The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

the Plan

March15

I had an opportunity to catch-up with a long-time friend, who also happens to be one of my investors.

he called me to let me know he still believed in today’s youth, but he feels the opportunities are diminishing. for a bit of background, Jack made a lot of money in polycarbonates and decided to fuel young engineers and technology entrepreneurs with seed capital up to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000). over the last thirty months he has invested over eighteen million dollars ($18,000,000.00) in over twenty five startup companies, often upon my say-so.

the reason he called me last night was because he’s coming to the conclusion that too many of the kids he meets see business “…like a video game”.

“if they take a hit they think they can recharge the purse like it’s World of Warcraft. if they make a promise they thinks it’s okay to break it”

Jack and I both believe in a covenant.

Jack was frustrated, and being over general. he admitted as much. but, while I was coaching him to evaluate a more stringent due diligence process I was admitting that I just may have made a similar mistake along the same vein recently myself.

I’m working with a young man that I’m watching carefully because he is dangerously close to breaking a covenant that will cost him dearly in the business community long-term.

more on that later. but, it’s a good preamble for other, vaguely related things that are weighing on my mind and shoulders.

I need to help Jack navigate his own disaffection with youthful entrepreneurs and keep him part of our business community’s solution. and, I need to be a strong baring point and example for Haley Anne, her walk, and making sure she has a plan that works.

last night Haley Anne was clearly feeling more like herself. She made it through a complete day of school, still the center of attention. she came home with loads of cards and balloons. had the circumstances that initiated the out-pouring of affection from her buddies not been so dire, the activity would be fun to observe. well, it still is, kind of. but, I’m still haunted by her laying so still in her hospital bed with morphine coursing through her veins. she had no idea that about ten days ago I was at her side, fully awake at 330am holding her hand and willing her better. I don’t think I’ve been that focused since Sarajevo. that digression aside, Haley Anne was on a full-court press with her Mom petitioning for “hoop earrings” because “everyone” was going to wear them to school, and we had to get to Target, NOW. that didn’t happen, mostly because there were too many other things going on at the house to include home work and contractors. on top of this Joanne was trying to make sense of the bills we had just received from two separate hospitals for Haley Anne’s care. the total was an astonishing one hundred and sixty four dollars ($164,000). this included five hundred dollars ($500) for a single blood test. Joanne actually showed the bills to Haley Anne to see what she thought. but, all she got was a shrug and a: “I’m worth it”.

that’s true, to be sure. but, the lack of perspective gave me pause.

while I was distractedly listening to the exchange between Haley Anne and Joanne I started thinking about another post that I had written almost three years ago about a lighter moment in time called: Haley Anne Has a Plan. read that. do it!

I had also been thinking about it while standing vigil over haley Anne at the hospital.

“please let her have plans”.

I suppose all of this was hitting me at once because God was helping me keep my balance, perspective, guard, and wits about me. that’s all part of his gift of discernment, eh.

I feel responsible for everything and every body.

and, I like it that way. it keeps me sharp. often on the verge of disappointment. yet keen to see everyone around me win.

maybe it’s similar to what I try to teach my Shockers in soccer. there is a vital difference between being pleased and being satisfied. and, if you are going to do anything, just give it your best.

so, while we are going to face set-backs, sometimes terror, we have to remain firm in our resolve to be a beacon for what we believe is great hope. I’m convinced that’s my role… to be a teacher, possibly a mensche.

that’s my plan. I’m not going to stop believing; I’ll never quit trying.

…I think I’ll call Jack today. maybe I’ll fly up to visit with him, and I’ll take Haley Anne with me.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

entrepreneurs and then you

December17

I was reminded of these facts by Craig Larson…

Apparently Thomas Stanley and William Danko wrote a book entitled: The Millionaire Next Door … The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy. You should read it in order to understand a special breed of business person you are likely not. Do it!

In researching the book and then unleashing it upon the public’s senses, they (the authors, not to be confused, necessarily with that, otherwise, insidious and collective “they”) produced a portrait of who America’s millionaires are, and show that, by and large, these are quiet, understated, self-reliant Americans who are committed to hard work, education, and family.

The portrait shows that eighty percent (80%) of our millionaires are first generation affluent. To be clear, this means that less than half received no inheritance, and only nineteen percent (19%) get any income from a trust fund or estate.

Most Americans … In this case, defined at eighty percent (80%), are not self-employed. And, of those that are, two thirds are our nations millionaires. Think “Daddy Warbucks” (to whom I can often relate – but, you don’t know as much about as you thought you did until now – which also part of my point with this blog post).

Meanwhile, Seventy five percent (75%) of these self-employed millionaires are “entrepreneurs”, and the remaining quarter are self-employed professionals like doctors and accounts.

To be sure, we have high profile billionaires in America… However most of our millionaires are the nation’s bread and butter entrepreneurs and small business owners with annual incomes averaging two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) annually.

These are overwhelmingly self-made individuals, by-and-large founders and proprietors of prosaic businesses that might include: welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, paving contractors, etc.

