Sunday, December 09, 2012

It's a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart was on TV the other night. It used to be that you could watch it pretty much at anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not since NBC became the sole licensee in the US to the movie. I joined the movie after George Bailey realized he was $8,000 short and was very rude to his family and daughter's teacher. He got clocked by the guy in the foreground of this picture for yelling at the teacher, this man's wife.

Shortly thereafter, George contemplates suicide and his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody A2 (Angel 2nd class), jumps in the river. You know the story.
Whenever I see this movie, I think about how the world would be different if I were never born. It's an interesting exercise. You can never figure out all of the ways you have impacted people, but I bet there are a few things you could identify.  First, if you have kids, they wouldn't exist. Would your spouse have married? Would they have been able to have kids? How about pets? Parents?

I can only think about sections of my life at a time before I normally move on to something else, maybe I have ADD, but this time I thought about my professional life. What would have been or could have been different? Well, there's that one company where I found a secret checking account used by the controller while I was an auditor. That certainly would have gone on for some time most likely. I'd like to think Morningstar's development would have been delayed by a bit at least. I hired quite a few good people there and recruited at least one person from Morton Salt who is still there and his life would be completely different, since he met his wife at Morningstar and they had triplets. The other folks I hired certainly fared better I'd like to think because of me.

The real estate agent who collected $500k in commissions (over time) for being our broker at Morningstar certainly appreciated my existence and selecting him. Similarly, the architecture firm I chose was on the verge of going out of business as it turns out and our job really helped save them. One of the owners eventually started another company, which employs about 20 people, so that's influenced by me as well! The two companies I helped turn around and sell probably would have been sold anyway, but for not as much money.

My current business partner, ESDNM, would certainly be poorer since our Chicago business wouldn't exist. And the clients I've helped here wouldn't be as well off I'd like to think.

Okay, my ADD is kicking in and as usual my thoughts turn to my personal life instead of work. LL would probably be better off without me, but she might not be pregnant!! And if she was, the baby would obviously be different than the one we are having. And of course, you wouldn't be reading this blog!


alexis said...

clearly the thing we'd miss the most is the blog!

Michael Podolny said...

And alcohol consumption. The alcohol industry would be significantly less profitable if you were not around.

terri said...

You've had a significant impact on a lot of people and businesses! This seems like a healthy exercise. Maybe I should give this some thought!