After the publication of my second book I have had many conversations with operators who tell me their horror story. Most are even similar in nature to the many I have already heard.
Threaded through my “Choosing a trucking company” book are accounts within the industry that newcomers should definitely hear about. The stories in the book are not the extreme ones I know since I thought they may overly taint the “industry average” with cruel impressions. However, the behavior of some carriers to their operators is well beyond illegal and often times reveal a very cruel segment of the industry.
I have been in business for over thirty years. Most business people that are around that long will eventually come across people of ill repute, vulgar ethics and vile moral behavior. It’s not that there are that many of them, it’s just their behavior is so extreme and word gets around. They also tend to drift around new or different circles because eventually word gets around. Eventually (in one way or another) everyone experiences victimism. How operators handle it however will become critical to their long term success or failure.
Many years (decades) ago when I was naïve, I thought everyone worked hard, sacrificed and desired personal financial success. After being in business only a decade I came to the stark conclusion that was just simply not the case. There are some very hard working people… who can’t fathom sacrificing and there are some people who desire personal financial success but are unwilling to work hard. The combinations are nearly endless. There are also those who desire financial success and are willing to work hard and sacrifice yet get stuck on emotional victim issues refusing to move on.
Business success has little to do with 100% financial wins, most often it has to do with developing the disciplines of success… one of those disciplines is resilience. It’s the ability to rebound from disappointment, new information or even disaster. Not everyone learns that art.
Wise victims learn from an experience (theirs or others) and apply it to future pathways or situations so as to minimize or eliminate personal or business hardship. Foolish victims in one way or another, refuse to be taught. They wallow in arrogance self-pity or revenge for an extended period of time refusing to move on. Too much focus on the negative blinds the eyes to future success.
There are plenty of exceptional opportunities in the trucking industry. Wise operators use failure to guild their understanding about the industry and especially about themselves. When I was young my naivety caused failure, but using the failure to understand myself helped me to develop guidelines to protect my business from my own weaknesses. In business we tend to learn more about failure inherent within us than failure inherent within our industry.
Living too much in self-pity and regret cultivates a victim mindset. There is a fine line between paranoid and careful… dwelling too much on the negatives will eventually eliminate all opportunities. It will also eliminate a lot of good advice and potential friends.
Choosing a carrier will never be an exact science because math and sometimes even research can be misrepresented. At best good research minimizes failure, however, a resilient character will usually propel someone onto the next level.