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Keep your margins healthy

by on
in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Some people succeed despite themselves—or maybe there’s more to it than that.

Former large animal veterinarian and poet Baxter Black tells the story of Leonard, a man with an eighth-grade education who made it big in construction.

Leonard, he says, appreciated the value of an education but didn’t let it stand in his way.

During an interview with a business finance magazine, Leonard was asked the secret of his success.

“Son,” he said, “I always charge a 3% markup. Anybody that can’t make it on a 3% markup doesn’t deserve to make it in business.”

“Nobody could possibly run an operation like yours on a 3% markup,” gasped the reporter.

“Well, I do,” Leonard said. “I look at a pile of dirt, figger what it will cost to move it, and multiply that times three!”

— Adapted from Cactus Tracks & Cowboy Philosophy, Baxter Black, Penguin Books.

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