The beginning of the end:
They gave me one of those offers that looked quite interesting,” Smith recalled in the Rubinstein interview. “I remember my lawyer said, ‘This is a bad deal, Robert, but you should take it.’via WSJ
Robert F. Smith, considered one of the wealthiest black men in the world, admitted to playing a key role in what federal prosecutors allege was the biggest tax evasion scheme in U.S. history, an effort by his longtime associate, Texas billionaire Robert Brockman, to hide $2 billion from tax authorities in an offshore accounts.
Character is fate, even and especially if it takes 20+ years to show up. Smith knew what Brockman was proposing. He knew it was a toxic deal and he probably had an idea of what the possible consequences could have been.
He did it anyway.
And what remains… is his so-called “legacy”.
The decisions that I make today sow the seeds that will eventually and inevitably germinate and grow into my future. What a weighty thing to think over…
But, don’t miss the important fact that Smith had counsel; legal professionals that he hand-picked to take advice from. He created and designed the world in which he would live and operate, especially the folks that he kept close.
Consequently, there is a direct relationship between the quality of your relationships and your future success. Either these people make you an objectively better human being (and thus professional) or they don’t.
They either accelerate you or they hold you back. We all get to decide. We all need much more practice.