For those of you that have followed my column over the years you know this week is the one time of the year I do not write about business. There are 51 weeks of the year to talk business. This week of Christmas I like to write about the human condition and matters of the heart so here goes.
On Oct 1st our managing broker at Keller Williams DTC Bobby Burnett lost his battle with cancer. I like to tell people he lost his fight with cancer, but he won heaven. Bobby was only sick for a very short time. He had been walking around with cancer and never knew it. Once diagnosed it was only a few months later that he passed away. He left behind a loving wife, terrific children, and grandchildren. He lived a full and famous life. Some of you knew Bobby Burnett from his long real estate career here in Denver and he had been one of the founding members of Keller Williams DTC in 1999. Many of you don’t know he was the star running back for the 1964 Arkansas Razorbacks when they won the national championship. He scored the winning touchdown in the 1964 Cotton bowl as the team went 11-0. Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones and NFL Coach Jimmy Johnson were his teammates. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1966 and played running back for three years winning the AFL rookie of year award. He finished his career in 1969 as running back for the Denver Broncos. He loved the Broncos and loved to talk football. When he finished his career he went into real estate. I met Bobby five years ago when I became one of the owners at Keller Williams DTC. He served as managing broker with dignity, class, and sophistication. He had an infectious smile, a warm hug, and a cool, calm, collected southern demeanor. Nothing ever rattled Bobby. There would be a room filled with angry and shouting people and he was the coolest cat in the room. I learned so much from him in the short time I knew him. It is difficult for me to talk about all that Bobby did for me personally or what he meant to the office. As managing broker, he had every agent’s back. He defended us, loved us and made us better.
Just before Bobby got diagnosed he decided to sell his shares in the office, take the money and join his son in Georgia building homes. Sorta semi –retirement for Bobby, but once he started treatment that all came to end. He worked so hard all his life and finally was going to get the chance to enjoy some retirement, but that didn’t happen. It’s caused me to pause and think long and hard about what’s important to me and what I want for my life. I’ve got dreams and plans just like most people and for too long I have said. “some day.” But what if some day doesn’t come. What if I have a moment like Bobby where I worked all my life and don’t get the chance to enjoy my retirement. What if I go to the doctors tomorrow for a check up and find out I have _____________with very little time to live. That’s why I’ve decided to start making my dreams come true. I am no longer waiting for someday I’ve started the planning process for the next phase of my life now. I don’t want to wait until it’s too late. Yes we all have to work, yes we all have to support ourselves and our families, but ask yourself, “how much is enough?” Are you working 60, 70, 80 or more hours per week? For what? Whatever empire you are building will just fade away once you are gone. As the old saying goes “you can’t take anything with you once you are gone.”
My Christmas wish for you this year is that you ponder the difference between satisfied and joy, the difference between just existing and living life, and the difference between someday for your dreams and today. As I get older I spend a lot of time thinking about my quality of life instead of the quantity in my life. Bobby Burnett taught me many lessons over the time we were together maybe the best lesson he showed me was not to wait for tomorrow. Make my dreams happen now. I pray that for you as well.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.