God’s Plan Or Your Plan : A Long Journey Home
My whole motivation about money changed. If money had been a god, I would have fallen to my knees to worship. In a way, that’s what I did because I put getting money ahead of everything else in my life.
In Bakersfield, I bought a ranch , I rented a nice office space and several refineries gave me a line of credit. Robert connected me with Good Sense Oil and I bought their refined product and sold it to a conglomerate of Quick Stops.
It had been one thing to work for an oil tycoon. Running my own company was a different situation. Everything happening in the Middle East was reflected in the price of oil, so I became a news junkie, watching eight screens in my office with multiple remotes. I knew every politician and where they stood, every sheik and all the players in OPEC. I taught myself how to do that and I’d memorized all the area code for all the pipelines and gas terminals. I kept up with my business associates by area codes.Hanco Oil cash flowed in 30 days.I made $500,000 the first month.
For the first time since I’d climbed on the metaphoric bull ride of my life with Luann and Frank, I felt intense relief. I paid all our business bills, personal bills and legal fees – and had some money left over.If there had been such a thing as the Pledge of Allegiance to Money, I would have put my hand over my heart and made it right then. Although I didn’t realize it on a conscious level until years later, at that moment I’d internalized a new truth.
Money would solve all life’s problems.
Hanco’s sales soared from $500,000 to $5,000,000 a month. By the end of our first year in business, our gross sales were $10,000,000 a month. Our cash flow was so mind boggling that I went on a spending spree. I bought 35 show horses and hired a trainer. We stopped flying commercial, leasing private planes to travel. I bought two of every kind of car I wanted, including two Cadillacs that I never drove. Life, I found, was much easier with money.In my mind, it was the only thing that would make the world go away.
Although I was convinced that extreme wealth would solve all my problems, it changed me in a way that nothing else had ever done. Instead of becoming calmer and more peaceful because our financial woes were over, it had the opposite effect on me. In addition to being boastful and proud, I was irritable and on edge. I felt like a bundle of nerves wrapped in skin.
There was a bite in the air one Saturday morning as I watched my trainer work with one of the horses. “Mr. Hansen,” he said, “I was wondering if you could float me a loan. I’ve got this situation…”“If you want money, get it the same way I did!” I snapped.When a panhandler asked for a dollar I barked, “Get a job!”
In the office, I didn’t tolerate excuses. “What do you mean that you haven’t got those invoices ready? Whatever I’m paying you is too much! Your incompetence astounds me!” I ranted and raved over everything.I was convinced that if I had enough money, I wouldn’t have to deal with people like D’Angelo. If people gave me a hard time, I put them out of business and never lost a minute’s sleep over it. I took advantage of anyone just to get more money,In those days, the early 1980s, if you made a nickel a barrel on oil, you were doing great.I made 45 cents a barrel.
I did it by buying product for 50 cents a gallon. Then I looked for buyers who weren’t paying close attention to the markets, scalping them for a big profit.
It didn’t bother me in the least.I felt bad that Luann had lived in mobile homes, starting over twice with nothing. In an attempt to make it up to her, I hired maids, cooks and private teachers for our children. I gave her everything money could buy – except for the man she’d married.I didn’t know myself anymore. Worse, I didn’t care to.
When dealing in commodities, the price is in constant flux. Those changes have to be factored into your equation. Had I run the business in a smaller way and been happy with a good living instead of extreme wealth, we would have weathered the coming storm.But that’s not the way I did things.Which meant that I was unprepared when the market turned. Older and wiser men knew to avoid debt and keep multiple millions of dollars in reserve.
I wasn’t older and wiser.
I was young and cocky.
I never saw it coming.
I’d bought massive amounts of inventory – on credit – when the market turned. It only took two or three weeks before I was upside down. I’d built up a huge cash flow, so although I was losing money at warp speed, it was hard to detect.I felt like I was on a broken elevator in a high rise – free falling so fast my stomach was in my throat.
This mess I created by my plans, God’s Plan Or Your Plan : A Long Journey Home