Living on a Prayer

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights Leave a Comment

A reporter once asked golfing great Lee Trevino if the pressure ever got to him when he was standing over a short putt to win a $40,000 golf tournament.

“Pressure is when you play for five bucks a hole, with only two in your pocket!” he responded.

And with Lee Trevino you can imagine that he faced those exact situations as he worked /clawed his way to success to become the ‘everyman’s blue collar golfer’. He was driven by a great attitude, a great perspective on life, and a ‘fade’ so good that he could  drop the ball in a tea-cup from 200 yards away.

Tommy used to work on the docks
Union’s been on strike
He’s down on his luck…
It’s tough, so tough

Gina works the diner all day
Working for her man,
She brings home her pay
For love, for love

Years later a business owner may look back and wonder how the heck he/she ever survived – perhaps chuckling at his/her naiveté, or groaning at their ‘rookie’ mistakes. It’s natural-  we all do it.

Sometimes, when things get tough in our business, I am emboldened by the quiet confidence of our owner – a man who has run businesses for the past 30 years. He still carries a warm smile, a quiet demeanor, that gives all of us in the company the necessary backbone to carry on.

“Yes, it’s bad, but not as bad as it was in the REALLY bad days”, he has said.

I make sure not to ask him about the ‘really bad days’–but I know that the reason I am here today, and we are all here today, in this business, is that, at one time, he persevered through some ‘Really, Really Bad Days’!

So you just go back to you desk and pick up the phone are start selling

She says, “We’ve gotta hold on to what we’ve got.
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.
We’ve got each other and that’s a lot.
For love we’ll give it a shot.”

Being a business owner and entrepreneur in the trucking &  freight brokerage industry is all about defying the odds. I have worked with a number of entrepreneurs and they share a couple of things in common.

  1. They are Optimists. They have a vision of what they want to accomplish, so those obstacles along the ‘highway to success’ aren’t dead ends……they are just potholes.
  2. They are stubborn and hold tight to their convictions. Why? It’s because they have been told so many time before that ‘it just couldn’t be done’.

‘Nobody in their right mind would….
‘There is no way anyone can….
‘You can’t beat those guys…..’
‘No one can build a business that couriers small packages overnight by plane – I will give you a ‘C’ on that business paper Fred’
‘And these taxis aren’t licensed?….. who are the drivers again? And there are no Dispatchers?’

You might was well show up to the ‘Running of the Bulls’ in Pamplona, Spain wearing a bright red outfit, with a branded T-shirt from Target corporation, saying something like

‘Hey guys, I am just happy to be here’.

Try it sometime………tell a lifelong entrepreneur ‘it just can’t be done’.

You see, it’s all about the headwind. They are successful precisely because they are experts ‘against the wind’….as Bob Seger says about 50 times in his song called well…um….‘Against the Wind’.

You see, the joy is in the struggle itself.

It’s some of the thought process that went into the making of our brand, and our approach here at Tailwind Transportation Software.

We know that you are facing the headwinds of starting, or growing, your business. We know you are dealing with staffing concerns, customer issues, regulators, paperwork, offices, technology. We want to help you in that effort by getting our trucking software  in place quickly and effectively to support you – and provide accessible consistent processes to train you on it. And we also do it with our Software- as- a -Service model – which allows you to lease the software on a monthly basis, rather all up front…..so it will be aligned with your cash flow.

We want you to ‘feel the wind at your back’. We don’t want to be some additional drag on your road to success.

Tommy’s got his six string in hock
Now he’s holding in
What he used to make it talk
So tough, it’s tough

Gina dreams of running away
When she cries in the night
Tommy whispers,
“Baby, it’s okay, someday…

Maybe you don’t know it now, but these just might be the ‘best years of your life’…….and with the wind at your back, just perhaps, just maybe, you can build something great, something so marvelous that you will look back at it years later and ask yourself …….

‘Did we really do that?’

But, right now you may not know it, or feel it. You’re just focused on staying between the lines with your fully loaded truck making that trip from Hamilton, Ontario down to Atlanta, Georgia-  wondering where you can find a your next load –  a back load on a Load board using your new Tailwind trucking software system – trying to find something to at least cover your fuel costs for the return trip. Every dollar counts because ‘you got to hold on to what you’ve got’.

Only later will you realize that you weren’t holding on to the money as much as holding on to a ‘moment of time’ in your life ,  holding onto to each other – like Gina  & Tommy- the air deflectors of a business that was running against the wind.

Yes, you were ‘ half way there………..livin’ on a prayer’
But man, it was good……it was REALLY, REALLY good.

Whoa, we’re half way there
Whoa, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand and we’ll make it – I swear
Whoa, livin’ on a prayer

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