The Go-Getter is a story about a man named Mr. William (Bill) Peck, a former soldier, who is put through a test of obtaining a “blue vase” by his new employer. The author, Peter B. Kyne, tells the story of how Cappy Ricks, the retired owner of Ricks Logging and Lumber Company, encourages the new President of the company, Mr. Skinner, to hire Bill Peck after discovering that Mr. Peck is a go-getter.
Against his will Mr. Skinner agrees to hire Mr. Peck, all-the-while believing that Mr. Peck will not be able to carry the load of the job. In the beginning of the story Mr. Peck proves Mr. Skinner wrong and gives Cappy Ricks and Mr. Skinner reason to believe that he may be worth a promotion.
To verify that their instincts are correct about promoting Mr. Peck, Cappy Ricks decides to put him through the test of the “blue vase”, the ultimate test of the go-getter. The remainder of the book outlines everything that Mr. Peck, who is partially disabled from war, goes through to get the “blue vase” as requested by his employer.
I first read this book a few years ago, after learning that it is one of a number of books that Dave Ramsey has as required reading for his new team members. I can see why Dave requires this book, it is a quick read with some great principals.
I constantly found that I was asking myself if I would have approached the situations in the book the same way that Mr. Peck does. And to be honest, I can say I have doubts if I would. I think this book is a great reminder of what being a go-getter is really all about. It will challenge you to step up your game and give more effort than you ever have before.
4 Lessons of the Go-Getter
- Believe in yourself. Mr. Peck provides a great reminder that we all need to believe in ourselves. If there is anyone who could consider themselves down and out it is a war vet with a leg limp and only half of an arm on one side. However, Mr. Peck does not let this get him down. He approached his first meeting with Cappy Ricks with all the belief in the world, and sold himself to the business owner by refusing to take no for an answer.
- Act with determination. Throughout the book Mr. Peck displays his determination time and time again. From the beginning of the book when he was so determined to get the job that he had already had business cards made, to later in the story when he refuses to take no for an answer and vows to do whatever it takes to obtain the “blue vase” for Cappy. Mr. Peck is a man on a mission, determined to deliver the “blue vase” to his employer.
- Don’t take “No” for an answer. Time and time again Mr. Peck reaches a point where it seems as if he is being told “no.” He meets resistance in many situations in his pursuit of the “blue vase”, but rather than packing it in and going home he finds ways to rethink his approach and create a new path towards the “blue vase.”
- Tell yourself “It Shall Be Done.” This is the saying that Mr. Peck shares with Cappy, a saying that he picked up from his commanding officer, who just happens to be an old employee of Cappy Ricks. It is the belief that even in times when you don’t know how to do something, you say “it shall be done” and then work to find a solution to the problem. It may not be easy, but if you truly believe you can achieve something your mind will help you create a plan to achieve it.
I truly believe that this is one of the best books out there. It may be short (only 55 pages on Kindle or 46 pages on iBooks), but there is more wisdom in these few pages than there are in many books twice its length. I make it a habit to re-read this book every few months and each time I find new lessons from its pages.
I highly recommend that you give this book a read. You can probably do it in one sitting, it only took me 1 hour this last time I read it. It may be the most valuable hour you will spend this week!
I read the hardcover version that has a foreword from Dave Ramsey. You can buy if from his website here.
Below are some quotes that I pulled from the book as I read:
- This is a young man’s world, Skinner, and don’t you ever forget it. The go-getters of this world are under thirty years of age.
- If I can do it, I’ll do it better than it was ever done before, and if I can’t do that I’ll quit to save you the embarrassment of firing me.
- Count that day lost whose low descending sun finds prices shot to glory and business done for fun.
- How could I reject a boy who simply would not be rejected?
- I can sell anything–at a price!
- “Skinner, you make it impossible for me to refrain from showing you who’s boss around here. He’s better than Andrews, isn’t he?” “I think he is, sir.” “Well then, for the love of a square deal, pay him more and pay it to him from the first day he went to work.”
- Very well, sir. It shall be done.
- An organization is what its commanding officer is–neither better nor worse.
- You told me what to do, but you did not insult my intelligence by telling me how to do it.