Broken Wrist 2 and a TERRIBLE employee
We have looked at how my personal life was going at the beginning of my business in the last couple of posts. Now, let's take a little closer look at how I was running my shop. First, let's take a step back and inspect my business background. I had a B.S. from CSU but not in anything even remotely related to business or mechanics. My degree was in Natural Resources Management with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. And my life leading up to this point had no training what so ever in business. My father is a successful attorney but never talked to me about running a business (especially one that involves lots of retail) and my mom was an award-winning educator. Again, not really lining up to be an entrepreneur but I was going to do it anyway. I hadn’t even read a book about entrepreneurship yet.
So here I am with a building full of inventory and tools (full is a strong term for what I had at that time but it was a lot for me) and Zero idea about what to do. I didn’t have a plan for employees or anything. I was just winging it. My good friend came over from the front range to help me out and work for me for a while because he was between work and wanted a change. It was a damn good thing because during the summer of 2007 I was riding my dirt bike and crashed, breaking my wrist and putting a relatively massive wrench (pun intended) into my plan. Not only did I need to work and make money, I was planning on racing the 2007 Baja 1000 and I needed a good wrist for both of those activities.
Fortunately and unfortunately the wrist was a small break in the scaphoid bone. The upside to that is it doesn’t hurt that much and you can grit through it. The downside is that the scaphoid is terrible at healing and needs lots of rest and little motion if you want it to heal. You might remember from an earlier entry that I had broken my other scaphoid and it had ruined a vacation and cost me an expensive surgery. So here I am with a broken scaphoid, a bunch of work and a buddy who is awesome but not a mechanic. Perfect Morgan. While I am a selfish moron, I am not lazy and I just put my head down and got the work done. It was painful and it caused my bone to not heal but I did manage to keep the ball rolling. I decided that I needed to hire someone and a guy showed up who seemed like a good guy so I hired him. I didn’t do any looking into his background and I didn’t even really interview him.
He started work and was doing well. He seemed to know what was going on and did good work. Then one day he came in and said: “I need to tell you something.” “Ok, what’s up?” He then proceeded to tell me that he was seeing a girlfriend of one of our customers and that he had started selling cocaine on the side to make more money. WHAT???? “Are you F%&KING kidding me?” I shouted. He kept saying he was sorry and that he felt bad as I fired him and told him to get his crap out of my shop right now! I couldn’t believe what a bad judge of character I was. But then again, my character at that point was pretty crappy too, I just didn’t see it yet.
As the summer progressed and my wrist didn’t heal I began to realize that I was running out of time for the 2007 Baja 1000. Not just my broken wrist, but I didn’t have anyone to keep the doors open while I would be in Mexico for two and a half weeks. I was panicking because I just couldn’t let go of the idea of racing so I hired another guy. This time I got the recommendation from a good friend and I lucked out. He was great! In classic “Moron Morgan” fashion I hired him with less than a month to go before I left the country and provided exactly ZERO structured training. I cut the cast off of my arm and loaded up to head to Baja. I tossed my guy the keys to the shop and told him to call if he had any questions and to try not to burn the place down.
Ruth now had a 1 year old to take care of and I still didn’t have any money. I dusted off the credit card, checked my line of credit and drove South. What a complete idiot I was?
Thanks again for reading along with me. It is painful to think about how many mistakes I have made in my life. Sometimes I think about what it would have been like if I had been smarter, or kinder, or at least more calm but then I remember that I wouldn’t be where I am without my past. It’s excruciating for sure but it is what forged me into who I am now. And who I am now feels really good. I am far from perfect and arguably far from even good but I am better than I was and working towards being even better.
As always, if you feel like it, share this around. And if you want to talk about anything at all, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment here. Have a great day and don’t forget to be thankful.
Today I am thankful for Valentines Day with my sweetie, my son Ewan’s birthday TODAY, and moisture from the sky.