Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

OK, so depending upon where you live, it’s “the dead of summer” or you are nearing the fall season. Maybe summer is your slow time and you can’t wait for the post-labor-day business increase, or possibly you are burnt out—literally and figuratively–from cooking lots of brats and burgers in the sun at company picnics and baseball tailgate parties.

Wistfully Walking

I remember plenty of Saturday nights where I would be heading to a late event; I would pass a really nice outdoor restaurant patio and longingly gaze at the people laughing, eating chips and drinking margaritas–it was Saturday and they didn’t have to go back to work until Monday. Later, while I was unloading messy post-event catering trucks, those happy diners were undoubtedly in bed with no plans to get up early. Maybe, I thought, I should just get out of this nasty business and get a job with regular hours and less stress.

Wise Words

My CPA would always tell me, however, that there was no way I could ever work for anyone else. “You have too many perks and too much freedom,” he said. “You also have the ability to produce unlimited income, and most persons who have regular jobs just do not have that.” And, of course, he was right.

Examples

  • One of my clients sold his catering business and got a food service job at a major university. While it was refreshing for about five minutes, he quickly grew unhappy as his years of catering experience were ignored, front-line employees were institutionally treated poorly, his income was small and absolutely fixed, and he basically was prohibited from innovating anything. He’s back in the catering business now.
  • Another former client still cannot get used to the fact that he has to ask someone if he can go to the dentist during working hours. When he ran his own business, he merely made the appointment and made sure it was in the afternoon when nothing was going on. Now he has to fill out a form and email three people for permission.
  • A third catering alumnus is stressed because no matter how hard she works her paycheck amount is still the same. There is no way for her to have a “good month.” She has nothing to look forward to.

Be My Guest

There’s an old but still amazingly perceptive book called Be My Guest by Conrad Hilton that I highly recommend. Hilton Hotels used to give these books away to every guest, and you can now buy it for almost nothing at Amazon. It tells the Hilton hotel story through the eyes of its founder, Conrad Hilton, who built his hotel chain by conquering adversity. The point here is the Mr. Hilton knew he had to be in business. All he wanted was a business–something he could own and develop. He knew that true wealth could only be gained from being an owner–not an employee.

And that’s where you are now. Everything is in place for you to be wildly successful, and all you have to do is remember that you will be eating chips and drinking margaritas—maybe just not today. Your hard work will be rewarded because you have the power to make things happen that regular working people do not.

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