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Always Welcome: Nine Decades of Great Friends, Great Times & (Mostly) Great Deals by Welcome Wilson



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Gary Pinkerton hosts Welcome Wilson, a 91-year-old Navy veteran who served in the Executive Office under Presidents Dwight D Eisenhower and John F Kennedy. Wilson is also a real estate developer with the Welcome Group, LLC. The conversation centers around his time under Eisenhower and Kennedy. Later, Wilson dishes out some advice that has helped him through life and in his real estate career.

Announcer 0:04
Welcome to the heroic investing show. As first responders we risk our lives every day our financial security is under attack. Our pensions are in a state of emergency. A single on duty incident can alter or erase our earning potential instantly and forever. We are the heroes of society. We are self reliant, and we need to take care of our own financial future. The heroic investing show is our toolkit of business and investing tactics on our mission to financial freedom.

Gary Pinkerton  0:39
Welcome back, heroic investors. This is Episode 184. of the hook investing show. I really cherished this one, I spent a lot of time working on the audio, my guests on this show is Mr. Welcome Wilson, he’s got an awesome name. And I won’t spoil that for you let him describe his name. It’s not often that we get to interview people that are 90 or 91 years old. He’s got nine decades of experience on this earth. And as I grow older, and I start to think about where the true knowledge comes from, and where I learned the most, and it’s from my elders, and I didn’t so much appreciate that when I was younger, and my 20s and 30s. Like most people, I thought I knew everything. When I was a young kid, I do remember learning a lot from and being amazed at things that that people who are much older than me told me, somehow I think I got lost in, in developing my own career and moving along. As I talk to people now though, I’m back. And I start to just be amazed at what people who have been around the block for nine decades, can tell you about life, and about what’s important, because they just have this way of distilling things down to the more obvious, you know, they’ve got a lot of things that have gone through their brain in that period of time. And the ones that have stuck around a really, really important thing. So I think you’ll really enjoy this conversation with welcome Wilson. You know, I was recently on a podcast with Dr. Forrest Bryant, and actually I played both halves of that podcast. And it was it reminded me of an event we did called freedom and legacy panel at his high speed Alliance, mastermind group back in January. And the thing that I remember walking away from those conversations with the most important, you know, something that I talk about very frequently is that you know, time is the most valuable asset you have. But to me also, what I distilled that event down to was that legacy is about the experiences and the knowledge that you pass on to other people. It’s not about the money you pass on money’s easy to make and lose and make again, certainly I get stressed out when I lose money. And when I’m figuring out how I’m going to make the next amount. But in the end, it’s not hard to do, it’s not impossible to do. All you have to do is add value to other people, and the money shows up. But what is difficult to get back is time, and what is impossible to pay for it to others unless you write it down or spend time telling them this is the lessons and experiences that we pass from generation to generation. And that makes us a species that is able to get smarter as each generation passes. Well here we have a gentleman who’s in his 90s. He’s recently written a book at age 90 about his lessons, the title of his book is always welcome. And its subtitle is nine decades of great friends great times, and mostly great deals in our conversation. And in that book. You know, he has a lots of tips that he puts out there. He has some great war stories and other stories about his life. And, you know, having worked for JFK and having worked for Lyndon Johnson and Eisenhower. I mean, this guy’s been around the block. And he’s just got some great stories and great insights. He talks about being willing to make a pitch to someone you’ve never met, you know, not just thinking about it, not preparing, not educating yourselves, but actually getting out there and taking the action, facing the fear that we all have, and making that happen. And that’s you know, I just think really inspiring. He says Don’t you know, let immediate success go to your head and a good economy, everything works. You’re not invincible. You have absolutely no control over the economy and you will fail from time to time and it’s not necessarily your fault, but understanding that you’re kind of riding a wave out there, dust yourself off and get back at it. He says never go against your gut instincts man I’ve really learned this when in spades. I when I have a spiny you know, Tingley sense that goes off. I just follow it. There’s so many opportunities out there to do business. There’s so many people pick only those that you don’t ever get warning signs with and on deals that you don’t get warning signs with. There’s just enough to go around. Don’t hesitate to copy something that works. And he says in school, if you copy your you fail, you’re called cheating. Robert Kiyosaki talks about the same thing but in real life in business and entrepreneurship. Pay attention to what’s working out there and maybe adapt it to your business adapted to your industry, adapt it to your clients so that you can continue to add more value or your customers. So I don’t want to go too much through it. Again, as I mentioned, this is got some challenging audio, I invite you to stick with it and try to fight through it. I’ve done a bunch of editing to try to improve it. And I think my podcast hosts will be able to do even more. It’s worth it. Welcome bosoms an amazing gentleman. And I was honored that he would spend some time on my show, and that he, you know, felt like that he could give some advice to those who are rising up through the ranks. And I completely agree after nine decades, he’s got some often advice to pay forward to all of us. So please do enjoy this podcast with Mr. Welcome Wilson.

