portrait of Larry Winget

Larry Winget, The Pitbull of Personal Development

In today’s episode of The Chimney & Fireplace Success Network, Jerry and Sheryl welcome special guest, the Pitbull of Personal Development, Larry Winget. Larry shares with us his ten rules for success in business. Make sure you tune in to what quite possibly is the last interview in Larry Winget history. We guarantee you he will have you throwing away your To-Do List and starting your Accomplished List before you are done listening to this podcast. 

The Chimney and Fireplace Success Network is a weekly podcast brought to you by the CVC Success Group and hosted by industry expert, Jerry Isenhour. Each week you will find new presentations to assist business owners and managers in turning their business dreams into their business realities.

Video Transcript

Jerry Isenhour.: Well, good afternoon, and I want to welcome you to this week’s edition of the chimney and fireplace success network. And boy, have we got a treat for you today. Sheryl, what would you think when I told you about today’s guest going to be with us?

Sheryl Isenhour:  I thought it is going to be phenomenal. I mean, this man means a lot to us. So, I think today is a good day to do this.

Jerry I.: Here’s our guest of the day, guys, and girls, and this is somebody that I count as a friend, as a mentor.

Our guest is Larry Winget known as the Pitbull Of Personal Development.

Somebody I love to hear his words, even though sometimes everybody does not agree with him. Because one of the things this guy believes in is everybody deserves a point of view in this world. And the gentleman with us today is none other than that guy who is known as the Pitbull of personal development.

That irritational speaker as he brands himself out there, that we just do not hear enough of anymore. So anyway, I want to welcome Larry Winget to our show today. So, Larry, you don’t know how grateful I am for you to give us a little time today. Brother, it is so good to see and talk with you again.

Larry Winget.: Jerry, it is good to be with you. You may just go down in history as the last guy who ever interviews Larry Winget. I think I might be done. You may end it all up right here.

Jerry I.: Yes. So to everybody who knows, he made a commitment a while back to do this interview. And it’s like Larry’s kind of riding off in the sunset. I told Larry the other week I said, Larry, everybody needs your wisdom.

He said, hey, there’s enough people copying what I’m saying; they’ll never run out of stuff. So Sheryl, what do you think of this guy? We’ve been with him; we spent time in hotel rooms and meeting rooms. What are you thinking of this guy?

Sheryl: Oh, let me think. Okay, yes, he and his lovely wife, I’m going to inject that, are two of my favorite people. I do not care if anybody else does not like you, Larry, I do.

Larry W.: Well, thank you Sheryl.

Sheryl: Yes. I have enjoyed the time that we have had together, and I really do hate to see you run off in the sunset, as Jerry keeps saying, but I am going to keep bugging you.

Jerry I.: Well, the thing that Larry is Larry’s made his own decisions of what he wants to be and where he wants to be in life. And I support that fully; like I said, spend a lot of times in meetings, and UBS meets with you, Larry, and then private calls.

And sometimes you were such an asset to both of us, so much it was just such a pleasure the time we’ve had to work with you over the years. But anyway, today, the reason I asked Larry on here, Larry has given some classic sound advice over the years. In fact, I use one of his cards every time I do a swap meeting.

In fact, I did one the other day Larry and I shared it on social media, and that first one is just so key, I think, for business success today. And your number one rule for business success is do what you said you would do when you said you would do it, and the way you said you would do it.

Now, what brought that about, because one of the things I know is you did a podcast one day talking about a guy who you said did a great job, charged you a great price, and all that. But you’d never use him again. So how important is this that we do what we say we are going to do?

It is the number one rule in business.

Larry W.: Jerry, it is the number one rule in business and life. For several reasons, first of all, it’s based in integrity. Just do what you said you would do when you said you would do it, the way you said you were going to do it.

Integrity is just one of the key core values in life.

