One thing many people tell you when you choose to marry a person is you not only marry them but their family as well. I am blessed beyond belief to have married into my wife’s family, as they consistently teach me how to live a life that loves the Lord first and foremost. Not only do they value marriage and support our marriage fully, but they have also taught us how to steward our influence in a way that will make a positive impact on the people in our lives.
One of the great men in my wife’s family is someone who is not only known for his business and entrepreneurial skills, but also for his passion for people and his unwavering commitment to his faith. I am thankful that I know him as a man who has poured into his family over the years, who sets an example of what it really means to love one another and who teaches us to be excellent in all we do. Today he has come out with a new book called, “Wealth, is it Worth it?“.
In this book, Truett Cathy talks about his hardships growing up in the depression, the hard work it took to create a restaurant that grew into a successful company and addresses the question about wealth and its worth.
The book serves as a reminder of the good things a person can do with money, but also how destructive money can be. The book offers several stories about people who came into a large amount of money but failed to steward it wisely. However, the book also looks at people who are generous and use wealth to be a blessing to others.
A take-a-way for me as I read the book is that success is not an overnight event. Truett shares about the early days: the Great Depression, the 36-hour shifts at the original Dwarf Grill and the struggles of running two restaurants at one time. This proves that a chain of over 1,500 restaurants with over 3 billion dollars in annual sales happens over a long period of time and hard work, not overnight.
On Monday night, we sat down with Angela’s granddad for dinner and I asked, “Truett, remind me how old you were when you opened the Dwarf Grill?” Truett responded saying he was only 25 and that in the early days he would work around the clock. He shared a few stories about people not showing up for work which caused him to stay and cook all night. His first day of sales was about $130 with payouts of nearly $700. As I listened, it was encouraging to think that it was not until 21 years later that the first Chick-fil-A opened in the Greenbrier Mall. Even more, it was an additional 19 years before the first free standing Chick-fil-A restaurant was built.
I need to remember that success is not something that happens overnight. Success takes hard work- it can be lonely at the beginning and it can take time to achieve. Like many people in my generation, I want to be an overnight success, but this is not a reality.
Throughout the book, readers learn that the hard work paid off for Truett. He was able to gain resources which has allowed him to be generous in many ways. These resources have even enabled him to start and help support the ministries of the WinShape Foundation. At the close of the book, Truett reminds readers that wealth is only worth it if you are willing to be generous with it.
I encourage you to read the book- it’s a quick read and serves as a good reminder to us all. You can buy a copy from Amazon, here. Also, I am giving away one free autographed copy on my blog. To be entered to win, answer the question below by leaving a comment to this blog post.
Who in your life teaches you about generosity? How do they teach you? Why is generosity important?
To be entered to win, you must comment by 12:00 PM on Saturday (6.25.11). Winner will be notified by Monday (6.27.11). You must leave your email or way to contact you attached to your comment.