My Dad was a winner. In every sense of the word. He wasn’t famous. Or rich. Didn’t have any degrees. Never even went to High School. He was an immigrant who came to this country with a strong work ethic, burning desire to succeed, and a dream. And he fulfilled that dream. He was no quitter. He was a winner.
But he didn’t know when to quit.
Wait a minute. Isn’t that contradictory?
Well, no. What I mean is, he did not know when to call it a day, when the sun had set on his career. Much like an aging athlete, who has slowed a step or two, body aching from the toll taken through the years, whose batting average has slipped below three hundred over the last several seasons, no longer able to consistently throw runners out at the plate.
I saw it with my own eyes. The last several years, still a formidable man, but less effective than in his prime. Until finally, I got the call from his boss. “I don’t know how to say this to your old man. He shouldn’t really be working here anymore. I need you to tell him.”
Well, I had a thing or two to tell that guy. I thought, “what a coward!” But then, I realized that my Dad was the kind of man that would not take that news well. I grudgingly understood why his boss did not want to tell him. After all, winners hate losing, and Dad would definitely see this one as a loss. So, I broke the news. Arguably, the toughest discussion I have EVER had, with anyone.
Here is my point: You need to know when to hold them, and when to fold them.
Seth Godin said it best — “Winners quit all the time. They just quit the right stuff at the right time.”
So those of you I hold very dear, or those that are good friends, or those even casual acquaintances, just in case I am like my Dad, I invite you.
If I haven’t figured it out on my own, feel free to tell me: Henry, dude, it’s time for you to call it quits…
Leave me a reply below. I’d love to know your thoughts, even if you violently disagree!