And integrity is just one of the key core values in my life, and I know in yours, and it is about being honest with the people that you are doing business with. So it’s based in all the right core values. However, I believe that if you boil down every single relationship, all Sheryl wants for you to do is to do what you said you would do when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it.

All you want from Sheryl is for her to do what she said she would do when she said she would do it, the way she said she would do it. That’s what kids want from their parents; that’s what parents want from the kids. That’s what our customers want from us, and that’s really what we want from our customers.

When the customer says they’re going to pay you on the 15th, on the 15th, you expect your money; you want them to do what they said they were going to do. And I believe that we have spent most of our last several years trying to figure out how to say that and then skate by not quite doing that.

In terms of performance, if I go to everybody’s website because they’re the best, and they’ll do the best, and they’ll be on time. And it’s the best quality and the best service and all that, so they make the commitment and their mission statement.

And on their website, and they go, I don’t have time to do that, so I’m going to escape just a little bit on that performance. And they think that doesn’t hurt it. That’s a loss of integrity, and it cost you forever. You gave the example of me telling a story about a guy, that electrician I’ve done business with over three different houses and liked his work, liked his pricing, liked him.

The guy couldn’t get here on time, could not get here on time, and finally, I just said we’re done. I like you; I like your pricing. I like the quality of your work, I like everything about it, but you cannot keep your word to me. And to me, that is a sign of disrespect. You can’t get here on time.

When you leave your house and say, Larry, I’m on the way, call me, and you’re on the way, it still takes you three hours; you live 15 minutes away. I know a lot of people would say yes, but the quality of the work, and the price and all that stuff and the relationship, nope, my time is more important than my money.

My time is more important than my money.

My time is more important than my money, and when you disrespect my time, you are not doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it. That is what people want, that is what we should focus on in business, that is what our employees want, that is what our kids want. That is what our other relationships want, our husbands, our wives, everybody, our friends, that is why it is number one, not just in business, but in every single area of life.

Jerry I.: Let me ask you a question; you did a lot of public speaking in your lifetime. I don’t have no idea how many stages you’ve walked on. Was there ever a stage you did not show up at one time, Larry?

Larry W.: Nope, not once ever in 30 years.

Jerry I.: Did you ever go on stage when you might have been sick or just did not feel up to it? It just was a bad day. Your tummy was upset, or you just did not sleep well, or the plane was late tonight before?

Larry W.: I was in the middle of a speech, and I had the flu so bad in the middle of this speech, and I was so sick. In the middle of the story, I said, hey, y’all hang on just a minute, and I ran off stage and got me a trash can and threw up in that trash can, set it down, went back up, let’s rock and roll again.

They never had a speaker disappear for 30 seconds in the middle of a speech. But I made a commitment, and to me, a commitment my dad worked for Sears Roebuck for 47 years, now they are not Roebuck, just Sears, 47 years.

He showed up because he gave his word, he would do it.

And he did not show up because he is motivated; he did not show up because he had a passion for it. He didn’t show up because he loved it; he showed up because he gave his word he’d do it. He made a deal with Sears when he was 17 years old. You show up with the money; I’ll show up for the work. And for 47 years, every other Friday, that’s what Sears did.

Which meant in his very simple understanding of what ethics and integrity and all those things, you do it, by God because you said you would. That’s all you need. You do it because by God you said you’d do it, and that level of commitment, that’s what this statement is all about.

We need that commitment again. I don’t want anybody’s excuses; give me an excuse, we’ll never do business again. I do not want to hear it.

Jerry I.: Yes. So, Sheryl, you take number two, and what’s on number two? Because it is kind of just keeps on rolling here, doesn’t it, right?

A deal is a deal.

Sheryl: Roll along. Number two, a deal is a deal, okay. What made you say that? I know how I feel about it; how do you feel about it?

Larry W.: Well, a deal’s a deal, that is not original to me, that has been around a good long while. But the deal these days is that a lot of times, people get themselves in a deal, and then they’ll say, man, I should have made a better deal.

