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“There’s a picture on the wall of Jesus in the Garden… it’s been there since they bought the house in ‘53… it ain’t no big deal, won’t ever go down in history… it’s just the simple story of an American family.” – Chorus of An American Family, written by Bob Corbin and recorded by the Oak Ridge Boys
The words from this old country song remind us that everyone has a story. I’m no exception. I was born in an Army hospital at Shepard Field, Texas (Wichita Falls) at the end of World War II. Named after one of my Dad’s fraternity brothers who went MIA (Dick Halford – which is how I got to be Richard Halford Pritchard. The rhyming name probably never even occurred to Dad.) My parents moved to South Carolina shortly after that. I was the second of five sons and six children. The house we grew up in was much like the one in the song. My Mother was a housewife and stay-at-home Mom. My Dad was a small town country doctor who delivered more than 3,000 babies and was still charging only $10 for an office visit in the 60s. And yes, he made house calls! We weren’t rich, but we had a good life and a happy childhood. (OK, so I don’t look so happy in this photo with my older brother Paul…
We went to public schools and were fortunate to have great teachers who instilled in us a desire to learn. In 1963, I was awarded the Angier B. Duke Memorial scholarship to Duke University and went there to join my older brother. The next year, I won one of the first Air Force ROTC scholarships. These two things paid my tuition (Duke was expensive even back then), but I had to work, too. I had a half-time (20 hrs per week) job as a computer programmer for various professors, most of whom knew nothing about computers. This was in addition to the 18 semester hours I carried. Didn’t get a lot of sleep for 4 years. I graduated in 1967 with a B.S. degree in Chemistry and a set of Second Lieutenant’s bars. We were looking at war in Vietnam back then, and none of us knew what might come next.
Many of my friends went to the Nam. Some didn’t make it home. I was lucky. The Air Force sent me to grad school at Ohio State. I finished my M.S. degree in 1969 and my PhD in 1974 (both in Chemistry). The latter was part-time while serving on active duty at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. After Livermore, I was assigned to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After almost 12 years of military active duty, I resigned my commission and went to work as a defense contractor. But I stayed on as an Air Force reservist, too, and eventually I retired as a Colonel after 30 years of proudly serving my country in uniform.
I worked for two companies, both of whom were sold shortly after I left them during the consolidation of the defense industry in the late 80s and early 90s. Then I went back to Ohio State to work for the Ohio Supercomputer Center for almost 10 years. Then I went back working in industry again and got “involuntarily retired” in 2010. Made of lot of money but made numerous financial mistakes. I have two wonderful adult children and five grandchildren (so far). But like many people who pour their lives into the”E” (employee) cash flow sector, I was facing retirement without the financial means to live comfortably. In 2007, I married my soul-mate, Elaine. We continue to live in the Columbus, Ohio area with our young son.
During all this time, I had been a network marketer for a number of years, beginning with the classic home meetings and warm market approaches of the 70s and 80s. (“Terrible” is the best way to describe my success with that.) In the late 90s and early 00s, I used mail (postcards and fliers), email campaigns, purchased leads, etc. to grow my network marketing businesses. Most of those years were marked by frustration as downlines were built and lost with methods that simply did not work well. (I did get some nice tax write-offs on my “E” income, but I didn’t make a profit!) Then I heard about “Magnetic Sponsoring” and Mike Dillard’s approach to Attraction Marketing. But despite my high tech background, I had no idea how to market on the Internet. I quickly decided I needed some good mentors. Recently, I’ve been going through an intense learning phase. What I learned has totally turned my business interests around. Although I have multiple businesses on the web, my ONLY real business is “Dr. Dick, Inc.” (legally, it’s Dr. Dick, LLC), because what that represents is the sum of all the knowledge I’ve gained in a lifetime – not any specific company. That knowledge applies to any Internet business, not just the ones I currently represent.
No, my story is nothing “special”. But like your story, it matters. To me, to my wife and children, to those who are trusting me to show them the way. The simple story of an American family.