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从街头流浪汉到百万富翁

2006-07-09 15:13

  Rags to Riches

  从街头流浪汉到百万富翁

  Chris Gardner tells 20/20 how he worked to move himself from a life of homelessness to a successful life as a businessman.

  Chris Gardner在《美国广播公司新闻》20/20点节目讲述了他如何从街头流浪到成为百万富翁的经历。

  Gardner is the head of his own brokerage firm and lives in a Chicago Townhouse——one of his three homes with a collection of tailored suits, designer shoes, and Miles Davis albums.

  Gardner自己开了一家经纪人公司并任总管,住在芝加哥别墅区——他三处住宅中的其中一处,里面收藏有西装,时装鞋和Miles Davis的唱片集。

  His path to this extraordinary success took a series of extraordinary turns. Just 20 years ago, Gardner was homeless and living, on occasion, in a bathroom at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Oakland, Calif.

  在成功的道路上,他历经了一系列坎坷挫折。20年前,Gardner无家可归,有时就住在加州奥克兰市湖湾区快速运输站上的洗手间里过夜。

  Gardner was raised by his mother, a schoolteacher. He says he never knew his father while he was growing up. But his mother had a way of keeping him grounded when he dreamed of things like being a jazz trumpeter.

  Gardner从小由当教师的母亲抚养长大。他说自己从未见过父亲。但是,当他梦想作一名爵士乐小号手时,他母亲有一套方法指导他。

  “Mothers have a way of saying things,” Gardner said, “She explained to me, 'Son, there's only one Miles Davis and he got that job. So you have to do something else. But what that something else was, I did not know.'”

  “母亲有自己的表述方法。”Gardner说:“她对我说,'儿子,只有一个Miles Davis,他从事这个行业。因此,你就得做其他的事情,至于那是什么事情,我就不知道了。'”

  Gardner credits his uncles with providing the male influence he needed. Many of them were military veterans. So, straight out of high school, he enlisted in the Navy for four years. He says it gave him a sense of what was possible.

  Gardner认为是他的叔叔给他提供了影响他的人生道路的男人。他们中许多人是部队里的老兵。因此,高中一毕业,他就报名参军当了四年的海军。他称这给他带来一种成就感。

  A Red Ferrari and a Turning Point

  一辆红色法拉利,一次人生转折点

  After the military, Gardner took a job as a medical supply salesman. Then, he says, he reached another turning point in his life. In a parking lot, he met a man driving a red Ferrari.“ He was looking for a parking space. And I said, 'You can have mine. But I gotta ask you two questions.' The two questions were: What do you do? And how do you do that? Turns out this guy was a stockbroker and he was making $80,000 a month.”

  退役以后,Gardner作起了医药销售员。他说,那时,他经历了人生又一个转折点。在一处停车场,他遇见一名男子驾着一辆红色法拉利。“他正在找一个停车摊位。我说,'你可以停我这里。但我要问你两个问题。”这两个问题是:你做什么工作?你怎样去做?这个人原来是股票经纪人,月薪8万美元。

  Gardner began knocking on doors, applying for training programs at brokerages, even though it meant he would have to live on next to nothing while he learned. When he finally was accepted into a program, he left his job in medical sales. But his plans collapsed as suddenly as they had materialized. The man who offered him the training slot was fired, and Gardner had no job to go back to.

  Gardner开始上门申请学习经纪人课程,即使这意味着在他学习期间会衣食无着。当他终于被录取上培训班时,他辞掉销售员的工作。然而,他的计划突然之间转为泡影正如他们突然呈现一样。那个曾经答应给他上培训课的人被辞退了,而Gardner又丢掉了自己的工作。

  Things got worse. He was hauled off to jail for $1,200 in parking violations that he couldn't pay. His wife left him. Then she asked him to care for their young son without her. Despite his lack of resources, Gardner said, “I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children, my children were gonna know who their father was.” Although a broker finally helped him enter a training program, Gardner wound up with no place to live. He was collecting a meager stipend as a brokerage trainee, and, like many working poor in America, he had a job but couldn't make ends meet.

  事情弄得一团糟,更糟糕的是,他因交不起$1,200停车违章罚款费而被监禁。他的妻子离他而去。之后,她要求他来抚养孩子。尽管缺少经济来源, Gardner说,'我从小就打定主意:我有了孩子,他们一定会知道他们的爸爸是谁。“尽管一个经纪人终于帮他上了培训班,最后,Gardner弄得身无栖身之地。当时,他只筹集到少量的培训班学费。正像许多美国穷人一样,他找了一份工作,但还是入不敷出。

  The Kindness of Strangers

  陌生人施善帮助

  When he could afford it, he stayed with his son, Chris Jr., in cheap motels. When they returned home at night, Gardner says, he received help from some unexpected sources. “The ladies of the evening were beginning their shift. And they would always see myself, this baby and the stroller.      当他交起学费时,他和儿子Chris Jr.住在廉价汽车旅馆里。 Gardner说,他们深更半夜回家时意外地受到一些人的帮助。”晚上,女士来汽车旅馆上夜班,总是看见我、小婴儿和那辆推车。“

