Yes Man (A Year of Yes pt. 1)
I was talking to my Dad today on the phone about a strange encounter I had with a man at a laundromat last week. I'm in the process of writing a book, and have been taking every opportunity I have to sit down and write it piece by piece, bit by bit; This includes but is not limited to the forty five minutes my laundry takes to dry every other Friday afternoon.
So last Friday, while my laundry was drying, a tall, well dressed, charming guy strolled into the laundromat, and immediately struck up a conversation with me.
"You working on a term paper?" he asked.
"A book, actually," I responded
"Oh wow, man!" he perked up, "a lot of people don't have the drive to do that. They like to say they will, but you're really doing it. Good for you bro. My name is Oren".
Oren and I got into a twenty minute discussion about my musicianship and my budding authoring career before he told me a bit about what he does - the old ambiguous profession of consulting - financial consulting. I've never known what the hell consulting is. I've met a few people who claim the title of consultant that are legit, but eight out of ten of them are full of crap. I liked Oren though. He complimented me a lot - something my ego needed last Friday.
Eventually, I let Oren have my phone number, and he gave me his business card. His website has a countdown to the day he'll headline the Bridgestone arena in Nashville as a keynote speaker to lead the masses to financial freedom. As of this writing, he's down to three years, ten months, two days, thirteen hours, twenty minutes, and five seconds. He is confident this event will take place at this time.
Oren asked me if I would swing by his office to hear more about what he does and how we could potentially work together. Every single red flag imaginable was waving frantically throughout the battle field that is the decision making cortex of my brain, but my liking for Oren's ego strokes won out, as well as a commitment I made in 2020 to say yes as much as possible, even when it seems stupid to do so. How could this random guy at the laundromat help me with my finances? Maybe this is one of those absurd moments where fate will lead me to a destiny I could never have imagined. But it's probably bull crap, right? He was a little too complimentary. Oh well, I like him. I'll just go, and it'll be a funny story to tell later. I agreed to meet with Oren. The meeting happened today.
After work, I made my way to Oren's office in South Nashville. He brought me up to the second floor gave me the grand tour of his office, and introduced me to everyone there. He showed me the plaques of all his fellow business associates who had made $100,000, $400,000, and even up and over $1 million. I still didn't know what kind of service he was offering, but I was there and ready to take in the experience.
Oren lead me into a small office, where a young guy I would later find out is actually even a little younger than me was sitting behind a Dell, dressed in business casual attire, with a forced grin on his face, as he leaned in to shake my hand. I can't remember his name, but he was a nice guy. He is a Kenyan immigrant who moved here with his family when he was very young and now, a soon to be college graduate. I spent the next forty five minutes in a small office with him, as he showed me a power point presentation on how to get rich buying, and better yet, selling investment insurance with their company. Oh, okay I get it. Oren asked me if I was working on a term paper, because this is a pyramid scheme that targets young people like myself and my Kenyan friend here to loop us into selling overpriced investment insurance by making us feel like we are entrepreneurs. I politely excused myself from the meeting, and walked out of the office chuckling to myself.
In my car, I Googled the company they worked for, and almost word for word, the internet forums about this company had exactly to say about this particular investment firm that I was thinking. Boy am I glad I have smart parents. I called my Dad to brag about how smart I was for avoiding getting roped in. We had a good laugh, and he ultimately confessed that he been hooked in and screwed over by the same kind of scam forty years ago. Dad? But... but he's like the smartest guy ever! But he fell for it back then. When he told me that, I was so thankful I said yes to Oren's invitation. It was firstly, a weird and funny story to write a blog about. Secondly though, it was practice in the art of detecting bullsh*t, a skill we could all use in this life.
I look forward to seeing where the word yes takes me in 2020. So far, it's taken me to a strange office in South Nashville where I was promised easy riches and my very own business for the low one time investment of a $100 sign up fee. That may not sound exciting. It even sort of sounds like a waste of time, but I had fun, and I learned a thing or two about the world doing it. I think the word yes is only getting started showing me what it has in store. I look forward to keeping this blog updated with my year of yes stories.