When the girl of my dreams agreed to marry me, the nags at the newspaper where we worked together were making book. Some bet our marriage would last a month. Some bet 3 months. No one bet more than a …
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When the girl of my dreams agreed to marry me, the nags at the newspaper where we worked together were making book. Some bet our marriage would last a month. Some bet 3 months. No one bet more than a year. They didn’t think she would put up with my vagabond ways.
All of them lost their bets.
We’re still together after all these years.
One reason is that my wife is an incredibled person. She is not only bright and beautiful. She is one of a kind.
Jeff Bezos talked about this in a letter to his Amazon shareholders.
“I know a happily married couple who have a running joke in their relationship,” he wrote. “Not infrequently, the husband looks at the wife with faux distress and says to her, ‘Can’t you just be normal?’
“They both smile and laugh and, of course, the deep truth is that her distinctiveness is something he loves about her.”
My wife is above all a tolerant woman. She moved with me 9 times in the first 20 years of our marriage. Her early experiences as an Air Force brat was good training.
It’s wonderful that we have lived in Lexington more than 35 years, the longest we have lived anywhere. We love it here.
You may not agree with Jerff Bezos’ politics but you can see what he has done. He quit his job to sell books online out of his garage.
His friends may have bet on how long this cockamamie idea would last.
Last it did. Today Amazon has 1.3 million employees and grosses $1 billion in sales of just about anything but high button shoes.
What has made Bezos and Amazon successful is that they always thought creatively about customer needs and preserved a sense of authenticity and originality.
In his letter to shareholder this year, Bezos wrote, “Originality is valuable.
“We are all taught to be yourself. What I’m really asking you to do is to embrace and be realistic about how much energy it takes to maintain that distinctiveness.
“The world wants you to be typical – in a thousand ways, it pulls at you.
"Don’t let it happen.”
Being authentic, distinctive and different is not easy. Your sanity may be questioned. Many will disagree with you, revile and say unflattering things about you.
Henry Ford dared to build a low-cost, motor car. If you asked what people wanted, he joked. they would say faster horses.
Steve Jobs made a little start-up company named Apple successful because, like Henry Ford, he didn’t listen to what people said. He built an affordable computer you didn’t need an engineering degree to use.
Bill Gates designed Windows because most computers were too complicated.
Consider their daring examples.
Don’t flinch when others criticize you.
Be true to your vision. Beat the odds.
Next: Share your secrets.
A gift suggestion
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