Welcome Wilson 5:46
Viewer in the Nate.

Gary Pinkerton 5:47
Yes, commanded a nuclear submarine and retired two years ago.

Welcome Wilson 5:51
No Kid. Well, you know, I always tell people as I grew up in the Navy, I was married and had a pregnant wife that married a year and a half. In 1950. I got orders to report for Judaism enlisted man in the Korean War. Two, I reported the San Diego where I was in boot camp. Later, I was commissioned as an officer, but I had a college degree. So I tried to big shot my way around the Navy. But it didn’t work, too. I learned that you got to be genuine. Never forget what the company, EPO said, Chief Petty Petty Officer Uh huh. He said, Wilson, I’m going to give you some advice. He said, If you take it, you’ll have a great career in the Navy. If you don’t take it, you’re in for years of hell. And he says, first place. I’m sure you are somebody very important in civilian life. But you’re in the Navy now. And you’d better get with the program. But I want you to stand up. And don’t you ever sit in my presence again? And I want you to get out of here. Don’t you ever come into my office again, without being invited? And get with the program? To in five minutes, he straightened me out. And I got with the program. And then three days later, he gave me commander of the entire company. Wow, as recruit Chief Petty Officer, that blessing has stuck with me all my life. Isn’t it amazing how a moment will do that for you. When somebody touches you with the right message at just the right time, I have a very similar one from when I was in the command training pipeline. And I thought I had done a tremendous job on this one exercise of shooting a torpedo. And this instructor who by the way, is now the Chief of Naval Operations. He’s the senior guy in the Navy at the moment, he pulled me aside and said, You look like a complete idiot. If you do that with your own ship, you will never be able to command it or something to that effect. I shouldn’t say that. The CNO said those words. He didn’t say those words. But it was that effect. And turned me around. Just like Like you said, and it totally it set me up for an amazing next five years. Here’s the last thing conversation was about five life changing conversations in my life. Yeah, very important.

Gary Pinkerton 8:20
Yeah. And I had one with the senior enlisted man on my ship when I was when I was in command was the only guy probably that could sit me down and have that conversation to that Chief Petty Officer had with you kind of, you know, get you going in a new direction, right? He’s the only guy and he did it to me numerous times. And I welcome to that. Right. So he would say you might go to your office, right? You know, and then we would change the direction we were going because he knew the people better than I did. I what what about any of the other life changing in any other ones that are as equally important?

