DA Kentner writes the column THE READERS' WRITERS for the (Freeport) Journal-Standard and GateHouse News Service. My alter ego KevaD lives under a stairway of dreams where he writes stories and grumbles about everything. Click the pic to visit KevaD's blog.
Drop me a line at dakentner@yahoo.com

I invite you to read my award-winning short story posted on Calliope Magazine's web site.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Entrepreneur and Author Anthony Scaramucci

Anthony Scaramucci is the recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011 New York Award in the Financial Services category. He is also a Managing Partner of SkyBridge Capital, an alternative asset management firm, holds a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, and a BA in Economics from Tufts University. A contributor to CNBC, he is also on the Board of Overseers for the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University and a member of the NYC Financial Services Advisory Committee. 

A father himself, Anthony's life took a major and sudden shift when his own father was diagnosed with brain cancer. The Scaramucci family rallied, and following successful surgery, celebrated the victory over a deadly disease. True to Anthony's nature he wanted to do something more though. Today Anthony is a Board Member of The Lymphoma Foundation and The Brain Tumor Foundation. A brief video of Anthony's dedication and story can be seen at YouTube 

Another level of this man's depth is his belief in not just the United States of America, but of the individuals themselves. In his book "Goodbye Gordon Gekko: How to Find Your Fortune Without Losing Your Soul," Anthony shares how to find wealth, survive the loss of wealth, and the importance of personal and spiritual relationships.

"Goodbye Gordon Gekko" isn't just about finances. Not at all. It is a peek inside Anthony's firm conviction that this country's greatest asset is the American people, and that by understanding people, capital, and culture, anyone can use that knowledge to enrich their life financially as well as spiritually. In "Goodbye Gordon Gekko," Anthony Scaramucci shares how to succeed in life by doing what's right.

Q) You frequently refer to spiritualism. Exactly what does that term mean to you? 

A) It is being in touch with and staying in touch with the notion that there are positive reasons for our existence. Spiritualism means recognizing that, as humans, we do not have all of the answers, especially the central: our origins and the reasons for why we are here. The concept of Spiritualism for me means that there is a higher power and an acceptance that we are here for noble reasons. 

Q) One reviewer made note that your book provides a "moral compass" for Wall Street professionals to follow. To what or whom do you credit your unwavering belief in the goodness of people? 

A) I can't honestly say that there is any one person who gave me this world view. Just a compilation of life experiences and interaction with people that are both well intended and bad intended. Locke or Hobbes? This has been the great debate since the enlightenment. I write in the book that 3% of the planet is inherently evil. So that's 210 million on a population of 7 billion, but it's not everybody. While that group has some brand names, Hitler, Bin Laden and others, the truth is they are the scourge of history and by and large there is a very large group of us and are good and kindhearted and we are consistently annihilating them. Freedom is the best model. Just think about the amount the amount of philanthropy we have in America. No one is perfect, least of all me, but force in our historic future is grounded in goodness. 

So for me, I really think it is part of our design. However, without hope or feelings of optimism about the future we can turn very cynical. In January I spent a week in Iraq with the US Army. Corruption is quite high in Baghdad and a number of private citizens that I talked to there feel that until people are hopeful about the future, they turn to figuring out what and how they can get things for themselves in a way that breaks the social contract that Locke described. Yet cynicism can be turned quickly with the right laws and adherence to property laws. If we set up the right form of government and law enforcement as well as start to effectively tap their oil reserves they will turn things around. 

Q) You have incorporated many personal anecdotes, mishaps, and conquests in your book. Of all the events in your life, which do you hold most dear? 

A) I don't want to sound cliché, but it is really the simplest moments that I hold most dear: a foul ball tipping into my hands that I was able to give to my seven-year-old son. A conversation with a university professor. A kiss from my grandmother. All good times and great memories, but also the feeling that I had on the day I appealed my bar exam failure to the NY State Bar. I lost the appeal. I remember the pain of that and the pit in my stomach. Good times and Bad are the human condition. You are going to be set back by life; it just happens. When it does, when you hit the floor are you made of china or rubber? Be sure to bounce. 

Q) What do you do to recharge and relax? 

A) I love my children and spending time with them. The number one form of relaxation for me is reading. I also enjoy time with friends and loved ones. A good workout is a great stress reliever. 

Q) While "Goodbye Gordon Gekko" is educational and inspiring, the book is also autobiographical. Why did you decide to include your personal story in a book about building financial security? 

A) I thought it was important to lay a framework and a context for who I was and where I came from so after I introduced myself to the reader, they could then assess whether they wanted to take what I was saying. I wasn't trying to focus as much on financial security as I was someone's fortune. The word fortune isn't just money; it is about the portfolio of life. 

Q) At what point can Anthony Scaramucci look back on his life and know he truly succeeded?

A) Never. I am comfortable with who I am, but I am not going to define life as a destination that you pass through some sort of success portal, and then wa-lah you are successful. The most successful people know that a life well lived is when you are doing your best to help other lives, either through your love, your products and services, or your philanthropy. While it's impossible to please everybody, those closest to you should know your goodness

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