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Episode Info:

I had such a great discussion with Rick Wong for this episode. Rick lost his dad when he was just 10 years old. This was back in the 1960s, so Rick has a lifetime of reflections and experiences to share with us.

Rick says he was totally lost from age 10, when his dad died, to around age 18. He was lucky enough to have family and teachers who saw tremendous potential in him, and some of them took him under their wings. Rick went on to become a successful corporate executive and entrepreneur, and an accomplished musician as well.

Some topics Rick and I discuss include:

  • Going from a straight A student to barely passing after his dad died;
  • Shifting from being a middle or upper-middle class family to relying on food stamps after his dad died, and his sense that they might have been homeless if family hadn’t stepped in to help;
  • Hearing from all his relatives and family friends on the day his dad died that he now needed to be the “man of the house;”
  • Finding out many years later details about his dad’s death that his family didn’t want to share when he was younger;
  • Trying to look at examples around him to figure out how to be a man;
  • Looking back now and realizing that he was probably depressed in the years after his dad died;
  • What it was like to approach age 50 himself, which is the age his dad died; and
  • Why giving back is so important to him now as an adult.

I hope you enjoy my discussion with Rick Wong.

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