The Alchemist ReCapped

I said that I would not want to write a book report… but I feel like the book is good enough to at least write a second blog post about it :).  If you have stumbled on this page and wonder why we have gotten so off topic, understand that I am on a journey that started with my dog, Allie.  The Alchemist is a book that has gotten me to continue to journey with flexibility and I feel like having boundaries on this site as to what I can talk about is against the will of every cell in my body…

My biggest nugget from The Alchemist and my conversation with Mr. Gary a business owner of many things including a towing service here in Lafayette…

From reading the book, I have come up with a list of questions that I will start to practice to ask myself when deciding to move forward on a project or commit my time.  At dinner with Zoey, I went through the series of questions with Mr. Gary and his answers were interesting, opening my mind to the fact that we don’t have to like the job or task of the employees to run the business.  I’ve learned that Mr. Gary’s a true business owner and enjoy putting a team together to make money.  He has the knowledge needed to run the numbers, secure funding, and minimize his risk as a business owner.  Below are the series of questions and Mr. Gary’s answers.

Before Committing, Stay Curious and Ask:

  • Why am I wanting to do “this”?
    • Mr. Gary, “I started Tow Truck Lafayette, because I saw that there was opportunity in the area.  The oil field went down and a few of my high school buddies that I trusted were out of work and wanted to work.  Three of them had CDL’s and a lot of experience running heavy equipment.  I already owned an answering service to handle the dispatch and the guys were used to being on call.  The job was pretty simple and the cost of entry into the business was low.  All I needed to do was to get the phone to ring and a truck.  Getting the work isn’t hard as no one is really loyal to the towing service that gets their car out of the ditch.”  He opened my mind as to how easy businesses are to start with a bit of knowledge about financing, an operator, and a system.  My ears were wide open.
  • What is holding me back from doing “this”?
    • Mr. Gary said, “The only thing holding me back was financing and that wasn’t a big deal as I have proven myself over and over to the Midsouth Bank and we have a great relationship… I already had the team with the three guys, the operators at the dispatcher, and the trucks that I didn’t own yet.  So I needed to dig a bit deeper and figure out exactly what style tow truck we were going to purchase… I had one of the guys do some research and we purchased the vehicle and the proper insurance required by the state.”
  • What can I do today to make “this”  my reality?
    • Mr. Gary simply stated, “I knew what we had to do to get the work done, I simply needed to go through the proper channels to make sure that the employees were trained properly to do the job correctly… I got with the state and I made contact with one of the biggest tow truck companies in Texas to make sure that our guys were gonna be up to speed on their duties.  Over the years in running several businesses, I have realized that starting a company with the right plan and third party educators is key to not sounding like a know-it-all and the employees really listen… It’s the first step into stepping out of the business as quickly as possible”
  • Why am I doing what I’m doing right now?
    • Mr. Gary – That’s an easy one… I’m providing a service to not only the city of Lafayette, but I’m giving my buddies work, and I’m making money so that I can afford the luxuries of life.  This big house ain’t free and my family enjoys it.  I enjoy starting businesses and like The Alchemist, I have realized that opportunity is my “lead”.  When all the pieces fall together, I take advantage of the opportunity and turn it into “gold” or an income stream.  I like the rental business, but I make more money being an entrepreneur rather than being a “doer”.  My doing involves putting the team together.  Some of my ventures don’t make me much money, but give me even less liability.  So at times its not about the money, but more of the advantages.  Do you think that I ever have to worry about Zoey’s car breaking down and finding a tow service to help… Never again!
  • Who is holding “this” from me, besides myself?
    • My high school buddies could have easily bought a truck and started a towing service just as I did, but they understood that I had the system and the means to blow it up.  Sometimes 100% of the service call will still pay you less than 25% of the job.  You get the point.

I thanked him for his time and advice, and started tell him my interest in Brene Brown and vulnerability.  I can’t wait to have more info… He loved my questions and said that I was on the right path to figuring out my “lead”.

Thanks For reading and remember to share my blog if you find it interesting.

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