Lunch with a Billionaire

Lunch with a Billionaire

Today I ate lunch with my first billionaire and I asked him the question…

“Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 25 year old self if you could go back and offer one piece of advice to him?”

Without a beat he replied, “There is no better time than now!” Throughout the lunch he proceed to give incredibly simple but valuable advice on ways to be successful and live a life worth living.

Here are the top five success lessons I learned from Red McCombs:

1)   Be a Team Player: Paraphrasing one of his stories Red said “If you can’t get along with the team, you can’t play on my team.” He talked about a time when he had to let go of one of his favorite players because he was acting up in the locker room after games and the other guys didn’t want to be around him. Be a team player and help out when and where you can. You contribute to the bigger picture.

2)   Best Time is Now: There is no better time to start something than right now. Just get in and do it. He said “It’s not about picking the right thing, its about picking something and doing it right. Do it better than the other guy does it and you will be successful in no time.” He is right, be better than the other person selling the same thing you are selling and word gets out.

3)   It’s Not Easy or Accidental: In a condensed version he said “Business is not easy or accidental. You need a plan and need to understand this is hard work. If you get those two things down early, you will have a fun ride and enjoy life. Plan and work.” Remember… you are the one who makes things happen in your life, no one else!

4)   Only Focus on One Thing at a Time: If you are at a meeting, focus on that meeting. If you are doing a deal with a future investor, only be present in that room. Focus on the here and now and don’t let your mind slip away to other tasks. If you stay focused you will accomplish more, have more and be more successful!

5)   Don’t Call Me at Home: Red is 86 years old and works six days a week and has for decades. But when he is at home, you don’t call him. That is his time with his family, with his wife and kids, it is not about work. He mentioned being with his family as a very important thing and was quoted for saying “I don’t care if the station is burning down, don’t call me at home, it can wait till tomorrow!”

What I like most about Red is he is a real guy who is genuine, down to earth and business savvy. He cares about his family more than anything, loves to do business with quality people and continues to take calculated risks. He speaks from the heart and knows where he stands on what he believes.

I would eat lunch with Red any day of the week and am thankful I had the opportunity to do so today! Go out there and make your dreams come true. They are waiting for you as long as you remain a team player, start now, plan, stay focused and care about the most important people in your life…. Your family!

Question: If you could ask an extremely successful person one question, what would you ask them? 

This post was written by
At age 25, Ryan Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history; competing against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries to claim the 2012 Championship title. As an Emmy Award winning journalist and a proud member of the National Speakers Association, Ryan uses his background in multimedia and speaking to help reach the younger generation on the importance of improving their communication skills in order to advance in their professional and personal life.

15 Comments on "Lunch with a Billionaire"

  • Kristi says

    Nice article Ryan.

    My question would be, “Who inspires you?”

  • Good post, Ryan.
    I don’t want to steal Kristi’s question…well, i kind of want to, but…
    “What is your process for setting goals?”

  • Teresa Milner says

    Will the people you touched along your journey to success remember how you made them feel?

  • Great post, Ryan. How cool for you to be rubbing elbows with someone who has made it as an entrepreneur. You didn’t mention the back story on how you were able to get this meeting, so it might make for a good follow-up post. My question would be: “How would I find an investor/partner to get seed capital for my growing business?”

  • Dustin Wilborn says

    I really enjoyed and appreciate this article. This is great advice!

  • Debbue says

    If I could ask an extremely successful person one question, what would you ask them? I would ask him/her to mentor me.

  • Ted Jensen says

    All I can say is Thank You Ryan for thinking more about helping everyone else to achieve and reach their dreams. It refreshes my faith in successful people to see that success has not adversely affected you. Keep up the good work.

  • Monty Ray Davidson says

    If it was someone I believed in, it would be a request that they guide me on my journey.
    Sometimes true success isn’t detrimined by simply money, but rather living up to ones full potential.

  • Chandra Kill says

    Great article. I would ask “What is the best advice you didn’t listen to?” because I love to hear about how great people learn their lessons. Our failures are teaching moments, especially in people who have the wisdom to look back, learn and adapt.

  • Dr. Madhabi Majumdar says

    Very nice and inspiring posting Ryan! The question I think I would ask to the extremely successful person is:
    ” What you did (or thought) or you would do when you find that all the doors in front of you are closed; your career is stuck; your dream is about to finish; there is no light of hope you can see right now” ?
    I would love to know the answer!

  • Erick Caceres says

    Very nice article! I’m with Ted J. thanks Ryan for sharing this article and helping people out to be succesful.

  • Diana Marshalleck, CC says

    I would not necessarily want to ask him anything. Just because somebody is a billionaire doesn’t mean they have all the answers. They just have more money than the rest of us. On the man you interviewed, I don’t really know what kind of person he is. I don’t know if he’s a good friend, a generous person, a kind person, or anything else about him. He’s a random billionaire that I have never met. Therefore, why would I want to ask him anything. You see I don’t measure success with how much money a person has. I measure success by how many lives they have touched. For example, one person I would have loved to ask a question to if she were still alive would have been Mother Theresa. She was a loving, generous person who gave her life to help poor, suffering people. I would have asked her what inspired her to do that. What moved her to do that? Maybe for some people wealth means you are successful but for others not. You see success is or should be quite subjective.

  • Ryan,

    This is definitely something a 25 year old (me) needed.
    Thanks a bunch!




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