My favorite sayings

Columns - Industry Voices

September 11, 2012
Marty Grunder

Marty Grunder

I’m no longer a young man; I turned 44 recently. My oldest is off to college now; I have another one picking out colleges and then two more. But, the older I get, the better my appreciation for words of wisdom I have heard from the years gone by. This month, I thought I’d share with you my favorite little sayings in hopes of teaching a few lessons and maybe helping you recall some of the good lessons you’ve forgotten from the past.

“I think I can, I think I can.” Oh yes, my first words of motivation from the classic children’s book “The Little Engine That Could.” I can remember like it was yesterday my elementary school teacher mother telling me that. To this day I still hear those words when I’m running the last quarter mile in a 5k or walking up to the front door of a house to make a presentation for some landscaping. I even say those words to myself when I’m backstage getting ready to go out and address a group of entrepreneurs who are expecting something special. And I say those words to myself when I’m having a bad day or I need some patience. I think I can, I think I can. Yes, I do!

“Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.” Oh my, sorry to admit this, but this is my all-time favorite saying. I say it to myself all the time when I feel I might be pushing my luck or getting greedy. How many business owners can’t stop and end up losing it all? For years, there was an awesome restaurant in my hometown. The chef was a friend of my brother.

They were doing so well. He was compelled to open up another place and then two more. I told my brother his friend should be careful with that. He was spreading himself too thin and, sure enough, he ended up going bankrupt. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. I have gotten slaughtered a few times, folks. I’ve taken too many chances and lost. I still take chances. Entrepreneurs have to, but I take smart, reasonable chances. Just be a pig and you’ll be fine! 

“It’s not what you know, or who you know, it’s who knows you when they need you.” Of all the sayings that have benefited me, this one has helped me the most. I love to meet people and I love to help people. In fact, nothing makes me happier than to be able to connect people in business that results in success for both parties. I never try to make friends just for business reasons. I make friends and I know that if I just keep doing that and keep helping, my business will grow. Relationships sell, so we all need to have a bunch of them. We all need to make friends and when we make friends, we make sales. So, you need to meet as many people as you can and for the right reasons. People do business with people they know, like and trust. By all means, success in business comes from not what you know or who you know, but who knows you when they need you!

A couple others I use all the time come from my parents. My dad would always say, “Sometimes that’s what happens.” It really didn’t sink in what he meant there until a few years ago. My father battled depression, a debilitating disease that affects millions of Americans. On my Dad’s good days, he dealt with life and got through it. On his bad days, he couldn’t function very well. It’s OK if you need help; that’s life; sometimes that’s what happens. Dad was right.

My mom is an awesome lady. It is hard to put into words what she means to me. She has said and still does say, “You get more with honey than vinegar.” Man, isn’t that the truth. Be nice, folks; show you care and go out of your way to do something kind for someone. When you have a problem or need something, be gracious and kind, be nice. Try honey, not vinegar. Moms are always right, aren’t they?

I hope these sayings remind you of some of the things you should be doing to make your landscaping company better. Do you have a favorite saying? Send it to me at


Marty Grunder is a speaker, consultant and author; he owns Grunder Landscaping Co. See; mail