It does not seem that life is always fair and sometimes we must just make the best of the situation and we need to “use what is in your hands” to get started. By Gary Shotton #000038
Use What is In Your Hand
By Gary Shotton
My name is Gary Shotton and I’m here in the country of Mexico and I’ve been here with a small team for a three-day event. In two of those days, we were teaching on entrepreneurship to mainly college students and young business people. And we’re having a great time. And so, that causes us to really be into it, to be excited about it.
And, I want to talk today from an experience that I had when I moved to a new town and I could not find a job in my normal career. Now, I know around the world, all of us at different times have faced this situation. You know, I wanted to start a business. I wanted to own a business. At that time, I was very focused and thinking I would own a business. But frankly, at that moment I didn’t have the time, energy, or resources to start a business. I needed income. I needed a job. And so, I happened to move to this new town with a family of five; my children were ages 2, 4, and 6. My wife was with me and we are attending a particular school that happen to be a Bible school. And, we’re learning about faith and how God works in faith.
And you know I looked around, I made application for a few jobs in my career and the economy just had just tanked. It was as low as it had been in years and there’s no way I was going to get a job. So, I happen to be listening to a message from someone, and they encouraged that in the Word of God, it talks about “Using something that’s in your hands”. Well, I didn’t have anything literally in my hands but I said well maybe I could use something in my possession. Well, you know I’m sitting here in Mexico and I happen to be setting in front of my motel and I happen to be setting in front of a horse trailer. Now, I’m going to turn just a little bit. If you notice here, if you look at that, it’s a trailer and that’s a trailer that you would use to move four horses. Do you understand? You put two horses in the front, two horses in the back, and that will haul four horses.
And, I happen to have an old, big car that was pulling that trailer and that’s how I moved to my new town. And so, out of necessity said, “I had better get something going”. So, I put an ad in the paper that said, “Let me help you move”. I had experience in this because I’d already just moved from this one town to this town. I knew how to load that trailer with my household goods. I thought it was going to be temporary. So, we only took the essential things we thought we needed and we had it full to the brim. I mean, absolutely full to the brim. And so I thought, well I have this in my possession and something I could do temporarily. Temporary, until I can get past that point and then I’ll decide what I’m supposed to do later on. And so, I put this ad in the newspaper and I only paid a couple dollars and it said, “Let me help you move, I have a two meter by five meter trailer” or “5 feet by 16 feet trailer” whichever culture you’re in. I used, “5 feet by 16 feet”, I didn’t use the word “horse” in my advertisement. I just said, “I have a 5′ x 16′ trailer, let me help you move”.
Well, I used my home phone. We didn’t have cellphones, then. And so they called my home phone. I think I bought a recorder so I could make sure that I got every call when people called me. They called me just to move a washer and dryer. They called me to move a bedroom set. People that are moving. You understand, that when I say “moving”, it is when people relocate from one house to another house, that’s called a “mover”. That’s removal from one house to another. And of course, sometimes it was the whole household but some of the moves are just a few things like a dresser or some bedroom sets. But in that horse trailer, we moved some 40 or 45 full households in that 18 months, as I was in business, with that horse trailer.
And then, lo and behold, I get that opportunity to buy it my first truck. Okay, I’ll buy a truck that was a very inexpensive truck. Again my whole plan was, “this is just temporary”, “this is just until I can get past this point and then I can get on with my real business”, “something that’s really, really important”.
Well you know what? By the time I graduated from this Bible School it happened to be May of that year. And, I realized this is the business I should own and I dug in and made this a successful business over a 17 year period. It went from that size trailer. It wasn’t that horse trailer, I’m in Mexico you understand. It was a horse trailer similar to that trailer. It had a kind of a cover on top in case it rained. But, it wasn’t watertight and I moved from that horse trailer to one truck, to two trucks. Then I moved out of my house and I started renting trucks from a local rental company and I had more trucks and I moved up and I kept increasing trucks and equipment by increasing from running out of my house to a rented warehouse. I then eventually bought a property. I eventually built a warehouse.
I mean it was step by step by step. But the whole thing started because I needed a job I was willing to humble myself my hands to work I could have been so proud because I’m an important graduate engineer, with lots of experience. That’s what the reality was. But no, I needed to learn and use my skills. What’s in my hands? What can I use? And you know what? I wouldn’t recommend you own that kind of business because it’s a tough one, it’s a real tough one, because most people can actually move themselves. Well that means, they are not going to pay very much. I mean, we are not like a high-paid medical doctors or we’re not even like a plumber. A plumber or electrician gets a very high rate of pay. When you’re just moving furniture you get a very low rate of pay from the customer.
Yet, it’s hard work. It’s very difficult work. So, I needed to pay pretty good wages to my employees. And so, the margin between what I was receiving as income and what I was paying out as expenses was so slim. You know what that caused me to be? “A better business person.”
I became skilled at analyzing every expense we had. I was as absolutely as frugal as can be on everything I could do be for that 17 years. That set me up for my current business. That set me up for the future. That set me up for what I’m doing right now. So you know, that wasn’t the business I was supposed to own all my life. It was my school. It was my education. It was the thing that taught me how to do business. I know how to meet the customers. I know how to shake hands. I know how to look them in the eye. I know how to fix furniture. You know, that if you move furniture you’re going to damage the furniture, sometime. So I bought a repair kit. If you needed something fixed, I could be pretty good at it, right now, because I had to. Some things happen out of necessity.
So I hope you understood or learned from this. I hope you enjoy this. I hope you might share these videos with other people because we want to help people all around the world. We are here in Mexico. I will soon be in China. I’ve recently been in Uganda. I’ve been in many countries sharing the truth that God wants us to prosper. And God wants us to take our place in the Body of Christ. And if that’s in the place of entrepreneurship, that’s us. We’re here to help you. Thank You!!!
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