Grinding It Out – Inspired by McDonald’s Founder, Ray Kroc

I’ve been side hustling on the internet for over 6 years now – trying to find my way to internet riches that I see so many others achieve. It hasn’t been easy, especially considering that my internet endeavors aren’t exactly at the top of my priority list (family and full-time day job come first). I’ve been ‘grinding it out,’ all these years and I’ve managed to build up a somewhat respectable monthly income. But I still feel like a failure because I haven’t hit the big time yet.

When my monthly net internet income exceeds my day job income on a consistent basis – that’s when I’ll know that I’ve made it. When I’m making more money through my passive income internet endeavors than I do as a (well-paid) truck driver – I’ll know I’ve hit the big time.

And now I have a brand new inspiration – McDonald’s. Specifically, the story of Ray Kroc and how he founded McDonald’s franchises and kick-started the fast food industry in America. Ray Kroc’s vision and his persistence to succeed are something to admire. Here’s how it all began…

The Founder

While scrolling through Netflix movies one night, searching for something to watch with my entire family – I happened across a title called, “The Founder,” starring Michael Keaton. I learned that the movie was based on the true story of Ray Kroc and how he founded McDonald’s. I was intrigued and nobody else in my family objected – so we watched it. The movie was really well done and we enjoyed it very much. Here is the official trailer for the movie…



But something rubbed me the wrong way about the movie. In true Hollywood fashion, it told the story quite well – but it was apparent to me that they didn’t tell the complete story.

My immediate sentiment at the conclusion of the movie was that I was supposed to be pissed off at Ray Kroc and subsequently I should be pissed off at the entire McDonald’s Corporation as a result. As a skeptic of Hollywood liberalism – I could see through their tactics right away. I knew that their portrayal, based on the ‘true story,’ was slanted in a deceptive fashion that was designed to make viewers feel angry at Ray Kroc and McDonald’s.

Most people would be content to just watch the movie and then go on with their lives. Maybe they would visit McDonald’s less frequently after watching this movie because of how the McDonald’s Corporation was portrayed. No doubt – this was one of the goals of the producer’s who seem to have an ax to grind with big corporations. These hollywood liberals are all the same – but I wasn’t buying it. And I’m not most people. I was determined to learn more and get to the bottom of this.

Founders Podcast

I’m still an avid podcast listener. That’s what I do to educate myself and stay informed. I listen to podcasts and audio books while driving around in my rig at the day job.

My mind was reeling the day after watching this movie and I had to learn more. I did some quick internet searches and found the book that the movie was based on – “Grinding It Out” by Ray Kroc (himself) with Robert Anderson. But I couldn’t wait to read the book. I had to learn more right away.

So I searched for any podcast that might have some information. I came across a podcast called, “Founders” and they had recently published an episode on this exact topic! The host of the podcast, David Senra, had read the book and watched the movie and he published his own review in podcast format. Here is a link to the podcast, Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s.

The podcast host, David, agreed that the movie was pretty good. But he exclaimed that the book was WAY better and his podcast episode included several readings of actual excerpts from the book. I knew I had to read the book as well.

Grinding It Out

Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald'sGrinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s is an autobiographical book told in the first person by Ray Kroc, himself. It tells the complete story – through the eyes of the McDonald’s founder himself. It starts out by detailing Ray’s first 30 years in business as a salesman for products that mostly served the restaurant industry. Throughout these first 30 years, Ray Kroc was truly ‘grinding it out’ – trying to make his way, until he came across the actual McDonald’s brothers in San Bernardino, California. After that, the rest is history!

Ray Kroc was 52 years old when he found the McDonald’s brothers in 1954. He opened his first franchise in Des Plaines, IL in 1955. The franchise business exploded after that with unprecedented growth, under Ray’s leadership. McDonald’s opened it’s 5,000th location in 1978 (one year after this book was published). Today, McDonald’s has approximately 36,900 locations worldwide!

How do you create a restaurant business and become an overnight success at the age of 52? As Ray Kroc said, “I was an overnight success alright, but 30 years is a long, long night.”

I agree that the book was WAY better than the movie – although I definitely suggest both – as the movie tells it’s version of the story (visually) in a way that can’t be matched in written words. Just remember though – if you only watch the movie, you’re only getting half of the story.

Inspiration for Me and You

I love to continually educate myself and keep myself motivated by listening to podcasts and reading books (or listening to audio books) about other successful people. Ray Kroc’s story is at the top of my favorite’s list right now. I have a newfound love and interest for McDonald’s as a result of educating myself on this story.

Remember how I stated that it was probably one of the goals of the producers for “The Founder,” to make people pissed off at McDonald’s and turn them away? Well – educating myself on the true story has done just the opposite for me. Now, I intend to visit McDonald’s even more frequently than I did before!

How Does This Relate to My Internet Marketing Efforts?

