Today I have a truly inspirational story for you. Just sit back and relax for 5 minutes while reading this amazing story, because I KNOW you’ll get motivated by it!
Okay, this is the best story I can think of when it comes to illustrate that there’s never a better or a worse time to change your status quo. This story is about a man named Ray Kroc.
Ray Kroc was a man who tried all sorts of endeavors as he bounced around between odd and assorted jobs, investing and losing life savings a few times over. It wasn’t until at 52 years old, in 1954, he came across the opportunity that allowed him to envision his ultimate pursuit. He was considered “an old man” with hundred thousand dollars in debt at that moment.
You would think he, of all people, would be the least likely person to be ready to take advantage of an investment opportunity. He had used his years from he was 17 until now on the road, selling restaurant kitchen equipment, with no profit to show for it. He had no capital to invest in anything and most people wouldn’t even consider investing in anything if they were in the same situation as him. As if that wasn’t enough, he had health problems, such as diabetes and arthritis to think about in addition to all the other problems he had.
However, Ray Kroc had a unique mindset…
People told him that he should stop doing what he was doing and that he could never be successful. Mr. Kroc didn’t even let thoughts like that enter his mind, and went on creating his own path, as he had done all his life. He was convinced that, as he said it “the best is still ahead of me”.
When Ray Kroc was 15 years old, he lied about his age and signed up at Red Cross to become an ambulance driver. He wanted to be sent to help out in World War I, but before he had finished his training as an ambulance driver back in USA, the war was over. He was never sent overseas.
After this experience, Ray Kroc took a more traditional route and went into sales for a company that sold paper cups to restaurants. His first major game-changing decision came when he met the inventor of an innovative five-spindled milk shake mixer. He was of course certain that this was the next big thing, and that he could not miss out on this opportunity. So he sat down and started negotiating the exclusive marketing rights for it. In return he had to pay all the money he had, and I mean every penny, and then some.
17 years later, he was still in debt, had marital problems as well as health problems to worry about. People didn’t exactly know him as one that had an eye for seizing opportunities.
Ray Kroc, on the other hand, said that if it weren’t for the investment he did in the milk shake mixers, he would never had learned the restaurant business. He always had a different look at things, and he did never see the negative sides of them. He always thought about what he had gained from his actions, not what he had lost out on. Another thing he was sure he would never had done, if it weren’t for his investment in the milk shake mixers, was to visit two brothers out in San Bernardino, California, whose little hamburger stand was so hopping they were using as many as eight industrial milk shake mixers at the same time!
Ray Kroc was determined to find out what they were doing right. “What do they do to generate that kind of excitement?” he wondered.
When he first visited the two brothers and got to see their hamburger stand live, in action, he immediately got an idea. He knew he could scale this thing up and make it MUCH bigger. He didn’t wait to mull this over but decided to pounce on his idea like never before. There were only one tiny problem; he didn’t have any money.
So, what could he offer?
He went back to his motel and stayed up all night to try to figure out a plan and his pitch on this whole thing. The morning after he went to visit the brothers again and laid out his version clearly and concisely about how they should use their model of simplicity and assembly-line efficiency to expand their franchise on a nationwide basis.
The brothers had to ask who had the knowledge and experience to build and run a company like that, and Ray Kroc famously replied “Well, I do”.
Then he had to “sell” his story so far, and what he had done through the years. He made a very compelling case for himself, and said that he had over 30 years of experience in sales, travels and getting to know competition all around the country. He had never run a restaurant chain before, but he had a passionate belief in four keys to any successful business: Quality, Service, Cleanliness and Value. He used his experience to convince the brothers that he was the right guy for the job.
So there and then, the McDonald brothers shook Ray Kroc’s hand, agreeing that they had taken their vision as far as it would go and that it was time to change their status quo.
After this agreement, Ray Kroc worked hard as never before. He worked focused, with committed and consistent baby steps that took him to a year later, when he opened up his own franchised McDonald’s back in Illinois.
After some time, working hard and trying to make this work for him, Ray Kroc sold almost two hundred more franchises, but still he didn’t make much profit for himself. Therefore he wanted to sit down to talk about buying the McDonald brothers out. He had seen that things were at status quo and that something had to be done. So he took action, even though it was risky. He asked the brothers to name their price, and they came up with a number. That number was 2.6 million dollars.
Kroc borrowed the money against his future profits and managed to by the two brothers out.
Almost 60 years old, Ray Kroc bet the bank again and went into hock as never before. Two years later, the McDonald’s Corporation, with five hundred franchised stores in operation, sold its billionth hamburger. That was the year Ray Kroc made his first million.
By 1968 the risks he had taken had paid off like crazy. He was 66 years old and refused to retire or slow down until the day he died, almost 20 years later. By that time he had a personal finance worth of 500 million dollars. Ray Kroc refused to wait for the right time for success or for evidence that he was ready to move on and make some changes. He wanted something more than the status quo and did what he had to do to make his dreams come through. He was willing to put himself on the line, win, lose, or draw, and make the most out of it, whatever the outcome.
This story taught me that no matter how young or old you are your best days truly are in front of you. Once you’ve embraced that philosophy, you’re ready to change the game, and make your own rules. You’re the star player in your life, and it’s your life and your rules.
Thanks for reading, and KEEP ON ROCKIN’!!!;)