Welcome Wilson 8:53
Well, I had one with the Dean of junior college in Brownsville, Texas, Brownsville, Texas is located on the tip of Texas at the southern border with Mexico. And, and all during World War Two. I was in high school in Brownsville, Texas. And if you were 17 and a half, you are gone. Your family was in the service to all the jobs were held by 15 1617 year olds, like me. Mm hmm. Okay. As a disc jockey and NEWSCASTER on the local radio station, and when I was 15 and senior in high school. But anyway, but back to the Dean of junior college. I had my orders to report for the draft but they were cancelled after Harry Truman dropped two atom bombs on Japan. And the war was canceled too. I was very very disappointed that I did not get served in World War Two. But everybody was disappointed that they didn’t get to serve in World War Two. It was a different generation. Yeah. So after I got my orders cancel, I signed up for my second year of junior college at Brownsville junior college. And after about a month, the dean called me into his office. And he said, welcome. I don’t think you even recognize it. But you’re a leader, you need to know that. And in every situation, you need to be the guy that organizes everybody and takes the leadership role. I had never thought of myself as a leader that always started my brother is the leader because he was two years older. Sure. So a month later, I was elected President of the student body. I was a month after that I was elected President of two of the three clubs in junior college. The third club was a five better cup of club that wasn’t even a member of that club. Show up. And ever since then, even, for example, later on, I was in the Executive Office of President when Eisenhower was President. And I had the rank of a three star Admiral when I was 30 years old. Yeah. Civil Service status. And so I was sent to a Army Navy School of some kind in Virginia, for high ranking people in the military, and they had one civilian and one person from the State Department. All the restaurants were generals and admirals, etc. I was 30 years old, and a three star Admiral in the civil service, right, two hours, one who organized the group, because that’s what I was told to do. And so that was a life changing conversation. That’s amazing.

Gary Pinkerton 11:57
So Mr. Wilson, tell tell the audience about your time in the office with under both President Eisenhower and President Kennedy. So very different presidents and also very, very challenging times for America.

Welcome Wilson 12:12
Yes. In those days, it was in the 1950s. Nobody worried about traffic. Nobody worried about the economy. Everybody worried about nuclear attack, right and being wiped out. And I had been director of civil defense in Houston, Texas, and was appointed by Eisenhower to be the five state director of defense mobilization. And that’s where we organized the civil government in order to prepare for a nuclear attack or prepare for war really, and things like rationing and everything you can imagine. And also, of course, protecting the citizens, bomb shelters and things such as that, by the way, a small branch of my office, I had about 100 employees. A small branch is what is now called FEMA. Okay. We call it the natural disaster office. And I had serious money, which I would pass out. And because of that, I got to know Lyndon Johnson, for example. He was a senator from Texas. I got to know every five governors very, very well, and all 30 congressman 10. Senators, it was a great introduction into politics. Being in that position. Kennedy, by the way, is the most charismatic man I ever met. Back. Let me start with Eisenhower. I met Eisenhower, about two years before he appointed me to the Executive Office of the President. And I was surprised that he was pink. I don’t mean his policies. I mean, his face. Yeah. Pink. Yeah. And of course, no color photography in those days on television, and no cover in the newspapers. So people didn’t know that. So I was stunned when I met him that he was pink. The thing about it is he played a lot of golf. And because he had the kind of skin but not and, yeah, as a result, his face was pink, and stayed on my server. By the way, I also had an office in the executive office building next door to the White House in Washington, DC. And from my office, on the first floor, I could look out my window at five o’clock in the afternoon. And there the president united states would be Hitting golf balls gave you a warm feeling this country’s in such great shape that presidents out there hitting golf balls. JOHN F. Kennedy was a lot different. Kennedy was the most charismatic man I ever met. And I met him shortly after the Democratic nomination for president. About a month later, he came to my hotel room and Washington. That makes me sound important. So let me clarify that I was there with the former mayor of Carlsbad, New Mexico, and Mexico was one of my five states. So we decided to have the congressional delegation from New Mexico over to our hotel suite. So at the last minute, we got the idea of inviting john F. Kennedy, who had just been nominated for president to come. And he came on stage about an hour. But he had the most natural, charming smile of anybody I’ve ever met in my life.

