Ray Kroc's Epic Grinding Secrets: A Path to Revolutionary Triumph

Grind it out, sell like crazy, and repeat what matters
Austin Homolka
January 08, 2024

Grinding It Out, ray Kroc's autobiography and the history of McDonald's corporation is a dramatic refutation of all who believe that risk takers will no longer be properly rewarded. It reminds us the opportunity abounds, that all one years is the knack of seizing the chances that exist, of being in the right place at the right time. A little bit of luck helps, yes, but the key element, which, to many in our affluent society have forgotten, is still hard workgrinding it out.


Today I’m excited to walk you through 3 golden takeaways from Ray Kroc’s autobiography called “Grinding It Out.”


  1. Grind it out
  2. Sell, sell, sell!
  3. Repeat what matters


If you can master and implement these 3 things, I believe that you’ll find yourself on the right path (and ahead of the game). If you’re in a hurry, you read The Rundown at the bottom of this page.


This one is a “must read” for anyone that’s seeking for more out of life or anyone with a large goal. The book talks about the timeline of Krok’s life — it really wasn’t that glamorous, and it certainly wasn’t a smooth ride. But nonetheless, he got there. I think you’ll find his journey interesting. Particularly, the fact that he didn’t start McDonalds until he was 52 years old.


Yes, you read that right. If you’re anything like me, then you probably feel like you’re lagging behind where you want to be and what you want to have accomplished. Ray Kroc spent his entire life up to that point searching for more all while perfecting his greatest skill — selling.


Grind It Out

The first takeaway from Ray Kroc, is the importance of grinding it out. AKA good, old-fashioned hard-work. Ray was an extremely hard worker. His work ethic was extraordinary and tireless.


He juggled multiple jobs, working as a salesperson for a paper cup company during the day and playing piano at nightclubs until the early hours. Despite these long, demanding hours, he remained dedicated and energetic in his pursuits. This relentless commitment to hard work, often with little immediate reward, laid the foundation for his future success with McDonald's.


Kroc's relentless work schedule did eventually evolve. Recognizing the importance of seizing opportunities, there were (multiple) pivotal moments in his career where he chose to focus solely on one major project instead of multiple side jobs.


This shift allowed him to consolidate his efforts (and time). Although he continued to work long hours, this change meant he wasn't spread as thin as before, allowing for slightly more balanced workdays compared to his earlier routine of minimal sleep and constant juggling of jobs.


Sell, Sell, Sell!

A lot of Ray’s success came from his ability to sell… anything - from music to milkshake machines. I would classify Ray Kroc as a salesman more than anything. During his life, he was always selling something.


At one point in the book he talks about going all in on becoming a world-class salesman. It was interesting because he always thought about selling first and the product second. Most of his career he was never responsible for or in control of the product itself.


It wasn't until McDonald's, and specifically after buying out the McDonald brothers in 1961, that he had full control over the product and selling process.


Selling could be the one core skill that you need to go all-in on today.


Repeat What Matters

Kroc emphasized the importance of consistently repeating the company's core values: Quality, Service, Cleanliness, and Value (QSC&V). This repetition wasn't just for new hires; it was crucial for everyone, underscoring the timeless relevance of these principles.


Ray's approach shows the power of regularly reinforcing what's important in both life and business. To practice this, you can consider writing down your core values daily or remind yourself of them regularly, just like Kroc did with unwavering dedication.


This helps keep focus and maintain standards across all levels.


One last key point on this - Kroc always kept it simple. He was always thinking KISS (Keep it simple stupid). Another way to think about this — “simple scales.”



The Rundown

  • Grind it Out: Ray Kroc's success was built on hard work. He juggled multiple jobs and remained dedicated, setting the stage for his achievements with McDonald's.
  • Sell, Sell, Sell!: Kroc's ability to sell anything, from music to milkshake machines, was key.
  • Repeat What Matters: Reiterating core values (Quality, Service, Cleanliness, Value) was vital for Kroc. He believed in keeping things simple and reinforcing important principles consistently.

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