I was taught never to say never. It's probably one of the most sound teachings I ever had. "This company will never go broke, they've been around since 1936!" The pot-belled, bearded guy before me proudly announced with a glare in his eye. "I've been with them for eighteen years and I will retire from here. You stick with them and you will never need to look elsewhere for work!"
That company, a car dealership, ran into a brick wall when the grandson and granddaughter to the founder took over the controls.Â (Ah yes, you can cheat the employees, stiff the vendors but hell-hath-no-fury like a tax collector denied his piece of the pie!)Â And that fellow who was so sureÂ of himself? HeÂ had to scramble hardÂ for yet another job he could "retire from" someday.
Never say never. You'll always live to regret it.
I have a theory about what I call the 'third-generation-ownership-trap'. It spells bad news for anyone who gets rapped up in such a business. You see the founder is a gun-ho type guy. He's the one that had worked night and day to build the business, more often then not, from scratch. He sacrificed. He skimped and saved. He probably bled more then a few times for his business. He is the rock on which it's foundation has been built.
Then there's the son (daughter). Or equally often, sons (daughters). They've seen dad and mom sacrifices. They too have probably gone without a few things along the way as dad (and mom) built the business. TheyÂ may have beenÂ somewhat cushioned from the real grime of the details in establishing the business. But they understand what it took to pull it off.
Unfortunately, THEIR kids haven't seen any of this. It's the grandchildren to the founder that is the weak link in the chain. They are the ones that so often have come up with but one thing in mind, "what am I owed and how soon do I get it?" It's the third-generation that so often drops the ball.
I developed this theory over a period of many years. I've worked for founders and I've worked for the sons of founders and I've .. unfortunately .. became the victim of third-generation owners. It's this third generation that would rather be sky diving, or photographing Italy, or racing in NASCAR .. or just about anything else .. then attending to business.
It's the third generation you have to watch out for in just about every instance. And, ironically, it's the third generation that will tell you, "I will never have anything to worry about because we've been around since 1936!" Oh my, what the baby can't see with thatÂ great ..Â bigÂ .. Silver SpoonÂ .. sticking out ofÂ it's yap!
Never say never.
Oh, and about that other "N" word? I say this .. grow up already! Michael Richards (Cramer)Â got in a bit of a fix over using it (evidently in a very abusive way, I wasn't there so I don't know) but in all reality the joke is on the public. When African-Americans stop calling each other the "N" word then maybe, just maybe THEN it can simply fade away from usage.
A while back I had a young boy "of color" insisting on running through my backyard. When I yelled for him to get out of my yard he pulled outÂ the "N" word by telling his buddies that I called him a n***** which wasÂ not of courseÂ the case at all. I simply told him to get out of my yard and race had nothing to do with it. I didn't care what color he was, even if he were PINK, I wanted him out of my yard! So when he claimed to his friend that I called him the infamous "N" word I replied, "I don't care what you call yourself, get out of my yard!" EveryoneÂ with aÂ brain knowsÂ exactly what hisÂ game was.
To his "crew's" credit, they just looked at him and laughed, rived up their bicycles and rode off giggling as kids will do. Maybe we could allÂ learn a lesson from them.
Ever wonder What Sells on eBayÂ®? Come, use my free online research tool to discover profitable niches for yourself.
My Blog: What's Selling On eBay? examines eBay business models and displays actual examples of how my system can help you discover profitable niches on eBay.
More of my articles on gather.com
"Now, Who's the Retard?"
Power In The Seed
If I Were President
Screwing American Labor
The Great American Brainwashing
Why Charlie Rangel is Out Of His Mind