Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 67

Harnessing Your Audie Murphy Moment

Everyone has that moment in which they get fed up. Some people put that mood into action. Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier in U.S. history and his secret weapon was harnessing his frustration into positive energy. In this Billboard Mastery podcast we’re going to review what this power is and how to use it to your advantage.

Episode 67: Harnessing Your Audie Murphy Moment Transcript

If you've never seen it, there's a movie out there that you should see, it's called "To Hell and Back", and it's the biographical story of Audie Murphy. This is Frank Rolfe the Billboard Mastery podcast. Why in the world would you wanna watch that movie? It's an old movie produced just after World War II, and it features in it and stars actually Audie Murphy, who is the most decorated soldier in American history. So what did Audie Murphy do that's worthy of our commentary here in the podcast? Well, if you watch the movie, what made Audie Murphy so successful was whenever he got really, really mad, he didn't just sit there, he immediately put it into action. So throughout the movie, he'll be pinned down under machine gun fire, people getting killed all around him, he can't move, every time he tries to move, the machine gunner fires at him some more, you'll watch... He always has the same thing, He takes off his backpack and all of his gear, so he's very light now, he just grabs his rifle and he just basically runs at the enemy and always wins. I think Murphy during World War II killed about 200 people and, in fact, was credited with turning around an entire German column who couldn't deal with his incredibly aggressive behavior.

It's kind of like the movie, "The Waterboy", I'm sure you've seen that with Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler gets so mad, and he harnesses or his coach helps him harness his anger into being an incredibly aggressive and successful football player. The same kind of deal as "To Hell and Back", only in a different setting, that was is in a comedy movie, but we all have that inner moment that trigger in which we have our own Audie Murphy moment. I know that I had it in the billboard business, back when I was dealing with a landowner, his name was King, strange first name, [0:01:49.8] ____ apropo perhaps. And what happened was I went to him just getting early on in the business and said, "Hey, I think I could build a billboard on your property." And he said, "Oh, that sounds really good. I also own other properties, what do you think about them?"

So I look at all of those and I said, "Oh, well, I could build a billboard on three of these additional properties." And he said, "That's fantastic. How would it work?" And I said," Well, let me go down to the city and I'll research it." And so I went to the city and I figured out everything you would need, I fill out all the permit applications and everything, but I had nothing in writing from him. So then I went over to his office, I said, "Okay, I'm gonna all put together, here are the ground leases, just like we discussed, here are the permit applications, just like we discussed, I have everything nailed. Here's the engineering, here's everything, we're all ready to go, sign these up, I will run down to the city and start pulling the permits." And what do you think he said? He said, "Oh, well, let me see those for a minute... Yeah, I know you've done all the work, I think I'll just do it myself."

That was it. He took all my work, everything, he never even knew what a billboard was, didn't know about the opportunity, nothing, and he just basically stole it from me. All my paperwork, all my work, everything, it was all gone, he took it all. Well, I came away from that meeting extremely mad, I decided, "You know what, there's no way I'm gonna let some tore-up like this guy dictate my future." So I harnessed that madness, that frustration into going wild looking for the next billboard opportunity. And I kept harnessing that professionally, I could just think of this guy, think of his face and just like Adam Sandler in "Waterboy", it made me so mad, I could work all night if need be, because I wasn't gonna let someone push me around and tell me what I could and could not do. Now you see that in the billboard industry all the time, so many people in the billboard industry started out working at a billboard company or basically just not working in the industry at all, but come into it, because they really wanna get something done, and they're tired of people telling them what they can and cannot do.

The billboard industry has always been built on loners, built on people who are free thinkers, you think, "Well, you know what, here's how I wanna make money, and here's how I'm gonna do it." But they kind of do it in a vacuum, it's not a very sociable business, people don't really hang out and talk to each other, it's not kind of some kind of mastermind group, anything like that. So basically what you have is a collection of people who all basically wanna make money through billboards, and it takes that kind of independent thinking to get the job done. Because in the billboard industry, a lot of times you're working solo looking for locations by yourself, the only one you ever talk to is maybe the property owner, and you're always trying to figure out, "How can I creatively solve the issue here, the zoning, the laws, you're not allowing me to build a sign here, but how could I? Under what circumstances would it be possible for me to build in this location?" But what really pushes you forward, that really gives you that drive is that Audie Murphy moment. Warren Buffett acknowledge that when he once said that "Without enthusiasm, there's no energy and without energy, you have nothing."

He gave that response when someone asked him on why he invests in certain businesses or not. And we have that in all of us, we all have that ability to harness our inner energy, and that is the power, that's what make things happen. You don't have to have a lot of capital to be in the billboard business, you don't have to be part of a big company, it don't take a huge amount of experience, you have to have know how on how to do it, but beyond that, it really just comes down to how much enthusiasm and motivation you have. And there's nothing that gets your juices flowing, gets your enthusiasm going more, in my case, than anger. So if people tell you you can't do something, you won't succeed at it. If you just are scared because the economy is going down the drain, you're trying to figure how to get that second source of income, harness that, channel that, embrace that. That is the kind of power that really gets things done. We talk all the time about nuclear energy and how powerful nuclear energy is, and it lasts forever. Well, that's your form of nuclear energy this is self-sufficient, it doesn't have to have anyone shoveling coal into it, it just kinda keeps going.

So if you have that kind of anger, that is a very powerful force, the key is put it to good use. When people use anger in a negative fashion, it doesn't get them anywhere, it doesn't solve anything that they're just unhappy all the time, they don't... Times, things never get better. But if you can take that anger, that resentment, that desire to do something, and you put a belt around and tie yourself to it, you'll really get places, because that is a kind of energy that really makes great things happen. This is Frank Rolfe of Billboard Mastery podcast. I hope you enjoyed this. Talk to you again soon.