This is the first of many posts in a series that is called LEAD Through the Eyes of Deltasigs. For the next few weeks I will be posting about the LEAD experience. Our first guest writer is Frank Busch, the Secretary of Delta Sigma Pi and Lead Mentor of Business Week 2013. Enjoy the post!
This weekend I went to Delta Sigma Pi’s LEAD School in Des Moines, Iowa. I was one of 20 fellow brothers who attended, and it was a blast. It was such a fun bonding experience that we all shared together, and a great networking opportunity. What I really want to highlight with this post though is my experience on Saturday, or more specifically one of the speakers I attended.
The guy’s name was Adam Carroll. Now I’m sure you could imagine what I was feeling: tired from the night before plus the long drive, and not up to sitting for a dry lecture. The topic was money in your 20’s, and I assumed I knew where that was going. It would probably be some old guy saying, “recent graduates are too immature” and “ex-students who don’t want to live with their parents to save money are dumb” or something like “all kids do is party every night after a long day of corporate work and have no sense of the future”, and yada yada yada. But this event was really nothing like that.
When I came into the room I looked around and tried to decide where to sit. I figured the best way to stand out was in the front, so I did (The funny thing is that I really didn’t want to stand out because of my assumption, but ironically I tried to anyway – must be a subconscious habit). Adam was waiting for all the people to sit down, and right after I sat, we made eye contact and he approached me. I thought to myself, “Oh darn, now I have to talk to this guy and do the whole networking thing – which I wasn’t really feeling up to,” so he comes up to me and we talk. I stood up, shook his hand, and did what I usually do when I am networking with professionals. I first thanked him for coming and speaking even though he really hadn’t done anything yet, then I always ask professionals about their past and current career. People love talking about themselves and I usually have some success with going in that direction. So after we were done talking personally he started the presentation.
So this is what he had to say to us. I quote, “Thanks for getting up this morning, I’m sure it was hard with all the socializing going on last night but hey, if you’re going to party with the owls you have to rise with the Eagles, otherwise you’ll end up being a turkey.” He was a DSP alumnus. So after that introduction he spoke for the next hour, and this is what he said. Everyone has a plan starting out in life after college, (graduate, career, move out, career advancement, marriage, etc….) but it WILL get derailed, so be prepared and don’t let it stop you. You need to rap your head around having a bigger life, not a bigger life style. Don’t be the normal person: the normal person doesn’t budget, the normal person doesn’t have an emergency account set up, the normal person is way too now, now, now.
So this is what I personally took away. Every life choice has an opportunity cost. Obviously spending tons of money when you’re younger on going out will prevent you from saving as much as you can; and the other extreme, being anti-social, especially after a pretty social 4 years just isn’t practical. So find that balance. I mean, I would rather forgo 20 times out at the bars when I’m in my 20’s and save, so I can afford a weeklong ocean cruise by the time I’m 30 because my student loans are all paid off. It’s about prioritizing your life goals, and deciding where you want to be. Spend a lot when you’re young and youthful or not so much and have the ability to do more when you’re older.
My final thoughts about Adam were the books he recommended. I love reading books that other successful professionals have read; in part it makes me understand what they were thinking when getting to where they are today (he did say he works about 120 days out of the year and just bought a BMW 3 series, so I would say he’s pretty successful). He said read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad, Phil Town’s #1 Rule, Daniel Goleman’s Working with Emotional Intelligence and Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace.
After the pretty involved, interesting, and upbeat presentation, I went up to Adam and truly thanked him. He called me by my first name which he remembered, gave me his business card, gave me his appreciation, and gave me his own book, Winning the Money Game.
So it just goes to show you how great first impressions can lead to a pretty cool ending. Also, this was just one of the many great people I met and interacted with at LEAD. I could go on and on about LEAD and probably write a 10 page paper, but I’ll spare us for both our sakes. Honestly, I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to the next LEAD. Thanks for reading and God Bless.