Failing to Succeed, Insurgency and Manufactured Housing Success

We must learn to call things as they are. We ought to eschew the often hobbling lexicon of the politically correct in favor of inspirational realities that overcome failures in order to succeed.

When Carly Fiorina was profiled by Brett Baer as a 2016 presidential hopeful, her story was that of a secretary who rose over time to the seat of giant HP’s presidency. It was just one of many compelling parts to Fiorina’s story. When asked about her foreign policy credentials, Fiorina said she’d sat with Vladimir Putin, and dozens of leaders from China to the Middle East, Europe and Latin America over the course of 25 years.

Clearly, Carly was a business success! Wouldn’t some common sense biz savvy be useful in Washington’s White House today?!

My mind drifted to Dee Pizer, who started out as a secretary and rose to the top of her firm to the seat of the presidency of Zeman Homes and Communities. See our interview with her, linked here. You may be the secretary, a set up person or in MH sales; you can rise to the top with the right drive, adaptable plan and persistence.

Someone – quite the MH Millionaire – told me recently that had Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway not bought out Clayton Homes, they too would have shriveled up before or since the collapse of 2008. I’m not sure I agree with that at all.

But what is certain is that if you listen carefully to Jim Clayton tell his story, you know there were numerous organizational failures. Set backs large and small for Jim was not a final “no,” it was the middle of “know,” and lead him learn, “go and grow!”

Failure and missteps can inspire, or it can break the will. We all fail routinely. From the misspelled word, or failure to punctuate correctly, to the loss of a deal, a lost job, or worse.

What happens after the defensive back gets beaten on a long throw near the goal line late in the big game?

You can win or lose in a following play. The discipline to succeed – Attitude! Desire! Commitment! – are necessary elements of success.

The Power of Insurgency

The jihadis in the Middle East decided to make Iraq the desert Vietnam of the U.S.. With our weapons, the Afghan rebels beat the superpower Soviets in the 1980s. The world-class Brits won the conventional war battles in the colonies, but when the Rebel Americans turned to hit and run guerrilla tactics, it was one defeat after another for England and their mercenary allies, until they called it quits and the colonies became the United States of America.

There is almost always a winning strategy available, lead by a creative or Comeback Kid. TEAM work, works.

Vladmir Putin didn’t come head on against NATO or the U.S.. While Hillary was pushing a reset button for the TV cameras, the Russians were busy fueling an insurgency in the Ukraine. Crimea may not have seen like a big loss to the West, but neither did the Ruhr when Adolf’s men marched into it in 1936. Both WWI Germany and post-cold war Russia were beaten! But don’t discount the ability of a failed person – organization or nation/state – to come back.

Failure is a powerful teacher.But only for those who don’t have loser’s limp.


Zig Ziglar on Loser’s Limp

Zig taught me not to make excuses. No “loser's limp.”

I was in Purcell, Oklahoma. I had just been – from my perspective – allegedly cheated by an employer. My commission had been 'red penciled' – and looking back, IMHO – not in a fair way. I could take it – and risk being cheated and have my pay shorted again – or I could move on, and maybe do something about it.

It apparently didn't matter to that owner how good the results were, that fellow was taking a very short term view of life. He thought he could pay me less for all the business being generated in my wake.

Rather than 'take it,' I opted to moved on. But when you've moved to a small town to take an MH sales management role, with nothing around you as an option, the MH industry in Oklahoma starting to collapse, what do you do?

I already had a rep for making good sales. So some deals were made. I opened a modest MH sales center about a mile down the road from this short-the-check fellow who had a 20+ year head start on me. With a handful of homes, I went up against his sprawling multi-acre sales center to the north of my humble location. He had an MHC too. Some would say,Tony why try? It’s madness!

It was madness. But so was Moses telling Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” Life and history are filled with stories of the down-and-out rising up. I knew how, but the odds were daunting and the Oklahoma economy then sucked big rocks. So I fell to my knees, and prayed…


Image credit: SearchQuotes.

Thank the Lord, three years later we not only survived, but we'd become the #76 sales center in the U.S. in unit volume. We used a marketing insurgency. We had a better sales process. We treated our customers great. We forged a happier sales team that got paid every dime of what they earned.

At a time when there were 10,000 MH retailers in the country, so being #76 meant we were in the top 1% in the country. I sold the biz, and at 35 was ‘retired.’

Retired? Ha!

But the point is failure – be it caused by your own mistakes or that of other’s – is never the issue. We all fail. We all make mistakes. What happens afterward? That’s a key. We can give a loser’s limp excuse, or we can dust ourselves off, learn, rise and succeed.

The will to overcome – Inspirational Dissatisfaction – that’s part of the ticket to the station called success.


