Larry Winget: In Your Face and Unapologetic
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Larry Winget wasn’t always a blunt motivational speaker. More than ten years ago, he realized that his upbeat, inspirational style was fake. His manager and clients controlled his life, a situation he loathed.
Through a three-week sabbatical in Sedona, he found the real Larry. He moved his family from Oklahoma to Arizona, ditched his power suits and puffy speeches, and began pushing personal accountability. His appearance also diverted from typical boardroom fare as he chose Western shirts, jeans, flashy cowboy boots, tattoos, and pierced ears. The edgier Larry has written several books, including You’re Broke Because You Want to Be!, Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life, People are Idiots and I Can Prove It, and It’s Called Work for a Reason (available at www.larrywinget.com and at bookstores). He has appeared on Fox News, Larry King, and MSNBC. He also advises people in financial crisis on A&E’s Big Spender.
Home Business Magazine® (HBM): Why do home businesses fail?
Larry Winget (LW): The same reasons any business fails: poor planning and bad management and lousy marketing, and failure to work.
HBM: How do the principles of You’re Broke Because You Want to Be apply to home business entrepreneurs?
LW: That’s a money book, and it’s based on personal responsibility. I’m a one-trick pony: Your success or failure is your own damn fault. You don’t get to play victim or blame the economy.
HBM: How can home business entrepreneurs grow past their background experiences to become successful?
LW: Not having mentoring and not being shown the way are lousy excuses. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find the way. What turned my life around is the embarrassment of growing up poor. I refused to accept the way I was living and the way I was shown. I went out and worked my way past my experience. There’s never an excuse. I work [very hard] to “be lucky.”
HBM: What are your keys for gaining publicity?
LW: Be really good at what you do. Be unique and say what you have on your mind in very few sentences.
HBM: What are the biggest mistakes home business entrepreneurs make when it comes to the media?
LW: They don’t say anything differently than anyone else. They don’t say it well
HMB: How can being edgy help home business owners?
LW: I’m more recognizable dressed this way than in a suit. I have a unique look. People say it’s different, but people won’t spend money on different. They’ll pay for unique. I have a unique style that sets me apart, but I have to back that up with good content. Someone once said, “Why would you take financial advice from someone who dresses like a rodeo clown?” which is a valid comment, but I can back it up with solid advice.
HBM: How can home business entrepreneurs use assertiveness?
LW: If you know what you’re talking about, you have confidence and you’re not afraid to approach people. You have to know that what you have to offer will serve people well. You owe it to them to offer it to them. My style isn’t based in assertiveness but an extreme confidence in who I am and what I have to say.
HBM: How can they learn to be more assertive?
LW: You either got it or you don’t. The only thing you can do to boost your confidence level is through education
HBM: What is your home office like?
LW: It’s a big room with a flat screen TV, a stereo system, and a desk. I surround myself with things I get a kick out of like Elvis decanters and cigar store Indians. I write my books at home in my home office. My success is based on my creativity. It’s based on how in tune I am to what’s going on. I watch a lot of TV for that reason.
HBM: How do you balance work and home life?
LW: They need to shut the door and leave work. They keep drifting in, and they don’t have a home life or office life and the two blend until they can’t tell the difference and the family resents their home-based business. There’s a time to work, play, and spend time with their family. I know that the smartest thing to do sometimes is to get up, go outside, and talk with my family. HBM
Winget and his wife, Rose Mary, have two grown sons. The couple lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which is also home to Winget’s collection of more than 100 pairs of cowboy boots.
About the author: Deborah Jeanne Sergeant writes from her home in Wolcott, N.Y. Her web site is www.skilledquill.net.