Ask Paul B: Can’t Compete with Dad, So Now What?

Dear Paul B,

You will probably think that I am weak and worthless for complaining to you, but nobody seems to understand me. I am the oldest kid of three, and my Dad was quite an incredible man. He started a company that was very successful, and then he sold it before I graduated college, and then he past away about a year ago. I thought I would learn his business, but I do have a business degree, and I am a very capable person. Dad and I didn’t really get along all that well, but I did love him, and I do miss him. I was always trying to impress him, but he really didn’t notice my efforts. My middle brother got all the attention, and I was told that “middle kids have problems and need extra attention and support.” Well, as the oldest, I didn’t get much, but I am ok with that. Today, people talk behind my back about my choice of career and they must think that I am a moron. I earn $47,000 a year, but I work hard, and will be promoted in due time. My Dad left money for his family, but I must be thirty when I begin to have access to it. I get little respect from anybody, because they all know who my Dad was. I don’t know who I can trust either. My brother makes more than me, and he is three years younger. He is really a great salesman, but didn’t have the g.p.a. that I did. I always worked hard in school.

Mark

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Dear Mark,

I don’t see any question here, but the answer (if I can locate the question) is BE YOURSELF. Why must you (or anyone) compare you to your late Dad? Are any two people exactly alike? I think not. Don’t worry about what others are thinking (and I believe you to be paranoid about this,) just follow your chosen path. You enjoy your work, and you seem to have goals and aspirations, which is awesome. Your brother has different strengths, and will pursue his own career path. If your Dad was a street urchin and begged for “spare change,” would you feel better about yourself? I can tell you that your Dad’s drive and ambition are also part of you and your persona. You will achieve your own success and it will not be soley determined by your bankroll. My personal heroes are teachers, firemen, honest politicians, and single Moms, most of whom are not millionaires. I do not judge success by income. I do however judge people by their willingness to give back to society, their generosity (time, education and support,) as well as being role models and compassion for others less fortunate. I am proud of you, and look forward to your next update. Please feel free.

Paul B

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