Over the next few posts I’ll be sharing what the millionaires I interviewed did to create success. These millionaires are not necessarily gifted with extraordinary qualities, nor was there a concerted effort involved to acquire or develop those qualities. It is only in looking back on their lives
Today I'd like to share two of the key things I've learned by interviewing very successful people. Although these two come from my book, 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires, I'm finding that these principles are also consistent among the Olympians I've interviewed so far. I hope you find the principles helpful in your own life.
I'm fascinated by successful people and their journeys. I'm constantly interviewing them to find out what they have in common and what the rest of us can learn. My current fascination is Olympians. If the Olympics left you wanting just a little more, read on to learn about some of the world's top athletes who captivate us every 2-4 years.
From interviewing Erin Cafaro, Gold medal rower, I learned
Today I'm sharing another interview from my book, 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires. Today's post is from one of my favorite people as I share with you the millionaire success story of Heidi Ganahl.
Tell me about you.
I grew up in southern California until I was about 13, then our family moved from Irvine to Monument, Colorado, a small town just north of the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs.
Today I'm sharing the interview with one of my favorite entrepreneurs, Lane Nemeth. Her story is so rich and full of amazing events, I hope you enjoy it almost half as much as I do.
You wanted to buy some great educational products for your daughter Tara and you couldn’t find them anywhere?
They were only available if you were a teacher and could go through a teacher supply house with a purchase order. I couldn’t do that so it became very complicated.
In the coming weeks I'll be posting interviews with the successful entrepreneurial millionaires featured in my book, 21 Questions for 21 Millionaires. Enjoy.
First, I’d love to get to know you and your background.
I was born and raised in Queens New York. I went to school in upstate New York and then got a job on Wall Street, but the market back then was awful. There was no volume, it was a different market; there was no money to be made.
Was it your dream to work on Wall Street?
I didn’t see the whole thing, but what I did see was very impressive. I knew he had a son with special needs and was active in causes involving his son’s needs. What I didn’t know was just what a humble, genuine, solid guy he is.
When I started watching, they were talking about how he signed with the Green Bay Packers as his first NFL team and immediately bought a green JMC Jimmy with his $5,000 signing bonus, since he thought he was going to be a Packer for life.
Turns out that wasn’t going to be the case.
At training camp the coach told him to go in. He responded, “I’m not ready.” He wasn’t ready and he got cut.
He moved in with Brenda, his girlfriend, who had two children, taking care of the kids during the day and working at a grocery store at night. One night his car ran out of gas on the highway with the kids in the car. He started contemplating his situation and how disheartening it was to have been an NFL prospect and was now sitting on the side of the highway out of gas.
The idea flashed in his mind to check out the arena football league, which was growing in popularity. He thought, “I’m better than that.” Then he looked at his situation. “Oh yeah, you’re better than that,” he thought to himself. “You’re stocking shelves at night.” So he tried out.
He did well in the league, which got him noticed and that led him back into the NFL. He did well enough to become a starting quarterback. Then he did really well, leading the St. Louis Rams to a SuperBowl® victory after the 1999 season and winning a pair of MVP awards.
In subsequent years, however, he lost his rhythm and was replaced by Mark Bulger. Rather than complain and wallow in bitterness, he helped Mark and it was said that he was as excited about Mark’s performance as Mark was himself. That’s an unselfish, humble guy.
During his time with the New York Giants Kurt struggled again and was replaced by Eli Manning, who was just starting his career. Even though Eli played terribly, Kurt refused to create a quarterback controversy. Kurt said the worst decision the team could make would be to send him in in a relief situation for Eli because Eli should be able to play without having to look over his shoulder. Class act.
When he played for the Arizona Cardinals, who had been to the playoffs only one time in 60 years, he was again tasked with helping prepare a franchise quarterback like he was in New York with Eli. What he did was bigger than that. He helped Larry Fitzgerald expand his vision of just how good he could be—and just look how Larry has responded.
Not only did Kurt take the Cardinals to the playoffs, he took them all the way to the SuperBowl® (I wonder if the NFL will have a problem with me promoting their most watched event since they are real sticklers on the trademark for the SuperBowl® (oops, I said it again).
After the Cardinals lost the SuperBowl®, he went to find his family in the stands. He could tell they felt badly for him. He looked at them and said, “Life isn’t about a football game. It’s about moments. It’s about the gifts God gives you and relishing them.” He remarked later that one of the things he regretted about losing the SuperBowl® with the Rams after the 2001 season is that they didn’t celebrate what they had accomplished.
Here are some other interesting facts about the guy. He adopted Brenda’s two kids after they got married. They then had 5 more children, including a set of twin girls.
The most impressive thing, even with all of the other things mentioned about him in the special, came at the end, when his wife Brenda, the person who knows his faults and flaws as well as anyone on the planet, said, “He is the best person I’ve ever met in my life. The absolute best person. He makes the world a better place.”