Ulysses S. Grant’s Bankruptcy

“Your bankruptcy does not define who you are as a person.”

Ending with Ulysses S. Grant seems fitting for a book that begins with Abraham Lincoln.

Former President Grant earned many accolades over his lifetime, but success in business was not one of them. After serving as the eighteenth President of the United States, Grant left the White House and became a partner of the financial rm Grant and Ward.

Unfortunately, Grant’s partner, Ferdinand Ward, embezzled investors’ money—and both Grant and the firm went bankrupt in 1884.

Yet, the details of this bankruptcy are little known.Grant is known, more importantly, for leading the Union Army to victory, and for leading the nation through the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. He is known for indicting thousands of KKK members, and for running thousands of Klansmen out of the state of South Carolina. He is known for protecting African-American citizenship, for steering the nation toward economic prosperity, and he is known through the memoirs that Mark Twain wrote about his life.

I have made this point throughout the book, but it cannot be made strongly enough: Your bankruptcy does not define who you are as a person. What you do with your bankruptcy—and how you use it to recover from your financial misfortunes—defines who you are as a person. Let your life be de ned by the successes that are made possible through bankruptcy, the wisdom you collect as you navigate life’s inevitable obstacles, and the person you become as a result.

Share this on...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone