Written by Dave Gannaway
“. . . you don’t find brilliant ideas, they find you!”
Even from a child Phillip was ambitious. His early work involved him as a salesman in a wholesale produce market. His vitality and success at this led him to be in demand by other produce companies such was his ability. But he knew that to become as successful and wealthy as he was determined to be he needed to be owner of his own company.
He was confident that he could create the success he strove for yet just what type of work to pursue evaded him. Phillip, through is association with wealthy produce buyers and traders, knew many respected and successful entrepreneurs, many of which tried to lure him into their companies, but he resisted often turning down attractive offers knowing that he had to have a business of his own.
He told me that the best advice given him was . . . do what you do best, but do it better than the rest. This made good sense to Phillip but the question still remained ‘what’ to do . . . what line of business to investigate.
“If you are open to gut-feelings,” he began, “all the answers will pop-up when the time is right,” he began to confide in me. “The truth is Dave,” he continued, “you don’t find brilliant ideas, they find you!” Phillip then went on to tell me what I really wanted to know . . . how he got started.
In those early days large trucks from around the country would feed the markets with produce. The unloading was done by hand, package by package, from the truck to stacks in the warehouse. Often a chain-gang would operate, passing the packages from one to the other, a long laborious and labor-intensive routine.
The arrival of the fork lift truck was a very new and expensive technology in those times but Phillip soon realized the savings of time and man-hours these new machines it would create. After much persuasion, he convinced his boss to invest in a fork lift truck and it quickly proved to be worth its weight in gold. So popular that many other wholesale traders around paid his boss to borrow his fort truck to load and unload their produce.
Making friends with the service engineer Phillip learned there was a broken-down fork lift truck for sale near-bye. The service engineers gave him a price to repair it and bring it up to full running order. Phillip then approached the produced companies that so often borrowed his fort truck and offered to rent them his repaired machine at a competitive price. And that became the idea he was searching for. The rest, as they say, is history.
Phillip now has the largest Fork Truck Dealership and Rental business in his country. With machines new or used, for sale or rent. He offers machines small enough for use in stores and factories and large enough to cater to the largest industries. Many of the fork trucks he rents are new from the manufacturer for which he gets premium rates. Older and refurbished trucks are offered at cheaper rates.
His company has grown so large that he is in various locations throughout the country each generating many hundreds of rental contracts. There is always plenty of activity in his repair and refurbishing shops keeping the wheels of his very own industry busy.
Phillip insists that nothing was planed the whole business was an idea whose time had arrived . . . an accident that was waiting to happen, “All I did,” he claims, “was to listen to my gut feeling and run with it . . . it was that obvious! When I look back,” he smiled, “it was all there under my nose, anyone could have done the same . . . a child could have seen it!”
He went on to explain that ideas can be right under your nose yet some people just do not see it . . . they are not tuned-in to observe the obvious. I asked him how he did it? With a smile he said, “I try to look at things through the eyes of a child . . . as though I was looking at things for the first time. You see much more like that because you don’t take anything for granted. You begin to observe what is actually there rather than what you think is there! You try it . . . you’ll be surprised at what you see.
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