Reagan cut spending, while Obama borrowed at record levels.
Graphic Credit: mesothelialcells.

More Insurgency…

From the loins of a Kenyan rebel, a pot-smoking youth rose to go to Harvard and become the first black President of the United States. Barack Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention could have played as well as at the Republican Convention. We should all admit, it was an impressive talk and delivery.

But did his rhetoric match his deeds? Reganomics vs. Obamanomics? Reagan took an arguably tougher spot in the nation’s history and got through higher unemployment, stagflation, an America humiliated by Iranian radicals who had seized our embassy.

Ronald Reagan's party did not control Congress. He made the deals with Democrats and together they got America back on track at home and abroad. By contrast, Obama’s term has marked more debt than every other president before him, and America is in retreat around the world.

The insurgent Obama knew how to take power. But what has he done once he got power?

Will Obama pivot now as famously to the center as Bill Clinton did? Clinton made deals with the Newt Gingrich lead Republicans that lead to reform welfare, balancing the budget and created another roaring economy. Reagan worked with Democrat Tip O’Neil. Clinton-Gingrich had their own brand of successful Reaganomics.

We should all know the free enterprise formula for America to succeed. We should know set backs need not be forever. That applies to nations, companies and individuals. Ignore the lessons of failure and success at your own peril.

You can whine with your cheese, have a loser’s limp, or you can be inspired and rise up anew. Malcom Butler, who made that winning play in the video above, had a long pass completed on him just moments before. Butler didn’t quit! He says he heard the Voice, and the Voice told him to expect a miracle. But even given the opportunity to succeed, Butler still needed to apply his will and skill to make that goal-line, game-winning play.


Jim Clayton – left – L. A. “Tony” Kovach – right. Credit and

Walking the Talk?

I was told recently that I’ve become a big name in our Industry, in part because of publishing. We don’t think we’ve “arrived,” not yet… Yes, we blew past other publishers with our MHProNews; those others who had a 20 plus year head starts on us. We looked at what they did well and not so well. We charted a course inspired by missteps and oversights. We learned from the glitches of others and/or our own.

Hey, I applaud the staying power of those rivals, some who continue to publish to this day. Our consulting and contract services business have also grown, because in publishing and via services,we help other’s enhance their success.

When we motivate and fuel Your Professional Success, and that becomes a cornerstone of our success.

A very wealthy man told me, he had failed 4 times during his career in a very big way. He lives a life of ease today with his wife. You’d never know that he had ever failed.

Failures happens. What happens next? The response to failure is part of what defines you. Will you use the Loser’s Limp? Excuses are easy! They are a dime a dozen! Or will you do what it takes to rise above the set backs, to become a success?

One building block at a time, we’ve put together the formula for success. Sure, we’ve made mistakes. But we are not only standing, we continue to grow in every measure.

We share the stage with others, the rise to the top of the pros like Dee Pizer! The share cropper's son, success industry star Jim Clayton! From big names to the lesser known, we've interviewed dozens of the famous or still rising stars!  We bring you their stories, in part so pros can learn.  To inspire good folks like you.

We do that for everyone. All of this is content on MHProNews is freely accessed online knowledge, information, commentary and inspiration. Crazy, right?  I was told don’t ever mention politics or hint at religion in our publishing. We ignored that advice too, and we grow…

The Truth Well Told is Powerful. Stating the Obvious brings Clarity. When you have a play book filled with plays that work when they are executed properly, you win games.

MH Success and American Success

Ladies and gents, MH can succeed bigger and better than ever. So too America. But both will require changes. How about your location(s)?  Your career? Are you ready to do what it takes? 

One of those many success-story personalities told me that if Mitt Romney had one the Race for the White House in 2012, America’s economy would be booming now. We would not be worried about Russia, China or radical Muslims.

That fellow stays informed. He is likely right.

But we can’t wait for the next election. Waiting to be rescued  is not what winners do!

MH has died many deaths. Some thought MH was dead when the HUD Code kicked in. Some thought so during the many peaks and valleys since June 15, 1976. But we sell a great product! We offer a tremendous service! What others screw up, allows you, us or others to shine brighter when we do our best to do it right!

In the darkest night, that’s when the stats shine. I hope to see you in Tunica in about a month. We will show you how to Super Charge Your Marketing and Sales! 

Please See what others have said about the program we did in Louisville to a packed room, linked here. See you soon? We’ll be at booth #73, or in the seminar room in the first two mornings of the show. TheTunica MH Show 2015 seminar line up is linked here. ##

latonykovach-louisiville2015-mhpronews-superchargedsales-seminars2-ByL. A. “Tony” Kovach.

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