Business the Cowboy
by Rick Hoar, Managing Producer
March 16, 2010
Texas has a certain mystique
when it comes to business and service. Folks often wonder just what
us cowboys are thinking when we refuse to do business according to convention
or compete down in the mud with the rest of our respective industries.
Want to know the secret?
It’s simple: Honor.
Now, not all businessmen practicing
in the Lone Star State are as noble as our aforementioned cowboy entrepreneurs.
Indeed, as more and more large corporations find excuses to wander down
to our cities, the amount of money they waste in attempting to exploit
our magical economy is staggering. But, to truly understand the success
that our state continues to enjoy, you simply have to walk the walk.
Specifically, there are a few
things ANYONE can do to insure an honorable venture:
1.) Hone a good work
ethic. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men,” (Col. 3:23). Don’t
show up to take smoke breaks, and do give the effort that you
would expect those working for you to give. Be realistic, and
therefore sustainable and consistent about your intensity, but
just be sure you're proud of what you’ve accomplished
at the end of each and every day.
2.) Support your work
ethic by doing it only for a fair wage. There’s no point
in taking a job if you don’t feel you are adequately reimbursed
for your efforts. Either through cash, experience or simple
happiness, if your compensation isn’t enough to keep you
on the ball, it’s a bad idea to enter into that work agreement.
If that’s not an
unusual enough concept, consider the flip-side: One should also
try to maintain fees that are competitive* and fair to the payer.
All business should be mutually beneficial by definition, despite
what the quarterly profit-chasing, low-price guarantee economy-at-large
would have us believe today. *competitive = reasonable, not
With these pricing ground
rules, you won’t win every bid or get every job, but if
you aren’t legitimately the cheapest provider in town,
your quality may simply be better than others. Representing
your fees confidently will imply that you take pride in your
work, and there will always be customers and employers that
have been burned by the cheapest alternative that will respond
to that. Just back it up when you’re on the clock!
3.) Don’t skimp
on labor. If you rely on employees or subcontractors to make
your business work, realize that these people directly affect
your ability to make money. They represent you on the front
lines, and they ultimately determine how efficient you can be.
Start by aggressively paying the best wages and benefits you
can afford. Attract the most and best applicants by maintaining
a positive work environment and creating “the dream job”
what you expect” by holding your workforce accountable.
By being the best employer in town, you’ll earn the luxury
of picking and choosing your support staff from a larger and
more eager labor pool. Just retain the producers and release
The rest is just details, but
these principles are what set the old-school entrepreneurs apart from
the Wall Street Fail Whales chasing their tails around the market today.
It’s largely a lesson in common sense, but as America re-awakens,
we’ll have to re-learn those old norms.
Finally, everyone should realize
by now that big government often asserts itself into business dealings,
under the guise of economic protectionism, simply to maintain its own
influence. A good entrepreneur can still thrive despite taxation and
regulation, but if government becomes too assertive, consider doing
As a legal economic contributor,
you are an asset to any locality. While business shouldn’t have
to participate in politics to grow, companies and individuals should
feel free to flex their dollar votes by vacating politically hostile