What does a Jumbo Jet Pilot, a Rafting Excursion, the Tallest Building in the World and a Tonka Truck Have in Common?

When I first walked up, I thought there was something wrong with Tom. I had never met him before and he was bouncing around the airplane like a kid. In his mid fifties, Tom had this permanent smile plastered onto his face. What’s wrong with this guy? I thought to myself. Four days later, Tom was a great friend, a mentor and one of the most interesting people I have ever met.

Character Exposed

Tom was the kind of guy that you knew had read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” over and over. Heck, he probably ghost wrote the book for Carnegie. He was instantly likeable. In the course of a few minutes we were already talking about real topics. Our goals, our experiences, things we were excited about. Tom was training for a marathon and excited about his running. Every morning for the four day trip he got up at 4 am and ran outside. One morning there was 3 inches of fresh snow on the ground! But I think his long distance running was the least of his accomplishments.

Blown Away

Tom owns a large portion of the white water rafting in West Virginia. It’s a huge operation. Rafts, paddles, employees, liabilities. I was impressed that he had time for such a large business on the side. I knew it must come with countless decisions and quite a few headaches. That’s when he told me a story about dump trucks that left me feeling like I really needed to get out and accomplish something.

White Water Rafting

What’s the Big Idea?

While living in the United Arab Emirates, Tom stumbled onto a big idea. The economy there had just taken a dip and construction had come to a halt. On his way home from work, Tom was staring out the window of his company limousine when the big idea struck. Looking through the links of a chain fence, Tom saw nearly 50 massive mining dump trucks wasting away with no work to do. “Somebody in the world needs those.” He thought to himself. Now let me remind you Tom is not a normal guy. He does not pass up a good idea. Tom is the kind of guy that stays up late thinking of a way to make things happen.  So, when he decided that he would find a company in the world that “needed those trucks,” that’s just what he did. After a dump-truck load of “no’s” from company after company and being thrown out of a lobby by security for trying to make a sale, he finally hit it out of the park. He found a home for the trucks and quickly secured the financing from a large bank. The trucks were loaded up into massive container ships and sent across the Atlantic Ocean. Tom now inspects his trucks by helicopter once per year while he spends his time on his next big endeavor. Or should I say, next tall endeavor.

Sky High

Enter the world’s tallest construction crane. Tom decided to go into business of owning and operating the cranes that build skyscrapers. He now has several cranes operating throughout Asia. Tom’s cranes are built inside the elevator shafts of baby skyscrapers. As the building grows, the crane inside grows too. The higher the building, the taller the crane. Once the job is complete, the cranes are disassembled and moved to another job. There seems to be no stopping Tom from doing whatever he wants to. When he has an idea, he takes action.

Giant Construction Crane

I recently asked Tom for a book recommendation. When someone spends their day making million dollar decisions about white water rafting adventures, exporting enormous mining dump-trucks from the Middle-East, and bidding on jobs to build the next tallest building in the world, I place great stock in their opinion. Without hesitation Tom recommended “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. If you have great ideas but you’re having trouble taking action on them, I highly recommend getting this book today. If you are stuck in life and wondering what the point is or what to do next, I highly recommend getting this book. If you don’t like to read, this book is definitely for you. It’s simple story line and compounding lessons about living your own legend and happening to the world are life changing.


I read this about a month ago and I still can’t sit still. It’s a fiction book about a shepherd boy on his quest to find himself and a life that matters. It highlights your ability to choose your own path and carve your own legend. I have several quotes from the book that I think are profound but my favorite can be found here on my Facebook page.

Giveaway- Because this book is so important to me, I am giving away one free copy of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.  I’m going to mail a free copy of this book to the first person that leaves a comment on this post. Just make a comment on Tom’s story or why you want the book and I’ll get the book sent your way! Good Luck!

If you’ve already read it, let me know what your favorite part was or how this book changed the way you look at the world in the comments section.

Thank You for your support. Have an awesome week.

Happen to the World,



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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