do if you won the lottery, say 20 million or so?”

“The first thing I would do is buy you out so I wouldn’t have to have these idiotic conversations.”

“I mean after you paid your house off, cleared up the business debt, then maybe bought a vacation home somewhere, couple of new cars, new golf clubs and all, you would still have millions left over.”

“Yeah, I can definitely see how that would suck.”

“Then the trouble would start. Everyone you ever knew back in high school and college, all of your distant relatives would start hitting you up for money. If you turned them down they would end up hating you for it. Then, the do-gooders would come calling…the Red Cross, March of Dimes, the preacher, they would all come out of the woodwork and unless you gave them money, they would end up hating you too.”

“And then you would take comfort in that new car smell as you drive to your vacation home with your new golf clubs in the trunk. It’s like the circle of life. All of your old friends from the poor old days would get replaced with shiny new ones.”

“You know what the worst part about too much money, too fast?”

“Oh, I don’t know…if you spend it less than an hour after you get it you get cramps?”

“The worst part is that everything would be finished. You would be done. No more reason to care about things, nothing more to worry about, nothing to get you out of bed in the morning.”

“Dude, you are so weird.”

“Listen, right now the business is doing ok but we still struggle month to month, right?”

“Yes. Which is something that I’m counting on your 20 million dollar lottery windfall to fix.”

“No, don’t you see? We’re just like everyone else! We have common cause with our fellow man. We’re all in the same boat, we’re all struggling to make a go of it. If I win 20 million, I’m out of the club and I can never be like everyone else ever again.”

“That club you’re talking about? It’s called the sucker’s club and yes, 20 million gets you kicked out. But then you get kicked up into the millionaires club, which has way better food. That’s the American Dream my friend…the American Dream.”

“I guess so…”

“That’s right partner…the American Dream. So, get your upwardly mobile ass up and get me a Dr. Pepper out of the fridge while I figure out a way to balance our checkbook.”

He walked into the kitchen and brought a cold can back to the conference room. It made a sharp metallic sound as he sat it in the glass table top. He went to the window and stared down at the air conditioner unit with its big fan blades turning slowly. After a few minutes he walked back to his office.
“Maybe we should buy a lottery ticket,” he said as he disappeared down the hall.