I remember back in the early 2000s when I was living on the island of Kauai – this middle aged guy showed up on the island, wife and two young kids in tow. He was likable enough and hustled non-stop to make deals, set up new projects, and get money. Actually, he came across as a shyster…any conversation with him felt like an attempt to get you to do some work for him without pay – he was constantly setting up deals and partnerships where he enabled other people to do the work and then share their profit with him. Myself and all of my single guide friends – we laughed at this guy behind his back and avoided him at all costs – but it was almost impossible to avoid him – he was everywhere.
Back then, it was impossible for any of us to understand what he was doing. Now though, with a wife and child of my own – and a constant need to hustle so that we can continue to live here in this paradise that impossible rents have turned into a kind of hell – I get it. He was trying to find a way to let his children grow up in a wonderful place. He wanted his kids to have the chance to find happy lives and have happy memories of childhood in a wonderful and magical place.
I wonder what happened to that guy. I wonder what happened to his kids. I wonder what happened to all of my single guide friends. I can tell you what happened to me – I’m a middle aged guy with wife and kid in tow trying to find a way to let my daughter have happy childhood memories of growing up in paradise. I’m doing it while trying hard not to do what that guy did – coming across as a shyster or a person who is trying to profit from other people’s work.
But here I am…with perspective I didn’t have a decade ago.