Cathy: ‘Wealth has the power to build or to destroy’

ATLANTA — Truett Cathy has certainly seen both sides of the financial spectrum.

The Chick-fil-A founder was only eight years old when he took his first steps in the business world during the Great Depression, taking on a number of jobs including selling newspapers in the public housing project where he lived.

Today, he sits atop a $3.6 billion private company that has more than 1,500 restaurants nationwide. But, in his newest book, “Wealth: Is It Worth It?,” Cathy explores wealth and all that comes with it.

“My message is caution,” Cathy said in a news release. “Wealth has the power to build or to destroy. When we use wealth to help people who are in need, we experience tremendous joy. But I’ve seen many people and families damaged by the wealth they have gained because they became complacent or jealous.”

Wealth, according to Cathy, can be worth it when one earns it honestly, wisely spends, responsibly saves it or gives it generously. Cathy has certainly taken on a number of philanthropic endeavors, such as The WinShape Foundation.

Cathy and his wife, Jeannette, worked together in a mom-and-pop restaurant in Hapeville, Ga., before opening their first Chick-fil-A restaurant in 1967. The company has had 43 consecutive years of sales gains.

“If you want to have a healthy respect for wealth, go find a wealthy person who’s doing it right,” Dave Ramsey, radio show host and author of The Total Money Makeover, said in a news release distributed by Chick-fil-A. “I can’t think of anyone better suited for this task than my friend Truett Cathy.”

“Wealth: Is It Worth It?,” Cathy’s sixth book, will be available nationwide in early July.

EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK

Giving

“Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else—our time, our love, our resources. I have always found more joy in giving when I did not expect any- thing in return.”

Hard Work

“It is when we stop doing our best work that our enthusiasm for the job wanes. We must motivate ourselves to do our very best, and by our example lead others to do their best as well.”

Integrity

“No amount of business school training or work experience can teach what is ultimately a matter of personal character. Businesses are not dishonest or greedy, people are. Thus, a business, successful or not, is merely a reflection of the character of its leadership.”

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