Being “Successful”

Disclaimer: All these stories I write are about MY life. Kind of an autobiography, but I have neither the talent nor the patience to actually write a real book.

And no one on Earth would ever, ever read it, much less, buy it!

My favorite books were usually a collection of short stories about a specific subject…each story would be able to stand on its own.

Yeah, there would always be a common theme interwoven throughout, kinda tying everything together, but I always liked the idea of accomplishing something so finishing a short story would often do the trick for me.

I wrote these stories here to entertain.

To teach, to possibly communicate something useful.

To stir up memories with those with whom I shared my life & my career.

It was NOT to brag or be boastful!

Honestly, it’s been a huge cathartic (< < < fancy word alert!) experience for me

Look, I was never really successful in life. Yes, I fully realize I had an incredible wife & an even more incredible daughter…and to me, that was “success”.

But I never climbed the corporate ladder like I knew that I could’ve & should’ve. Never accumulated any wealth whatsoever & I struggle today from a plethora of terrible (life) decisions, unwise investments & unbelievably bad luck!

No, this is NOT “Woe is me!” as I got what I most probably deserved.

But other than family & having unbelievable friends (in real life & yes, here on FB!), I feel “very successful” as I believe I made a positive impact on the “real bosses” of mine throughout my career.

My employees.

My customers.

My company’s shareholders.

And while I was definitely woefully short on “personal success” – – as loosely defined by 💰💰💰, possessions, position, power, social status & all the “material stuff” in life – – how “my people” felt about me & how my family/friends feel about me now is where I derive ALL the pleasure in my life!

Did I help them (even in the tiniest way imaginable) to somehow be/become successful themselves?

Did I provide them with the right advice ? Coaching? Teaching?

Did I push, incentivize, motivate them hard enough?

Did I provide a good example to them?

Did I protect them as I would my own flesh & blood?

It’s all about what others say & feel about you…in your business doings as well as your personal life…that should matter most.

At least they do to me.

Here are some things I’ve always kept over the years as they’ve meant SO VERY MUCH to me…

“As your teammate, I witnessed first hand your love of baseball. You played the game with such passion and your desire to win was second to none. Don’t know if you ever knew the positive influnce you were to many of us. Never too late to say so!”


“They would be so proud of the person you are. You are the most caring, loving, incredible person I know. You lift us all up in prayer and encouragement. I am so very proud to be your friend!”


“Aww, thank you very, very much as I can completely relate & understand that & how difficult it truly is. I appreciate, we appreciate you & your unconditional generosity, love, prayers, encouragement & support…always. We love you. It is way past my bedtime, but had been working on getting the finalization to the post for a very long time & now praying it is successful. Alright, will talk more soon & hope you have a blessed night. Our eternal gratitude to you once again. XOXO”


“Of course! You have the biggest heart, my friend. Miss you lots. Love ya!”


“Thank you for all you did for us. It did not go unnoticed or will we ever forget. You were the best at Citi and the best BOSS we had. Thank you for your wisdom, time and energy and sharing with our family, Laurie and Heather with us. I hope you are doing well. Love you too!”


“I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but you are a great leader. I have never worked for someone who had my back the way you had ours! You don’t give a shit about office politics and you do what’s right! There were 3 things you did for me when we worked together that I will never forget. 1) you let me go to my aunt’s funeral after she passed away from cancer. 2) you saw my potential. You had asked me one day why I wasn’t in the supervisor queue when I had been there for so long yet new hires were being put in it. Well, my supervisor had it out for me. Next thing I knew, I was in the supervisor queue. 3) when I was on an escalated call and my supervisor literally started yelling at me with the customer on the phone and in front of my team. You totally had my back with that. You truly are one of the greatest!”


“We loved you too! I was so sad not having you there anymore. I remember when you first came and we had that meeting on a Saturday. When you told us all we didn’t have to take the cursing and being called names from a client, I knew right there you were gonna rock! The higher-up management there was a joke, but not as bad as the people I work for now for sure.”


“Lol, no, thank you! You are so welcome! Thanks again for everything you did for me and every other employee you’ve had!”


“Mike, you’re a great person. I’ve always prayed for the best for you. You taught me more than you know. You’d be so proud of where I’m at in my career”


“Oh, and you’d be so proud of me, Mike. I’m now an assistant Vice President… And doing very well. I’ve grown so much over the past 10 years. It’s crazy to think about how I used to be.”


“That was the best thing you could have done for me, Mike. I was pigeonholed into a specific role for a while until someone was brave enough to change the way we were doing things, and WHO was doing certain things. It really made me realize my potential! I’m now leading the mortgage servicing team at First National Bank of XXXXX. I would have never had the confidence in myself had you not seen it in me first. ❤️. I even got that corner office I never dreamed I’d have!”


“You have no idea of the impact you had on my life and career. You believed in me before I believed in myself. You were a stubborn ass sometimes, but I admire you still. I was just telling him how radical Scottsbluff thought you were. You really weren’t that radical. They just didn’t know what to do with all of your thoughts and innovation.”


“I think I told you before that I had a Mike LoRusso “Let’s Discuss” folder. I’d come into your office and go over all the things you said we should discuss. Not because I had to. I wanted to.. Most of the time

You fought hard for what made sense, but no one else saw it. That’s why I’m thoroughly convinced I wouldn’t be where I’m at in my career without my time with you. I may not have liked your approach all the time, but the point was made clear and I still appreciate everything you did for me. Because you believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

That’s all I needed. Someone to believe in me. I never had that until you.”


Well, OK, maybe this IS bragging, but it’s all I got. I hope you understand.

While all my physical issues, I really don’t have much of a future ahead of me, but I’ve come to accept that reality.

Oh, how I’d love to go out again & golf & bowl & drive & work & even, walk like a normal person (even a normal 64 y/o), but I’ve learned to lower my expectations.

And I derive the absolute GREATEST pleasure in the world from the simple things in life…

…going to breakfast or dinner with Heather (and actually seeing other people)…

…being invited over to a Super Bowl party…

…petting someone’s dogs…

…living vicariously through others as I read all about all their escapades on FB…

…making new friends that I feel I’ve known my entire life.

I’m cool with all that…and I hope you’re cool with my “bragging”.

i originally wrote this story 1-2 years ago, but I just updated it today (Mon 2/8/21). Yes, the Super Bowl party was yesterday!


As always, I’m so very thankful for your having taken the time to read my stuff and being so tolerant, understanding & non-violent toward me! 😉

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