A Remarkable Tale of Grinding Your Way to Success

I was shopping for 2 books: Shoe Dog and Steve Jobs. I found Grinding It Out on the rack and remembered the movie I saw – The Founder. I got excited because books cover the details movies can’t.  So, I bought it. It was an awesome story.  I am in love with Ray Kroc and his philosophy.

Grinding It Out is about how Ray Kroc made a simple Speedee Service System (McD) a household name. He just didn’t start his franchised Speedee Service System but took it to a level that revolutionized an entire food industry and changed eating habits throughout the world.

This memoir has 16 chapters written by Ray and Robert Anderson. It stretches over 206 pages that talk about – Ray’s time before and during McD, owning a sports team and his philanthropy organization. It uses a descriptive style of writing to show us how Ray Kroc built this empire. It is chronologically structured, expect the 1st chapter, that directly links to 6th chapter.

The story is concise, easy to read, and understand. Like-wise, it’s relatable – especially the arguments between Ray and his wife Ethel. He was a risk-taker while his wife was conservative. This became the cause of constant arguments between them.

It is a perfect read for:

  • People who aspire to build their enterprise, whether the potential founder is in his/her late teens’ the early fifties or, any age in between and
  • People who are a fan of McD and interested to know how it all started.

There are a lot of valuable lessons you’ll learn related to business, sales, franchising, and leadership. Some of the lessons I learned are:

  • You could influence people with a smile and enthusiasm.
  • If you are willing to take big risks, you are bound to blow up once in a while; so, when you strike out, you should try to learn as much as you can from it.
  • You must perfect every fundamental of the business if you expect to perform well.

Ray was 52-years old when he started his first McD store.  A career salesman, with no formal degree, living an ordinary life – like most of us are, is credited with building a franchising system.

So, what made him a business tycoon? It was his enthusiasm, hustle, determination, risk-taking ability, a knack to sense opportunities, and learning from the lessons. 

Each page will show you the amount of hustle Ray did before and during running McD. To give you a perspective, before McD, he was a salesman by the day, a pianist by the night.

The interesting parts are:

  • The chapter that introduced Harry Sonneborn into McD, 2 chief decisions Ray took that became the forefront of the McD franchising system and Harry Sonneborn’s solution to Ray’s problem that turned McD into a Real Estate Business from just a Hamburger Business.
  • The secret behind McD’s French Fries and product history of Hot Apple Pie and Egg McMuffin.
  • Tips to fight competition
  • The arguments between Harry Sonneborn and Ray Kroc. They are the perfect example of what happens when 2 people with the same belief for the company and its future clash with a different perspective. The arguments reach a level where the firm was divided into Sonneborn people and Kroc people.

This book has done an amazing work depicting Ray Kroc’s character and the making of McD in detail. It is a perfect example of hustle and firm determination. I found this memoir inspiring, interesting, motivating. It’s a great book.

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