View Full Version : Motivation and Responsibility

01-04-2005, 08:41 PM
The "Where have they gone" thread kinda got me thinking about something that I've been chewing on for a while.

I was watching American Choppers on NYE, they were doing the Dixie Choppe bike, I think. Paul Sr was complaining yet again about Paulie not having a sense of urgency about getting the bike done. I'm not exactly sure what he said, but basically he stated that he was the one that owned the business, that all the responsibilities of the business fell on him, and it was his job to make sure everything got done. Then he said something about Paulie not understanding that, and thinking he can do what he wants and take his time, dilly dally around, etc. Then he said That's the difference between someone who owns his own business, and someone who works for someone else.

I couldn't agree more. Paul hit the nail on the head. When you own your own business, and you want to succeed, you work your ass off to make sure it happens. Whether that means working late into the night and busting your butt to get things off the ground, or riding employees to get them to work at an acceptable level. When I started, I spent all my time trying to make my business work. I worked a full time job, then went out all night long putting up fliers all spring and fall. I'd do estimate calls any time of the day, and all my spare time was involved with making the business go. My partner on the other hand, had a take it or leave it attitude. I had to drag him out to do estimates, he never wanted to work late, complained about not having time off, etc. Even untill the day he quit he never quite got the idea that when you are self employed, you gotta bust your butt trying to make things work. He never really had initiative to do things on his own, kinda always looked to me for instruction or what to do. It was obvious after the first few years that I was the one in charge and he didn't want much to do with the management side of the business. Now that he works for someone else, I think he's a lot happier. People tell him what to do, he works set hours, and when he's done for the day, he goes home and forgets about everything.

Me, I've always hated being told what to do by people. I hate working for others, and I am always thinking about the business all the time. I sacrificed personal vacations and free time for a long time just to get things going in the business. Because it was more important to me to create something for myself than rely on others for pay. My goal was to build a business, not work for someone else.

And you know, I've worked harder in this business than I ever have for someone else. When you are personally invested in something and want to see it succeed, you put more in. When I've worked for others, I do the minimum and that's it. For me, I bust my ass constantly because it's for me. But it's worth it for me to do that. Some people it's not worth it, they just want to put in their time and go home. Those people should not be in this business.

I guess maybe that's why I'm not real fond of Paulie on American Choppers. I identify with Paul Sr more, because he's the person where the buck stops. He's responsible for all of it, and has to kick ass to get his son to work hard. To see Paul just sorta goof off and wander around so much, not have direction or sense of urgency because of business responsibilities makes me angry.

Anyway, the bottom line is, whether you are in the business to mow lawns or program computers, owning a business is tough, demanding work. It's not meant for everyone, and if you aren't into hard work to build something of your own, stay outta it. Some people are meant to own their own, the rest are meant to work for others.


01-04-2005, 09:16 PM
mtd - I think we would all agree with you about the boss wants to work hard and the employees have to be prodded, but come on... American Chopper? It's entertainment! Would you or anyone else watch the show if there wasn't conflict? Sure they are talented workmen, but they are also actors!

01-04-2005, 09:49 PM
The point wasn't about American Choppers.

01-04-2005, 09:50 PM
Great Post!!

01-04-2005, 10:19 PM
When I see this show I want to be talented or perhaps well trained with my hands. I would give anything to be able to create and fabricate things like they do, even if it were in a different medium. One thing that frustrates me when I watch is the other kid Mikey. He is a big lazy dope that has no Idea what an opportunity he has. Your point is well taken about work ethic even though my response is just on a slightly different aspect of the show.

01-04-2005, 10:23 PM
MTD, there's owner mentality and then there's employee mentality. I find myself complaining that employees don't take care of the tools, don't have a sense of urgency and just don't care like I do. Even my best employee doesn't do things the way I think he should all of the time. But you know what, that's what they are, employees. If they had the same mentality as you, they wouldn't be working for you.

I have to admit, when I worked for someone else, I thought I was a great employee. Looking back, I would consider myself average. I had no idea what was involved in running a business, but I love it.

Kelly's Landscaping
01-04-2005, 10:34 PM
Paul Sr has his head up his own ass most of the time he becomes obsessed over nonsense like a few cups on the table and then the guy shuts down all work to the shop is cleaned. I don't agree with that if he really did care about his business he would be trying to get the jobs done as quickly as he could instead he causes as many delays as his son. I think Paulie knows his value and weather Paul Sr likes it or not his son is what gives the company its rep and mark on the world. Of course heís going to do what he pleases the old guy can't see when some one works to 10 the night before they may be a little late in the morning. I love the show but in truth Paulie is a lousy employee and his father is not that great of a business owner either but they are fun to watch.

01-04-2005, 10:45 PM
Excellent post MTD,

I have worked for corporate for twenty-one years, been unhappy with the plethora of crappola that goes along with that and am happy to relate I will be leaving that all behind Feb. 18th. I see waste of enormous financial proportions on a nearly daily basis, incompetents being ushered up the corporate ladder, and silliness in general that nothing on this earth or beyond could compare with. Don't get me wrong I am not so naive as to think a large corp. can run as a small business would, and some of these issues are necessary evils in the large corp. world. Thing is I have felt for a long time all this garbage is being force fed to me and I've had enough, really dislike working for someone else, and having meetings constantly to decide who makes the best tasting donuts for said meetings HHHHHHUUUUURRRRLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!
I have close family members that have been and still are in businesses of their own, and the thing is creating something you can call your own, being independent, coming up with revenue generating business ideas and then executing them is all very appealing to me. The degree of analness (Bushism?) associated with having to both be able to step back and look at the big picture and yet also successfully micro manage the business is perhaps one of the best methods of self education available, not that there is not room for education, vocational and professional, they all help to form a well rounded individual that with a good dose of common sense and willingness to work, has that chance to succeed.

Anyway great post :waving:


01-04-2005, 10:55 PM
I think they play Mikey out as being stupid(even though he somewhat is), but in real life he probably isnt nearly as clumsy

Fareway Lawncare
01-04-2005, 11:07 PM
It's Amazing how Girly those guys Are...& there suposed to be Big Bad Bike Dudes No Less !

Like a Bunch of Women.

In my Shop the Guy whould be Out on His Azz or Whupped.

01-04-2005, 11:11 PM
MTD - Great Post!

01-04-2005, 11:20 PM
Little winded so bear with me...

Shows the mentality of a lot of people, even management.

I have been doing this part time for approx five years. My daughter has been working with me since I started. I have had her doing grunt work as well as running the equipment while I did the grunt work. I have educated her on the art of dealing with customers at all levels. (And she can run a backhoe and skid steer as good as anyone)

I got out of the business last year due to traveling for my "real Job" and she took a part time at Mccdonalds to pay for her car insurance etc. I stopped in approx 3 weeks after she started there and was promptly greeted by the owner. He had nothing but good to say about my daughters work ethic and the fact that she could actually see what needed to be done and would actually do it. He said she was definitely management material.

I have noticed a steady decline in my daughters work ethic since being employed there, so I stopped by during a busy time and took a seat in the back where noone could see me.
The shift supervisors were playing graba$$ in the back, even running around the counter where customers were standing. They were yelling at the worker bees because things were not getting done, and getting confrontational with a customer. This happened all in a half hour period.

I called the owner the next day and told him that my daughter fired. She will be working for me this year. I quit my "real Job" last month and will be doing this full time. When speaking with the owner, I let him know that it took me her lifetime to develop her work ethics and his company less than a year to destroy them.

My point is that work ethics are learned not something that you are born with. The environment that you work in as well as the people that you work for play a major role in developing or destroying those ethics. Each person is an individual and it takes different methods to reach each person. As owners, it is our responsibilit to reach each person on their level to get the most productivity from that person. For my daughter, I think it is that fact that she is one of the very few that can go to school and truthfully say that she operated a backhoe or skidsteer all weekend or that took the family 31' boat out for a spin by herself. She is doing things that other kids her age cannot even imagine. I guess it gives her a sense of pride, either that or she is scared that the ole man will put a boot up her a$$.

Sorry for the long winded post.... these are just some of the things that I have observed.


01-05-2005, 12:19 AM
ProSvcs, I understand what you are saying. I see it in a lot of the youth every day. I think that all boils down to too many parents just handing over stuff to their kids, without teaching a sense of responsibility or hard work to get the things you want. My step daughters have both complained over the years about not having the same stuff their friends have. The oldest whined the entire time she was in high school because her friends all got cars, phones, clothes, money, etc from their parents and we weren't providing that for her. Now the youngest one is approaching her teens and I'm hearing the same thing. I tell the youngest what I told the oldest. Even if I was a millionare, had all the money in the world, you would not get those things. A parent's job isn't to give their children what they want, or be their best friends. A parent's job is to prepare a child to succeed in life and teach them the values that will get that success. You want something, go work for it. The oldest never understood but now that she's on her own understands better. I've got 5 years with the youngest to listen to her whining before she either gets the picture or gets out.

Anyway, I often wonder where the leaders and businessmen of tomorrow will come from, with generations of spoiled bratt kids getting whatever they want, not having to work for anything, and no sense of responsibility. I hope for the best.

I also think that the spoil your kid mentality has a lot to do with why my former partner turned out the way he did. Until he got married this past year, at the age of 27, his mother still paid his credit cards and his car payment, his father bankrolled his insurance and schooling. He had everything he wanted or needed, thanks to his parents, he really had no need to work hard to make a business succeed. I often feel he was just along for the ride.

And again, the American Choppers comments above were used as a means of illustration, not an invitation to discuss the show. There are plenty of threads in the Off Topic forum about the show.