Tag Archives: success

The Successful Bethel

“Never fret for an only son, the idea of failure will never occur to him.”

—George Bernard Shaw

Today’s story is contributed by Dr. Klee Bethel.

When Savvy Dad asked me to share my dad’s best lesson, only one person came to mind — my son.

life success

Klee with David, his son, and grandsons Caden (age 13) and Brenner (age 8)

Growing up, I was taught that success was defined in terms of wealth and influence. A “successful” man had a tailor-fit wardrobe, a lavish home, and enough cars to fill an oversized garage.

As an ambitious young man, I saw my path to success in the medical field. In time I became a prominent doctor. A success, I thought. I tried to pass on my idea of success to my son, David. It was my duty, right?

But David didn’t see it my way. We were close in his adolescent years — best friends, I would say. But in his teenage years, we started to grow apart. I didn’t approve of his GPA in school. He didn’t approve of my second wife.

By the time David turned 20, and had his first son, we were estranged. I didn’t approve. His choices were all wrong. No college? Working as a waiter? His new wife merely a receptionist?

As a physician, I had made a good living, but eventually went bankrupt when the economy fell. I also divorced my second wife. As it turned out, I was not the portrait of success I had envisioned as a youth.

But my son… Today, at 33 years old, he is the most talented food server in the restaurant. He is deeply in love with his lovely wife, Sedina. They have two wonderful boys, Caden and Brenner, now 13 and 8. My son and his family live a remarkably happy life.

My son’s prescription for success is simple — being an amazing husband and a fantastic father to my grandsons.


David, Sedina, Caden, and Brenner.

After my second divorce, I finally “woke up.” I realized that my formula for success was shortsighted and wrong. My son was more successful than I had ever been. So, I decided to adopt his vision for success as my own!

Today, I am dedicated to being the best dad and granddad I can possibly be. I visit my son at his restaurant frequently. I attend my grandson’s football games. My daughter-in-law works with me in my medical practice.

As parents, David and Sedina have structured their lives to revolve around their kids. As a granddad, I now structure my life to revolve around them.

I always felt it was my paternal duty to show my son the path to happiness in life. Now, I look to him to show me the way. I consider it an honor to be part of his life.

Of the two of us, my son is The Successful Bethel.


Klee with grandson, Caden

Klee Bethel practices Interventional Pain Management in Mesa, AZ at the Beth-El Clinic. He is a board certified MD anesthesiologist who has focused on pain intervention for the past 12 years. Dr. Bethel has been an Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine since retiring as its Chairman in 2009. He practices the art of medicine in both a traditional and non-traditional fashion. Dr. Bethel is also an associate medical school professor teaching a class in plant-based nutrition.

How to Make Millions Working for Free

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

make millions

I found it!

Yesterday I told you about my first 8-second WHY ME.

A kid of 19. Green as a goose. Selling real estate. My first “professional” job.

NO! Day after day that’s what I heard.

NO! A very discouraging word.

What to do? Chubby advised,

“Greg, you need an 8-second WHY ME. It’s got to be an IRRESISTIBLE reason why you (and only you) should be the ONLY choice to sell anyone’s home.”

What did I do?

Do You Have an Indisputable WHY ME?

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

why me


19 years old. Trying to make it in real estate like Chubby, my dad. But no one was saying “yes.”

Why should they? Selling a home is serious business. I was just a kid.

Many don’t know. The path to success in real estate? It’s not what you think. Chubby taught me early.

Most think it’s about having buyers. Nope. It’s all about the sellers.

For The Greater Good-ell

“…because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”

—Peter Marshall in 1947

This story is about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Remember the movie Jerry Maguire? When Tom Cruise takes a stand by writing a “mission statement” that ultimately gets him fired. (And, he recruits that lonely fish to accompany him on the way out.)

Roger Goodell

Roger with his father, Senator Charles Goodell

At different times in our lives, we all face the decision — take a stand for what’s right, and fair, and just. Or play it safe, keep quiet, and move on. While we may differ drastically as to where we stand, we should never differ as to why we stand there — always because we believe it is right, and fair, and just.

Unfortunately, some people advocate for the wrong reason. Politicians may be most susceptible given the “re-electionary” nature of their jobs. READ MORE 

Bankrupt to “Booyah!”

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight with no vision.”

—Helen Keller

Today’s story is contributed by Darin Kidd.

I was 25 years old. Bankrupt. Medicaid. Applying for food stamps. Car repossessed. My wife and I were at the lowest of low. Neither of us made it through college. Five kids. I felt like a total failure — as a husband, as a father, and as a provider.


Darin and his mentor, Jeff Olson

Opportunities were scarce in our small Virginia town. I needed help. Guidance. Someone to show me the way.

My Dad? A faithful Christian. A family man. Growing up, he helped others in need, even when we were scraping to get by. He was a wonderful man, and I count myself very blessed. But it was clear I needed a different kind of help, from a different kind of mentor. Life smarts. Business savvy. Principles for success. I went on the hunt…

I found Jeff Olson. He wrote a book called The Slight Edge, among others. What I learned from him has defined my life. READ MORE 

Failure … High Five From Dad!

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

—Thomas A. Edison

Today’s story is about Sara Blakely.

Every night at dinner Sara’s dad asked, “What did you fail at today?” Sara would excitedly report back, “Dad, I tried out for this sport today and I was horrible!” Or that she auditioned for a play—and was wonderfully bad!

Dad’s response? “Way to go!” A high five came next.

Sara Blakely, high five

Sara Blakely at the 2012 Time 100 Gala
Photo: David Shankbone

Sara Blakely’s nightly failure reports, and celebratory high fives, ended up shaping her life. It was a lesson from Dad that paid off big! This 42-year-old entrepreneur recently graced the cover of the Forbes billionaire issue. (The youngest self-made female billionaire to do so).

Sara is the founder/inventor of Spanx — special slimming, no panty-line underwear. Thousands of women around the world swear by them. Reality star Kim Kardashian wears Spanx. Jennifer Lopez does too. Over 10,000 retail locations carry the product.

There are over 200 types of the body-shaping garments, even Spanx designed for pregnant women. Spanx swimwear. Yes, even Spanx for dudes, too. READ MORE 

How Young Men Succeed in Life

Savvy Dad is usually about what we learn from our dads. Today is different. It’s what we learn from our kids.

Corey, doing what he never imagined -- loving each day.

Corey, doing what he never imagined —
loving each day.

I could write glowingly of each of my sons. In fact, I plan to. How they’ve handled their challenges in life. How far they’ve come, and how proud I am.

I’m starting with Corey. He’s incredibly smart and a really great guy. I feel certain his brothers agree.

Most young people have a burning desire to make it, but don’t know how. Or, they think they do, but really don’t. The latter is probably more often the case.   READ MORE