Don’t Be Fooled

Don’t Be Fooled
March 24, 2016 Gary Shotton

Remember, “If it is too good to be true, It is not true”. By Gary Shotton #000059

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Don’t Be Fooled

By Gary Shotton

This text is in Extreme Rough draft and will be edited in the near future.

My name is Gary Shotton, and I’m happy to be with you again, just talking about some life lessons, some business lessons, lessons that I’ve learned, and I hope these are beneficial to you. Just to give a little brief history. I don’t know if you’ve heard several of these, you might have heard some of this as repeat, but basically I’m a farm kid. My dad was successful in farming and ranching.    I went to college, worked 10 years as an engineer for a major oil company, then started my ownership of track in the year 1982, owned a trucking company. Basically, a moving and storage where we rented rental trucks and we had van lines representation where someone would move from one city to another or from one house to another within the same city, and then currently, I own a machine shop, and that’s where we have 65 employees, about 40 machinists. We have machines like this machine behind me. It’s about a three hundred thousand dollar machine where we take metal parts, raw materials, put it in a lathe mill combination, and that through computer driven software basically matches the blueprints, the diagrams in the prints that our customer gives us. We’re responsible to do those to very very very fine detail. Now, through this entire life history that I’ve had, I’m going to talk about some times that I got fooled and what I should have done differently to avoid being fooled. Nobody wants to be a fool. No one wants to feel like a fool, but sometimes you do something and you look back and said “Man. Why in the world did I do that? You know, this is not– this is not good. I got fooled.” So way back in my early days in the early 80s, there was a– I’ll just use first name, the man’s name was Noel. I will remember him very clearly. Very convincing kind of personality, very convincing in his plans and abilities to communicate with me, and just frankly I got fooled. He had this plan of producing barbecue sauce while we’re in Oklahoma. We could get barbecue, but he had me renting and me paying for rental trucks to deliver his barbecue sauce and go pick it up some two hours away. If I would have just stepped back just a little bit and said, “There’s no way. There’s no way that the revenue in selling those cases of barbecue sauce is going to cover the cost of my transportation,” but I was rather gullible. I was rather eager, and I could use the job so I continued doing work for this fella, and he didn’t pay me, and I continued to be gullible because I didn’t demand payment, and at one point he asked us to move his household and we had entire his entire household goods inside on one of my trailers, at my facility. I had total possession of everything. I needed to pull the card and say you know we could unload now, but I need paid prior to completion of the job meaning I need paid prior to the point we got them get unloaded. Well, I didn’t use that. I didn’t, I got fooled and at the end, I never got a dime out of this person from all these jobs, all this moving, all this work, and I’m telling you it hurts. It hurt bad. What did I learn? Boy, you better check out your customers. Can they pay you? Are they got a track history of paying? We got now credit history, so easy to get check it out, find out what they’re not going to change overnight, just because they came to work for you, or that you’re a vendor doing work for them. That is their pattern in life. Check out their pay history. Another area that I’ve noticed in this idea of don’t be fooled. I have a category of friend that seems to waiting for their ship to come in. They’re waiting for this one big idea, this one big payoff, it’s not actually gambling down at the casino, but it’s kind of close to it because they risk maybe two or three of the years of their life attempting to find the big fish. The one that’s going to take them home, the big bonanza, the one that just wow, unbelievable, you’d like to write home about how I hit the home run. Well my observation is many times that person can go all the way. I’m thinking of a few people, they’re now in their 60s, and they’re still looking for that home run. Fortunately, in most cases they have a spouse that’s held home base down and held the family together if that’s a blessing, but I’ve found that it’s a case of many times being willing to start small. Recognize that this has a chance of growing into something, and then seeing it growing from small, to mid-size, to large and eventually it’s a big deal, but it didn’t start to appear like it was going to be a big deal. In fact, it was so small that almost everybody looked over this as a viable option, but this wise person took this simple idea and made it work, and it ended up a big deal. Don’t be fooled. Another place that I think we get fooled is just the overall glamorous appearance that someone has. I’ve learned, and most of my business friends that are in my stage in life now are not impressed. Nothing wrong with a three-piece suit, nothing wrong with a spitfire hotshot looking car we’re all driving, but I’m telling you those are red flags. A lot of times there’s a lot of smoke, and there’s no fire there. There’s a lot of appearance, there’s a lot of talk, the brochure looks so nice, it can hardly be believable. Well guess what? Let me go visit that place. Let me see them in real life, let me see them not in this picture perfect world that they want to present to me, and I want to be committed to those people that I can identify with. Frankly, I’m not a spitfire, all dressed up guy. Nothing wrong with that in the right environment, and I’m glad that in general our dress code is now diminished. So, a shirt like I’m wearing right now is quite acceptable in a professional mode, and I could actually wear some standard blue– not blue jeans, but slacks, or khakis, or something ,and be very acceptable, and even to my bankers. So don’t be fooled by outside appearance, it can be so so deceptive.


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