Today I want to share a real life rags-to-riches story with you. This story is about Larry. Larry is a hard worker, he owns his own business, often working more than 15 hours in a day. It has become a way of life for him, a lifestyle. As a business owner he is involved in every necessary aspect of his business. Some would say he’s relentless and driven, these are key traits you find in highly successful people.
Larry saw an opportunity six years ago, he then proceeded to mortgage his whole life, house, cars, life savings, jewelry, EVERYTHING! He risked it all. Fortunately for him, it paid off. He bought his way into a wildly successful business; he’s repaid all of his debt and currently buys companies for CASH to minimize his liabilities. Here’s the kicker, I told you he saw this opportunity six years ago, SIX YEARS! I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of what the economy has looked like for the last six years.
But what about the people who work for Larry? Let’s call them “the Darryl’s”. How do you think the Darryl’s feel when Larry is calling at nine o’clock at night wanting to hash out something about the business? Think they’d be a little ticked off? I think they would, who wants to be bothered by work at nine o’clock at night?!? Most of the Darryl’s don’t understand Larry; they take it personally and feel like he expects them to be working ‘round the clock. Larry is only looking to surround himself with like minded people; he can’t understand why the Darryl’s get upset. He thinks everyone is as focused and devoted to his business as he is.
Needless to say, Larry goes through a lot of Darryl’s 😉
The Darryl’s get aggravated by Larry; he’s nosey, always asking questions, always poking around. He checks in often, even at inconvenient times. And when a Darryl has a meeting with Larry it usually ends with an ultimatum. But, looking at the big picture, the business is successful.
Is Larry perfect? Is he always right when he’s dealing with the Darryl’s? Heck No! But he is financially successful. Larry puts in a lot of hours to achieve that success; he works every day, no “weekends” or holidays for him. On the other hand, the Darryl’s want as big of a paycheck as they can get with vacation time, sick time and paid holidays.
Larry is a “Whatever It Takes” kind of person. The Darryl’s are “Whatever I Can Get” kind of people. There’s not much room for compromise is there? But here’s the deal: the Darryl’s need a Larry, that’s where they get their pay; if they don’t have a Larry they’re unemployed. But Larry needs the Darryl’s too, Larry works hard for his money, but he is only one person, his business can’t survive without the Darryl’s.
Larry rules the Darryl’s with an iron fist, he figures he’s financially successful so he must be doing something right. But he’s missing one crucial point; he works for his money, just like the Darryl’s. The business that Larry owns is just like owning a job. If he were to stop working, it wouldn’t be long before the business stopped working too.
Larry defines his success by the number of dollars he makes. Many people make this mistake. Eventually they begin to define themselves by this same measure. In my opinion, the less you define yourself by money, the more successful you will actually be. But that is another topic for another day.
So, why would Larry’s business stop working if he did? Because Larry has neglected to explain to the Darryl’s his WHY. If the Darryl’s can’t get excited about the WHY then all Larry means to them is a paycheck.
Larry does not promote initiative, he doesn’t like surprises. He must give his blessing on everything pertaining to his business. Pretty inefficient don’t you think? When a Darryl makes a mistake Larry comes down on them pretty hard, why? Because he feels like Darryl is risking his livelihood. What Larry doesn’t understand is that nobody shows up to work every day to fail. Larry needs to put a system in place that empowers Darryl to fail. I know, I know, this sounds contradictory but hear me out…If Larry can effectively explain his WHY to the Darryl’s then he should be able to step back and allow the Darryl’s to try and achieve his WHY for him. What does this accomplish? Larry would effectively duplicate himself. This would create a system where Larry’s Darryl’s are an extension of him; he wouldn’t have to personally check in at inconvenient times, he wouldn’t have to work 24/7 if he didn’t want to. His business would no longer entirely rely on him. He would be free to devote time to his personal life.
Let’s face it…no one sets out in life or in business to wind up on our deathbeds remembered by our loved one’s as “that rich crusty old bastard” that pissed everyone off and never had time for his family.
We all want to make more money. The question to ask yourself is WHY?