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Own the Field

Have you ever experienced an inflection point in your life?  A recognizable point in time where a decision brought about a significant change in the direction of your life?

I’ve experienced several, both good and bad.

One successful inflection point that comes to mind occurred in 1996 when I stumbled upon two concepts and then applied them in my life.  The first was a newly published book that year by authors Thomas Stanley & William Danko, The Millionaire Next Door.  The second was the work of Earl Nightingale, namely The Strangest Secret and Lead the Field.

As I adopted the principles of Lead the Field into my life, I modified the title substituting “own” for “lead”.  Own the Field became my mantra.  I did this to stress the importance of entrepreneurship over bureaucracy (having spent many years in the military and large corporations).  Bureaucrats attempt to lead, while in reality they control, regulate, restrict, impose, meddle, nitpick…all the while using someone else’s money and resources.

Entrepreneur’s put their own assets at risk to create.  They BUILD it, they OWN it.

If you want to build wealth then you have to get out of the bureaucratic mindset.  Entrepreneurs look for opportunities to serve others- what products or services do people want to buy?  (see Building Wealth)

Nightingale tells the story of a friend that was looking for work during the Great Depression.  He was easily able to find employment when masses were unemployed.  He did it by familiarizing himself with a chosen industry.  Then when approaching a perspective employer, he would go directly to the owner and rather than asking for a job the man would tell the owner an idea to improve the business.  The owner was concerned about the effects of the Depression too, he was looking for ways to increase profits.  Nightingale’s friend got the job.

This method works.  I’ve used it to gain employment and more importantly to build my business.

I use a version of it when choosing stocks.  I look for companies that are like the man in the story-  they’re hungry, they don’t follow the crowd, they do their homework, develop solutions, and take them to market.

You too can use this method to recognize talent.  You’ll be able to identify which companies are innovative entrepreneurs and which are laggard bureaucrat organizations.  Learn to recognize the difference and you’ll increase your profits dramatically.