Well, I can’t say that the notion of owning my own McDonald’s franchise didn’t cross my mind. Truthfully though… that is out of the question for me. I have no desire to own or operate any restaurant. But I do love my entrepreneurial efforts that I’m creating online! So, how can I use Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s story to benefit my online endeavors?

Ray Kroc’s story of persistence on his entrepreneurial journey has been a huge motivating factor for me! I’ve known all along, for the past 6 plus years, that my persistence has been key to my moderate success online. Reading about Ray Kroc’s persistence and vision seems to have lit a new fire underneath me. It’s helped me realize that I’m as green as I’ll ever be (read the book if you don’t get that statement) and I’m hungrier than ever for success!

I can’t let myself get comfortable or complacent with my moderate levels of success. I need to keep grinding it out – just like Ray did. The guy never stopped working until the day that he died (in 1984). He loved what he did – so he just kept doing it. In essence, he never really retired – although he could have afforded to, financially, long before his death. He just kept grinding it out.

That is my plan as well. Early retirement is NOT in my plans. I don’t think I ever want to retire. I want to keep doing what I love – and I love driving a truck and I love internet marketing. I plan to keep grinding it out for as long as I can – and I know that it’s eventually going to lead to wild success.

I’m really glad that I happened across this story of Ray Kroc and how he founded McDonald’s. Ray’s persistence and his drive and determination are evidenced in his book that was written and published 40 years ago – and again in the movie that came out in 2016. I can only hope and dream to somewhat emulate his success with my own persistence and drive.

McDonald's #1

Ray Kroc’s first McDonald’s Restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois is restored to its original form and reopens on May 21, 1985 as the McDonald’s #1 Restaurant Museum.

Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He's probably not the only trucker who calls himself a dumbass. But, he is the only known trucker who is blogging about passive income."Might be crazy, but I ain't dumb!" ~ Crazy Cooter (also Matt's CB handle) 
Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen
Matthew Allen is a full-time trucker, part-time blogger, and imaginary entrepreneur. He's probably not the only trucker who calls himself a dumbass. But, he is the only known trucker who is blogging about passive income."Might be crazy, but I ain't dumb!" ~ Crazy Cooter (also Matt's CB handle) 
Grinding It Out - Inspired by McDonald\'s Founder, Ray Kroc

19 thoughts on “Grinding It Out – Inspired by McDonald’s Founder, Ray Kroc”

  1. I just watched the movie recently, too. Thought the same thing…Hollywood wants me to see their version of events and feel a certain way about this, but I’m not buying it. I have always liked Michael Keaton, he did great in this one. I thought it was a great story of business, of perseverance, of never giving up.

    I’ll have to check out the book, learn more. Thanks.

  2. Thank you for this post. It shows once again that persistence is the key to success no matter what challenges you face. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll hit it big time! 🙂

  3. Yeah Brian – if you enjoyed the movie, you’ll really enjoy the book! It’s packed with all kinds of juicy details, as well as motivating thoughts and ideas straight from the mind of Ray Kroc. Not to mention – you learn the other side of the story. The side that Hollywood must have overlooked – where, in fact, the McDonald’s brothers weren’t cooperative at all and weren’t holding up their end of the deal.

  4. Hey Mark – thanks for taking a minute to comment! That’s my plan – to stay consistent and persistent. I can feel it – the big time is just right around the corner. Very glad I found this movie and subsequently read the book – it truly has fired me up as of late.

  5. Hi Mathew,

    I loved the movie the Founder, I even watched it twice because I was so amazed at Ray Kroc’s persistence which was played by Michael Keaton. Like you, I’ve been on the entrepreneurial journey for years.

    The difference is that I’ve started a new venture, I had to change paths almost a year ago. Starting over isn’t fun, but sometimes you just realize that your earlier paths just weren’t meant to be.

    It definitely takes persistence to see the results you want. I’ve got that burning desire to achieve my goals.

    I think that it’s extremely important to have a burning desire. That’s the only way that you’ll keep persisting when times get tough and you don’t see the results you want as quickly as possible.

    The great thing about your journey is that at least you love being a truck driver.

    Thanks for sharing this, I may have to watch the movie again. Have a great day 🙂


  6. Hi Susan… not really a difference. I’ve started over too! I’ve had plenty of failures along the way. Each time I start a new site – it almost feels like I’m completely starting over (even though some of the old sites still earn monthly).

    It’s awesome that you have that burning desire. In order to maintain that desire – I suggest reading books by other successful entrepreneurs. Robert Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad’ stuff is great and both of MJ DeMarco’s books (The Millionaire Fastlane and Unscripted) have made a HUGE impact on me.

    Yes… I do love my day job as a truck driver. It’s hard for me to imagine life not being a trucker. But… I’m in the middle of reading MJ DeMarco’s latest book, Unscripted, and it’s helping me realize that if I REALLY want to hit it big as an entrepreneur – I may have to alter my mindset and consider making full-time entrepreneurship my goal.

    And yeah – I definitely plan to watch that movie again – especially after learning so much more by reading the book. I’ll be watching it for the second time with a whole new perspective.

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