Yes, I’ve been in that situation a lot of times, haven’t you? I mean, I said I’d do stuff, and then it comes time, and you go holy crap, I have made a mistake. I did this too cheap. I said I’d do too much for the amount of money. I’ve done a lot of, but it deals a deal.

And you keep your word on that deal because you gave your word on that deal, sort of builds on what we’ve just been talking about there. But you make sure that you keep your word even when it costs you money. A deal’s a deal, whether it cost you money or not. A deal is a deal whether it’s uncomfortable for you to do or not; a deal is a deal even if it’s embarrassing for you, a deal’s a deal.

And that level of integrity, that’s what this one’s all about. It’s a level of integrity that I’ve had to eat my words, and I’ve hated myself for making the deal. The key on a deal like that is don’t resent the customer; you’re the one that made the stupid deal. I remind folks sometimes, have you ever had anybody come to you in the middle of a job and say, I did not bid this right, I am going to need to charge you more money?

Jerry I.: Yes.

Larry W.: I actually remind them you made this deal. You got to live with this deal. I didn’t make you give me that price; you gave me that price. And you’re going to live with your deal. A deal is a deal.

Jerry I.: It is an agreement; it is just like what you said a while ago about your dad working the Sears Roebuck. He was there for years and years; he made a deal, I get a paycheck, I show up on time, I do the job. So number three kind of just keeps on rolling; these are just such sound words of wisdom, Larry.

Do the right thing every time, not the cheap thing or the easy thing, the right thing. And again, we’re just rolling through with all these different tips of how to be successful. Have you ever been there where somebody wanted to not do the right thing? How did it make you feel?

Larry W.: Well, I hold people speak to the fire; I am pretty tough about this stuff. I mean, I make people live up to these because that’s how I was raised. That when you give your word, you’re given your word. And I’ve had people tell me, Larry, you’re a hard customer to get along with.

No, I’m really not; I’m really easy. I’m looking right here at an agreement; I remember what we talked about and going to make you do the right thing, I’m going to make you do the honest thing. I’m going to hold your feet to the fire and make sure that you hold up your end of the bargain. More of us need to be like that.

See, I believe when you allow somebody to get by with something, then you have become an accessory to the crime; you’re as guilty as they are. I mean, if you get bad service and you don’t speak up about it, you’re not helping the next guy that’s about to walk in the front door speak up about it. Make sure people do what they said they would do.

Make sure people keep their word and then understand that a deal is a deal. That’s our obligation; we all have a fiduciary responsibility when we do business with people. And I don’t do what I do because I love it; I don’t. I do what I do because I’m darn good at it, and people pay me well for it, I understand that.

It is a fiduciary responsibility. I respect the people’s money that they are sharing with me when they hire me or buy something from me. Because I have such a respect for their money, I’m going to do the right thing out of respect for their money. I want other people to respect my money so much that they would never think about doing anything but the right thing. But I’m clear about that; nobody wonders how I feel about anything.

And I think we kind of become a bunch of wusses, and we won’t speak up when we’re getting bad service. We tuck our tails and go away. Don’t say anything about it. We let people treat us like crap and then wonder why they treat everybody like crap because too many people let them buy with it.

So not only is this how we run our business, but we must create this expectation with everybody we do business with, and that’s why you do the right thing. Nobody ought to even have to say that; I’m kind of mad at myself. That’s even on the list because, of course, you do the right thing. But that is the world we live in.

Jerry I.: Yes, you take number four.

Be the person others can count on to get things done.

Sheryl: Okay. This one rings home; I had a dad that would have popped me on the bottom if I did not, be the person others can count on to get things done.

Larry W.: You know, you are working a company, and boy, I have, and I have had a lot of employees in my past lives and so forth. And when something needed to be done, you always knew who you could go to; there’s this one, it might not have been in his particular expertise, might not have been in his job description.