For additional points of reference consider an other post of mine: Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, and them Corporate Fellas.

entrepreneurs and then you

December17

I was reminded of these facts by Craig Larson…

Apparently Thomas Stanley and William Danko wrote a book entitled: The Millionaire Next Door … The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy. You should read it in order to understand a special breed of business person you are likely not. Do it!

In researching the book and then unleashing it upon the public’s senses, they (the authors, not to be confused, necessarily with that, otherwise, insidious and collective “they”) produced a portrait of who America’s millionaires are, and show that, by and large, these are quiet, understated, self-reliant Americans who are committed to hard work, education, and family.

The portrait shows that eighty percent (80%) of our millionaires are first generation affluent. To be clear, this means that less than half received no inheritance, and only nineteen percent (19%) get any income from a trust fund or estate.

Most Americans … In this case, defined at eighty percent (80%), are not self-employed. And, of those that are, two thirds are our nations millionaires. Think “Daddy Warbucks” (to whom I can often relate – but, you don’t know as much about as you thought you did until now – which also part of my point with this blog post).

Meanwhile, Seventy five percent (75%) of these self-employed millionaires are “entrepreneurs”, and the remaining quarter are self-employed professionals like doctors and accounts.

To be sure, we have high profile billionaires in America… However most of our millionaires are the nation’s bread and butter entrepreneurs and small business owners with annual incomes averaging two hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) annually.

These are overwhelmingly self-made individuals, by-and-large founders and proprietors of prosaic businesses that might include: welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, paving contractors, etc.

For additional points of reference consider an other post of mine: Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs, and them Corporate Fellas.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

converging paths

September3

I’ll begin this post by inviting you to revisit two other efforts of mine that have received an extraordinary amount of attention:

taken aback by Bill Pope, and I want to know what Love is.

Next, I’ll admit that I’m not so sure where I’ll go with this particular post. I guess we’ll, collectively, know, only when our paths converge there. Along the way, I just might be looking for something we can all appreciate relative to what life’s twists-and-turns might offer us.

A few weeks ago I ran into Jane Pope and her daughter Madison at a Starbucks. I had my own little Emma Jo with me. We were hanging-out and running errands. We had only just climbed back into my Porsche, and I was looking at Emma Jo while she was describing one of her books to me, when I looked up and past her and saw Jane’s Jaguar. A lot can blow through ones mind in a whirl-wind. But, Jane looked great, and heroic, in light of, well, just everything. But, I started thinking about daughters, and paths, and the future, and the roles of Dads, in the lives of daughters.

So… I pay a lot of attention to my daughters. But, recently more so. It seems like my “spider sense” is up, or something akin to it.

Sure enough, Haley Anne was bit by a spider two weekends ago during a soccer tournament. She led us into the finals and apparently endured agony while doing so. The wound is still puffy and we are apparently at risk of staph – and, the fear of sepsis. Oooohhh God, help me. Then, on top of that she hauled-off and grew up on me a bit more, having just turned fourteen, and is statuesque and gorgeous, and all that. But, while I was fussing over her and trying to teach her, well, something, I was reminded that everything ends up …connected.

I’ve been tracking a group of entrepreneurs working on a very cool (and change-oriented) technology that Bill was championing. I had reached out to Jane to make sure she would benefit. And, then an old roommate of Bill’s found the post you’ve peeked at and likely shared with your friends already. And, I found myself forging pathways that I hope will intersect in a way that will indirectly help Bill with Madison. And, I pray that goodly men (did you know that behind every great man there is some woman rolling her eyes?) will rally to my own children (and, Joanne) if I don’t make it home one day.

Man… I am really struggling with this piece. But, this is transparency. Living the authentic life.

In any event, go to the comments section of the blog concerning Bill. Do it now! You’ll find the note from his buddy Bruce, whom apparently lost his way with Bill. But, maybe now he can shed some light on another path for Madison.

I’ll simply end this post, here, with my restated response to Bruce, within those comments, for the sake of posterity, with the hopes all of it means something, and the convergence is a good thing, given all the unexpected steps.

“Hello Mr. Waller.

And, welcome, here.

No matter your paths I’ll suspect Bill had you in his heart. He was a stout and loyal fellow, that one.

My immediate take-away from your comment will have me pondering the following words from Wayland – “…who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity; whose deed follows his word; … who appears well in any company; a man with whom hanor is sacred and virtue safe”, paints a good picture of “Willie Red”.

It’s also interesting to me that the type of man I most often like to bask with have inexplicably found themselves favored by a college professor at one point or another. I did not know about Bill’s relationship with your Dr. Gabbard. But, I can’t be surprised. Its likely along the same lines as my own with Dr. Pappas at Radford University.

I’m, and only just now, struck by a thought, that is possibly an inspiration… Deliver a hand-written note to Bill’s daughter Madison (via Jane of course). Tell her a story about Bill from his youth. But, make the best example of what a terrific gentleman he was, and how she should only allow for such a man in her own life one day. Bill had high standards. Lets work together to make sure Madison realizes those as well. So, regardless of your lost path with Bill, you can now help, in this small way, ensure his daughter walks the right one.

And, trust me, Mr. Waller… This will help you as well.”

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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