This week’s Pickens Podcast is a bit of a departure from the previous 27 episodes. My good friend, world famous motivational speaker and philanthropist, Tony Robbins, interviewed me for one of his programs.
Our discussion centered around business and energy. I told the group that I’m 87 now (88 in a few days) and I’ve paid over $700 million in taxes since I turned 70. Right now, I’ve given away more to the U.S. government than I’m worth.
Tony asked me about one of my great life lessons and I told the story about having found a wallet on my paper route in 1940 when I was 12. I took it back to the man who had lost it and he gave me a dollar (which was about four day’s worth of paper delivering). My grandmother made me return the dollar saying, “You’re not going to be paid for being honest.”
Tony asked how I turned a $2,500 investment into Mesa Petroleum – one of the largest independent oil producers in the world. I said we were fortunate. I came out of college as a geologist and went to work for Phillips Petroleum. So, I had a good education. I worked hard. And I worked for a great company.
One of the people in the audience asked me who my mentors were. I said I learned a lot from reading and watching industry leaders. I learned what was likely to be successful and what was not.
But, I said, I watched the energy industry. I wasn’t watching other industries. If you want to talk to me about tech companies like Amazon, it would be a short conversation because I’d run out of my knowledge in just a few minutes.
Energy? I can talk to you all night about it.
This is the first of a two-part conversation. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.