Welcome Wilson 16:14
And as with him, on other occasions, served about nine months under him after he became president. Then I resigned to go into the real estate business in Houston, Galveston, after a life changing conversation with my wife. And I’ll keep this brief, but having the rank of a three star General, or a three star Admiral in the civil service, I was a big shot. So without ever I would cloud to the Warriors, for example, to make a speech. That picture would be in the on the front page of the times Picayune newspaper. It was the same everywhere Oklahoma City, Houston, Dallas, a full Colonel would have to meet me if I landed at an army airbase, a full Colonel, because I have my high rank, try had a conversation with my wife, a life changing conversation, I might add. And that was that I told her, I said, Look, we’re living the good life. Our income is more than she’s ever been before. And treated with great respect wherever I go. This is the good life. And she said, welcome. I didn’t marry you to be the wife of a federal employee. He said, I want my kids to go to private school. I want to be a socialite in Houston. I want to live on River Oaks Boulevard. So she made it clear that my engagement was not what she had in mind. So I resigned my position and became a real estate developer. And by the way, my five kids all attended private school. And she became a major socialite in Houston. And we lived on rooks Boulevard for 30 years.

Gary Pinkerton 18:15
Sounds like she had her plan figured out and you you helped execute it.

Welcome Wilson 18:19
Thank you back to JFK, just a moment. I met him again, when he came to Houston to announce the manned spacecraft Center in Houston. And the mayor put me in charge of the event. So that was nice. It was a really huge crowd. Then I met him again, but the night before he was assassinated, in Houston, Texas, he came to Houston to make a speech for our congressman Albert Thomas. And the mayor put me in charge of the airport arrival and the motorcade downtown. And it was my first opportunity to meet Jackie. She was lovely, lovely, lovely. The next day at noon,

Gary Pinkerton 19:02
assassinated. And Wow, well, thanks for thank you so much for sharing those those moments that not too many people have personal personal memories of. So real estate, obviously, a huge success in your world. One of the things that I hope welcome, you will you will weave in here before we run out of time, is what has been your key to 90 plus years and being sharp as a tack?

Welcome Wilson 19:29
Well, I could say a lot of things, but I’ll skip things like clean living and that you know, is probably not accurate. But I would attribute it to going to a health club, five days a week, or 55 years. Wow. Okay. And at least five days a week, seven years. It was six days a week. And I haven’t been there since this morning. class. I am with my son. Welcome Jr, who is 68 years old. And we work out every morning. And then I usually walk from a half a mile to one mile on the indoor track. And then I do about 30 or 40 minutes of weightlifting. Nice.

Gary Pinkerton 20:20
Yeah, and you’re active in your real estate

Welcome Wilson 20:21
still, yes, I’m around the daughters, now, I need the money.

Gary Pinkerton 20:28
It’s awesome. Certainly fitness keeps the mind keeps the body safe and fit and you know, operating for many years. But you got to keep that in mind active, right. And obviously, working in your real estate has done that for you. So I’ll transition I guess, just to any advice you have. Because Because predominantly, the people that are on this show are either real estate investors or want to do that. And most of them are, are firefighters, police officers, active duty and veterans from the military service. So advice in life outside compared to the military or just real estate would be really appreciated

Welcome Wilson 21:07
My Father, or leave in guts and determination for success in business gets in determination. By guts, he didn’t mean gets get into a fight, he meant the guts to go make a pitch to I would say to your audience, you’ve got to learn to make a pitch that’s highly in your favor to somebody you’ve never met before. And that’s the way you get deals. For example, my first real estate development was in Galveston, Texas, in a project called Jamaica beach. And it’s now a separate city under Texas law. And I had no money. But I saw with somebody who had money. And I made him a man made a pitch. And so he bought the land for me. And then I carved off 15 acres for him. And then then he showed me the rest of the land. It was some of the best land by the way.

Welcome Wilson 22:13
He showed me the rest of the land for $1 down.

Welcome Wilson 22:17
So without any case, I was able to get into the 70 by the business. Then I went to his bank and borrowed $250,000 unsecured. In fact, they did not even ask me for a financial statement because he co signed the note. Okay, so I would say that being willing to make a pitch. There somebody is key to success.

Gary Pinkerton 22:44
Can I ask you welcome what the last thing is you’ve read.

