She was the first-borne of a large, not really poor, farm family in Ohio. I say “not really poor” because when she was six, and already had 4 younger siblings, she heard her mother worrying about not having enough warm clothes for everyone to get through the winter. At the same time, the children were all trying to stay warm, huddled in one room in a large drafty farmhouse.
It was dark and a full blown blizzard, when her father came home that night. He was beaming, very excited to share his good news with his wife and children. He said,
“You won’t believe my good luck today! I was able to buy the farm equipment I needed for only $80,000!. The little girl’s heart fell when she observed her mother’s face, Her mother cried out,
“Oh — How could you? we can’t even feed these childen, let alone clothe them, and keep them warm.”
Her father could barely mask his disappointment with his wife, as he patiently explained,
“You don’t understand, I will have this equipment paid for in one year, and after that, it’s all clear profit!”
The little girl received her first big lesson in business from her father that day, and she never forgot it. After that, for the rest of her life, she considered return on investment, cost per wearing, and leveraging her money.
The little girl learned another important lesson from her father — the value of working hard. Her father became a multi-millionaire investing in real estate and grain options. He was an excellent business man, hard worker, and she worked right there beside him. He would tell her, and the other workers on the huge farm enterprise,
” She’ll out work all you guys put together!”
And she did. It was a great motivator, for everyone, except her brother, who was a year and half younger than she. Her father had a hard time accepting that his daughter was more like him than his first-borne son, who was the intended heir according to
European custom. Her brother, the prince, knew his destiny as favored son, and looked down on everyone from his perch — his mother, his siblings, the hired hands, the rest of mankind — his father also, but not to his face. He certainly didn’t have to work. When their father died, everything had already been put in “the Prince’s” name. The father had given all the other siblings a home except for his oldest daughter, who, he said,
“Moved too much.”
The father, on his death bed, told “the prince,” to buy his sister a home with some of the inheritance, and the prince told his father,
“He would take care of her.”
The father died in peace, assuming his daughter was taken care of. The prince did nothing for his sister, except sabotage her business, and stole her identity, property, and ruined her name, and her credit. She did not realize that he had always been jealous of her. She made the mistake of trusting her brother. He kept all the family money for himself, and lives lavishly.
It was soon after, the sister was evicted from her home.
Who do you think got the greater inheritance? The sister learned business savvy, the work ethic, and she’s coming back, albeit wiser. She is not letting the Prince know where she is, and that she is doing well.The Prince would not be able to handle her success, as he rapidly squanders the family’s hard earned fortune.
What’s your story? What lessons have you learned?