Posted by: guinness222 | October 22, 2009

“…and on to the “Entrepreneurial” period.”

       The old ABC Wide World of Sports TV program used to start with a collage of athletes crossing the finish lines, showing their unbridled enthusiasm at succeeding, all the while the voice over announcer was saying “…the thrill of victory”. Then there was a collage of losers and second placers showing disappointment, and then finally this swedish, I believe, ski jumper tearing out of the starting gate on the jump and losing it almost immediately and flying off the side and being smashed like a rag doll as his limp body came tumbling, slamming, and surely what I thought was his accidental death, with the voice over announcer saying”….and the agony of defeat.”

      That is probably the best analogy of life I’ve ever seen. There really is no “middle of the road” path in this life,…not if you are going to live it. If you like the middle of the road you are NOT living life, but simply going through it, trying always to be in the middle of that road. 

      I have never been a “middle of the road” guy, that’s why my favorite motivational quote, framed above my desk in “the pit” is that of a deaf mute named Helen Keller,…”Life is either a daring adventure,..or it is nothing!”

       You can always tell someone with entrepreneurial spirit, when they seek a job they don’t care what the pay is, because it simply pays bills. The “wealth” in the job is the accumulated experience you can draw from it and eventually use it in your pursuit of something, regardless of the costs. Why?  Because it is “your dream”, your “nirvana”, your “crowning glory” because you molded it, you nurtured it, you sweat and bled for it, and you know what? The money is still not the most important thing.

       But I must warn you the road is rocky, and full of potholes so you have to develope your own road map to get to where you want to go, and some days you get there and say,…”Aw shit, this is not where I want to be.” An entrepreneur will take out his pen and plot another route to get where he wants to go, a “worker bee” will simply ask someone else for directions, or retreat into their “blanky” (American slang for a childs favorite blanket which is their security blanket,…much like Linus in the Peanuts comic strip.)

        Once after I had been very successful and was “where I wanted to go” , for the time being, I set about taking care of my kids a bit. Now my daughter has that same spirit I do, but she was married to this “middle of the road” guy. I started an advertising  franchise with the full intention of handing it over to my daughter and her husband as a “gift” . He was already selling advertising, and my daughter could sell mink coats in Miami or ice cubes in Alaska, so I know it would work.

        I sat down with her husband one day and as is my custom offered him the job of sales manager, and told him of the plan to build the business through sales, and at the end of the year give it to them, no strings. What do you think his first question was? “What is my salary?” I told him it could be anywhere from zero to a couple of thousand dollars a week, depending what he put into it. “No, I know that but what is my salary per week?” I told him it’s based on what he sold that week, the more you sell the more you make. “But what is my guarantee each week, in a paycheck?” And I replied “Zero, Nada, Zilch, Nothing. Rule number one of being a business owner is that there are no guarantees. As an owner you are 100% at risk, all the time. End of conversation at that point. He was NOT even close to being an entrepreneur, he just wanted a guarantee! Those  kind of folks are your absolutely worst investment, and if you want a partner you want them in the swamp up to their waist, draining it just like you, regardless of how many alligators there are in that swamp. With risk comes success, or failure, but it’s all up to you> That would be me.

        Long way around, even my wife and kids are all entrepreneurs now, some actually, some biding their time to act, but the mindset is there, and that’s what counts. Summed up, “If it’s to be it’s up to ME!”

       I never worked harder in my life than when I was running my own businesses, I never worked more hours, more nights and weekends, It was at least five years until I took a vacations and that was only three days long before I was back at my desk cranking out numbers and analysis and working with my sales staff. I can honestly say I never saw a paycheck in all those years. Because my wife was the head bookkeeper and I told her, “Just take whatever you need to pay the bills, the rest is for the growth of the company.” Yeah I’ve had CPA’s come into my office twice in the past forty years to tell me I was legitimately a millionaire now, at different businesses. But you know what,….I don’t care! That is not what it is all about.

         I never got sick, I was always a lot more pleasant, when I relaxed ,…well I was R-E-L-A-X-E-D. Not only did I grow my own businesses and take care of people, BUT I nurtured employees who ultimately went on the become their own “entrepreneurs”, but I’ve written on that in older blogs.

        There were times like the athlete crossing the finish line, like the time I won a brand new Datsun (Nissan now) 300ZX the first year they came out by beating out dozens of other folks even major markets like Chicago, New York, and L.A. in performance.

        But there were also the times when I sat alone in my office at eight o’clock with a glass of Irish Whiskey in hand wondering how I was ever going to be able to pay these people tomorrow, or why I was being hounded by the IRS because a disgruntled employee we fired called them and told them we were keeping two sets of books, which was a damn lie.

        But enough of this, I was, am , and always will be an “Entrepreneur” no matter what I do, and I have to believe I will be successful, maybe not every time, but more often than not. When I was in the U.S.Navy I started out as a weather forecaster, (well not immediately but after a year or two and some specialized training and bitching testing) and I always wondered,….”Why am I considered ‘very good’ at my job when I was only right 85% of the time?” Guess it’s the nature of the beast and the nature of life.

           I’ve never been one for politics, and the “politically correct” thing to do, plus I am as unorthodox as you’ll ever find walking this earth. I can be a Junk yard dog, or a pussy cat but it’s what “I” want to be that dictates inner peace, happiness, and being “right with the world”.

          I know there a bunch more like me and I have dear friends who are also entrepreneurs who are part of our “Elite'” club.

         Life truly is either an amazing adventure, or …it is nothing. Don’t ever doubt that for if you do you have already past your life by.


         Next blog – “What do I do next?”

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