I bought my first non-fiction ‘business’ book in 1991 at an airport bookstore.
Success Secrets is authored by Mark H. McCormack, the legendary founder and CEO of the sports promotion company IMG. After graduating from Yale Law School, he became an associate at a Cleveland law firm. As a collegiate golfer himself, he began representing a young unknown golfer named Arnold Palmer.
Before long, a host of top sports celebrities were lined up wanting access to his brilliant skills at sports marketing. His legendary innovations such as sports merchandising, sponsorships, TV rights and licensing, brought together big business and leisure brands on a scale never seen before.
Sports transformed into big business.
The book inspired and motivated me in more ways I’d ever experienced. Every page triggered a flood of joy and elation at the possibilities it offered. The book is laden with nuggets of business savvy, many relevant still today.
That same year, in August 1991, we opened Yanks Diner and Milky Way, a fast-food restaurant specialising in American style burgers and pizzas, with an ice-cream parlour. As my first business, I wanted to commemorate it in some way. I always thought an engraved brass plaque has a regal and official feel to it. Although I had many sources of reference to draw from, I chose the wisdom of King Solomon as my guide.
FOUR RULES TO SUCCESS
Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.
Honey whets the appetite, and so does wisdom! When you enjoy becoming wise, there is hope for you! A bright future lies ahead!
Develop your business first before building your house.
“A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,” means that poverty will break in upon you suddenly like a robber, and violently like a bandit.
News spread of the little American diner that opened on a street corner in a small suburb on the southern outskirts of Johannesburg. Over the next year, the turnover doubled month-on-month. In a short time, the shop became a popular hang-out for folks from the neighbourhood and surrounding suburbs.
The recipe was simple:
Be friendly, serve good food, at a fair price, from a clean shop.
Over the years, the brass plaque has followed me as I journeyed from one venture to the next. On some occasions, the wisdom that lies in the four rules would escape me. For whatever reason, I would choose to forego the sage advice, forgetting it momentarily.
And I would always pay the price.
I’d lose out on a promotion, or an award I was hoping to win, or I’d not get picked for whatever reason. Only when I come to my senses, after I realise where I have gone wrong and set about fixing things, does my mental and spiritual contentment return.
Success Secrets was the first of what is now hundreds of non-fiction ‘business-type’ books I have loved to learn from over the years. But as knowledgeable and wise as the authors of all the business books past and present might be, to me King Solomon’s wisdom still reigns supreme.
Have an awesome weekend! 😄
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