If you are lazy, you will be poor.

I am not a fan of swearing, but I want to share a story that will stick in my mind forever. As I was in the process of selling my screen printing business I began the interview process with various investment and private equity firms.

I drove to Boulder in March of 2007 to interview with a private equity firm which shall go unnamed. No one there had a very clear idea of what the firm did, but we all knew there was a lot of money in the building, and we could feel the tension in the air as slick-suit McGee came into the room. (Think Boiler Room)

“PEOPLE ARE FUCKING LAZY!” were the first words that came out of the presenters mouth. He didn’t come off as yelling, but more preaching.

“Do you want to know why people are poor, fat, and miserable? Because they’re FUCKING lazy! If you’re lazy, get the fuck out of this room right now. But if you’re willing to work your ASS OFF, and want to make a lot of money doing it, you’re in the right place.”

I can count on one hand the number of profanities I say per year, so I nearly fell out of my seat. It was eye-opening that he laid everything out on the line in the first 5 sentences.

1.       The world is lazy

2.       People have problems because they’re lazy

3.       Hard work = reward

And that was that. If you didn’t agree with those 3 values, you were in the wrong job and also setting yourself up for a lifetime of being average and mediocre. I didn’t take the job – but I’ll never forget the first time in my adult life someone told me the truth instead of coddling me.

His bull-headedness helped me to see society from a different perspective. I had always believed circumstances were the main determiner o f results, but here was someone arguing that  the mover of success was nothing other than personal determination and character.

This leads me to why I’m talking about this today:

We have 12 commission-only salesmen in the business I work for. Yesterday it snowed one foot, and only myself and a similarly driven colleague are in attendance. The roads are clear – the weather is nice – but the lazy, emotion controlled salesmen of this company found an excuse to not do what makes them uncomfortable (sell) and replace it with comfort (stay home).

People are lazy.

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