But if you need something done, you go to that guy, that girl. You go to that person because you know without any question, they’re going to get it done. And it’s funny you said that, Sheryl because that’s exactly the way my dad would have been about the whole thing. He said when you give a man your word; you keep your word. When you sell your time to a man, you give him all he is paying for.

Sheryl: Plus, more.

Larry W.: And then some, you’re exactly right. And if you want to create value, we always talk about value. We have a tendency to say value is based on all these different things. What I value most is knowing that’s a person I count on. Every time when I’m looking at my employees, when I’m looking at companies I want to hire, when I want somebody, I can count on.

And this kind of goes back that they’ll do what they said they would do when they said they would do it, the way they said they would do it. They understand a deal is a deal; they do the right thing every single time. All this stuff sort of builds up. And this is not just about techniques and tactics and strategies about your actions for the day, this is all based on, and that’s what I like about these ten rules. This isn’t stuff you go out there and say, well today; I’m going to do this, because this, this list of stuff, this is my job, no.

You do your job, and this is who you are, and that’s what all this is. But this is who people need to be; good people do good work. Bad people do good work when somebody’s beating them on the head to make them do good work or begging them to do good work, or threatening to fire them if they don’t do good work. So they’ll do good work for that long. But good people do good work because they are good people.

Jerry I.: Yes. And the next one just keeps on rolling, Larry, it’s just like when I’m sitting here and hearing you talk about this; I’m wondering did you sit down one evening and put things together, or this was a compilation of years of observation? How did you come up with these ten things?

Larry W.: I just sat down one day and said what would be ten rules for business success, which is what it is called. And they do build on one another, and I just sat down and wrote one through ten.

Work hard on your job and work harder on yourself.

Jerry I.: Yes. So the next one is work hard on your job and work harder on yourself. I think that’s a key one, and I think that’s what, you know that about us. We have worked really hard on ourselves, and in our jobs, we dedicate ourselves to what we’re doing, probably beyond what we should. In some ways, I admire you; you are riding off in the sunset, the other is I do not know how you are doing it, I admire the heck out of you for this.

Larry W.: Well, here is the deal. I’m doing what I said I would do when I said I would do it, the way I said I would do it. I’m not turning 70 years old and worrying about where the next speech is comes from; this has always been a plan.

I had a good friend say that something he learned was there comes a time in the life of every general where he plants his flag, declares victory, and leaves the field of battle. That’s what I’m doing. I’m declaring victory; I’m going to leave the field of battle.

But this works hard on yourself part of this, sure you ought to work hard on your job. That’s what you’re being paid for. You’re not being paid to slack. A big study years ago, I talked about my book; it’s called work for a reason, was that people on the job have testified out of their own, when it was anonymous, that they’re only really working about half the time.

Which means if we had a hundred percent of our workforce work at a hundred percent of the time, we could do it all with half as many people. In fact, we did this year. A lot of companies just flat out got it all done with half as many people showing up and doing work.

And so I think again, out of employees, we have a fiduciary responsibility because we’re being paid to give it all you got and then some. And then to work harder on yourself stuff. I had a telecommunications company, and all my folks knew how to sell telephone systems, knew how to install telephone systems. We knew about telephone systems.

But I started having weekly meetings, and at the time, I bought a Zig Ziglar course, and where it came with the videotape and the workbooks and all this. And it all had to do with making people better people. Because I really do believe, and I had somebody not long ago push back on this with me about my statement, good people do good work.

I really do believe that. I think anything we can do to help people grow as people, teach them how to, teach a guy how to set goals and achieve goals, will he show up for his appointments on time and get through the work faster? Of course, he will.

But the principle is, how do you set goals and achieve goals? How do you plan your life? How do you handle finances? If you’ve got an employee, and she’s doing pretty good, and her finances go to crap, her work will suffer. Teach people how to handle the finances, teach them how to get along, teach them how to be better parents.