  “So they started giving him $5 bills. Without their help, Gardner said, there would have been nights when he couldn't have fed his son. The Rev. Cecil Williams, founder of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, remembers the first time he saw Gardner, who had gone to the church with his son to stand in a meal line. He said, ”I wondered, 'What in the world is a man doing with a baby?'“

  于是,她们就掏出五块钱给他。Gardner说,没有她们的帮助,儿子可能就会挨饿。旧金山Glide 教堂的创建人Rev. Cecil Williams回忆第一次见到Gardner的情形,当时他带着儿子排在就餐队伍中间。他说,“我当时纳闷:一个大男人怎么会身边拖着一个婴儿?”

  Even to Williams, it was an unusual sight. The Urban Institute estimates that children make up 25 percent of the nation's homeless population, but most are living with a single mother,not the father.      就连Williams也弄不明白这是怎么回事。根据城市协会估算,全国无家可归的人口中儿童占到百分之二十五。但是,绝大多数儿童和单亲母亲而不是单亲父亲一起生活。

  It Is a Green Thing

  全靠经验

  With Williams' help and a room supplied by Glide Memorial when he needed it, Gardner not only made it through the brokerage training program, he passed his licensing exam on the first try.

  在Williams的帮助下,Gardner 需要时就住在Glide教堂提供的一间房间里,Gardner不仅完成经纪人培训课程学习,而且一次性通过营业执照考试。

  Gardner went to work making cold calls at the firm of Dean Witter. He says no one at the firm knew he was homeless. “I was the first one at work, I was the last one to leave. I'd be on the phone, 200 phone calls a day. That's what they noticed,” he said. “Every time I picked up that phone, I was digging my way out of this hole.”

  Gardner为谋到一份工作,几次访问Dean Witter的公司,受到冷遇,他说公司里没有人知道他无家可归。“我第一个上班,最后一个下班。我一天接200个电话。这就是他们注意到的,”他说。“每一次我接电话,我都在寻找出路。”

  Gardner moved on to Bear, Stearns. As he learned the business, he also learned that it came with some unpleasant baggage. Because African-American brokers were rare, one phone customer, assuming that Gardner was white, told racist jokes as he placed his orders. When the client came for a face-to-face meeting, Gardner says, “He was either gonna close his account with me or I was gonna get all his business.”

  Gardner搬到Stearns市Bear区居住。他学会做生意的同时,还懂得干这一行的艰辛,因为美籍非洲人很少作经纪人,有一位打电话的顾客以为Gardner是白人,一面下定单,一面讲带有种族歧视的玩笑,当顾客前来开会互相照面时,Gardner说,“他要么不再委托我作他的经纪人,要么把生意全都交给我做。”

  Gardner kept the account.“That's when I learned in this business it's not a black thing, it's not a white thing, it's a green thing. If you can make me money, I don't care what color you are.”

  客户继续让他做下去。“我干这行才了解到,作经纪人与你是黑人还是白人无关,全靠经验。只要你能给我股票赚钱,我就不管你是什么肤色。”

  In 1987, with $10,000 in capital, Gardner started his own company in Chicago,operating at first from his home. His company is now an institutional brokerage firm with offices in Chicago's financial district.

  1987年,Gardner 用$10,000美元作资本在芝加哥的家中创立了自己的公司,他的公司现在是一家经纪人公司,办事处设在芝加哥金融区。

  Ironically, when San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit System issued new bonds to raise money a few years ago, one of the underwriters was Gardner's company run by a man who, when he was homeless, had bathed his son in the bathroom of one of its train stations.     具有讽刺意义的是,几年前,当旧金山湖湾区快速运输站发行债券募集资金时,一家保险公司的经营者正是当年在火车站洗手间给他儿子洗澡的那个男人。

  No Books, No Bucks

  不读好书,赚不到钱

  He has donated money to educational projects in memory of his mother. And he has been honored for his work on behalf of an organization called Career Gear, which helps clothe and advise young people who are applying for jobs.

  为了纪念母亲,Gardner把捐款给教育工程。并且他因为为Career Gear机构的出色工作而受到表彰。该机构给申请就业的年青人提供衣物和忠告。

  When he speaks at high schools he keeps his message simple, telling students: “No books, no bucks. That's it.”      当他在高中做报告时,他简洁地告诉学生,“不读好书就赚不到钱,就是这样。”

  He also has returned many times to Glide Memorial in San Francisco, not only to donate money, but to work on the food line where he used to stand. “I see me, I see my son 20 years ago,”he said. “And I know how important this meal is to that individual, to that man, that woman.”      他还多次回到旧金山的Glide教堂,不仅是去捐款,也是到他曾经站过的免费餐台前服务。“我看到20年前的我自己,看到我的儿子,”他说。“我深知这一餐对于一个人,那个男人,那个女人有多重要。

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