Yield of Dreams

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights, Life Leave a Comment

As you drive along I-80 through Nebraska, heading west to Wyoming, you may be looking at the rows upon rows of corn along the highway. You would be following the trails of our ancestors, who 150 years earlier had traversed dirt trails in wagon trains seeking fortune in the West. You would be following the original Oregon Trail, the California Trail, or the Mormon trail.

As my former colleague from Lincoln calls it, it’s God’s country, something spiritual to be found in big open prairie and a land of forever skies.

As you are travelling along the highway with your load, you have some time to think. Think about your truck, think about your business, think about your family – think about the future.

Maybe you dream about the day when you and a few of your friends can get together to build something special. Maybe build a new business together, something different than whatever you are doing because you believe in something profound.

Perhaps you believe that you can do something different with customers.

Perhaps, as a driver, you believe that a business can deal with their drivers differently.

It’s a big step to move from being a driver for hire, to buying/leasing your own equipment, becoming an owner-operator.

From there, it’s an even bigger leap to deciding that you want to run your own business – not just owning your own truck.

During the course of the 455 miles that you travel through Nebraska, you realize that NOW is the time for you to take the big leap.

You listen on the radio to Randy Bachman’s hit song from the 70’s – Takin’ Care of Business.

With the lyrics, “Get a second hand guitar, chances are you’ll go far – if you hook up with the right kind of fellows.”

Well, by golly, you have found the right kind of fellows. And after driving for 10 years for others, you now realize that you want to drive for yourself, that you want to build a great business with your friends, and that you are ready to ‘Take Care of Business’…and it’s YOUR BUSINESS.

You need something that is going to put it all together – and as you hit the Wyoming border on your way to deliver your load to California, you think about how you are going to put this all together.

You got a few prospects that would be good customers.

You ask yourself:

  • How do I transact with them?
  • How do I find more equipment?
  • How do I find drivers?
  • How do I send out my invoices?

And most importantly, how do I handle my drivers in a way that keeps them coming back. I want the best drivers. I want to treat them special. I want them to have a good life. I want them to see me as a good employer – as a fair dealer.

You glance out the window to the corn rows beside you, and an apparition appears.

It’s a driver – a professional, honest hard-working, salt of the Earth type of driver.

“Ease his Pain, ease his Pain” – a whisper runs through your head.

Yes, you now realize that you have a mission. You are going to build a driver-centric business and you want to make sure that they all feel part of the operation.

As you pass through Utah and Nevada, you think about your next steps and what order you are going to do them in.

By the time you arrive in the Bay area, you are ready to make the leap to start your own business.

You stop at the rest stop to make some calls before you head off to sleep.

Ring, Ring.

“Thanks for calling Tailwind, How may I help you?”

“Ah, you guys have trucking software, right?”

“Yes, what’s your name? Mine is Murray.”

“It’s Mario. I have been driving for 10 years, and I am going to start my own business with my cousin and a couple of friends. We need some trucking software to help us out. We have 4 trucks, but it’s going to grow fast…should be 20 trucks this time next year.”

“Tell me more, I’d be glad to help out!”

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