What can an offline billionaire teach you about online lead generation? More than you’d think.
See, my philosophy on getting more leads and sales in network marketing or affiliate marketing is very different than Mr. Guru’s. I say: the hell with studying online marketing best practices. You don’t need ’em. I’m sorta like the stubborn (but healthy and savvy) old man I’m about to talk about — very set in my ways. And my way? Is to go outside of our industry and learn from the best of the best in as many different areas of business as I possibly can. I want to study the intangibles, habits and mindset of actors, athletes, celebrities, CEOs, real estate moguls, inventors, philanthropists, religious leaders, etc. You name it — if they were incredibly successful, I wanna know their secrets. So let’s look at the story of Forbes’ #577 on the ol’ billionaire list. Yep, with a “B.” Get your game up!
David Murdock is a 90 year-old billionaire businessman. He is a self-made real estate titan who chairs the Board of Dole Food Company. He purchased his first business, a Detroit diner, at the age of 22 with $1,200.00 borrowed money and sold it eighteen months later for a $700.00 profit. After a lifetime of buying, building and selling his net worth is estimated at over two billion dollars. He believes anyone who wants to live past 100 can do it.
Murdock had an unusual life of losses in his family. His mother died of cancer at the age of 42 and two of his three children died before they reached the age of 40. Two of his siblings died in their 60’s. His third wife and mother of his children died of ovarian cancer at the age of 43. These tragic losses have not dimmed his hopes of living longer and living well. When his first wife died he couldn’t work for a year; then later on it was his middle son and a year later another son.
These losses became a reason to live. They have fueled him into believing that the nutrients in fruits, vegetables, seeks and husks hold the key to longevity. He claims he never thinks about age but thinks about what he can eat. His home is filled with books on nutrition and his faith in the power of healthy eating has become his own personal gospel. That gospel is guiding his life mission to help science defeat death and to resurrect a dying town in the process.
David Murdock admits he wasn’t always the healthiest eater. Not until his wife became terminally ill with ovarian cancer and began radiation and chemotherapy treatments did he begin to change his eating habits. He was desperately searching for ways to assist his wife and hoped that eating more fresh foods might help her. He believes that a healthier diet might have prevented her from her illness. After her death, he turned his focus on nutrition. He read books and interviewed researchers. He changed his diet and eliminated red meats – the “kiss of death” as he called it, but continues to eat fish. He also quit eating chicken and dairy as they contained saturated fats. Once he eliminated animal products from his diet he then started on plants, including the rinds such as banana and orange peels. He is up by 4:30 a.m. each morning and exercises daily. His mind is sharp and he focuses on retaining review of his balance sheets as compensation for his lifelong dyslexia. Murdock was so inspired by his review of nutrition and how it can improve health that he coauthored an encylopedia book on the subject with professionals from the Mayo Clinic and UCLA. He never anticipated creating an entire research facility based on his views but with a real estate purchase that is what happened.
A company known as Cannon Mills was purchased by Murdock. It was a textile company which eventually closed due to overseas manufacturers. It was the largest layoff in North Carolina history which laid off over 4,000 people in the town of Kannapolis. He had also acquired downtown Kannapolis at the time which contained several shops and restaurants, over 2,000 rental houses and a lodge on edge of town. With the closing of the textile business, Murdock’s investments in Kannapolis would soon be close to worthless. Many of the shops and restaurants had sentimental value to Murdock so when the textile mill complex came up for auction, Murdock bought it. Losing his family gave him the motivation to get back on his horse again and an inner drive to do something for other people. Murdock contemplated what to do with the land and finally it was clear he would create a lab space for researchers from the state’s major universities so agricultural industries could turn their discoveries into products, provide affordable health care to locals and discover plants’ life-giving powers. In 2008 and six hundred million dollars later, that vision became a reality when the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) opened. It now spans on more than 350 acres and contains a million square feet of labs and offices with more than 15 academic institutions, companies and health care outlets maintaining a presence there. It is one of the most diverse research sites in the world.
Murdock funds one project himself to discover genetic connections among diseases from citizens in Kannapolis and a surrounding county. He has donated over 35 million dollars which will keep it running for the next 10-15 years. He visits the office regularly and is very hands-on and urges community groups to donate their DNA to the cause. Some residents resent Murdock but others seem accepting and welcome the infusion of capital and hope.
The majority of the work at NCRC is focused on investigating superfoods such as berries, ginger and broccoli to see how they reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Labs study how genes affect nutrition and vice versa. NCRC research is progressing as new information emerges on how to get the most from our diets. The findings are often simple yet potentially vital to living a longer and healthier life. Those who ate more than two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables a day had fewer chemical markers of aging in their blood.
Research funding has been cut back by the feds and Murdock’s investment has awarded him nationwide praise. It allows NCRC scientists an opportunity to make a significant contribution. He feels if NCRC can one day improve the lives around the world it is also beginning to do so closer to home. The city of Kannapolis is still struggling. NCRC doesn’t employ the thousands that worked at the textile plant but they anticipate it will eventually employ 5,000 people. Murdock said, “In order to do the impossible, you must see the invisible.” Murdock is a simple man that wants to help. The loss of his family gave him that inner drive to do something for other people. He didn’t need all his money so he decided to spend it on science and keeping himself alive forever and look after other people the same way. Who should I feature next? Let me know.