Working hard is very important. You're not going to get anywhere without working extremely hard
Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire
Keep thy shop and thy shop will keep thee.
Genuis is seldom recognized for what it is: a great capacity for hard work.
How did we do it? I get asked that often. Here is one of the main messages in this whole book: It is not fancy. It is as fundamental as blocking and tackling. I just did it. I just went to work every day and did everything that needed to be done.
I have a three-legged milk stool in my office perched on top of a cabinet. It is a great symbol for how to succeed in business. There are three legs: Take care of the customer, have a little fun, make a little money. If you don't do that, it doesn't work, but if you do, it comes together easily....
I learned that too many people who become bosses don't understand the market or work as hard as they should.
Here's a classic trap: A businessman is successful with one business, so he thinks two or three or four would be even better. This changes the equation dramatically. With one operation, you can be there yourself and use the sheer force of your personality to drive it, but as soon as you get two you're dividing your time; you need someone who is strong and good enough to run the other business. It's going to be more difficult to make a profit. Other people don't care about it as much as you do. There are some who work hard, but they are few....
Good people are hard to find, but they're there. We've got many good people in our organization. The trick is to find them jobs that keep them interested and match their talents and what they want to do (not everyone is a boss). Then you have a happy, motivated work force. In our company, we give our general managers the opportunity to buy 10 percent of the dealerships they manage. We prefer that they do this-obviously, someone who has a financial stake in the business is motivated to work hard and make the business a success.
That night I had dinner with my Grandpa Horne, my mother's father, and he taught me a great lesson. My family had lived with Grandpa until I was four and, as I got older, he knew about my strife at home. He had a special way of stepping in occasionally with some wise counsel. We had a special relationship. He called me "Laddie." He was a Mormon bishop for 26 years, as well as a traveling salesman. He used to take me on long drives with him while he was working, and he used these opportunities to teach me and talk to me. As I got older, he was my moral compass, especially after my mother left the Church. He was a wise, kind man and of the greatest influences on my life....Once a month he took me todinner and immediately asked, "What's wrong?" I tole him, "nothing," but he persisted. "Yes, there is; I can tell," he said. I told him about being rejected for the raise and how much work I was doing for the store. He sat silent for a long time thinking about this before he replied, "So what do you intend to do about it?"
"No matter how hard I work," I explained, "I can't perform well enough to accelerate my pay, and I'm getting married."
He repeated his question: "Okay, what do you intend to do about it?"
"I guess I'll only give them a $1.45 job if they're only going to pay me $1.45."
He thought about this for a few moments, and then he said, "You could do exactly that and still perform at such a high level that you would outperform your coworkers. So they would never know you were giving less than you had. But you would know, and frankly, you would be the only guy to be hurt by your underperformance. So, as your grandpa, I am going to promise you that as long as you continue to take their paycheck, if you work as hard as you can and learn all that you can in that business, someday it will pay off many times over."
I didn't realize then how profound his counsel would prove to be in my life. For some reason, while I was normally hardheaded and ignored advice-preferring, it seems, to learn the hard way-I took Grandpa's counsel to heart on this occasion. It really made an impression on me. It was one of the great lessons in my life, and I have given my best effort in everything I have done since then. Grandpa was right. It wasn't about beating my employers and their policies; it was about me and doing my best because it was the right thing to do.
I stayed a few more months at the parts store, but I wanted more and I had to move on.
We often, like this man and Hamlet, must "take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them" (Act 3, scene 1, ll. 59–60). And sometimes the cost is very high. It was for Christ, it was for Joseph Smith, and it was for this lone man who counted the cost there in the Potomac--and paid it. It is not easy to go without--without physical gratifications or spiritual assurances or material possessions--but sometimes we must since there is no guarantee of convenience written into our Christian covenant. We must work hard and do right, as Abraham Lincoln said, and sometimes our chance will come. And when we've tried, really tried, and waited for what seemed never to be ours, then "the angels came and ministered unto him." For that ministration in your life I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I'll take an earnest person over a hip person every time, because hip is short-term. Earnest is long-term.
Earnestness is highly underestimated. It comes from the core, while hip is trying to impress you with the surface.
"Hip" people love parodies. But there's no such thing as a timeless parody, is there? I have more respect for the earnest guy who does something that can last for generations, and that hip people feel the need to parody.
When I think of someone who is earnest, I think of a Boy Scout who works hard and becomes an Eagle Scout. When I was interviewing people to work for me, and I came upon a candidate who had been an Eagle Scout, I'd almost always try to hire him. I knew there had to be an earnestness about him that outweighed any superficial urges toward hipness.
Think about it. Becoming an Eagle Scout is just about the only thing you can put on your resume at age fifty that you did at age fourteen - and it still impresses.
Enduring to the end is a process filling every minute of our life, every hour, every day, from sunrise to sunrise. It is accomplished through personal discipline following the commandments of God.
The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is a way of life. It is not for Sunday only. It is not something we can do only as a habit or a tradition if we expect to harvest all of its promised blessings. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
Enduring to the end implies “patient continuance in well doing” (Romans 2:7), striving to keep the commandments (see 2 Nephi 31:10), and doing the works of righteousness (see D&C 59:23). It requires sacrifice and hard work. To endure to the end, we need to trust our Father in Heaven and make wise choices, including paying our tithes and offerings, honoring our temple covenants, and serving the Lord and one another willingly and faithfully in our Church callings and responsibilities. It means strength of character, selflessness, and humility; it means integrity and honesty to the Lord and our fellowmen. It means making our homes strong places of defense and a refuge against worldly evils; it means loving and honoring our spouses and children.
By doing our best to endure to the end, a beautiful refinement will come into our lives. We will learn to “do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us]” (Matthew 5:44). The blessings that come to us from enduring to the end in this life are real and very significant, and for the life to come they are beyond our comprehension.
The Bible states that we reap what we sow. The most fertile soil in the world is barren unless seeds have been properly planted, cultivated, and nurtured. The relationship between giving and getting is constant in everything you do. To succeed in any endeavor, you must first invest a generous portion of your time and talents if you expect ever to earn a return on your investment. You have to give before you get. It’s all a matter of attitude. You may occasionally be disappointed if you are not rewarded for your efforts, but if you demand payment for your services before you render them, you can expect a lifetime of disappointment and frustration. If you cheerfully do your best before asking for any compensation, you can expect a bountiful harvest of the greatest rewards life has to offer.