David Bamberger made a fortune in the fried chicken business. When the company sold, he became rich. In 1969, he chose to use that fortune to buy the worst piece of scrub land in Texas that he could find--5,500 acres of overgrazed territory in central Texas. Then he began the long, slow process of rehabilitating nature there.
It's now a nature preserve called Selah. Drawing water out of the earth to grow grass and trees for wildlife to thrive in has been Bamberger's life's work. In an interview last year with Texas Monthly, Bamberger offers his advice to all of us:
I’ve made the statement many times that I learned more in my seventeen years as a door-to-door peddler than I did at university. The biggest thing I learned was how to handle rejection. When you’re selling door-to-door, you’ve got to knock on a lot of doors and talk to a lot of people, and you’re going to get turned down. It applies to your health, your economics, your family, everything. You have to be a positive thinker. You have to make the best of the worst. You don’t need to take everything as a personal affront. It means you go to the next door and knock with a positive attitude. That one simple thing transposed into all the other things I’ve done in my life. Fifty years ago, this ranch had the reputation of being the worst piece of real estate in Blanco County. I had to look at it as a positive, and to me it was the greatest opportunity I ever had.
-via Nag on the Lake