Teach people how to be better people, and you’ll get better work from them. Every leader, every employee ought to understand that. And here’s where this one works hard on your job and work harder on yourself; this is where we’re going to see it the next year. Jerry, you are in an industry like most blue-collar industries out their service-based industries, did pretty good last year.

Jerry I.: Did excellent last year.

Larry W.: Did pretty good last year; well, that is not going to last forever. What goes up must come down; that’s a law of physics that cannot be denied. And here’s what they’re going to have to at some point step back and look at their business and say, was I really good to get all that business?

Or was I just lucky? And a bunch of people were making a lot of money, and they’re not good at what they do. They were lucky because the market, coronavirus people were staying home wanting to work on their chimneys and their landscaping and put in a new air conditioner and all that stuff. So, this goes back to, you got to make sure that you are good, so you cannot rely on being lucky.

Jerry I.: Yes, and it is kind of like last week Larry. This was Monday a week ago; we had no idea what we were getting ready to go through here right now, with I call it the great gas pump crisis of 2021. Because a week ago, had no idea that we were going to be in this shortage right now.

Like this morning, it’s like 9 out of 10 gas stations have no gas here. And that’s what I feel this economy is going to do if people don’t open their eyes, so I’m dead on that. Sheryl let us go to number six; you do number six.

Never tolerate poor performance in yourself or others.

Sheryl: Okay, never tolerate poor performance in yourself or others. And I have got to say for me; I am probably harder on myself than others.

Larry W.: Well, I am pretty hard on both. Here’s the deal, I believe what you tolerate, you endorse. What you put up with, you condone. And so when I look at an employee, or I’m looking at the kind of service I get when I go out in public. If I put up with lousy customer service, I have to admit to myself that I condone that; I endorse bad customer service.

Ask anybody a question, do you endorse or condone lousy service? Why are you putting up with it? Why do you tolerate it? Do you endorse or condone poor performance from your employees? Do you endorse them coming in late? Which, by the way, means they don’t respect you, they don’t respect their co-workers, they don’t respect their customers.

And it means they’re stealing from you. Well, if you don’t stop it, then you are proving to them that you tolerate it and you condone it. Well, that’s dumb. So you just got to look at what’s going on in your life and realize that if it’s going on, it’s because you’re putting up with it. And when you stop putting up with it, probably, it will stop going on.

So putting up a poor performance in others, well I fix that crap that quick, and every employer ought to, every manager ought to. You think you’re doing folks a favor by letting their actions slide when they come in late or take an hour break instead of a 15-minute break.

Or when they’re doing something on your time that you’re paying them to do, that’s all personal. You think you’re being a nice person; you’re not. You’re hurting that employee, and you’re hurting the most important person, and that’s the customer.

Because eventually, the customer suffers. And if they don’t respect you and your time and your money, they’re not going to respect your customer’s time and money either. So stop tolerating lousy performance. And stop tolerating in yourself, good lord.

We live in a society where it’s all you’re wonderful, you’re special, aren’t you terrific? Everybody, let’s circle up, hold hands sing kumbaya, and talk about how great we are. United States is ranked number 27 in math performance and number one in self-esteem. Number one is self-esteem. We love ourselves for being stupid; that’s bottom line how it is.

We love ourselves. Sometime, at some point, when you all need to go the mirror and say, listen, buddy, you’re being an idiot about this, you got to stop this. You’re not healthy; you’re overweight; you’re broke. You got to go through everything that’s going on in your life and realize it’s going on because you allow it to happen. So stop it.

The thing I’ve done Jerry for 30 years has been based on the oldest joke in the whole world. I mean, every book I’ve written, all of this stuff, everybody knows the joke. Guy goes into the doctor and says, hey doctor, it hurts when I do this. The doctor says, don’t do that; that’s all I got to teach people. Everything that is going on that is bad in your life, stop doing it.

