Learning our Lessons
Much of what I’m been writing over the summer has felt pretty positive as I have focused more on general business concepts that can make one both happy and profitable – and who doesn’t feel positive about those things? Maybe this positivity means I have been enjoying the season, or maybe there was just a need to get out of the tax morass it felt like we were in for more than half a year as tax reform was hammered out and then we worked on hammering out its ramifications.
I think it is now impossible to keep these two things separate, though.
I know I am not giving any breaking news updates here, as I am sure that most reading this know that both Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen have been found guilty of various crimes. I will not regurgitate the stories here, but suffice to say that both situations are an entangled mess of politics and finance. I will also not take any political stand or guess what this could mean for any politician’s future, but it is now indisputable that people close to the current president were involved in financial dealings that were not on the up and up.
And have we not talked this summer about how, if you have not been taking a fully honest look at your financial numbers, there is only so much you can do with them until they catch up to you? Move things around for a time and all can still look good, but they’re not actually good.
These situations also show that keeping an eye on the culture and vision of your business is necessary. The stories show that somewhere along the way, people lost their way. After all, when ostrich jackets and porn stars play large roles, things have gotten messy. And messy is clearly not leading to any positive outcomes for anyone.
I also always write about how there are no secret ways to find financial loopholes or secret rules that the rich get to live by. Everyone should take advantage of all they are allowed within the law, but the key is to stay within the law. If you have to get real creative, chances are you are falling out of that realm.
Now at the same time, we also are hearing encomiums about former Senator John McCain following his passing. Those tales come from the opposite end of the spectrum, as he was a man who seems to have been almost universally respected. There is a lesson in there about living one’s life with honor, With honor, even if you disagree with someone, you will still earn their respect.
So let these little political reminders reinforce some of those points we have discussed in the past couple of months. After all, examples can come from both ends, the good and the bad. Pick the right people to emulate, push yourself in that direction, and you will not have to worry about things catching up to you in the long run – no matter who you are, who you know, or what position you hold.
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