The Go-Getter

You have probably heard the phrase “So and so is a real go-getter.” The implication is somewhat obvious – they go and get what they want. However, you might not know where it came from. It comes from a short story called “The Go-Getter” written in the 1920s by Peter B. Kyne.

The story revolves around a lumber company. They are having trouble finding good employees. One day a military veteran comes in to “ask” for a job. Ask is in quotes because he doesn’t really ask. It is more of a demand. As he says “I don’t anticipate a refusal.” This army vet is missing an arm and has a limp. It is pretty clear from the beginning that he faces a lot of challenges but doesn’t let that stop him.

The vet gets hired and does a very good job. The owner has a more important job in mind for him, but wants to test him out first. He sends him on a wild goose chase after a blue vase. The owner puts a whole bunch of obstacles in his way. The story revolves around how this vet responds to all the obstacles. You may be able to guess the outcome, but if you really want to know you will have to read the book.

What is the takeaway from this book? There really are several. If you get the version with the Dave Ramsey forward as I did, at the end he explains several other lessons that we can take away from the book. The main one though is pretty obvious. It’s about not letting obstacles get in your way. Right now with the corona virus there are lots of obstacles in our way. We can fold and let them win or we can continue to innovate and find ways around them.

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