Jerry I.: Well, I still remember one day that you were talking, and it was like, and I use this, I will be honest with you, I have used this. I said, let me give you the Larry Winget advice, give him his freedom. Give him his freedom to go get another job.

Undoubtedly, he’s miserable working for you. So grant him his freedom to go find something to make him happy because you’re both miserable. So granting us a freedom and go with it, okay. So, Sheryl, what about number seven?

Sheryl: Focus on accomplishments, not activity.

Focus on accomplishments, not activity.

Larry W.: You know almost everybody that is listening to this, I bet you right now has a to-do list, dumbest concept in the whole world, to-do list. Everybody needs to throw away your to-do list and get you a to get done list, focus on accomplishment.

We’ve got way too many people that measure their own performance by look how busy I am. I got this going on and this going on and this going on and this, well what are you getting done? Not a damn thing. It doesn’t matter what you do; it matters what you get done.

You have, I have, drive around with dirty clothes in the back seat of your car because you just can’t make it two blocks away to the dry cleaners. Some days, if you say I don’t know what else gets done today, and we’ve all done this. I got to get to the damn dry cleaners; I got to. And if you get that done, you got the right thing done for that day.

Now the dry cleaners is just an example, but we all got stuff that we’ll just put it over here on the back, and we’ll wait. Or we’ll just mess with it for a little while. I believe the right time to do anything is right now, right now. I can get more done by breakfast than most people can all day long because I don’t put anything off, ever.

I just get it done because I want all my stuff to be done and over with, so I can go relax and have a bourbon and smoked cigar. I want my stuff done. So I do focus on what am I getting done, and here’s the other thing. About half of what we think we ought to be doing, I do not need to be done at all.

Jerry I.: When you start talking about lot, you know what came to my mind when you were talking about clothes and maybe the laundry. I still remember a time that you went on the stage, and you were at a hotel, and you had turned your laundry into hotel. And they had ironed your jeans so hard that you said you couldn’t hardly get your legs in them that day.

That’s just comes to mind of all the things I remember that. So you did on it. So again, here’s the next one, work faster, smarter, and harder. So how do people do that, Larry? They’re so overwhelmed. I mean, life is overwhelming, Larry.

Larry W.: When I was a kid, and I grew up, I will not say I was dirt poor, but we were dusting. I had one goal, I wasn’t going to be broke, and I was tired of being broken, and really I did grow up a poor kid. The only thing I had going for me.

I didn’t have any specials, but the only thing I had going for me I knew I could work harder than anybody else; I could work faster than anybody else. And my daddy would always say, and he just worked for Sears in the warehouse. But he would always say, is there a smarter way for you to do that, Larry?

And that was my focus. I knew I could outwork you, I could work faster and get more done, and I’d try to find a better way to do it. What if we all just did that every single day? Jerry, I’ve done more than one of these with you. Have you improved how you do these?

Jerry I.: Yes, sir. Changed methods, change processes, everything.

Larry W.: Changed technology, had to learn stuff, you had to get better in order to do that. So you said in order to compete in the marketplace, I got to get better at what I do. I’ve got to work harder at what I do. I got to be faster than I used to be, so I can get more done; I got to work smarter. Anybody in any market, I don’t care what you do. If you focus on faster, smarter, and harder, you would be a whole lot better off.

Jerry I.: Is that the story of Amazon and Sears Roebuck or Sears as it is today?

Larry W.: And Apple, and everybody else.

Jerry I.: Okay, that is what I mean. That’s what comes, people are just used to things going along, and they’re not reinventing themselves. I remember first time I ever sat in a room with you, and we had a guy there, and he was talking about reinvention.

And you came over and tapped me on the shoulder and said you better listen, exactly what he said because reinvention’s what you’re into. And that’s what it is; it goes on every single day. So, Sheryl, you take number nine.

You are not paid to play, socialize, or take care of personal matters, just work.

