La empresa de un hombre de Florida tuvo un buen año. Su increíble acto de bondad se volvió viral.

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Para muchas personas, 2020 fue difícil. ¿Pero para otros? Realmente fue un año excepcional.

Si está en el negocio correcto o dio los pasos correctos, ya sabe de lo que estoy hablando. Algunos ejecutivos a los que entrevisté recientemente se sintieron casi avergonzados por la infelicidad de otros por lo bien que lo hicieron.

Michael Esmond, dueño de un negocio de piscinas y spa en Florida, parece estar en esa categoría.

Habla de estar en el lugar correcto en un mal momento. Obviamente, este no es el nivel de ganancias de Jeff Bezos, pero ha sido un muy buen año para el negocio de Esmond.

Dada la pandemia a principios de este verano y el hecho de que los estadounidenses estaban recurriendo a las estancias, las empresas de piscinas no pudieron satisfacer la demanda.

Diablos, escribí de antemano sobre la compra de tres piscinas sobre el suelo a principios del verano, algo que sinceramente nunca pensé que haría, confiado en que puedo deshacerme de los extras. (Yo tenía razón.)

Pero, como explica Esmond, también ha pasado por momentos difíciles en su vida, por ejemplo, hace 37 años cuando era tan pobre que no podía pagar la factura de la luz y sus servicios de gas y agua fueron cerrados.

«Entonces tenía tres niñas en casa y la temperatura bajó a 6 grados con hielo y escarcha adentro», dijo Esmond. New York Times en esta semana. «He vivido donde no tenía un dólar en el bolsillo para cuidar de mi familia».

Nunca olvidó ese sentimiento, y cuando recientemente tomó la decisión de compartir parte de su fortuna, lo hizo de una manera inteligente y micro-dirigida.

Específicamente, Esmond, de 74 años, se comunicó con la ciudad de Gulf Breeze, Florida, y acordó pagar $ 7,600 para cubrir las facturas de servicios públicos vencidas de 114 de sus vecinos que estaban en riesgo de cortar la electricidad.

Esmond hizo algo similar el año pasado, aunque en una escala menor: $ 4,300 para 36 familias. En algunos casos, el monto adeudado este año fue menos de $ 100, pero también podría haber sido de $ 1 millón.

«Eso realmente me impresionó, la gente ni siquiera puede pagar una factura de $ 100 por sus servicios públicos, y las cosas están muy mal», dijo Esmond a CNN. «Por eso pude pagar a 114 familias».

Un veterano de Vietnam, Esmond estaba construyendo piscinas en Pensilvania cuando regresó a casa de la guerra en 1968. Finalmente, se mudó a Florida porque las piscinas eran una industria allí durante todo el año.

El dijo que Veces que su fortuna realmente despegó en 2010 cuando fundó su propia empresa. Ahora construye 50 piscinas cada año.

En otras palabras, es un emprendedor pequeño pero exitoso que proporciona muchos trabajos y gran parte del crecimiento económico en los Estados Unidos. Creo que esa es una de las razones por las que la gente está tan entusiasmada con sus acciones amables específicas.

Celebramos las grandes campañas benéficas que hacen los empresarios ricos: los Bill Gates y Warren Buffett del mundo (así como los MacKenzie Scotts y Chuck Feeneyes).

¿Pero acciones amables dirigidas que pueden marcar una gran diferencia en la vida de una familia individual? Vale la pena celebrarlo y, a veces, de manera más eficaz.

En el caso de Esmond, ha recibido mucha atención. No estoy seguro de que debamos decir que las cosas se están «volviendo virales» ya que todos pasamos juntos por una pandemia viral. Pero mucha gente leyó, vio, comentó y compartió su historia.

«Cuando la gente me pregunta qué año he tenido, casi me avergüenza decirles porque ha sido un año tan bueno y muchas otras personas están sufriendo», dijo Esmond. Veces. «Y es por eso que quiero compartir mi riqueza con los menos favorecidos».

Las opiniones expresadas por los columnistas de Inc.com aquí son las suyas, no las de Inc.com.

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With the pandemic raging at the start of summer, and Americans turning to staycations, pool businesses couldn't keep up with demand.

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Heck, I've written before about how I bought three above-ground pools at the start of the summer -- something frankly I never thought I'd do -- confident that I'd be able to unload the extras. (I was right.)

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But, as Esmond explains, he's also had hard times in his life -- 37 years ago, for example, when he was so poor that he couldn't pay the utility bill, and his gas and water service were shut off.

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"I had three young girls at home at the time, and the temperature got down to 6 degrees, with ice and frost on the inside of the house," Esmond told the New York Times this week. "I've lived that where I didn't have a dollar in my pocket to care for my family."

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He never forgot that feeling, and so when he decided to share some of his wealth recently, he did it in a smart, microtargeted way.

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Specifically, Esmond, 74, contacted the city of Gulf Breeze, Florida and arranged to pay $7,600 to cover the past-due utility bills of 114 of his neighbors who were risking having the power cut off.

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Esmond did something similar last year, albeit on a smaller scale: $4,300 for 36 families. In some cases this year, the amount due was less than $100, but it may as well have been $1 million.

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"That really impacted me -- that people can't even afford to pay a $100 bill on their utilities and things are so bad," Esmond told CNN. "That's why I was able to pay for 114 families."

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A Vietnam veteran, Esmond worked in pool construction in Pennsylvania when he came home from the war starting in 1968. Eventually, he moved to Florida, since pools were a year-round industry there.

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He told the Times that his fortunes really took off in 2010, when he started his own company. Now, he builds 50 swimming pools each year.

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In other words, he's the kind of small but successful entrepreneur who provides a lot of the jobs and a lot of the economic growth in the United States. I think that's part of why people are so enthralled by his targeted acts of kindness.

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We celebrate the big acts of charity that wealthy entrepreneurs commit: the Bill Gateses and the Warren Buffetts of the world (and the MacKenzie Scotts and the Chuck Feeneyes, too).

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But targeted acts of kindness that can make a huge difference in an individual family's life? That's worth celebrating, too -- and sometimes, more effective.

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In Esmond's case, it's gotten a lot of attention. I'm not sure we should say things "go viral" anymore, as we've all lived through a viral pandemic together. But a lot of pepole read, watched, commented, and shared his story.

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"When people ask me what kind of year I had, I'm almost ashamed to tell them because it was such a good year when so many other people are suffering," Esmond told the Times. "And that's why I want to share my prosperity with those who are less fortunate."

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