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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Be Obsessed With Doing Good And Doing More

The business owners we know don't need to work anymore. They have done good things, they have created value for their employees, their customers and themselves but they continue to get up and go to work everyday because they are obsessed with doing good and doing more.  Bud Crystal is studying the charts on his four computer screens.

Key Question:


New products come from listening to your customers and from working hard to come up with new solutions.  Bud Crystal told us that his favorite day of the week is Monday and that he dreads Saturday and Sunday. This is because his customers, the media, don't usually work on the weekend so he doesn't have the fun of sparring with them on those days.

Q:  Why aren't more people obsessed with doing good and doing more?

Cynicism is probably the biggest reason. Many people, and maybe even most people, might look at the world and assume that they can't make it better. Nothing they do will matter deeply to many people so why try so hard. Why not just do what has to be done to get by, then go to the golf course?

Also, most people just haven't found the work that they love so deeply they can be obsessed with it. We also think that the word, "work" has been given a bum wrap. Bruce, Bud and Ron are workaholics because there is nothing they would rather do. This is true. Bud said he has never considered retiring and, "To me it's the worst thing in the world to have a job that you really don't like, because it takes so much of your time. You ruin your whole life. But if you have a job you like, I don't think you ever want to get rid of it. What else is there to do?"

Work is such a good thing and so healthy that many people's health starts to fail when they retire. You may argue that this is natural because people are older when they retire and health does deteriorate with age. There is plenty of science on this topic but we want to simply say that working is good for your health and people who love their work are actually afraid to give it up. They don't even want to think about live without goals and deadlines and pressure and customers needing them.

Bonnie Brown, a family business consultant taught us that the hardest thing for the founder of a business to do when it is time to pass the business to the next generation, is to find something to fill the time gap created by not going to the office. If you are a business owner and you're reading this, and it sounds like you, you are normal!

Think about it

Are you obsessed with doing good and doing more? If not, why not?

Clip from: Home Alone - 17+ Million Sole Proprietors (USA)

In search of an endless summer

Bend, Dallas, San Diego and Santa Fe: In this episode of the show, we take a look at nine people who work and live within the same physical space. It has its own special challenges. 

We seem to be making the circle, back to a pre-industrial lifestyle, but with knowledge tools -- the integration of broadcasting, information (technology), communications, education and publishing -- that challenge us to look deep within ourselves to craft and sculpt our unique gifts to give back to the world.

There are about 17 million sole proprietors in just the USA; they are all unique and most have returned home to work.

Graef Crystal Report

Bud Crystal, Writer

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Be Obsessed With Doing Good And Doing More

BUD: The thing is I do a lot of thinking and, and it's just nice to be in a place where it's quiet. Where you don't have co-workers barging in, saying, "Hey, you got a couple minutes. I want to talk to you about something." Or whatever, and so I really -- I enjoyed working at home. Now, in the early years when I did that I had a tremendous amount of client contact because I was a consultant. So I had lots of interaction with people.

HATTIE: Did you go to them?

BUD: I would go to them for meetings. I was a one man little factory. I mean I come home, and put on my work clothes. And then you know, saw and nail and everything and then build something. Then you put on this nice suit and then carry it to a boardroom and show it to them. For me working at home is an advantage because I'm a workaholic.

HATTIE: Let's talk about that. At two in the morning, you get an idea.

BUD: I mean I once went to a shrink when I lived in New York under tremendous pressure. And she spent several sessions with me and she said, "You know, you really don't need to see me." She said, "You're just an obsessive -- a garden variety obsessive compulsive neurotic." And she said, "Some people wash their hands a thousand times a day, other people face east. You just like to work." And she said, "I know you because I'm 83 years old, I'm working six days a week myself." And she said, "Now, my advice to you is very simple. Don't ever stop working, because if you do you'll probably fall into such a depression you might kill yourself."

HATTIE: Would you say that you're a workaholic?

BRUCE: I would say that I am passionately in love with the vision of a new future and that I will work tirelessly to see that future happen. Otherwise, what's the alternative. More of the same?

If going and working for a Fortune 500 or a Fortune 1000 company has meaning and value to you, do it. That's a wonderful thing to do. But if you're driven by some inner vision, if you really dislike something about the world and you want to change it, then start your own business and go for it.

RON: You have to be a perfectionist. You have to really be, work with the people closely and listen to them. They're going to recommend you and they're going to wait for you the next time they want to do a project.

BUD: The first thing I'd say, you have to be single-minded. You really -- like a horse with blinders on. I'm not going to be distracted by television or this and that. And I'm not going to -- if you have a home, not going to walk out in the garden and start picking up the flowers. Oh, nice pool, I think I'll take a dip, you know. That sort of thing.

HATTIE: What keeps you jazzed? When you wake up in the morning, what gets you out of bed?

RON: You need to have a project. Got have one of these that I'm working on buying or selling or renovating or something. I've got too much of that in my blood that I've got to have a project. The people close to me say that when I'm not involved in something very heavily, I'm not a happy person. I'm always pushing to do something new. I'm to the point to where I don't need to work anymore, but I still am driven for some reason to continue to build a portfolio and to build a network.

BRUCE: I don't think I've worked a day in my life, actually I've always played. But my play is my work and my work is understanding something about the very essence of life.

BUD: To me it's the worst thing in the world is to have a job that you really don't like, because it takes so much of your time. You ruin your whole life. But if you have a job you like, I don't think you ever want to get rid of it. What else is there to do?

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