Sheryl: And as an employer, number nine means, is a hit big one for me. Remember what you are paid for to do, work. You are not paid to play, socialize, or take care of personal matters, just work.

Larry W.: Yes. You’re not paid to be happy on the job; you’re not paid to love your job. You’re not paid to get along with everybody. You’re paid to work. I think we all ought to be reminded in any company that’s hiring people, and doesn’t say this is your job, here’s your job description.

It’s how you will be measured. It’s how you’ll know you’re doing well; it’s how I’ll know you’re doing well. This is what you’re supposed to do every single day. And I can come to you at the end of the day and say did you do those things or not? Well, no, I got involved over here. No, this is what you were hired to do. These are the things right here.

Now, did you do them or not? If you didn’t do them, we got to have a talk about that. And that goes back to the poor performance and all that sort of stuff. But we allow people, and we allow ourselves out of a lack of clarity about what we’re hired to do.

We think we’re hired to do all this other stuff, and really when our employer hired us, there was a job to be done. And that’s what we are paid to do. And that’s what we need to focus on, is the job being done? I had a bunch of guys over here the other day, and they were putting in an air conditioner. And they were doing good, I like these guys, and I had to put in another air conditioner for me a couple of years ago.

I walked out there, and they’re all just kind of standing around on their phone like this. And I said I thought you came here to put the air conditioner in? Well, yes, but I had a call coming in. Okay, I went back in and had a cup of coffee, came back out, and I said am I paying you to talk on your phone, or is your boss paying you to talk on your phone and answer texts and stuff? Put this air conditioner in and go away, so I let the dog out. You must know what the job is and to do it.

Jerry I.: So, they did not know you do not intrude on the dog’s life at the Winget household at all, did they? They just did not understand you are in Leon’s relationship.

Larry W.: That’s Leon’s yard, and they are guests in it, and they are overstaying their welcome.

Manage the priorities, not the time.

Jerry I.: Okay. So number 10 here, Larry, and when I read this one out, I’m just imagining that the people that speak on time management, I can only imagine what your feelings are. Because number 10 is manage the priorities, not the time, where did that one come from?

Larry W.: Oh, it has been said by a lot of people smarter than I am, and I just feel sorry for people who are trying to manage their time. I had a time in my life where I was trying, and I went to a time management course, and I bought time management books.

And I realized as long as the most important thing is getting done, it’ll be all right. What is the most important thing every single day? In small business, what’s any business? What’s the most important thing? Revenue. Revenue is it, where does revenue come from? Customers.

What does that mean? Selling new customers and taking care of the customers I already got. So if revenue is the most important thing and that’s my priority, I figure out how you get more revenue, and that’s where you spend your time, period. And so I look at income-producing things, and small businesses, boy, they can get off track on this.

And I work with a lot of speakers, and I’ll say, well, how many people did you talk to today? Well, I didn’t talk to any meeting planners today to hire me as a speaker; I was working on my website. Your website’s not making you any money, get out there and talk to customers. If the priority, and it is for all of us, is revenue, to be profitable, that’s the only reason we have a business is to be profitable and make revenue.

Then how does that get to us? Through customers. Through sales and taking care of people we got, that’s it, that’s my priority. I don’t let much else get in my way. Everything else can be done after that’s done.

And yet we spent a lot of time trying to manage processes when we ought to be trying to figure out what’s the most important thing and just doing it. It is like stress management; why do you want to learn how to manage something you do not want?

Jerry I.: That’s like fixing an old car up that you really do not want around, right?

Larry W.: Yes, it doesn’t make any sense. So if everybody had clarity around what the most important thing was in their business, and then today, and then this hour and right this minute, this is what I’m going to focus on. If we had clarity around that and a clear priority, then we would not have to worry about managing our time.

Jerry I.: Yes. So that’s been ten things that Larry Winget has written. And I’m going to read over something else here, Larry, which is the ten things that will never fail you that you wrote.

