Tuesday, January 04, 2005

January 4, 2005
Man, where has this year gone? No, wait, that was last year.

Woke up to the sound of thunder, how far off, I sat and wondered. Started humming a song from 1964 ("We Gotta Get Out of This Place," the Animals). Buddy Boze Hatkiller scratching at the door, so scared of the big, bad thunder. Rained on and off all day. Really came down a couple of times. All the creeks and washes running, branches strewn across most of them.

Whipped out a stage stop scene of Tall Paul (Bob Paul, all six feet four of him). Also worked hard on a stage running amuck scene with Bob Paul surfing the box, but I think I ruined it. Overworked it into nothing. I probably should put that on my tombstone: He overworked everything into nothing. Or, like a Seinfeld, he could make anything into nothing.

Speaking of which, last night Kathy and I watched the classic Seinfeld episode "The Chinese Restaurant." Back in the mid-eighties I was flown to Hollywood to talk about making my cartoon character Honkytonk Sue into a movie. The screenwriter, Jerry Leischling, took me to a hip restaurant called Ghengis Cohen's. Anyway, the extras on the DVD told about how Jerry and Larry David were eating at this same place, Cohen's, and Larry came up with the idea of an entire episode that takes place in one scene, them waiting for a table for 23 minutes. Of course the network hated the whole thing, tried to bury the episode, threatened all kinds of calamity if it ran, and, of course it became the first classic Seinfeld episode. Amazing. The moral is if you can take the heat, you can come in through the kitchen (as opposed to the front by the hostess desk).

Got a new poll up. Which do you like watching, PRCA Events or PBR Events? Vote here.

Finished the Growing A Business book. Here are the final Big Picture ideas:

• Persistence without facing the facts will lead you astray.

• One half of all business problems originate with the perceptions, attitudes and practices of the owner (ah, that would be me). The other half of the problems are caused by faulty hiring (ah, that would be Carole, no wait, that would be RG, no wait, that would be me also. What kind of a book is this, where you actually have to take responsibility for your actions? Well, I'll be.).

• You don’t ever manage people—you work with them. If people are honest about it, you will find that the majority of them are not satisfied with their jobs, their work, or their relationship with management.

• Firing is failure. Everybody is at fault.

• Technology allows any company to process orders or problems within 24 hours. Don’t believe otherwise.

• You must give permission to your employees to do what they think is right.

• Customers want a long-term relationship (I intend to call all of our recent expires and ask, "Where did we lose you?")

• Customers do not want a policy, they want a person (Carole and Samantha said they often answer the phone and people say, after a long pause, "Is this really a person?")

• Service is the difference between the small business and the chain (see above).

• Every employee must know the numbers. Every department functions as a small business.

• In short, I need to ask everyone, "What kind of company do we want to live and work in?"

"All things come to him who waits, especially things not worth waiting for."
—Old Vaquero Saying

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