The Man With No Backbone

June 18, 2023  

By Charlie Hutton

June 18, 2023

Three weeks back something instructive happened…

I let a man with no backbone into my business. 

It backfired. Massively. 

So let me rewind and tell you the story of what went down…

It’s a frosty Wednesday morning in March and the phone pings. 

It’s another 5-star review on the book, so I read it and enjoy the ego boost. 

48 hours later my phone pings again. 

It’s a private message on Linkedin.

The name looks familiar.

The penny drops.

It’s the same man who left the Amazon review.

His message:

“Hi Charlie, a shit time to write, but this is the moment I need to say thank you. It’s Friday, my last day of paternity leave, and I’ve been listening to your audiobook driving to get a Chinese. I was drowning in the business, but you have given me so many ideas and I’m fired up to make this awesome.”

Then 24 hours later my phone pings again. 

It’s a new application message from Sue in Slack.

The name on the application? You guessed it…

And here’s where it gets interesting.

Despite him blowing smoke up my arse (twice), he still needed to be interviewed because that’s how this thing works. 

Turns out he runs a small company with a handful of staff. 

Turnover is ok. Profit is minimal. His balance is agonising.

He admitted he was running on fumes and being propped up by matchsticks.

But it could be turned around, so I offer him a seat.

He bit my arm off.

We get to work.

And this is where this tantalising tale gets really interesting…

Six weeks later, we do his two-day rapid deployment.

He meets the other men in this tribe.

They share their wisdom and they bare their soul. 

His thoughts? 

“This is amazing, you guys are great, this will change everything, yadda, yadda, yadda…” 

The usual reaction once someone sees behind this curtain. 


12 hours later my phone pings.

It’s him. 

He sounds skittish and quiet. 

Nervous like a teenager calling their Dad to admit they pranged the car. 

And that’s when he dropped this bombshell….

His 23-year-old employee had been snooping in his diary. 

They had seen the words “One Man Empire.”

They had taken great offense to a male-only environment. 

They demanded he leave.

And instead of sacking them, or raking them over the coals, or laughing… 

He quit. 

I was dumbfounded. 

Then pissed off. 

And then embarrassed for him. 

Truth is I should have known better. 

(With everything that was going on with Em’s dad at the time, my arsehole radar was probably way off.)

He’d wasted the other guys’ time and that is my fault for letting him through the door. 

The thing shocked the most? 

The lack of backbone. 

Bending to every whim of employees is a fool’s errand. 

They will always have their interests at heart, not yours.

But…bending to the will of an employee that knows nothing of the true problems inside your business? 

A slow and painful death awaits. 

So remember my friends, you are born with a backbone.

I highly recommend using it if you want to succeed in this game. 

Until next time. 

Make More. Provide More. Be More.

Charlie Hutton


Founder Of The One Man Empire Movement.

Make More. Provide More. Be More.

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