Why I Love America

When I was 14, my Dad asked me if I wanted to go to Washington, DC for a ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial. He told me it was a ceremony for one of his classmates.

We both wore suits to the mall on Sunday morning and ran into another suited gentleman about 30 years old, who said he was also attending the ceremony.  Then he told us that it was his father that we would be honoring today and that he never met him…he was 1 when he died in Vietnam.

My Dad, a retired Major, was able to tell this young man a few stories about this Dad that he never heard.

The gentleman, whose father died, spoke at the ceremony about how, even though he never met him, felt that he knew his father through all the anecdotes and memories his Dad’s friends told him about.  He wasn’t spiteful that his father died for his country and that he missed out; he was respectful and thankful that his father was the type of man who would defend his country.

My own father, the son of an Italian immigrant who left poverty-stricken Italy in 1914, enlisted in the US Army in 1948 as a 17-year-old high school graduate with the hopes he might be able to attend WVU on the GI Bill.

Through hard work, dedication, and some good connections he was able to obtain a spot at West Point, graduating in 1956 with future General Norman Schwarzkopf.

He had a bunch of his own adventures, traveling the world, and Korea and Vietnam in wartime and seeing speeches given by dignitaries.  He was in Louisiana on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis and saw John F. Kennedy speak.  He saw Dwight D. Eisenhower speak at his graduation and his own classmate, Stormin’ Norman Schwarzkopf, speak at the conclusion of the first Gulf War.

My own love for America started with these annual visits to our Capitol.  Walking the streets of DC with my ramrod-back straight father, always extremely polite and gentle to those he met.  We saw Ford’s theater and walked across the street to the house where Abraham Lincoln passed; a pivotal moment in my life where I realized Abraham Lincoln was a man, like myself, like my father, and not a fictional character who laid railroad ties.  He loved America, too.

Because we’re free to create our own way.  My grandfather, in order to become a US Citizen, enlisted and was immediately sent to Europe to fight in the trenches during the Great War.  And his wife, my grandmother, studied her tail off to become a US Citizen, too, because she saw through hard work, you can make a better life for generations to come.

I never met my grandfather, but I would thank him for taking that leap; to sail on a ship with thousands of other people, just to get to Ellis Island where you could very easily be sent back.  And then on to West Virginia, to work in the mills where jobs were plenty.

Because of my Grandparent’s, I’ve had the honor of visiting 42 of the 50 states and each and every one has its own distinctive version of American culture.

My two sons are growing up in the greatest country on earth, one where we’re free to pursue careers so diverse, you can make a living thousands of different ways.

I hope that future politicians don’t try to change America; the founders were wise beyond their years when they created the “land of the free and the home of the brave”.


Investing During This Global Pandemic

If you still have your job….keep investing. In a few years this crash will be a distant memory and our 401k’s will have stabilized and come back. Two ways to capitalize on this global nightmare are: Invest more than you normally would in an index fund through a brokerage account (that way you can always get your money) and also take time to better yourself. Currently, I’m learning piano and finding it to be extremely frustrating and relaxing at the same time. If you continue to invest in America and yourself, you will have a generous nest egg when you need it. Stay the course, my friends. – David


When my Dad got sold…

I was probably 9 or 10 years old, at the local Sears with my Mom and Dad and my parents were buying a dishwasher.

My Mom was so excited about this because, you see, we never had a dishwasher. My Mom washed all of the dishes by hand every day.

My Mom was an immigrant….my Dad was in the Army and met her in Germany in the 70s. They moved to the United States shortly before I was born with my two brothers and sister, none of whom spoke English.

Having been born during World War 2 in Germany, my Mom was not afraid of work. I don’t think any German is afraid of work (insert joke here).

But America was and is the greatest country in the world and that means a housewife in the suburbs should have a dishwasher.

If I had to guess, I’d say less than 10% of the US population does NOT have a dishwasher, but it wasn’t always like that.

My Dad grew up in a small house in Follansbee, West Virginia that didn’t have hot water. His mother had to heat water on the stove and then haul it to the bathroom and dump it in the tub. They also had to get deliveries of coal for their furnace and shovel it in the house…and then constantly feed the furnace. My wife’s grandfather had to do the same thing. We’ve definitely come a long way.

Back at Sears, the salesman came over and my Dad said, “I want this one”. It was the cheapest. The salesman said, “let me show you the differences between that one and this newer model…the newer model has a sprayer on the top drawer and this model doesn’t which means your dishes on the top won’t get as clean”. My Dad, went quiet for a second and then said, “Give me the newer model.”

Why did that scene stay so vividly in my head all these years? Was it because I didn’t expect my Dad to get sold to or did I just witness the best dishwasher salesman in the Sears organization?

I honestly think it’s because the salesman was there to help the customer make a smart decision, and not to upsell.

As sales pros our job is to show the customer how they will truly benefit from our product. At this point, almost everything is commoditized, but we do have the best product at the best value and we will make the customer the happiest. What I’m trying to say is, don’t be afraid or ashamed to sell because absolutely nothing happens until something gets sold.


Late Nights with Customers Is Lose-Lose

This is what I often hear from sales reps, “we’re drinking buddies. We got so wasted last weekend!”

They’re talking about their customers…Some of the time anyways and they’re bragging about their “epic hangovers”.

That’s your sales strategy?

I was that guy. I loved drinking, I loved hanging out and I thought I was the best sales rep on the planet.

Looking back, if anything, I lost sales and may have even lost a few years of my life too.

It’s complete bullshit that sales are made in the bar. I spent so much time with such a small handful of customers and I could’ve spent that valuable time with prospects or prospecting or even reading a book.

I completely stopped drinking a few years ago and have been selling more and more ever since because I’m able to think clearer (no hangovers), I’m able to work harder and longer (no hangovers) and I’m way healthier.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink at all. I’m saying I drank too much for too long and it was time and money spent poorly.

Spend your valuable time at nights with your family and when you’re able, prospecting, following up, and reading and personal development. You will make more money and you won’t be hungover the next day.



401K – Common Sense Advice

Sign up for your 401K at work, get yourself a Roth IRA, and make sure you’re saving at least 10% in 2019 with a goal of 15% in 2020 and 20% beyond that.

My 41 year old self is thanking my 31 year old self for saving and now I’ve technically become a millionaire. Most of my money is tied up in 401K’s and my equity in my house, but I’m there.

I would not have gotten there if I didn’t save.

I also could’ve saved a lot more. A LOT MORE.