The recent tornado that ripped through Washington, Illinois, destroyed the home of my office manager, Kenna. When she heard the sirens and realized what was going on, she barely had enough time to wake her daughter and get her out of bed to run down to the basement of their house. As soon as they got down the stairs, the tornado took out her daughter’s bedroom and then tore through the rest of the house. If Kenna had delayed her decision to get her daughter out of bed by five seconds, neither one of them would be alive today.
At about 1:30 on a Friday afternoon 13 years ago, I took a break from work and sat down to eat a quick lunch. While I was eating, I glanced through a multipage sales letter I had received from a company I had never heard of. The owner of the company claimed that he was a multimillionaire, and he was promoting a three-day conference in Las Vegas, where (he promised) he would teach the “secrets” of how to become wealthy.
About 10 years ago, an adorer called our home to let us know that he and his wife were not going to be able to cover their holy hour. (For the purpose of this article, I’m going to call him Frank.) At the time of the call, Frank and his wife were in their late 70s. Since no one was home to answer the telephone, Frank left a message on our answering machine.