In the course of conducting research for The Millionaire Mind, the topic of “choice of spouse” was highlighted. One of the respondents, a decamillionaire and senior corporate executive, spoke of the importance his wife had played in his success. He recounted, “the joy of being married to an unselfish, intelligent and nurturing spouse.” After two years of marriage, he had asked his wife what she would like for her birthday. She replied that the best gift in the world would be for him to return to college and finish his degree. She offered to downsize into student housing and to work full time to support them. This gift ultimately bore major fruit in terms of his career and their lifestyle.
I was reminded of this case study when I read a recent email from a senior corporate sales executive I’ll call Owen. When he hit the 50 year old mark, Owen began thinking that his “best years are behind me.” Whether real or imagined, he had begun to worry about his abilities and his employer’s disposition toward him. Jobs all over were being eliminated, early retirement/buyouts were increasing. He took his concerns home to his wife who would hear none of it! She fervently believed in her husband’s ability and career future. So much so that she spent $5,000 of her own money to hire a high grade career placement professional to help Owen present himself in the best light to prospective employers and ultimately land job offers.
At the age of 56, I landed a sales management job. At 71 I’m still going strong with [the company]. We have been able to invest money to be completely financially independent and pass along a very nice inheritance to our kids/grandkids.
In this case, one of the greatest gifts that Owen’s wife ever received was in fact the satisfaction generated from engineering her husband’s rebirth and stellar career.