Number one is honesty; number two is integrity, number three hard work. Number four, being nice. And a lot of people may not believe this, but Larry, deep down inside, you’re really a nice guy, okay. I know this.

Larry W.: I would hope so.

Jerry I.: See, a lot of people say I do not like Larry Winget, he is just telling his point of view, being excellent at what you do, exceeding expectations. Spending less than you earn, saving as much as you possibly can.

Being charitable with your time, talents and money, and your sense of humor. Those are ten things Larry Winget says will never fail you. Are those tickets for success, Larry?

Larry W.: You know I actually like that less list better than the other list.

Jerry I.: I know you do.

Larry W.: I really do. The ten things that will never fail you, I’m a big picture kind of guy. Again, help people be good people. You’re a good person if you’re honest and have integrity, and you work hard, and you’re nice and see; I happen to think that honesty isn’t always pretty, but it’s always the best thing you can do.

And so, I think it is nicest thing I can do is be honest with folks. Some people don’t see it that way if it steps on their toes. Be good at what you do. Lord, we’re all paid at some point for excellence and value; that’s it. And not only meet expectations but meet them and go just a little farther. Sheryl said it a while ago; that’s how we were raised.

You give it all you got, and then so, that’s the way it ought to be. All of these things are big picture things that apply to every single area of life and business, and these are the things that if you can look at you, and the last was my most important one, by the way, Jerry, keep your sense of humor.

God darn, people are just, they’re nasty, and they’re mean, and they’re looking for opportunities to be offended. We’ve forgotten how to laugh at ourselves and with each other. And we got to get back to having a good sense of humor. But if you do these ten things, you’ll be a good person. And if you are a good person, you will do the right stuff every time.

Jerry I.: So, has Larry Winget really walked on the last stage?

Larry W.: No, I’ve got a year’s worth of contracts that I have to fulfill. Some speeches and I got another year of coaching, but it’ll look a whole lot different my coaching from the past. I’m not doing any more one-on-one coaching, and I’m turning down all keynotes past the end of this year that I don’t have under contract.

Not taking any new business. And I am planting my flag and declaring victory. I’m going to have some fun. I didn’t work my whole life to make money to spend it traveling to give a speech to the Iowa independent insurance agents. Let them hire somebody else. Like I said to you the other day, there is a chance that somebody else has already stolen most of my stuff anyway and is using it, so okay.

Jerry I.: Well, if I am the last person that ever interviews you like this, Larry, I am going to take it as a really high honor to be able to; what do you think?

Sheryl: Me too. And I appreciate it more than you can imagine.

Larry W.: Well, I appreciate you all. You know I have known you guys a couple of years and several years, and we’ve been through a lot back and forth, and man, I’ve seen you guys grow. As a business, as people and I love you guys, and you all work hard, you do this stuff, you do.

Jerry I.: Yes.

Sheryl: Thank you.

Jerry I.: And Larry, that means a lot coming from you, because I know you do not BS, okay. So you are not going to say nothing to make nobody feel good; you’re going to say your point of view. So, bro, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for spending a little time with us today, just to be able to see you and have a conversation.

Because to be honest with you, I miss those times. Hey, I could still remember that place out in phoenix and had the best break room of any hotel ever been in with that little snack room up the road there and all that kind of stuff.

So, here is my wish for you and Rose Mary seriously. I hope that you guys have a lot of happiness because you are two people that we love, and we respect from the bottom of our hearts, Larry.

Sheryl: I would like to say I look forward to the time we can sit down and have dinner again.

Larry W.: Me too.

Sheryl: We will make it happen.

Jerry I.: Okay, brother.

Larry W.: All right, happy to see you.

Jerry I.: Okay, we appreciate everybody joining us today here on the chimney and fireplace success network with my friend Larry Winget. And tune us in every week; we try to give you value every single week; talk to you later.