Jerry Hodge shares lessons learned from taking risks, taking names, and knowing when to fold.
Jerry Hodge has had many titles—CEO, cattle rancher, investor, mayor, politician, husband, father, friend, opponent, mentor—but the one that suits him best is cowboy. While the term “cowboy” in popular culture has come to be associated with being reckless, aggressive, and independent (and Hodge admits to living life his own way), make no mistake that the founder and CEO of the multi-million-dollar pharmaceutical company Maxor has much to say about the value of integrity, trust, and giving back to his community as a formula for success. His life has been an interesting amalgamation of those traits along with the subsequent assets and liabilities, and Hodge doesn’t hold back on talking about any of them.
When a cancer diagnosis sent him reeling, Hodge stepped back and took an honest look at his life. Having seen both success and failure, Hodge set out to share his story and life lessons, and his book, You’re On Cowboy!, is filled with tales, both inspiring and cautionary. It is a book you will want to read once, then read again to take notes. Yes, this is a book filled with business acumen and tips, but it is also a story about wisdom gained by living life to the fullest, taking the hits, and getting back up to start again in both personal and professional arenas.
From humble beginnings in Amarillo working in high school in the local pharmacy to buying the local pharmacy to building a multi-million-dollar empire, Hodge recounts the journey in a very engaging manner. Throughout the book, Hodge takes you along on his journey in business and finance as he became the youngest mayor of Amarillo, bought a cattle ranch with the turn of a high card, and sparred with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, T. Boone Pickens, and Bill Clements. There are also tales of women, baseball, politics, and the open skies of West Texas and New Mexico and what they all have meant to him.
The life lessons punctuated by Hodge’s authentic style of storytelling resonates no matter the stage of career—startup to CEO.
5 Takeaways To Take to Heart
- Living life without recognizing that it is going to end can make people lethargic. Don’t put off mending fences because you never know when it may be too late.
- Take care of your customers. Develop a relationship with them. Let them buy instead of being sold to, and don’t get too pushy.
- Anybody can sell hamburger meat, but you have to work hard to sell T-bones. The right guy with the right work ethic can make it work.
- The best deals are those where everyone wins.
- No matter how dark things get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t stop searching for the light. Don’t quit.