Tweet I come across this story the other day and thought it was a really powerful story for anybody in all walks of life and it has a fantastic message behind it. There was a man names Eric who had everything in abundance, he had the millionaire lifestyle, big house with a swimming pool, acres of land for a garden, fast cars and all the flash clothing. He had made it. Only Eric lost sight of where it all began and how he actually made it there. Eric made his money through studying and researching the property market none stop for hours and hours and days, weeks, months and years.
He developed a huge amount of knowledge in his field which enabled him to make snap shot decisions that could make him huge profits at anyone time. His greatest gift was his knowledge. His next door neighbour Mick was an older fellow, in his late 60s and saw Eric as a younger version of himself in a way but due to his experience in life and business he could foresee the pitfalls that Eric had yet to experience.
But Eric being young and successful thought he knew it all and didnt listen. Mick could see that whenever somebody tried advising Eric, Eric would behave in a way as if to say How can you tell me, do you not see how successful I am And so Eric choose to leave Eric to learn from his own mistakes.
Time passed on and Eric got married and had children and continued making more and more money. Eric stopped developing himself and his knowledge however at this stage and was living the millionaire lifestyle and had at this stage lost most of the core values he had whilst building his successful empire. Eric was missing all of the warning signs that keep coming up right in front of his eyes but he was so blinded by his own stubbornness and success that he didnt pick up on them. One day Eric woke up with a strange feeling of uneasiness but got up and went to his office down in Mayfair. When he arrived he could see all of his employees looking shocked and extremely upset about something. His financial director called him into his office to discuss a few problems that had occurred and Eric still was completely baffled at what was going on. The business Financial Director said Sit down Eric, youre going to need to for what I am about to tell you Eric asked John what all this was about. Eric I need you to listen to everything I have to say and take it all on board, first off just know that we have tried and did all we can to prevent what I am about to tell you from happening but we was too late Eric told John to just get to the point.
John replied Eric do you remember about a year ago I told you that we was to highly leveraged (had to large of mortgage or loans on a property) on your property portfolio and we needed to pay off some of the mortgages and loans so that if interest rates go up we are covered Eric just looked at John with a blank stare as if to say I have no recollection. John said You probably have no recollection at all because when you made all this money you stopped learning and listening and your answer to me back then was John I found a system which can not be broken and it is the foundation in which I built this company so I wont change a thing, well Eric that system isnt just broke, it is completely destroyed We have hit a huge recession and interest rates have gone through the roof Eric may have stopped growing his knowledge but he knew exactly what all this meant.
How bad is it? Eric asked. Ok Eric there is no easy way to say this but I will just tell you exactly how it is, the business is bankrupt and we will have to go into liquidation Just like that Eric had lost everything he had built. He lost his business, his money, his beautiful house and all the luxury things he had were gone. On the day that Eric house was being put up for auction Eric was sitting in his garden with his head in his hands crying and shaking his head asking why this had happened to him. John his neighbour had seen Eric doing this and walked over and put his arm on Erics shoulder and said Come inside my boy I want to talk to you John had a look on his face as if to say, dont worry I know where you are because I have been there too. John sat Eric down and said Eric I have watched you for the past years and saw how you were riding high but I also saw that you lost sight of the one thing that got you here Eric was still crying and said John I have lost everything I was so stupid I have nowhere to go I am finished. I failed myself, my family and my employees.
I have never failed in my life, I am completely broke. My wife and kids are crying and screaming because all of their things are being taken away from them, I feel like I can not go on like this John replied Eric you say you have lost everything, but do you remember the first day you moved into the neighbourhood and we sat down and had a coffee and you explained how you grew up poor on the rough streets of London fighting each day just to eat a meal. You told me how your determination and hunger for knowledge drove you to become successful and that you did not want your kids to suffer the way you did, well guess what Eric, you are back where you started only this time you have 1 thing and that is all you need in a time like this, you have the blueprint. What blueprint? Eric asked in disbelief.
You started from nothing and built all this and you done that through hard work, determination, overcoming obstacles, gaining knowledge and becoming an expert at that time in your field and you knew how to make money through your knowledge. Thats the blueprint. Eric I want to tell you a little secret, when I was around your age I experienced something very similar to whats happening to you. I thought I lost everything. I lost all my materialistic belongings and like you thought I was the victim in all of it but I wasnt. I missed all the clear signs because I believed I knew everything there is to know about my business and no one could tell me anything. After a few months of feeling sorry for myself I started to think about how I actually made it in the first place and it soon became apparent to me that I had everything I needed to get back there. I had my knowledge, vision and extreme determination to get back.
That was my blueprint. If you had walked out of your house, fell over and banged your head and lost all the knowledge you had gained over the years I would be more worried about your future than you being hit by a recession because knowledge is key. Eric said John what you are saying to me is really making sense, all that I need to do is become the knowledge hungry, success hungry person I was 10 years ago and in essence I can rebuild my success. Only next time I would have learned from my previous mistakes and I will never stop growing and learning and I will always listen to those around me and take on board all their advice. John said Yes exactly, and always remember that failure is not the end of success, it is apart of success We fail because either we dont have the knowledge or we have the knowledge but are blinded by other things such as ego and emotions. But the only time you truly fail is when you stop growing as a person, that is probably the greatest failure of all Eric walked away from that conversation feeling the same energy he felt as a poor 18-year-old just starting out in the world.
Eric went away and studied his market for a whole year none stop living in a 1 bed apartment with his wife and 2 children whilst working a part-time job to keep afloat. Eric set up a new company but this time with a new approach. Eric got all the advice and options from the experts around him and built a business on the knowledge of 10 men and not just 1. He had a mentor who he would turn to on a regular basis for advice whenever he felt he didnt have the knowledge himself to make decisions. His mentor was called John, his next door neighbour who had built his own fortune through the property business and had gone through a similar journey in life to Eric. Eric regained his wealth because he had the blueprint and he had the wisdom to know and practice the age-old saying I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing If you live your life by that one principal you will always keep learning and growing and will achieve excellence in all that you do.
This story is designed to give you not only an answer to why people fail but to also make you realise that failure sometimes can actually be a blessing because it makes you reassess yourself when you think you dont need assessing.