Friday, June 22 , 2018, 8:28 pm | Fair 61º


Paul Burri: My Friend, the Entrepreneur

We should all aspire to embody his American spirit

My very good friend, Mike, owns a modest, two-bedroom home in Altadena. Because of the configuration of his lot, he also has a one-bedroom apartment below the regular living quarters.

Paul Burri
Paul Burri

He doesn’t rent this apartment. He uses it for the occasional overnight guest or visiting relatives.

My wife and I recently visited him overnight, and that’s where we stayed. Mike also has a detached two-car garage on his property.

The next morning, talk turned to the current recession and some of the problems associated with it. I should add that Mike has a comfortable retirement income plus separate income from several rental properties he owns.

Also, Mike was born and raised in Brooklyn, and he is a survivor. He is and always has been ready to do whatever it takes to survive — no matter what life throws at him. Conversely, he is not a whiner, complainer or someone who would cry “poor me” and immediately try to “work the system” if things ever got really tough.

As we talked about the possibility that the recession could get drastically worse, Mike said, “If things got really bad, I’d move downstairs and rent out this place.” He added, “And if they got worse yet, I’d rent out the downstairs and move into the garage.”

I am certain that if times got really bad, Mike would do exactly what he said.

I couldn’t help wondering how many spoiled crybabies there are who would be so willing to do what it takes to survive through whatever tough times came their way. I look at Mike as a wonderful example of the American spirit that is willing to take life on its terms and do whatever it takes to survive and prosper.

I pray that spirit isn’t totally dead.

— Paul Burri is an entrepreneur, inventor, columnist, engineer and iconoclast. He is not in the advertising business, but he is a small-business counselor with the Santa Barbara chapter of Counselors to America’s Small Business-SCORE. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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