March 1, 2022

by Rosalin Grace

The Mississippi Club


Louis Porter

The Magic We Seek Is Hidden Right Before Our Eyes


Louis Porter


After working in corporate America for over 40 years, Louis Porter is now reaping the rewards of a career that took him around the nation and gave him the opportunity to excel at what he was meant to do.  Louis Porter has proven that you can go as far as you want to go if you have the right mindset, the right skills and the right amount of courage.  Born in the small delta town of Moorhead, Mississippi, Porter has achieved enormous success as a corporate leader in sales, marketing and human resources. 


Retired and living in Florida with his wife of 60 years, Maloria, Porter spends a lot of time keeping up with current events, mentoring his grandson, Lucas, and taking care of his home affairs. 


Louis and Maloria Porter


Another thing Porter loves to do is stay abreast of the financial market and opportunities to make and save money.  It is quite evident that he is still putting his business background to use.  He frequently shares investing tips on his social media page and encourages others to gain financial knowledge.  "There is always money to be made," Porter said.  "And one of the things that I wanted to do was see if I could make money without going out of the house every day, and without having people look over my shoulder.  Could I do that?  Even in retirement?  My answer is yes.  I use my phone every day and I trade stock."  He went on to say, "My grandson knows more about money than I did at 30," he said, laughing, and adding, "He is an amazing kid."


Louis Porter with grandson Lucas


As Louis and I chatted about his various career moves over the years, I realized that he never once mentioned the lack of opportunity or bitterness over not being able to accomplish anything.  He simply moved from job to job, opportunity to opportunity and is now enjoying a comfortable retirement in Florida.  "I was always willing to learn, to grow," Porter said.  "And I met a lot of good people along the way that helped me," he said.  He went on to say, "And I didn't let those who didn't help me stop me."  Porter's mindset was always to do the very best job that he could regardless of the environment or circumstances.  His optimism and hard work always paid off. 


Having worked for several major corporations, including Coco-Cola, Xerox, Banc One Financial Services, and Blue Cross Blue Shield, Louis Porter has had plenty of opportunities to observe human nature.  He is sure that, for many, the only impediment to success is the wrong mindset.  He believes that one must always be willing to learn and to persevere even when conditions are not ideal.  Porter also mentioned the mindset of selfishness that he sees in many people today.  "We are only interested in pursuing actions that benefit us personally. Not enough of us care for those who are less fortunate than us."  However, he does recognize that some people cannot be helped because they do not want to be helped.  "Sometimes you just have to come to the conclusion that you're not going to be able to save everybody.  Just save those who want to be saved," he says.  Yet, Porter is reluctant to totally give up on his fellowman.  "But it doesn't mean that you don't try.  And just because you don't get them the first time, that doesn't mean you won't get them the second time.  Never give up on them.  As long as they are alive, people can change."


Porter with grandson Lucas


Mr. Porter and I just happen to be from the same hometown, and one of the things I enjoyed the most about our conversation was his memories about growing up in Moorhead.  "I thought it was a wonderful little town to grow up in," Porter remembered.  "I think that is even true today as I look back on my life.  Because you could be all over town, not lost, people knew who you were for the most part.  As a boy growing up, it was a wonderful place.  You could wander all over the place.  From my house, to go across the bayou was a real trip," he laughs.  "I enjoyed growing up there and I appreciate it even more as I look back on my life and what I got out of that.  The people were great, it was a wonderful place for me to learn."  I totally agree with Porter that Moorhead was a wonderful place to grow up.


When I asked Porter what advice he would give to the younger generation, he said, "I would tell any person, no matter what age, you can always do stuff.  Don't be afraid to try stuff.    Don't be afraid to do stuff, take a chance.  Failure is not final.  You can always pick yourself up and start over again.  Being afraid to lose will cause you not to act at all.  So take a chance."  He added, "Another thing, get out of debt.  I don't care how much money you make, if you spend it all, you'll never make enough money.  Getting out of debt is important.  And not spending money you don't need to spend."


Porter remembers how he was saved from college debt because of his father's foresight.  "When I went to college, my dad had saved the tuition for me to go to college.  That inspired me to do the same for our two kids."  I remarked how awesome it was that his kids were not saddled with a lot of debt when they got out of college.  "That's right.  Nor was I, " he said.  "I didn't owe a penny and I didn't have one either," he added, laughing. 


Another thing Porter thinks is important to do is read.  "One of the things I always did is read.  I think reading is the most important thing you can do.  Reading can take you places you might not ever go.  You can always use that information later.  I would tell people to read everything that you can." 


Porter and I are both retired and we chatted briefly about dressing casual.  "I got rid of all of my suits except one," Porter said.  "In seven years of being in Florida, I've worn a suit twice.  Now, do I need 30 suits?  Absolutely not."  He went on to say, "If you could see me right now, I'm wearing shorts, my flip-flops, and a t-shirt.  That's my uniform.  And anywhere I go around here, I'm nicely dressed." We both laughed.  "Because everyone else is dressed the same," he added.


Porter also has a granddaughter, Nicole, who lives in Maryland.


When asked about future plans, Porter replied, "All I'm looking forward to doing is continue to take care of my wife.  And, I'll keep trying to make money from home, where I have control over my own actions and use my own money, and I'll try to educate other people about doing the same." He mentioned how the pandemic had put many people into difficult financial situations, and how his church had fed many during that time.  "I want to make as much money as I can so I can give as much as I can. I want to teach other people to do the same."


This chat was such an uplifting and inspirational experience!  Mr. Porter is positive through and through.  It is easy to see why he was successful in his professional life, especially when it comes to interacting with others.  "You never know where you will find inspiration," he says.  "I think God put us on this earth to support each other, and I think everyone can uniquely impact you.  That's what I live for every day.  I engage people in the stores or wherever, I don't care what color they are.  What you give out is what you get back in return," he said with passion. 


Mr. Porter


After listening to everything that Porter had told me, I could only say to him that he had done well, he had done a good job.  His response was, "Well, some people try to tell me that, but I feel like there's so much more to do."  In my opinion, this reveals the core of who Louis Porter is -- a man eager to learn more, do more and give more.


One cannot help but be inspired and feel as if one can do anything after a talk with Mr. Louis Porter.  The son of a Baptist preacher in the Mississippi delta, Porter has shown himself to be cut from some of Mississippi's finest cloth, sort of speaking.  Blessed with funds for an education, he put it to good use by succeeding in corporate America for over 40 years.  He further puts his stamp on strength and stability with his one and only marriage of 60 years to Maloria Porter.  Optimistic and forever looking forward, Porter is a willing vessel for learning, and he is willing to share those learnings with others.  One of the most important things Porter wants to emphasize is that no matter what you are doing, first ask yourself WHAT IS IT THAT I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH?  He believes that if you can answer that question with clarity, you should be able to plan the steps necessary to make your dream come true. Porter realized a long time ago that we are our own worst enemy, and that "the magic we seek is hidden right before our eyes." 


--Rosalin Grace

The Mississippi Club

March 1, 2022