Grinding It Out: Lessons From The McDonald’s Empire

I am always looking how to raise my circle of influence. My business coach, Peter Voogd says that if you hang around 5 millionaires, you will be the 6th, but if you hang around 5 deadbeats, you will be the 6th. I follow Tai Lopez’s law of 33% which states that you should spend 33% of your time with people that can learn from you, 33% of your time with people that are on the same level as you, and 33% of time with people playing the game at a higher level than you.

One way I accomplish the last task (which is absolutely the most difficult) is to continually reach out to high achievers and add value to their lives. Another way to accomplish this feat is to learn from the all time greats. You might be asking – but how? Books. That’s how. Highly successful people usually have many things in common – one trait being the fact they want to leave their legacy for others to remember, and more importantly, implement. And to that, I thank all of them. I can literally spend hours upon hours in book stores browsing, hunting for my next opportunity to learn from the all time greats. Over the past week I finished a great book. The story behind how McDonald’s became the empire they are today. I personally don’t eat at McDonald’s, but I don’t let that narrow focus blind me from the blunt reality they are a pioneer, and massively successful. That fact in and of itself gets my blood churning. So here are my big takeaways from Ray Kroc. Thanks Ray for all of your wisdom, you are truly inspiring to entrepreneurs. By the way, Ray didn’t start McDonald’s until he was in his 50’s!

Grinding It Out

Ray Kroc

Key Takeaways/Reflection

  • A little bit of luck helps, yes, but the key element is still hard work – grinding it out.
    • Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes – “Greatness/success is not about heroic actions, it’s doing the small consistent actions that make you a little better than mediocre, everyday!”
  • In the United States a person can reach or exceed any reasonable goal.
  • Ray Kroc was one of the rare individuals who possesses both the charisma of an extraordinary leader who is a great salesman and the passion for detail of an able administrator.
  • “I have always believed that each man makes his own happiness and is responsible for his own problem.” Ray Kroc
  • “I was selling paper cups for thirty-five dollars a week and playing the piano part-time to support my wife and baby daughter back in the early twenties.”
    • Some people think successful people are overnight successes – Ray is a prime example of hustle, grit, and consistent grinding yields massive results
  • As long as you’re green you’re growing, as soon as your ripe, you start to rot.”
    • High earners are high learners – never stop growing
  • A lot of success Ray allots to his ability to strip each step in producing his limited menu to its essence and accomplished with a minimum of effort
    • Do what you do, but do it better than everybody else.
  • No self-respecting pitcher throws the same way to every batter, and no self-respecting salesman makes the same pitch to every client.
    • This reminds me of Dan Pinks theory of attunement, the first of his new ABC’s of selling – make sure you connect with each and every client.
  • My customers appreciated a straightforward approach – they would buy if I made my pitch and asked for their order without a lot of beating around the bush. Too many salesman couldn’t recognize that critical moment when they should have stopped talking!
  • My philosophy was one of helping my customer, and if I couldn’t sell him by helping him improve his own sales, I felt I wasn’t doing my job.
    • Zig Ziglar said that if you helped enough other people get what they want, you ultimately would be rewarded with what you want.
  • Look sharp, and act sharp. The first person you have to sell is yourself. Then selling your customers will come naturally.
  • There’s almost nothing you can’t accomplish if you set your mind to it.
    • Napoleon Hill has a similar theory – a definite aim backed by undeniable faith and a plan to accomplish is the blueprint
  • Perhaps without adversity I might not have been able to persevere later on when my financial burdens were redoubled. I refused to worry about more than one thing at a time, and I would not let useless fretting about a problem, no matter how important, keep me from sleeping.
  • I would think of my mind as being a blackboard full of messages, most of them urgent, and I practiced imagining a hand with an eraser wiping that blackboard clean. I slept as hard as I worked.
    • If you go to bed tired, you will wake up tired – I have been studying the morning/evening rituals of successful ppl and this falls right in line
  • On hiring – she looked as though she’s missed several meals. Yet she had a presence that conveyed integrity and a restless ability to deal with problems. This was enveloped in a warm, compassionate personality, a rare combination of traits.
  • A good executive does not like mistakes. He will allow his subordinates an honest mistake once in a while, but he will never condone or forgive dishonesty.
  • On supplying – there is a basic conflict in trying to treat a man as a partner on the one hand while selling him something at a profit on the other.
  • I always take a man at his word unless he’s given me a reason not to, and I’ve worked out many a satisfactory deal on the strength of a handshake.
    • Jerry Weintraub secured 1 million dollars to take Elvis on tour, and the contract with the Colonel was a mere handshake!
  • On managing – I believe that if you hire a man to do a job, you ought to get out of the way and let him do it. If you doubt his ability, you shouldn’t have hired him in the first place.
    • I relate this back to Dan Pink’s theory in his book Drive – people are fundamentally autonomous – you must give them the freedom to be so.
  • I was an overnight success alright, but thirty years is a long, long night.
    • The hustle is real!
  • There is a certain kind of mind that conceives new ideas as complete systems with all of their parts functioning. I don’t think in that “grand design” pattern. I work from the part to the whole, and I don’t move on to the large scale ideas until I have perfected the small details.
    • Mastery vs information overload – this describes me to a T. My biz partner Ryan is able to see the whole process together, however I am more like Ray.
  • So, at the risk of seeming simplistic, I emphasize the importance of details.
  • I believe that if you think small, you’ll stay small.
    • I relate this to Donald Trump’s quote – “You are already thinking, might as well thing BIG!”
    • Business will expand to tax the facilities provided.
  • There is a common fallacy that money will solve problems. It won’t. Money creates problems, and the more you have, the bigger problems, not the least of which is how to spend it wisely.
    • I relate this to Grant Cardone’s theory – new problems are good because it means you are doing something out of the ordinary – the bigger, the better.
  • If you are willing to take big risks, and I always have been, you are bound to blow one once in a while; so when you strike out, you should try to learn as much as you can from it.
  • It is impossible to grant someone happiness. The best you can do, as the Declaration of Independence put it, is to give him the freedom to pursue happiness. Happiness is not a tangible thing, it’s a byproduct – a byproduct of achievement.
    • Wow, this really hits home for me. I was working with my mastermind partner when I figured this out – I was so focused on the byproduct, the end goal, that I put so much stress on myself I couldn’t complete the tasks needed to actually accomplish my goals. Focus on mastery, and becoming the top in your field, and let the end goals be the byproduct. The real reward is in the journey, not the medal at the end.

I hope you enjoyed these quotes, and more importantly how I plan to apply this information into my business and life.

Have a Great Week!


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