Weekend Story- The Old Man And The Businessman
June 20, 2022
There was once a businessman who was deep in debt and struggling to stay afloat. Creditors were stalking him constantly, demanding that he pay his dues.
Desperate and hoping to keep away from the creditors, the businessman escaped to a park and sat there on a park bench, wondering what he must do to save his company from bankruptcy.
As he sat there, an old man appeared before him. He seemed prescient. “My friend, I can see something troubling you,” he said.
Surprised and hoping to unburden himself, the businessman shared with the old man all his troubles.
“I believe I can help you,” the old man responded after listening to the businessman’s woes.
With a flourish, he took out a checkbook from his pocket, asked the businessman his name, wrote out a check, and pushed it into the hands of the astonished businessman, saying, “Bank this check and take the money. You can meet me here exactly one year from today and pay me back the money I have given you today.”
So saying, the old man turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come.
The stunned businessman held in his hand a check for $500,000, signed by John D. Rockefeller, then one of the world’s wealthiest men!! “Wow- I don’t have to worry about money anymore !!” he thought, feeling energized and rejuvenated by the realization that he had the money to deal with all his concerns.
In that instant, the businessman decided to do something audacious. Instead of cashing the check, he put it safely in his safe. Just knowing that he had access to the money filled him with the confidence and conviction to look for ways to save his business.
The next day, with renewed optimism, he went back to all his creditors and negotiated extended terms of payment, promising to pay them back within a few months. In parallel, he also reached out to all his prospects and closed a few big deals.
He cleared out all his debts in a few months and began making money again.
Time flew, and exactly a year later, the businessman returned to the same park, the uncashed check in hand, hoping to meet the old man. He did not have to wait long. The old man appeared in front of him.
Just as the grateful businessman was about to hand back the check and share details of the turnaround in his fortunes, a nurse came running and grabbed the old man.
“I’m so glad I caught him!” she cried. Then, looking at the businessman, she said, “I hope he hasn’t been bothering you, sir. This is his scheduled time for a walk in the park. He’s always escaping from the rest of the nursing home group and chatting with people in the park, telling them that he’s John D. Rockefeller.”
So saying, the nurse-led the old man away.
Astonished, the businessman just stood there, dumbfounded. He’d been wheeling and dealing, buying and selling all year, convinced he had half a million dollars in his safe deposit.
The businessman had a profound realization.
It wasn’t the money-real or imagined- that had turned his life around. Instead, his newfound self-confidence enabled him to deal with his challenges.