The GREAT Gratz. Part 2

Afternoon Folks!

So after I wrote
post this morning I decided I was going to find the GREAT Gratz. I both succeeded
and failed. I found the Great Gratz, but he was on the other side. He died in
2003. I found that out when I tracked down his son. I searched several places
and finally found a phone number to his youngest son. Last time I saw him he
was 12, I was about 30. So I called the number. I got the right one on the
first try. I told the secretary my name and that I was a very old friend of his
dads. I told him who I was and to my surpise, he remembered me. Vividly as a
matter of fact. But then he told me his dad died in 2003 of lung cancer. It’s a
bit hard to write this right now. It may have happened 6 years ago but for me it
was 6 minutes ago. So I am a bit blurry eyed. But I still want to write this
while it is fresh and I can. I
waited just a bit too long to call.

Anyway, we had a
really good conversation and shared a few stories and memories and it was just
great to see him doing so well. I wanted him and his family to know what an influence he had in my life and I still draw strength from him. But that would be expected if you were around
the Great Gratz growing up. He was flawed just like the rest of us but he was
the best at what he did. He could chew you up and spit you out before you even knew you were bleeding. Gentle like a bear. Rip you apart like a bear. So RIP my friend. Thank you of your wisdom. Sorry it
took so long to say goodbye. I know where you are so I’ll be sure to bring an
air conditioner when I join ya. ;-)

And 'D' when I get out west next time, I am coming to see you and share some great GRATZ stories.

Rick Schwartz

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The Story of the”Great Gratz” and how 7 Words Changed my Life at 29

Morning Folks!!

'Follow a Leader or Follow an Asshole' is an
expression I learned from the GREAT Bill Gratz. While other folks sold
furniture for a living he moved mountains full of furniture. He was better than
those that he sold to or sold against. They were not in his league. Nor was I
for that matter. But I was learning from a master. He once told me something
that absolutey changed my life. He said, “I can follow a leader, but I can’t
follow an asshole.” That one line changed the trojectery of my entire

A few
months later a 52 year old pipe smoking veteran of the furniture industry that
had never held ajob for more than 2 years but had a resume that included every
big boy there was became my new boss. See while I tripled their sales in the
preceeding year I was a renegade that did not play politics the way they
thought they were entitled to at this stage. So they opted to an “Insider” to
bring them to the goal line. Even tho I had brought them from $1 or $2 million
to $10 or $12 million under my leadership, it was not
good enough. See I was
just too young. Even tho I worked for 4 years with the competition, 5 years
with them, I was still only 29. So they opted for a new path.

Well I flew out to Los Angeles to start my new
assignment on Sunday night. I got to LA at 11:30PM. I had time to think on that
flight. I thought what the GREAT Gratz told me. I decided this guy was an
asshole and I was not going to go along with the plan. I arrived in LA. I went
to the ticket counter. I booked the same plane back to Miami. I arrived at 6AM.
I went to the factory. I waited on the steps until the owners arrived at 7AM.
They were flabbergasted to
see me there as they know I was in LA at 11:30. They were in disbelief. I went in
and stated my case. A week or two later I was on the street. First time in my
life with no job. The worst days I ever remember.
But that was the day and the moment that my life changed. Where
I stood up and said NO FUCKING WAY! I won’t sell my soul. I will always tell it
like it is. There is performance and everything else. I performed. I did what
was asked. I opened accounts and made the company I worked for famous inside
the industry. I increased their market share. I made them a FORCE.

To make a long story short, that event put me in
business and I never worked for another ungrateful employer again. Never dealt
with that nonsense ever again. As far as the company I worked for and that pipe
smoking phony. Well he lasted just under 2 years when the company collapsed and
went out of business. On one hand it was sad to see something I built up
destroyed. On the other, well that’s what happens when you make a bad decision
and fuck with success.
You don’t screw with success. I guess that is why I
wanted to see the Dodgers and Yankees in the World Series. I want Joe Torre to
stick it to them!

I think as domainers we are amazing people doing amazing things
and just because we have yet to be recognized for it does not make it any less
real. Any less important. Like scientists, we are unlocking secret after
secret. Fact after fact. Result after result. Discovery after discovery.
Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz