For technical reasons (that ultimately turned out to be fruitless), I had to step away from the desktop today.
I picked up Instant Millionaires by Max Gunther, a book I’ve been slowly reading on and off for months now.
Several of the stories caused me to wonder what became of the people mentioned, and I’ll be doing some research on that later.
One story stood out for me and my dream of contacting that person via email evaporated when I learned via Wikipedia that he’s been dead for ten years now.
It was Howard Head, who developed a new type of ski.
This guy was inspired to do it by an offhand remark made to him about skis by a stranger on a train!
He became obsessed with the idea of making a better ski to the point that he quit his job and dedicated all of his time to that goal.
Sounds like a guaranteed win, eh?
Well, this is how bad things got for him:
Head went doggedly back to his shop, realizing that he was still an amateur in an old and complicated profession. He adjusted his machinery, all of which he had designed himself. He moved to a $20-a-month basement apartment and wore his father’s old overcoat when his own gave out. He borrowed money. When that was gone, he took a part-time job. He had hired airplane mechanics to help him at night. When he ran out of money again and could no longer pay them, they wrote their “times” on a piece of paper tacked to the wall. But, trial and error after trial and error, the skis were improved.
I don’t know how long a time period this encompassed (Wikipedia makes it sounds like a trivial few months, but it just couldn’t be).
How many of you out there would be willing to go through that in pursuit of your dream?
Wind up wearing your father’s overcoat because you couldn’t afford to buy one?
Borrow money until everyone told you No?
Take a part-time job so you could pay others?
Ask others to trust you for the money you owe them while asking them to do even more work?
It all sounds so easy, reading it. What you’re not experiencing are the emotions of it. The possible doubt, the humiliation, and the sense of never knowing if you will ever reach that goal.
And that’s what I had hoped to email Head about. What that period of time in his life was like, emotionally.
But he’s gone to his reward.
In the meantime, here’s a Les Brown clip from YouTube for those who need to persevere:
Additional [non-affilate link]:
Instant Millionaires – Kindle
— nope, it’s not available anywhere else in the U.S. yet in ePub!