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The richest man I know is actually the poorest. And, he’s in trouble.

Several years ago, I met a man who would change my life. He hired me to be his writing coach and paid me a lot as we argued endlessly about the book he wanted to write. It was such a brother/sister tug-of-war, and it meant a lot to me. Our professional relationship stretched over four years as he continued to write and rewrite and rewrite the book that he couldn’t seem to let go of. Finally, I told him that he had to publish his book or I would do it for him.

After we concluded our working relationship, we maintained a close friendship. Throughout the years, I have watched him slowly destroy himself with alcohol. He’d be the first one to tell you that he’s been in rehab four times. I’ve known it would only be a matter of time before the beast took over completely and killed him.

Saturday night, he was rushed to the hospital after he was found at the bottom of his stairs in a pool of blood. Right now, he is in a hospital with a brain bleed so severe that it has pushed one half of his brain to the other side. His kidneys stopped functioning. His lung collapsed. And, he is paralyzed. We don’t know if he will live through this. If he does, we don’t know what will emerge. It will likely be a very, very sad ending to the life of a maverick businessman who made millions before retiring young.

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He is a man of many demons. His father beat the hell out of him repeatedly, before finally killing himself. My friend has millions in the bank, but he has always been the saddest, loneliest man I have ever known. People would use him, and he’d let them take his money from him. He just wanted to be loved and appreciated. They saw that and conned him out of millions.

download all roads lead home divx A few years ago, he and I went to a conference, then stayed over to work on his book for another day. The maid came into the room and my client gave her $20 and told her he wouldn’t be needing any maid service.

She smiled broadly and said, “Thank you so much! I take all of these tips and give them to my church.” I saw emotions in her eyes that I have never seen in his. Peace. Certainty. Fulfillment.

I never forgot that. On paper, that housekeeper had nothing. But, she really had everything.

She had everything and he had nothing. And now he is struggling to live and it makes me so sad because he never knew the joy that poor women had in her heart.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courageous and creative leadership kiss of the vampire aka immortally yours in divx

  1. As Bruce said no one has the power like our Fawn to create lasting friendships and relationships; then take words, write them on a page and have the enormous power to make you think of the power of choice and accepting joy in our lives when we may feel so frustrated by challenges…..and the words to some may register as sadness – but for me I am still hoping Michael will have the chance to have that joy. Thank you Fawn for loving him – yelling at him and putting up with his sometimes peculiar eccentric behavior 🙂 you are all that seester,
    Love you!

  2. It has always deeply saddened me that so many people’s distorted definition of happiness has a dollar sign attached. To be happy and surrounded by true friends that love you has no price tag and most certainly cannot be bought. I hope that Michael will win this battle to see that on paper, the words “I love you” can mean more and make you far richer than the piece of paper with your bottom line net worth.

    Fawn, your words inspire and I thank you for writing them!

  3. I’m in awe of your profound wisdom and take comfort in your eloquent words. Truer words have never been spoken or written. As always, thank you for the reality check. You are a class act, lady.

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