Path to Profit

by | May 22, 2003 | Archives

Here is a thought coming from one of Merri's Mother's day cards that shows an important part of raising money in business. Here is a quote from her card sent by our son. Businessmen will do well to remember.

“Never for her was there a place in the terrible slow armies of the cautious. She ran ahead where there were no paths. Thanks for always showing the way.”

For those of you who know Merri you can agree that this is a perfect sentiment for her. While reading this card some inner voice told me there is a message about raising money for business people here.

But what?

Then I remembered one of Merri's great deals. Before we even knew each other, she bought a house that everyone cautioned her against. Her Mother commented “Why would you want to buy a house with 7 bedrooms and 5 baths when you aren't even married?” But she had ridden her bike by that house for 4 years and always looked over at it…then one day there was a For Sale sign. It was in horrible condition but somehow called to her. Over 300 people viewed the house in a Historical Society Meeting and there were no bidders…windows that hadn't been opened in years, the mold of Florida storms, outdated plumbing, old wiring, a yard in tatters. So, she took the unknown path and bought….a most incautious act. But that old house brought back over a $1,000,000 in profit to us and so many years of happiness.

My thesaurus shows that synonyms for cautious include careful, watchful, alert, vigilant, guarded and wary. Social conditioning tells us that these words are good. So why praise avoiding caution? What can this message tell us? Then I thought back to a business (The Merchant Brokers Exchange) I started many years ago while living in London.

The business was based on what was then a brand new idea, to help business people from around the world network. I tried raising some money from a bank. No dice. They were not happy with something new.

My concern was how could I get people to sign up to a brand new business with no history that had never been tried. How could I get any investors?

The answer?

I decided to raise my working capital from memberships in the exchange and offered 100 charter members. I focused on the fact that this was brand new, had never been tried and this gave the first 100 Charter Members, the lowest price and greatest opportunity. I sold those chartered members immediately and have never since been afraid to offer something new.

The moral of this lesson is that as much as institutions hate lending on something new, private investors love new untried paths. New is exciting. New is the best time to reap rich rewards. New is unusual something to be interested in and to talk about. Do not be afraid of new. If you are starting something totally different don't be afraid to be what you are. Focus on it, sell it and underline it. Market that whatever you are doing is new and exciting and go for private individuals to invest or buy.

New gives you great power and I hope you can use this in your business to have everlasting wealth.

Until next message, may you avoid the terrible slow paths of the cautious armies.