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My first job was at McDonalds. And I was so young and dumb back then and so infatuated by the life story of Ray Kroc that one day full of emotion on my face I told my mother "I want to be a manager of a McDonalds and I want to go to the Hamburger University."
Well, lets give a little background to that statement. My family was not rich, it was an upper middle class white collar working father and home maker. We did OK and we never wanted for nothing. But paying the private tuition of my two brothers and I was easily the largest burden on my parents budget.
Our schools were not cheap, nor were the uniforms, nor were the field trips and summer camps, or the text books. Many of my peers were sons and daughters of directors and business owners, CEOs and the likes. One of my best friends was heir to one of the largest transportation companies in Mexico and south central America.
When my father protested about the money that our tuitions cost, which was very often, especially when my grades came for signature, my mother used to say "I never ask you for anything, no dresses, no jewels, no trips, no cars. I never even wanted this big house. All I have ever asked is that my children receive the very best education that you can afford and you can afford it, so stop complaining."
So you can imagine the look on the face of my mother when her first born son, carrier of her husband's name with a big smile said "I want to sell burgers for a living."
But I was infatuated with the success story of Ray Kroc even if back then I didn't understand that I was merely a small cog in a giant machine. After only six months literally flipping burgers, in this job where I earned a burn to my arm so severe that I still have the scar, I was invited to work for Van Halen and the rest was the best 13 years of my professional life. But I digress.
The story of Ray Kroc is that of thousands of Americans that had a dream, a vision, and a goal, and never surrendered on it. Despite the odds, despite the critics, despite the nay sayers. Even past his midlife, he was hungry, he knew there was more and he wanted more.
The story, as it was told to me in the McDonalds training, is that he used to sell milkshake machines and no one would buy. And he was so desperate to sell his machines that when he saw the McDonalds small business in San Bernardino and how much success they were having and how many milkshake machines they had ordered, it was logical to him that the best way to sell more milkshake machines was to open more McDonalds. vintage lace formal dresses
According to the official McDonalds corp story back then, Ray never intended to own many McDonalds, he just wanted more people to have them so that he could sell them more machines.
The movie with Michael Keaton gives it a completely different angle. I am more inclined to believe on the original official version. However, it did showcased clearly one thing that is true.
Good guys finish last. Steve Wozniak is an example, the McDonalds brothers is another example, Ray's first wife another one more.
The philosophical question then is, if to have explosive success it is necessary to cheat, steal, and lie, is it worth it?
Steve Jobs had an amazing life, another that I admired. But was his early death a consequence of his dark side?
Is Wozniak happier than Jobs could have ever been?
Is money the end all cure all? Is that the ultimate goal?
As I get older I ponder all this. There is still plenty of time and plenty of opportunity to make it "big." I was raised and educated to know and believe that we indeed can be as big as we want and we can literally do anything we put our minds to. One of my old friends was kicked out of my middle school for poor grades, now he is the CFO of a Fortune 500.
He always said, "as long as I have my head, my two arms and my two legs, I will always make it."
I guess the real challenge, the ultimate goal is to have great financial success that later you can share with your fellow man and still manage to do all that without selling your soul to the devil.
Not a small feat mind you.
Great movie. Two thumbs up!