Midway through Larry Winget’s Success is Your Own Damn Fault!, he casually mentions that “you’re going to be known as a jerk if you do the things that I do”. Larry’s style is what he teaches in order to get the best of yourself and your employees. You might not agree with everything he says – some of his responses to situations aren’t going to win him any friends – but I learned quite a few things from listening to the audiobook and it makes a good introduction to Larry Winget’s way of looking at business.
Top Takeaways from Success is Your Own Damn Fault!
• Treat your workplace as if it’s a sacred place. If you walked into Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, you wouldn’t cuss or swear. It doesn’t matter if you work for yourself at home or work at an office, don’t develop bad habits there. You don’t want to be a smart ass, or a snarky / mean person always critical of others. Don’t poison your workplace because it’s important for you and your family in making enough money to start achieving your goals.
• Be self-centered at your work place. Within the context of treating your workplace as a sacred place (speaking well of others and being an example of an ideal worker), your main goal as an employee is to be selfish and make money. That’s something you shouldn’t lose sight of.
• Give your word and live up to it. Larry uses the example of becoming an employee for a company as an act of pledging your word that you’ll do good work for them in exchange for a salary. As soon as you look at the job as a paycheck and not as an agreement that you need to uphold, then you are becoming a liability for the company.
Larry Winget on Sales
– You don’t want to come off as smarter than your customer, or overly friendly. You are there to do a job, achieve an outcome, so act professional. Listen to your customer and if you are on the phone with them, let them know that you are listening. It’s harder to convey this on the phone, so you really need to step up your phone game. An occasional “ok” or “right” while you’re listening will help them know you’re paying attention. Also consider taking notes and telling them that, as customers will usually be more succinct when they know the listening party is writing stuff down.
– Always ‘ask’ as a salesperson. If you aren’t getting, maybe you aren’t asking enough. A common excuse for not following all leads is “I can’t sell there – that’s my church (or gym / or MeetUp club)”. If you just ask one more person per day, that’s over 300 lead opportunities more a year than you would have gotten. Ask and you shall receive.
– Follow up. A simple phone call or email is better than nothing. You want to stay in touch because the easiest people to sell to are the ones that have already bought from you.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for high prices. The customers who pay you the least often end up taking up most of your time. It’s the old 80/20 rule rearing it’s head again, where the bottom 20% of your customers in terms of payments end up taking 80% of your time.
Larry on Workers
Larry spends most of the program preaching about how to think about your workplace (“you’re there to work, not to goof off and surf the Net”) and your workers. If you are self-employed, he helpfully reminds you that you should then be getting the brunt of the criticism. This is where the “your own damn fault” of the title comes into play: he firmly believes that if you haven’t created the business and the life you really want, you only have your self to blame.
• Don’t let 1 bad employee poison your workplace or treat customers badly – fire them quickly. But also make sure you take notes on why you fired them in case the disgruntled employee gets their lawyers involved.
• Larry uses a 20 – 60 -20 distribution for his employees and says that of your employees:
– 20% will be high performers. Stay out of their way as much as possible and let them do their work.
– 60% will be in the middle – average to pretty good. They need managing to keep them on track.
– 20% who aren’t very good at their jobs. These are the people you fire.
Now Larry makes an interesting point regarding what happens you fire this bottom 20% – there are people in the middle 60% who are just waiting to slip down into the bottom 20%. It’s up to the managers to keep these employees on task. If you do identify people who slip once the bottom 20% are let go then these are candidates to let go as well.
Here’s a sample of Larry Winget’s Success is Your Own Damn Fault! where he talks about the different types of toxic employees: