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Lessons learned saying NO to a billionaire

MTEE1985

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Thought I’d share this story as it altered the course of my life and shattered limiting beliefs...not a FTE but similar.

I was 29 years old at the time working as the head professional of a private golf club. I’m standing on the first tee of a busy morning when one of our members who at the time (2014) was the 4th richest person in the world asks “Can we go?” Him knowing full well it was their tee time. I looked down the fairway turned backed to him and with all the confidence I could muster as I prepared to get yelled at said “No”. His reaction? He turned around and kept putting until I told him to go.

The first and more minor point of all this...control. He wanted something at a certain time that I controlled, and he had to wait for me. No amount of money in the bank was going to get him there any quicker.

Secondly, I came to the realization that he wasn’t special. Much like the celebrity hyper-realities that MJ talks about, so many of us feel the same about these titans of industry and world leaders. The reality is, they are no different than you and me. If you have a product, a service, an idea that can be of benefit, do not shy away from the big fish. If you control it, they will want it and you get to decide when and for how much.

I spent so much of my life believing these people were somehow special, never heard the word “no”, and got what they want when they wanted it. They don’t. They’re normal people who created long term plans coupled with processes to achieve those plans. Then worked their asses off until it was done. That is why they are on one side of the counter at the $200,000 country club and others are behind the counter working the register.

Hope this inspires some of you to change sides of the counter you’re on like it did for me.
 

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Ayanle Farah

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Thought I’d share this story as it altered the course of my life and shattered limiting beliefs...not a FTE but similar.

I was 29 years old at the time working as the head professional of a private golf club. I’m standing on the first tee of a busy morning when one of our members who at the time (2014) was the 4th richest person in the world asks “Can we go?” Him knowing full well it was their tee time. I looked down the fairway turned backed to him and with all the confidence I could muster as I prepared to get yelled at said “No”. His reaction? He turned around and kept putting until I told him to go.

The first and more minor point of all this...control. He wanted something at a certain time that I controlled, and he had to wait for me. No amount of money in the bank was going to get him there any quicker.

Secondly, I came to the realization that he wasn’t special. Much like the celebrity hyper-realities that MJ talks about, so many of us feel the same about these titans of industry and world leaders. The reality is, they are no different than you and me. If you have a product, a service, an idea that can be of benefit, do not shy away from the big fish. If you control it, they will want it and you get to decide when and for how much.

I spent so much of my life believing these people were somehow special, never heard the word “no”, and got what they want when they wanted it. They don’t. They’re normal people who created long term plans coupled with processes to achieve those plans. Then worked their asses off until it was done. That is why they are on one side of the counter at the $200,000 country club and others are behind the counter working the register.

Hope this inspires some of you to change sides of the counter you’re on like it did for me.
We're already inspired to change sides of the counter, that's why we're here in the first place.

Great story, and you're talking about Warren Buffett right?
 

Kak

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You can call me a fan of Charles. I read his books with the same enthusiasm with which a sports fan cheers for their favorite players.

David is cool too, but the other two are deadbeats.
 
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YoungPadawan

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You can call me a fan of Charles. I read his books with the same enthusiasm with which a sports fan cheers for their favorite players.

David is cool too, but the other two are deadbeats.
Hell yeah, a good Midwestern industrialist. One of my favorites. Then there's the Cargill/Macmillan family. I hope to own an empire like them someday.
 
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YoungPadawan

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Charlie Koch, he tries hard to be a d*ck but is surprisingly nice.
I'm pretty jelly that you got to meet him in person. He seems like a cool dude.
 
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MTEE1985

MTEE1985

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I'm pretty jelly that you got to meet him in person. He seems like a cool dude.
He really was. Sad to see all the negative press they get considering the companies they have built is astounding and they employ 120,000 people. What I especially love is that 90% of people walking the street would have no idea who they are because Koch Industries has remained private.

I was very fortunate to work where I did and with the people I did. Really opened up my eyes that with few exceptions these guys and gals did not own $5,000,000 third homes by climbing the corporate ladder. Another guy who was extraordinarly nice and down to earth was Mike Markkula who was essentially the #3 at Apple and their first major financial backer.
 

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Secondly, I came to the realization that he wasn’t special. Much like the celebrity hyper-realities that MJ talks about, so many of us feel the same about these titans of industry and world leaders. The reality is, they are no different than you and me. If you have a product, a service, an idea that can be of benefit, do not shy away from the big fish. If you control it, they will want it and you get to decide when and for how much.
The past year has put me in contact with several celebrities. I'm still getting used to just how "regular" these people are.

They are just people, and if you have something they're interested in, they'll talk to you, if you can manage to get their attention.
 

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YoungPadawan

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Is this in Wichita?
 

Kak

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He really was. Sad to see all the negative press they get considering the companies they have built is astounding and they employ 120,000 people. What I especially love is that 90% of people walking the street would have no idea who they are because Koch Industries has remained private.

I was very fortunate to work where I did and with the people I did. Really opened up my eyes that with few exceptions these guys and gals did not own $5,000,000 third homes by climbing the corporate ladder. Another guy who was extraordinarly nice and down to earth was Mike Markkula who was essentially the #3 at Apple and their first major financial backer.
Negative press? Haha I hope the commies vilify me like Charles one day.
 
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MTEE1985

MTEE1985

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Negative press? Haha I hope the commies vilify me like Charles one day.
Better than I could have said it. Should’ve specified not so much negative press as negative propaganda spread about them and their “evil corporations”

My way of biting my tongue and adhereing to forum rules regarding politics.
 

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Him knowing full well it was their tee time. I looked down the fairway turned backed to him and with all the confidence I could muster as I prepared to get yelled at said “No”.
Why? Were there people on the fairway?
 