Welcome Wilson 22:48
It was a called Eisenhower’s love. And it was about President Eisenhower, and about how he was president. He kept us out of war for eight years. And he did it by directing 1000 airplanes every day to go toward the Soviet Union, carrying bombs carrying nuclear bombs. And at the last minute, under what he called the failsafe program, they would get orders turn around and come back every day. We were within seconds of being in a nuclear war with Russia. So they had great respect for Eisenhower, needless to say, because they knew that any mobile Wi Fi

Welcome Wilson 23:45
lab was ours blah.

Gary Pinkerton 23:47
I spent 30 years in the nuclear navy and didn’t know that story. That’s amazing. How many books have you read a year do you think?

Welcome Wilson 23:56
Well, I’ve switch? I don’t read them anymore. I buy a CD of a Sure. Sure. listen to the radio.

Gary Pinkerton 24:07
I do that too.

Welcome Wilson 24:09
And that works. It is so easy. And you can finish your book about every two weeks. Yeah. And I put them to a lot of books. That’s awesome. I have written a book. Okay. When well it was released September one

Gary Pinkerton 24:26
this last year. Okay. So at age 90, you wrote a book.

Welcome Wilson 24:30
Yes. It took me about six months to write it. The name of the book is always welcome. And in the book, it’s available on Amazon, by the way it has, like Kevin’s got a high rating on Amazon. It’s a biography in a sense, but in their their includes welcomes Rules of Order. Purchase 15 things that I recommend people do to succeed in business. The subtitle title is, how to succeed in business and life by avoiding my mistakes.

Gary Pinkerton 25:17
That’s amazing.

Welcome Wilson 25:19
So it’s a combination, motivation, book and biography.

Gary Pinkerton 25:24
Awesome. So if I could summarize some of the keys that have been successful for a smiling life into your 90s is physical fitness every day, five days a week at least, spending a lot of time with family, reading non stop being optimistic running your company and writing a book at age 90. That’s fantastic.

Welcome Wilson 25:49
You’re very kind.

Welcome Wilson 25:53
big, willing to make a pitch and be

Gary Pinkerton 25:55
Oh, my gosh, I missed it. Yes, being willing to make a pitch.

Welcome Wilson 25:59
The point is, most people can’t keep a straight face. When they’re asking for something they don’t deserve. Right? You got to be able to keep a straight face when you’re making your pitch.

Gary Pinkerton 26:15
That’s awesome. I’ve nobody’s ever said that to me. And it makes total sense. And making a pitch is selling and everything in life is about selling. It’s getting people to see your side. But when you’re in real estate, it actually is making a pitch. It’s literally doing that. Well, sir, anything else you want to want to say to the audience, I give you the opportunity

Welcome Wilson 26:34
in my cookie items welcomes Rules of Order. or other things, for example, get a good night’s sleep, for heaven’s sakes, I go to bed at nine o’clock and get up at 423 every morning. at the club, working out at 5am get a good night’s sleep, eat well. Don’t overeat. Read a lot. Read a motivation book at least once a year.

Gary Pinkerton 27:06
We have a lot of ideals and comments are no doubt. Well, thank you so much. I’m gonna go off and get that book because I want to know what the other 45 are. And I really appreciate this.

Welcome Wilson 27:17
You bet. And listen, I’m so Oh, they cancel my blood type. Yeah, if you overhear me talking about happy hour, I’m talking about a nap. When I was a teenager, the Dead Sea was only sick.

Gary Pinkerton 27:43
You do comedy too

Gary Pinkerton 27:47
welcome Thanks so much, sir. We really appreciate what you’ve done for this country for the last century. You know, I really appreciate what you’ve done for my audience today.

Welcome Wilson 27:54
Thank you very much. Let me mention one of the things here. I’ve been married to the same woman. 70 years.

Gary Pinkerton 28:03
Oh my gosh.

Welcome Wilson 28:05
And she had a lot to do with my financials. Yeah.

Gary Pinkerton 28:11
Yeah. You’re very lucky guy as she I’m sure. Awesome. Thanks so much for your time.

Welcome Wilson 28:16
Yes, sir.

Jason Hartman 28:19
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