Product Knowledge

Product Knowledge
October 3, 2016 Gary Shotton

Having “Product Knowledge” gives an advantage and comes from the habit of asking questions.  Ask questions!! Ask questions!!  by Gary Shotton #000032

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Product Knowledge

By Gary Shotton

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

Well, my name is Gary Shotton. I’m standing here on the Great Wall of China. We’ve been here for just a couple days, we’re going to be here a total of about eight days, and I’m honored to be here. We’re talking with our Christian business friends that are chinese, and they’re very prosperous and doing well, and we’re enjoying this time and I’m going to talk today about the quest for knowledge. You’re going to be faced with, in each one of our businesses, things that are just changing so rapidly that unless you’re on top of your knowledge studies, and I’m not talking about all textbook, but unless you’re on top of really digging in and making a concerted effort to know what your product is, how it works, how the machines work, how the recipe works. I mean, this is intended for a broad range of business enterprises, and so all I can do is basically give examples of my life and things that I had faced and so I want to stay pretty close to home and talk first of all about my dad. My dad was a farmer and rancher. He wasn’t what I would call a book person, and I’m not either to be honest with you. I don’t go and just spend the weekend and try to find a novel and write and read a book, just not me. Nothing against that, but basically dad was knowledgeable though. He was always seeking out knowledge. In his case, we didn’t have the internet then, he didn’t have a lot of books, but he was on top of things, he would go visit things. He had friends, and he would look into the new things. I can remember a new breed of cattle that he wanted to experiment, and we bought those. Now, we were not a cow, calf operation, which means we didn’t have bulls and mama cows. We bought feeder cattle so the cattle were coming to us, maybe they’re just about a year old, and they’d come off of their mother, as being weaned off of that about 400 pounds. We would grow them from there, then take him through feedlots and and he knew about stuff. He just was willing to learn. I came into a situation after I graduated from college, that I was in a new location, a new state, and I could not find a job. And so, out of necessity I started a moving and storage company. Well, it had just started out to be just something to fill the gap, just something that would get some bread on the table, some food on the table. I wasn’t destitute, I wasn’t broke, but I knew to make sure I had money coming to me. Well, I don’t know anything about moving and storage. I do a little bit because I move myself from one state to another in this horse trailer, and that’s what I used. And so, I had to learn how to load things, I had to learn how to pack things. At this point I have started using the internet a little bit, but I’m mostly learning how things work from experience. I would experiment and try. I didn’t have any experience in anything, but local moving. If you wanted me to move you across the street, or across town, into an apartment, I knew how to do that, and then I decided well why would I not move somebody across state lines? In our case, it requires specifications and certifications, and I had to learn about semis, and I had to learn how to properly transport something with all the regulations. I had to learn about those things, I’m a learner, I’m constantly learning. And then one day, I’ll never forget this day, out of the blue I’m answering the phone, and somebody calls and asked me if I can move this special project to the country of Bangladesh. Are you kidding me? I don’t even know where that is, I sort of did and I then automatically said, you know yes, I can move you to Bangladesh. I didn’t know anything about it, but I knew that I could figure it out, so I learned how to do it. I learned how to move offices, and how to… just this is a fairly simple business, but I had to learn how to do it because I’m going to teach others. If I don’t know how it’s done, I don’t know that I know how to teach somebody, or how to know if somebody else is doing it right. So, I had to learn that. I had to learn about real estate. I have some properties, and I’m not a big investor in properties But I have some so I need to know. I need to know about how investments work, and then in the last 10 years I bought a machine shop. Well, most people are really surprised about this, but at age 55 I did not have to buy a business, but I bought a business. It was two and three-quarter million dollars total value of the business. I put very little money down, which means I borrowed a lot of money, and I committed to a plan to buy a machine shop when I never ever really worked in or been around a machine shop. I had a huge learning curve. I understand now how all the machines work, I can’t operate them, I cannot make a good part, but I know how it works. I know about enough about the metals, enough about the process, enough about heat treating, and enough about plating the things that are on the drawings. I have to know how to do it. I know how to sell myself. I know how to sell our company. I’m the sales person, so basically it’s a life long process of gaining knowledge in your own field. You know, I just don’t know if we’re working hard enough at that. I don’t know if your business is not doing well, if you’ve really researched. I would suggest somebody looking to start a business, to go one city, over a hundred miles away, and just spend a whole two or three days looking into an equal businesses. Find somebody that would share information, ask questions, ask questions, ask questions, ask questions to the vendors, ask question to your supplier of raw materials. You can be constantly learning, if you’re not you’re falling behind. I hope you enjoyed this video. I hope this is successful to you. I ask you to share these with others on Social Media, if you would. Find us somebody that would help speak, because I don’t want to be the only speaker, and we just thank you. And I thank you for the opportunity to do this while I’m standing here on the Great Wall of China. Thank you. Up next


  1. Alla Pavetic 4 years ago

    Great topic! I would add to that – Ask the right questions! And that comes with experience and knowledge of course. So never stop learning.

  2. Alla Pavetic 4 years ago

    Great topic! I would add to that – Ask the right questions! And that comes with experience and knowledge of course. So never stop learning.

  3. Alla Pavetic 4 years ago

    Great topic! I would add to that – Ask the right questions! And that comes with experience and knowledge of course. So never stop learning.

  4. Author
    Gary Shotton 4 years ago

    Yes, “Never stop learning” or “Life Long Learning”. It is great to get your feedback.

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