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Tips From Corn
This is where I live life and as things strike me, I write them down and do a good podcast. This one is called Tips From Corn. I am right in the middle of a book called The First Tycoon. It’s the story of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the wealthiest person to ever live in the United States. When he died in the late 1800s, one out of every $20 in circulation was his. He had 5% of the US GDP going through his pocketbook. I can’t believe I didn’t read this sooner. I already have four fairly major and dramatic points taken out of this book that I’m changing in my life. What I did is a little summary for myself. I was waiting for a person. I had an appointment at a Cracker Barrel and he was running a little bit behind, so I took out a notepad. I’m like, “What’s hitting me from this book so far?” I just started. I didn’t stop writing. Pages came out. I summarized it and here’s what I’ve got.
Number one out of the four points that are punching me in the gut from this book is his work habit. This guy was a physical machine. Seven days a week, 6:00 AM to whenever, he worked. How he even had time to have ten kids? I have no idea. He worked physically all the time. It reminded me in the epilogue of a phenomenal book I read a couple of months ago called Double Double by Cameron Herold. If you want to grow your business, you’ve got to read Double Double. In the epilogue of the book, Cameron is talking about how the best entrepreneurs he’s ever met in his life were maniacal for two to three years. Meaning they were pure maniacs for two to three years towards a singular goal. I’m telling you, Cornelius Vanderbilt was a maniac on his goals from the time he was nineteen until the day he died. He is the hardest working human being I have ever read about in my life. Talk about deserving to be the wealthiest guy out there. That guy was a machine.
Number two, no question, the single greatest nugget from the book and quite possibly this could be, and I know this sounds dramatic, the greatest nugget I’ve ever pulled from any book, and it goes like this. At a very early age, Cornelius Vanderbilt understood that you serve the relationships that can take you places. From nineteen on, when anyone of any significance or great importance entered his life, he found a way to serve them until it became a friendship. I’m only halfway through the book. He went out of his way to serve that person long enough until they became friends. Understand that these are people of great importance. These are people of incredible significance.
Here’s a question. What great people have entered your life or crossed your path that you had found a way to serve them to the point that it became a friendship? The friendship alone could have made you a better person and taken you to the moon and back. What great people should you have been serving to the point of a friendship that could have altered the destiny of your life? Once you know this principle, what I love about the truth is nothing hurts more than when you know the truth and you don’t act upon it. I’m telling you, and I’ve done these many times, I have served many great people to the point of friendship, but I didn’t realize I was doing. I just did it because you know it felt right and made sense. If someone of great significance crosses my path, I am going to go out of my way to serve that person until they become friends.Friendship alone can make you a better person and take you to the moon and back. Click To Tweet
Number three, every penny counts. This guy is so frugal. It hit me hard because I have a lot of work to do in this area, but he understood profit and only profit can be allowed for great expansion. If you don’t allow profit, meaning you shortchange yourself and you spend everything you got because you want to do this or do that. Here’s the key. He was so tight about expenses that his wife, who raised all of their kids and ran a very small inn, he made her pay all the home expenses out of the inn, meaning the food, the clothes, everything for the kids, school, everything. She never got a dollar until the very end of his life from the main business. He was that frugal because in his mind, every penny of profit can be multiplied into another tool, another boat, another train. He was maniacal about profit.
Number four, this guy was a massive risk-taker. He was in steamships and steam trains in the beginning. If someone came out and said, “We’re building a better, faster boat than anything on the water now,” he found the $30,000, he found an investor. He talked somebody into partnering with him until he could buy that boat. There was no risk too great if the reward got him better and faster. What risks do you know you should take right now that you’re sitting on? Here’s a review. What have I learned so far from Corn? Number one, I have never heard or read about anyone that worked as many hours and as hard and as maniacal his whole life as that man. I need to up my game. Number two, best nugget. Serve the relationships that can take you places. Number three, every penny counts. I’m going to have a meeting specifically on expenses. Number four, take risks. I’m a great risk–taker actually, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a bigger risk I could go after. This is The Tips Ken Took From Corn. I hope this helps.