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MTEE1985

MTEE1985

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Why? Were there people on the fairway?
There were not, we had a combination tee time/first serve/who played faster system to sending people off the first tee. That particular morning it was Charles’ tee time but I was sliding a group in front of him, at his time...hence my fear.
 
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MTEE1985

MTEE1985

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The past year has put me in contact with several celebrities. I'm still getting used to just how "regular" these people are.

They are just people, and if you have something they're interested in, they'll talk to you, if you can manage to get their attention.
This has resonated a bit lately as I’ve been touching base with some of these past contacts. Not only will executives talk to you but I personally think they are easier to get in touch with.

It’s painful to read threads about people trying to sell to small businesses that get dozens of sales calls a day as opposed to finding a creative way to get in touch with a Fortune 500 company where one sale or connection could change your life.

I love how you sent the DM to the company in Kak’s “Think Big” thread. If more people reached out to big companies they would be surprised at the responses they would get and the doors it could open.

Alternatively, I see this on the forum where people essentially get one on one coaching from Legendary contributors and then do nothing. It’s baffling to see one of this guys or gals who is willing (and 100% of them are within reason) to give their feedback and thoughts, and then the other side does nothing with it, or worse, starts getting defensive and disagreeing with it all.
 

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Thought I’d share this story as it altered the course of my life and shattered limiting beliefs...not a FTE but similar.

I was 29 years old at the time working as the head professional of a private golf club. I’m standing on the first tee of a busy morning when one of our members who at the time (2014) was the 4th richest person in the world asks “Can we go?” Him knowing full well it was their tee time. I looked down the fairway turned backed to him and with all the confidence I could muster as I prepared to get yelled at said “No”. His reaction? He turned around and kept putting until I told him to go.

The first and more minor point of all this...control. He wanted something at a certain time that I controlled, and he had to wait for me. No amount of money in the bank was going to get him there any quicker.

Secondly, I came to the realization that he wasn’t special. Much like the celebrity hyper-realities that MJ talks about, so many of us feel the same about these titans of industry and world leaders. The reality is, they are no different than you and me. If you have a product, a service, an idea that can be of benefit, do not shy away from the big fish. If you control it, they will want it and you get to decide when and for how much.

I spent so much of my life believing these people were somehow special, never heard the word “no”, and got what they want when they wanted it. They don’t. They’re normal people who created long term plans coupled with processes to achieve those plans. Then worked their asses off until it was done. That is why they are on one side of the counter at the $200,000 country club and others are behind the counter working the register.

Hope this inspires some of you to change sides of the counter you’re on like it did for me.
Caddy?

I caddied throughout high school. It was really mind opening to realize how many idiots were wealthy.

With that said, push to stop working at the golf course as soon as possible. You want to be the guy golfing.
 

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This has resonated a bit lately as I’ve been touching base with some of these past contacts. Not only will executives talk to you but I personally think they are easier to get in touch with.
They have the ownership mindset. Most employees don't. I get a notably higher % of cold email responses from the C-suite than from middle managers, even at multi-billion dollar companies (and not usually from the PA either).

Reminds me of one time years ago when I was working in oil & gas recruitment. I knew a shit-hot SVP who was open to a move, and emailed the CEO of a $5bn-ish oilfield services company. At the time I was thinking "eh, why not give it a shot?"

Less than 24 hours later I had him on the phone and an interview arranged. He had no objections whatsoever to spending over an hour on the phone with me so I could iron out what exactly he had in mind for this SVP to do for the company, and also coach him on what this guy would be really interested in seeing in a new company & position.

He was immediately available on the phone throughout the entire process.

He didn't question my fee, and he also signed and returned the Ts & Cs within minutes.

Light years apart from the typical recruiting experience. That was a real eye opener for me.

And I was very glad I sent that email.

I still dislike selling to big companies, but my thoughts on that might change if I had cause to sell to the C-suite regularly rather than the rank and file. Hmm.
 
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MTEE1985

MTEE1985

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Caddy?

I caddied throughout high school. It was really mind opening to realize how many idiots were wealthy.

With that said, push to stop working at the golf course as soon as possible. You want to be the guy golfing.
Head Professional, but same realizations. Left 3 years ago, much better behind on this side of the counter instead of behind it.
 

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This thread reminds me of my experience following a religious figure for a long time and being fascinated by his everything...until the day I met him in person.

He was just as normal as a person can be. He ate, laughed and went to the toilet just like the rest of us - nothing degrading but...I couldn't believe it...however I came to realise that as you said, these are just people like all of us but watching them on the screens makes them look very special. What they created is extraordinary but not themselves as human beings. They don't have super powers.
 

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amp0193

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It’s painful to read threads about people trying to sell to small businesses that get dozens of sales calls a day as opposed to finding a creative way to get in touch with a Fortune 500 company where one sale or connection could change your life.
This applies to everything.

Spend your time doing things that are highly valuable.

Is fiddling with some small feature on your website for 6 hours really worth your time?
 

GPM

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The first and more minor point of all this...control. He wanted something at a certain time that I controlled, and he had to wait for me. No amount of money in the bank was going to get him there any quicker.
That is great to hear! Have you read Cialdini's book Influence? He talks a great deal about being the authority in situations. Or maybe it was Oren Klaff in Pitch Anything.

Either way, both are excellent reads. It is about how you listen to the golf pro when golfing, or the waiter when at a restaurant, or the police office when stopped. Hell, even the dude behind the counter at Subway or the guy with the store shirt on directing the lineup. People you wouldn't give two shits about in a normal situation, you suddenly defer to and look to for guidance.
 

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