You Have To Do The Hard Things – Part 1

Ever wonder if you can hold on any longer?  Ask yourself why you are doing this when it seems no one else is?  Scared to death because you could fail in an epic fashion? You have to do the hard things. The things that you do define you.  At times it is the little things that no one seems to think matter and take extra effort.  Other times it is things that seem impossible.

“Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.”

-Dan Wadschmidt

How easy is it to make excuses to not do the hard things?

You have to do the hard things.

You see people you think are extraordinary and wonder how they accomplished what they have.  But the truth is, often what differentiates them from ordinary people is that they are not just willing to do the hard things, it is a passion for them.

In Dan Wadschmidts blog (found here) he hits 19 of the “Hard Things” you need to do to be successful.  As part of the Trucking MBA I have added my thoughts around being an Owner Operator.  Part 1 of 4


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More often than not I talk with drivers that go deeper and deeper in a hole with the carrier they are leased to and won’t make the change.  Just last week a driver was telling me he was losing money every week with his current carrier and couldn’t afford to switch.I asked him if he couldn’t afford to change now how he felt it would get better in 4-weeks.Change is one of those things that we seemed to be hard wired to avoid.  Even bad situations seem easier than going into something new.  The unknown is scary.  But we don’t grow without change.  And does it also seem that the easy changes are the ones that are bad for you?Pretty easy to eat garbage compared to that healthy eating plan you are on, right?  But how hard is it to change to healthy eating?
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Or stay up later than you want.As drivers we need to make sure that we get our rest.  That is more important than anything.  But there are times when we are home and have been on the road for weeks and it would be easier to sleep in a little extra.  Even when you know that you need to get your numbers pulled together.Maybe it is about getting up early to get the truck in the shop before all the others are arriving so that you can get out as soon as possible.  One of the best pieces of advice I go from an old trucking is to never hit the shop in the evening.  Get to bed early and get up before the sun and get in when everyone else is sleeping.As an O/O you are a business person first and driving is a task.  Make sure that you are making the time to run and grow your business.
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This is one of the areas that most O/O’s can’t break the driver mentality.  Even when you are leased to a carrier you need to think in terms of providing the best service possible even when you have a bad driver manager, challenging customer or running for a poor carrier.Eventually your efforts will be noticed and you will be the go-to truck.  That is when you get the better loads; others work harder for you finding you a load home and offer you better opportunities.Early on in my driving carrier I took this attitude.  That turned into a dedicated run about 6-months earlier than they normally would take drivers.  And then another dedicated lane came up that had me returning on every load MT.  Getting paid to drive 1,500 miles a week MT really helps the bottom line as an O/O.But if I had the typical attitude of most drivers I never would have been able to make the money that I made.  All because I willing to help other out even when there was nothing in it for me.
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How hard is it to know that your driver manager needs to get out of the office for a family engagement but you don’t have a load and aren’t sure if the others in the office will try as hard for you as them?  Telling them to leave, even when it could be at your expense is what this is all about.
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As the owner of a carrier that only leases on Owner Operators I have seen both sides of this.  The fighters and the quitters.The fighters don’t complain about rates, brokers, shippers, fuel or breakdowns.  They constantly evaluate what they are doing and look for ways to improve.  They stay positive and are positive they will succeed.The quitters will give you every excuse in the book why they can’t succeed.  Brokers are cheating them, fuel is too expensive, rates are cheap, no freight… At times it feels like the list of items going against them is endless. But how is it that two people can be in the same areas and have such different results?

In part 2 we will discuss playing it safe, leading and looking like a fool (my wife says I have this one mastered).

Be Safe,

Big Bad Bill


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