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Written by DML
The click bait headline on CNBC got me — I couldn’t resist — I had to click on: “Billionaire Jeff Bezos: To live a happy life with no regrets by age 80, ask yourself these 12 questions.”

Although I have lost all respect for Bezos as a husband and father after learning about his extramarital affair that included texting selfies of his man parts, I still believe this guy is a business genius.  Amazon.com is like nothing we’ve ever seen.

The CNBC article points to a recent speech given by Bezos. In it, the marketing guru goes back in time and shares his first thoughts of creating Amazon.  He claims he knew the idea would be high risk.

CNBC quotes Bezos and his story of asking his boss at the time for advice. Apparently, Bezos’ boss told him that the concept for Amazon “sounded like a very good idea,” and that it would be an even better idea if Bezos didn’t already have a good job.

Obviously, Bezos ignored the advice and today, because of his success with Amazon, he is the richest man in the world despite giving away 25% of his Amazon stock to his wife in a recent divorce settlement.

Bezos in his speech says: “We are our choices. Build yourself a great story.”

In the click bait story from CNBC.com, there are 12 questions Bezos urged everyone to think deeply about:

  1. How will you use your gifts?
  2. What choices will you make?
  3. Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?
  4. Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?
  5. Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?
  6. Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?
  7. Will you bluff it out when you’re wrong, or will you apologize?
  8. Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?
  9. Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?
  10. When it’s tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?
  11. Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?
  12. Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

I’m not sure if Jeff Bezoa can claim to have answered all his questions perfectly in his personal life, but he sure is spot on with his business decisions at Amazon.com

The company, despite its enormous size, shows no signs of slowing down as it enters new industries all the time. What started off as a bookseller online is now building its own airplanes, producing movies, running data centers, and operating retail food outlets. As a businessman myself, it would be silly of me to ignore Bezos and his 12 questions.  But considering a life’s story isn’t solely about business, I may tack on a 13th question and send it to Jeff.

13. Should a father take a selfie of his man parts and send them to his secret lover when doing so will devastate and embarrass his children and wife?

Someday, Jeff will reach 80.  He will be forced to revisit his own words: “We are our choices. Build yourself a great story.”

Odds are he looks back at his own story and realizes he can’t take with him the fortune he built or the website he operated. He will realize that none of his customers will care about him when he’s 80.  Question 13 will haunt him.

Question 13 will force Jeff to think about how he treated his family. Odds are he will break down and cry; he will wish he had spent more time working on his family and less on his business because family is everything.

I may not have the amount of cash on hand that Jeff does, but I am far more rich than he.  For it is not the size of a man’s wallet that matters, but rather the size of his heart.  Family is what matters most, especially when your 80. Everything else, including a business, is secondary in the story of life.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely, you can’t take your riches with you when you die but you can certainly take your honor and dignity.

  2. Great article Dennis! I try to live by a list close to this but fail constantly on. But I keep trying. As you mentioned Family is the Key. Thanks again see you in Naples again soon.

  3. That is a great 13th Question. You will never see a U-Haul following a hearse. You will never hear a person want to see their Millions or maybe their Mansions or maybe their Hundred Thousand dollar vehicles. No they talk about seeing their Families.

  4. As question 13 is the most poignant, it is also why although Jeff is a gazillionaire, he is most unlucky. Spot on Dennis!

  5. Maybe this was his soul destiny in this lifetime; to build an empire, to have it all monetarily, but to do something so superficial that would change his relationship with his family. Maybe that is his true job here….a good lesson for all of us to think about ~

  6. “Bezos in his speech says: “We are our choices. Build yourself a great story.”

    If this is your story of fame and fortune, you may discover that ” and he lived happily ever after.” will not be the final chapter. Dennis is right about family. Family brings you back to earth and keeps you grounded.

  7. What a great question…you are absolutely correct. As a husband and a father, he really made a huge mistake. All the fantastic things he accomplished to become such a well-known & incredible businessman, he will forever be remembered as a loser husband and Dad. Most people that become so wealthy & powerful begin to think they can do ANYTHING and get away with it!! Then, destruction begins and ends in their personal life.

    You are a fantastic husband and father with a great heart and brain. You will never be bought and sold no matter how famous or wealthy you become!!!!

  8. 🤔Kinda makes ya think, doesn’t it!
    This is even more true when the family you have joined/made/or become part of is so “very special” (especially if your blood relatives are all gone) and those are the relationships/families you work on the hardest to cherish & grow. But it all starts with you. Make everyday special, have purpose, find joy & happiness in whatever you do and never forget the tools you have learned along the way to enhance your own life as well as the life of those around you. Share your gifts with those who matter & what you receive in return will fill your heart with so much joy you’ll be smiling on the inside as well as out 🥰 Live, love, & laugh everyday & be grateful for all you have experienced. Trust me when you’re 80 your heart will be filled with joy for the love you shared, your mind will be at ease for all the good things you’ve accomplished and your soul will lift your spirits daily because of all the positive power you have shared with the world around you.
    (Unfortunately, there are people like Mr Bezos who probably won’t ever reflect on their past or shed a tear bc their wealth & power has manipulated the mind into believing that all their actions were somehow justified. Sadly, they’ll never know or experience the true love of family bc wealth & power tends to blind many of what true love and devotion actually are.)

  9. I always hate to hear when a man or woman looses sight of the real thing of importance, family. I can see the true love you have for yours.

  10. Totally agree. Family is first and foremost. The rest comes after. Doesn’t it say God, family, etc.?

  11. Bezos may be a smart man, but he isn’t a very wise man. Every action should be thought through to the end. Not just in your business decisions, but your personal decisions as well. A measure of a man is not by the things he owns, but how he treats his family and friends.

  12. Absolutely DML, I’ve always thought family is more important as my husband could tell you he worked so many long hours at work making his boss’ company richer (not taking a raise or vacation in 20 years) I practically raised my 2 boys alone with him working ever holiday visiting family without him I was very lonely. Now that we both are retired we see each other everyday but his health is failing so we stay home but it’s ok with me because we are making up the time/years he was never home. God Bless you DML & Family. 😘🇺🇸

  13. I do believe you should send him your 13th question (if you haven’t already)….even if he may have already realized what a huge mistake he has made!!!!

  14. AgreeDML!! You can have all the wealth in the world, but if you don’t have family, you don’t have anything!

  15. Perfectly said! Some men think with their little Richards! Lol what bezos lost can never b replaced by money. When he’s 80 he’ll realize that.

  16. I so agree wholeheartedly with all the comments that have been shared. Without integrity and honor with his loving family beside him, a man is but an empty soul. I kept thinking about your friend that you took to the top of the lighthouse and how she sumed up her life. Look at all the people that showed up at her funeral. Wow, I will never forget that.

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