West Texas Investors Club.
We’re three or four beers into our conversation on entrepreneurship, Texas-style
Last week’s In Market with Rooster McConaughey and Butch Gilliam of the West Texas Investors Club was only the first beer or two into my interview. Thankfully, I recorded it, so here are beers three, four and more.
Butch: When we did start talking about the possibility of doing a show. We said, “One thing that’s important to us if we do this, we’d like for, as much as possible, for this to be representative of the way we are now and more importantly, in the way we live our lives.” Whether we did the right thing all the time, or not, we want to show our mistakes, too. [That may be] even more important than our successes. I think if we can share some of our mistakes that we’ve made along the way with people, it may be more important to them to learn that – to avoid those kind of situations – than it would be for us to share our success story.
Rooster: As many mistakes as I make, you can learn a whole bunch off of my shit. I’m the one that makes them and he learns from them [pointing to Butch].
Butch: One thing, and this may not be the right time, but please if you can get it in there somewhere if you’re going to do a story.
Butch: All the years that we were in business, I know that you [Rooster] and I believe…we’ve dealt with some titans [of crooks], but I’ll be damned if the worst of them all didn’t come out after we made our money. The people that come to you and say, “Hey buddy. We know how to help you invest your money. We can help you make money off of your money.”
Rooster: Making it’s easy. Hanging onto the shit was hard.
A couple of people that help you make it and a ton of people that help you lose it.
They discuss an event they attended where people talked to students about making money.
Butch: Every speaker that they had, every last one of them, was either an investment banker or someone that [was an investment strategist]. There wasn’t a ditch digger in the house. I was like, “Let’s talk to these kids. Let’s get the everyday folks that do things, that produce goods.” They didn’t have anybody like that there.
Rooster: It was all about people that were just taking other people’s money and making money with it, even if they lose it.
Butch: Yeah, and they can’t lose. Rooster and I both have never been involved in any of our work arena, whether it be a machine shop, or a pipe business, or a land business, or a restaurant business, all of these different businesses that we didn’t have a hell of a lot of risk involved. Them guys, they have no risk. “Give me your money, I invest it. If the stock market does good, it’s “Look what I did for you.” If it goes bad, it’s “We don’t have nothing to do with the stock market.”
Rooster: When an entrepreneur comes to us and wants us to become a partner with them, we really want them to have something at stake.
Butch: That’s the definition of an entrepreneur.
Rooster: It is the definition of an entrepreneur, is that you’ve got something invested, other than a dream or an ambition to become rich. It’s your money. If you lose it, then you feel it like we felt it.
Butch: If you want the honey, get up there and get stung by the bees. You know? See what it feels like.
Rooster: I’ve never heard you say that.
Butch: It’s the truth.
Rooster: Damn it, I thought I was the original…around here. Now you’re the smartest guy and the f—ing original.
Butch: Smartest guy in the room.
Rooster: I don’t have to do nothing. You can sit in both chairs.
Butch: It’s true. If you want the rewards, man, you got to take the risks. So many of these people that we’re seeing these days, they don’t want any risks and they want to get rich overnight.
Rooster: Yep. It’s like, here we go. Boom! Six months, we’re going to sell it and make a ton. You [entrepreneurs on the program] came to the wrong guy. We don’t know how to do that. We don’t have a clue. We don’t know how to do it. We’d love to do it, too, but we don’t really know how to do it.