Our fathers fill a critical role during our life. To be clear, I am not talking about just our birth fathers, but all important male influencers and counselors. They help us develop, navigate the pitfalls of life, and make us into better human beings. I have been very fortunate to have the influence of many great men who gave me the confidence to do what I do. They helped me reign in that “Crazy Marty Energy” (as I have heard it described in the past), brought focus to my mind, and helped me develop into a somewhat functional father myself.
My Dad, Orlen Richards, is a great man, and almost everyone who has ever met him would agree with that statement. He embodied the term “servant leader” before anyone knew what that term meant. He has shown me how to equip and support my spouse and my children, to achieve levels of success on their own that will continue to serve them well long after I am gone. He taught me it isn’t always about me, it is about guiding their lives to a level of achievement and happiness that they find rewarding and they can then help others.
I had at least two great sports coaches in high school who were extremely instrumental in my development personally. Gary Gutkenecht and Dan Rice were truly “life coaches” for me before that was a term too. Not coincidentally both men have been recognized by their state and national Halls of Fame for their successes as coaches. However, I remember Gary for teaching me to never quit and Dan for teaching me to have a plan, have another plan, and then have yet a third plan. He also taught me to make sure all 3 plans don’t suck. Both Dan and Gary were responsible for motivating me to go on to a 20+ year coaching career in high school football and girls softball. Many of the lessons I learned from them formed the basic philosophy I emphasized to my players, “be accountable to your responsibilities and to your teammates.” This works in life too.
I was extremely fortunate to have a father-type relationship with my business mentor Bill Brown. Bill and I were an unlikely pairing, we could not be more different. Bill is very analytical and pragmatic. I walked into his office one day, without an appointment or a real estate license, and talked him into hiring me as a real estate agent. However, we actually learned we worked well together. Bill taught me the basics of business, how to conduct yourself in a business setting, and how to set up different “streams of income” before anyone used that term widely. I owe much of my professional success to Bill. He is very much responsible for my insurance and retirement investment career and the work I went on to do to help literally thousands of public school employees reach a level of financial success for themselves.
These are just a few of the different “fathers” I have had over the years. We want to celebrate those fathers who have made us the person we are. For our Father’s Day weekend, East Coast Tour, we will extend a 50% discount to a father and their companion. My suggestion, invite your “father”, to go on the East Coast Tour with you. If they are your birth father, awesome, if they are a former coach, teacher, neighbor, father-in-law, even better. We simply want to celebrate all of those who have filled that role and have made us the people we are. This isn’t limited to fathers and sons, it could be fathers and daughters, fathers and granddaughters, you name it. Just use the code FathersDay50 when purchasing the ticket for 50% off your fare and your “father”. Simply put it is a 50% discount for a father and their companion, whoever they may be.
We hope to see you soon!