In 1978, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank had just heard the two words that employees everywhere fear: “You’re fired.” Their perspective changed, however, when a friend told them that they’d “been kicked in the a** with a golden horseshoe.” Being fired was, in fact, a blessing in disguise. Their book, Built from Scratch, is the inside story of how these two determined executives constructed the Home Depot empire from the ground up.
“You want a formula for success? Take two Jews who have just been fired, add an Irishman who just walked away from a bankruptcy and an Italian running a no-name investment banking firm.” — Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank
How does that apply to YOU? What lessons can we glean from this remarkable success story?
First, it’s hard to create real success alone; it’s a lot more expensive, it takes a much longer time, and it can be an emotional roller-coaster ride. Plus, you will never attain the same heights of success that you could when teamed up with others. When one is down, the others can encourage him or her. Teamwork does make the dream work – if you have the right team, of course.
Secondly, it’s never too late. If you’ve heard that before, it’s because it is true. As we get older, we make less silly mistakes, we are more realistic, more patient, wiser, more experienced, more skilled, and more likely to make good choices. Your ego is in check because you have matured and learnt that you don’t know everything.
Thirdly, the sky’s the limit. Together, we can do amazing things, and, especially if your business can operate online and offline, geographic barriers fall away, and with them, earning potential. The Internet opens many doors for real entrepreneurs.
Fourthly, we all have weaknesses and areas that we know little about. In the right team, we can all contribute what we’re good at, and avoid failure by staying away from things we’re not good at.
And finally, in fifth place, we tend to be more objective, realistic, and rational in the right team. This is essential for a successful business and for solid growth. We also tend to be more flexible and less pig-headed. The team brings balance and perspective.
When selecting your team, seek people with a good track record, not only in business but even in sports, their families, their communities. Winners have successes/track records starting when they were children. Avoid losers, parasites, and whiners at all costs.
We can build a bridge from where you are to where you want to be.