Exploring the creativity of the human spirit with just five simple questions. Those questions give us a window to explore the journey and life story of people that look like they have it sorted.

April 20, 2022

Charles Read : Choosing To Be Happy

In this show, we hear about a life well-lived; it is about a partnership, friendship, love and loss. But it is also a story of consistency, and he claims insanity as he met and married a woman with five children.

I love this conversation because it is rich with the secrets to living a happy life.

My guest is Charles Read, he is a Vietnam war veteran, and his wife created one of the largest payroll companies in the USA; he also wrote one of the definitive books on payroll.

If you are not into payroll, our talk has nothing to do with numbers or accounts.

Charles graduated high school in 1966 but did not want to go to college. He had a few jobs before joining the Marine Corps, serving four years with a tour in Vietnam.

He returned to the USA and settled in Kansas City, where he met and married the love of his life with her five children.

While he claimed insanity, it was clearly a match well made as they were together for 45 years before she passed.  


As he says, “She was the one that made the desert flowers bear fruit.” 


In the military, he was IBM trained in Dos and Cobol programming. On leaving the service he could not get work that fitted his skillset, so he went back to college, earned a BBA and MBA, and discovered that he liked accounting going on to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA )


He found work with Texas Instruments as a financial analyst. Charles was in at the beginning of computerised accounting and payroll, and it was the start of the journey. 


He left Texas instruments in 1991 to set up a mobile payroll and accounts service from a van. There was an opportunity to provide service too small operations did not have computers, so he brought one with him. That business is still thriving by changing and shifting with technology for over 30 years. 

Our conversation explores the history of his life journey; it is also about his value and what it takes to stay motivated. As I said at the beginning,  my conversation with Charles is rich with the secrets to living a happy life.

The man is fit and very active at 72 years old, has a plan to live to 106, and I think he will make it; he has a lower resting heart rate than mine. What can I say to that..



Further details about this podcast along with my Guest’s website and social links are all available at:



Life Passion & Business is dedicated to exploring what it takes to be Extraordinary, to face challenges and rejoice in the opportunities they bring, and expand our vision into new ways of thinking and living.

There is a lot to gain from listening to other people’s stories, however the real work begins by taking action in your own life.

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