Keep Shooting the Gun

The first article in this series listed more than 25 tactics to increase your business success, all of them based on my experience. I started with nothing and didn’t get to college, so I know you can achieve maximum success, regardless of your education. E-mail me to get the first article (or any of the others) in the series. Each takes a closer look at one of the tactics listed in that first article.

A competitor told me to keep shooting the gun when I had only been in business a few years. I wasn’t the brightest, and I certainly didn’t have any money. I had to keep up the pace! I was also the youngest and most inexperienced. Walter Williams, and old salvage friend and mentor said, “It’s hard to stay ahead of you, Sturgeon; you work all the time and never stop shooting the gun.”

That was 35 years ago, but what he said stuck with me. I respected my competitors, and knew hard work was the only way I was going to best the others. While they were in Cancun or fishing, I was reading a book on marketing or studying the most recent financials for opportunities to improve.

Not long ago, I was mentoring a young friend, and he asked me what was the single most important thing I could teach him as he starts the journey to success. I told him to read a book a month, and gave him three to read. He’s bright, and not lazy, but a year later, he hasn’t finished the books. It’s clear that his priorities are elsewhere.

Another article in this series speaks to having a sense of urgency, a related topic. My mentee will do ok, maybe even well. But he won’t do great. He won’t be an innovator or leader in his industry. And he won’t be able to keep a mentor because he does not follow the easy steps that precede the valuable learning.

When I heard Walter tell me to keep shooting the gun, I had noticed that many of my competitors who had been in business a few years seemed to take a lot of time off. They were resting on their laurels. I was hungry.

Let me add a qualification here for those who don’t want to be an over achiever. There’s not a thing wrong with that. If your dream of success is a 2-year-old BMW, a nice brick home, a lovely wife and 3 well dressed and educated kids, and never missing a soccer game, figure out what that means financially. When you get there, lay the gun down.

Unless a taste of success has made you want to have a little more.

Remember only you can make business great!

Ron Sturgeon, Mr. Mission Possible, has been a successful business owner for more than 35 years. As a small business consultant, he can deliver wisdom and advice gleaned from an enviable business career that started when he opened a VW repair business as a homeless 17-year-old and culminated in the sale of several businesses he built to Fortune 500 companies.

Ron has helped bankers, lawyers, insurance agents, restaurant owners, and body shop owners, as well as countless salvage yard owners to become more successful business people. He is an expert in helping small business owners set the right business strategies, implement pay-for- performance, and find new customers on the web.

As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, and more in his signature plainspoken style, providing field-proven, and high-profit best practices well ahead of the business news curve. Ron is the author of nine books, including How to Salvage More Millions from Your Small Business.

To inquire about consulting or keynote speaking, contact Ron at 817-834-3625, ext. 232, rons@MrMissionPossible.com5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117.