Who You Gonna Call…?


“I’ve got a guy I’d like you to meet… ” a friend told me.  “The two of you have got to get together… you think so much alike… you have so much in common.  You know, he’s a self-made millionaire!”

“Self-made…! Well, that certainly DOESN’T describe me,” I said.

“Oh c’mon, Steve.  I know what you’ve done in your business career… don’t be so modest!”

Well, the truth is that honesty IS NOT modesty… and I was just being honest. You see, IMHO… the self-made man is a phantom.

A simple story, please… to make the point.


I started my car this morning, and was about to pull out of my driveway when I noticed something strange. You see, like I often do… I had backed my car in the night before and was now staring straight ahead at a trail of something that had obviously leaked from my car on the way in.

Transmission Fluid… and lots of it.

So, I did what everyone would do on a Saturday when everything is closed… I called the President of a regional automotive service company AT HOME and explained my situation.

His business is consistently booked out days in advance, and you can’t just get in first thing on a Monday morning without an appointment.

Unless, of course… you have a relationship.

And I’ve been doing and recommending and referring business to Dave for at least ten years. They know it… and appreciate it.

Two questions: First, when things fall apart (as they will from time to time), do you really want to be “self-made”, or would you rather have a team?

And second… if things hit the fan today, who are you going to call?


I think the reason I so often encourage people to build strong teams is because, well… so often I have benefited from having a strong team.

No, I am not self-made… and would never want to be.

I’ve had great mentors and outstanding employees. Incredible friends, loving and supportive family, and loyal advisors. I’ve spent a lifetime cultivating relationships that work both ways.

A last minute haircut after hours… yup, no problem. A suit that needs tailoring for an unexpected formal event? Unlikely… but, yes… bring it in. A lawyer… doctor… or insurance agent available AT HOME at midnight in a pickle…? Done deal… they’re in the speed-dial. So are accountants, bankers, stock brokers, and pastors.

Even a politician and a police officer or two.

Traveling just about anywhere, there are a handful of people I could call at 2 a.m. if necessary… and they would be there for me, because they know I would be there for them.

I HAVE been there for them.


No, “self-made” is over-rated.

In fact, it’s a fallacy… need a rock-solid example? Well, how about this… I am not aware of anyone who’s ever made a dime without customers… ‘nuf said.

Build a team… share the credit… dump the status.

And reward your people.


I look forward to speaking with you.


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3 thoughts on “Who You Gonna Call…?

  1. Thanks Emily,

    In the end, that’s really all we have is our relationships! Love to hear more about you… twitter.com/stevebuelow.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


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