Last summer we had gophers up the “gump stump” terrorizing annual flowerbeds, perennials, shrubs and our new turf. Actually destroying everything green and living in, on and under the ground. Our defense included high impact bombs, guided underground missiles, gopher gassers, laser beams and an electronic devise causing an underground vibrating volcano that was guaranteed to escort the critters into kingdom come. But lo, nothing worked!

“I know” my wife, Roberta exclaimed, “let’s go to the SPCA and get two mean, ugly, hungry, gopher eating cats.” After a $100.00 donation and $200.00 worth of inoculations, Sylvester and Talk-a-lot (named after our good friend and author of “Tin Can Alley”, David Butler) were escorted home, they immediately proceeded to climb up into the rafters of the garage, refusing to come down.

Regardless of the coaching and calling or bribing with food and warm milk, the frightened felines remained claw clinging to the rafters accompanied by pitiful meowing. That’s when Roberta, in total frustration and desperation confiscated a 10 foot construction ladder and leaned it, precariously and without bracing, against an unstable workbench. The goal was clear, the strategic plan was in place, the rescue operation had begun, and each step of the critical path of progress was evaluated as she climbed each rung of the ladder.

Standing upright now at the very top of the ladder with both hands free, she stretched out to nab the Tabbies, and then it happened! You guessed it. The ladder suddenly collapsed, slamming Roberta without sufficient warning to break the fall, onto the concrete garage floor 10 feet below. No, I’m not a widower; she survived although bruised black and blue. But, here is where my “match making” story begins with my personal experience.

After investing over 20 years climbing the ladder of success, I discovered, through introspection and careful consideration, that I had leaned my ladder of success precariously against the wrong tree. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I consider these years as wasted. My career was enormously interesting and each step on the ladder propelled me successfully higher to command and administrative positions within the California Highway Patrol, until I had become an Area Commander at age 49. I had experienced the fun of being a Motorcycle Officer, the responsibility of a Resident Officer, the rare and unique opportunity to a attend and graduate from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA and enroll in the Masters Program at San Diego University and obtain a Lifetime Teaching Credential in Police Science. Fortunately, I did not “crash” but rather, had the common sense, and what others identify as courage, to evaluate the situation, consider alternative options, get off the ladder and move forward into other opportunities in real estate, finance and investment and strike while the iron was hot.

Unfortunately, most young men and women do not take the time or have the motivation to identify and then seriously evaluate their abilities, talents, native intelligence and propensities and to “match” these attributes with the educational and vocational requirements for a life long and satisfying career when considering the first step on the ladder of success. Or perhaps, not unlike my experience, they do not have the luxury or opportunity to meet with a vocational or guidance counselor who can help them integrate who they are with what they want to do through assessment. Or perhaps they do not have parents to assist and support and share their dreams and aspirations through the motivational approach of personal potential. I can understand and relate to this situation entering the work force right out of the Navy. I began my law enforcement career out of a financial need to support a wife and four sons.

So, for those reading this article and just starting out in the Cash Flow business, I suggest you seriously think about what innate abilities you can bring to the table that “match” the requirements to be successful in the Real Estate, Finance, Investment and Cash Flow business. Do you have drive, ambition; Are you a self-starter or do you need constant supervision? Do you have persistence, resilience and patience? Are you willing to invest in the discipline of time management and seize upon every educational opportunity you can afford? Is your goal financial independence? If so, then go for it because when you love what you do, you’ll never have to work another day in your life. Your ladder of success will be braced safely and securely on solid ground and you will find contentment on every rung of the ladder as you chart your career path.

For readers who currently may be thoroughly entrenched and committed to a career that you absolutely hate and would love to take a flying leap off your personal success ladder at any cost, my advise is – wait for a second thought. You may not have the luxury to simply “jump off” as I did and I wouldn’t recommend it; it hurts! Before you make the decision, take whatever time is necessary to think through what you are about to do. Proceed with the “matchmaking” by doing an honest personal assessment of your abilities, personal attributes, skills, talents as well as your financial preparedness to withstand a financial drought for six months to a year. You may have to approach the change in steps. Put a transitional plan together with a time limit set for implementation. Confirm the support of your immediate family, particularly your husband or wife to assure your ladder to success is firmly planted on stable ground.

Once you make the decision to change careers, I encourage you to muster the courage to “go for it”. Let me remind you, there are no “re-runs” to life; you only get one shot at it. Keep on climbing and don’t look down because the higher you go, the better the view.