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

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

  1. Jim Holleran

    Rick, I went through the same thing as you did before and this post hits home.
    For me, I rather be homeless than work for someone. Been there and done that, and I will NEVER have a boss. My wife thinks otherwise:)(lol)
    I had to make this domain business work and all the people who doubted me can go f*ck themselves.
    Thanks, Jim

  2. Don

    I have 3 rules. Don’t do business with people who like the yankees, cowboys or a**holes.

  3. BullS

    The only non-Bullshitter is YOU as YOU are the master of your domain.
    Every freaking boss/managers are a-holes, all they care is themselves.

  4. Denise Gregorini

    Rick, I remember meeting you in San Francisco. Thanks for reaching out to Dan! I too am a graduate of my father’s school of the road and am thankful for his never ending optimism, especially now. Congratulations to you, sounds as though you’ve done very well for yourself. Dad would be so proud! Denise (Gratz) Gregorini
    Response by Rick:
    Hi Denise! Been so long! A lifetime. Please say hi to your mom and all and I am so happy you took a moment to stop by. Anyone that graduated from your dad’s school looks at life differently. It gets us in trouble, but we also get great rewards.

  5. nSathees

    Put my name in that list too.
    There was a Prototype circuit Board manufacture, I made them to rock in that industry. But the boss failed to see my potential when making decisions.

  6. Jessica

    “Follow a Leader or Follow an Asshole.”
    I’m here, so guess who I’m following. :)
    Yeah, don’t let others shortchange yourself for their own gains. We must fight fairly even if we have to lose occasionally.
    When everything is lost, self-worth is all we have.

  7. Amanda

    There is performance and everything else. Absolutely! Thanks so much for this post! Right on time.


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