How Business is Done

There’s a guy named Jack (just a coincidence). He has a son. The son is in his early 20s and unmarried. One evening after dinner, the father and son have a conversation.

“Son, I want you to marry a girl of my choice.”

“C’mon Dad,” says the boy, “I want to choose my own bride.”

“Yes, but the girl is Bill Gates’ daughter,” says Jack.

Says the son, “Well, in that case…”

The next morning, Jack gets a call through to Bill Gates.

“I have a husband for your daughter,” says Jack.

“But my daughter is too young to marry,” says Bill.

“Yes,” says Jack, “but this young man will soon be vice-president of the World Bank.”

“Ah, in that case…”

That afternoon, Jack goes to see the president of the World Bank.

Jack steps into his office and says, “I have a young man to be recommended as a vice-president.”

Says the World Bank president, “But I already have more vice-presidents than I need.”

“Perhaps,” says Jack, “but this young man is Bill Gates’s son-in-law.”

“Ah,” says the President, “in that case…”

And that, my friend, is how business is done.

Okay, maybe you’ve heard that one before.

I retell it, though, for a more practical reason.

Namely because what it reveals is true, that behind so many successful people is not just that they’ve been lucky — as some surely have — or even that they’ve worked harder, though many surely do.It’s just that

It’s just that they’ve made things happen when and where they probably wouldn’t have — or shouldn’t have — by plowing forward, willfully oblivious to the obstacles against them. that they’ve made opportunities happen rather than wait for them to come along.

In other words, they’ve taken an impossible situation apart… and put it back together in a way that made good things happen. Could that be a little of what you’re waiting for in life too?



  1. G’day Jack

    A joke? I reckon that’s more accurate than most people would like to think.

    The poor people I know let things happen to them. The rich people make things happen in ways not unlike this.

    It’s also how Richard Branson got his start in publishing — he played two large advertisers off each other, telling each one the other had already signed up.


  2. Right… you’ve latched on to the core of the message. I wouldn’t advocate deception. But making a move is what matters here. It’s amazing what kind of luck you can stumble across when you actively go about forcing it to happen.

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