Small Business Survival

by | Aug 25, 2008 | Archives

Small business survival requires the ability to last through the start period of the small business.

Your own small business is one of the best ways to fight inflation and hard economic times but a small business is no business at all if it goes broke before the small business makes enough to survive financially.

Believe me. I know all about small business survival

A reader recently sent this question.

I enjoyed your newsletter about marketing. But perhaps you could share with us from a different point of view. Was it a struggle for you at the start? Did you have a time when it was touch and go, when you didn’t have much business and things were hard? Was there a big learning curve? Did you work during the day and work on your business at night? Or did things just start falling into your lap. That might be an interesting story.

My reply told the reader how I started penniless, broke, could not pay the rent etc. at

I have to admit, my business career began with a bang…a good one. I was hired to work for an overseas mutual fund company in Hong Kong in 1968. The hottest industry then was the overseas mutual fund business. This new emerging industry was led by three huge concerns (IOS, Gramco and USIS). I was hired at age 21 by USIS when they had only eight employees. The industry skyrocketed. Within four years the company had over 2000 staff. At age 25 my stock options with the firm were worth a million dollars (a lot of money then). I was on top of the world! I thought.

Then the U.S. stock market (after nearly 20 bull years) collapsed along with the U.S. dollar. IOS, Gramco AND USIS all went out of business. My stock options plummeted to zero. I lost everything.

I received the proverbial sledgehammer called the pink slip. This termination notice was bright pink because my boss went broke, our international company was bust, I was broke, without any job prospects and to make it a bit more interesting I stranded 12,000 miles from home…in Hong Kong…with no way to get back.

In reflection that horrible experience in Hong Kong, the crisis I had then, the worry and doubt turned me into sort of a workaholic recluse. I was broke, in debt…no college degree (lots of years of study but no degree),. I had three kids and could not pay the rent.

Talk about scared!

The pressure had some sort of peculiar effect that has lasted for life. Now I just want to stay by myself and work…and destroy unemployment and poverty for those who have enthusiasm, are willing to work and through fate happen to cross my path.

I am thankful because this process helped me find a secret about earning a living. (Fate works in mysterious ways). Applying this secret for the past 35 years has brought me millions…and much more.

Fortunately the secret required very little money to start. I was really broke. Once I could not even find six cents to get into town for a job interview…had to walk in a suit for miles on a hot, humid Hong Kong day…into an office with ice cold air conditioning. I’ll never forget trying not to wince when I sat down…my shirt soaked with sweat, then turned ice cold. I did not get the job. That may have been the low point in my non career. But it was good. I was desperate and determined to find a secret to success. And I did…one so powerful it allowed me to dig my way out of a this bankruptcy

Merri and I began our own small business with no money and little background. We started small! As already mentioned, I was bust and had no background.

Yet our small business has brought us millions. We own condos, houses, cabins, over 1,000 acres of land. Plus more money than we can spend, in the bank…safe, secure bonds and shares…no mortgages…no credit card bills and zero debt!

Now let’s get to the important stuff. Our life is less stressed (not stress free – every business has stress). because we are doing what we love.

We have no commuting. We choose our own hours, usually long but immersed in our own passions with like minded souls. How refreshing!

We have fun every day doing what we love as we accomplish goals that are important…to us… and are a service to our community.

Merri and I, for example, love helping people get jobs. So we used our business to create a foundation (Land of the Sun Foundation) to help the indigenous people of Ecuador learn how to get work. The foundation has donated over a half million dollars in Ecuador to create jobs.

Merri and I love nature so we have built this into the business with our our 252 acre farm in the High Country of North Carolina.

This is only where we live in the summer. The Blue Ridge is a slight misnomer for a large part of the year. Correctly named in the winter, these mountains would be called “White Ridge”. The white comes from snow which begins with S as does South which is where we head around November…to Ecuador .

While it’s freezing in the North Carolina mountains, we worry about sunburn, sometimes at our remote hacienda. Here’s a shot from the front yard of our hacienda there.

But mostly we stay at this house near the colonial hotel we bought in a tiny Andean village. It is a perfect place to meet our friends who come from around the world in this courtyard….all because of self publishing! Here is Merri and me playing with Santiago , our chef at the hotel. I say play. Santi (the chef) is serious but since we love to cook he let’s us come along to the markets and even cook with him.

This shot was taken just after we had been to the Imbabura fish market.

This hotel, by the way, is one of the most satisfying parts of our business. We bought it from bankruptcy because a dozen wonderful people (with babies and kids and worries about education, medical bills and yes groceries) were about to lose their jobs.

We do not make a penny from this hotel’s operation. We joyfully gave the hotel to our charitable foundation, keep it running and have filled it up. Now the smiling faces of these people enjoying their jobs is better than any amount of cash we could receive.

This life is just plain fun and filled with satisfaction…adventure as well.

Here we are trekking into a sacred valley with a shaman…part of our tour business.

What’s the point? Our small business has easily fulfilled all of our material needs. More importantly it has thrown us together with fantastically interesting people from all walks of life.

You can enjoy this lifestyle as well. Married, single, rich, poor, in good and bad health, educated and not, travelers and those who want to just stay at home. This is who self publishing works for…those who want a gradual part time improvement in life and those who want to make big enhancements now.

Merri and I can help you in a number of ways.

#1: We offer an emailed course on how to develop your own self publishing business

#2: An email course on how to creat your own international business

#3: We will conduct a course in North Carolina (October 3-5) on how to invest and create your own international business

#4: We will repeat (November 7-9) this course in Ecuador on how to invest and create your own international business

May I add that our courses have done a pretty good job already? Here are a few examples of small businesses that started after attending our course.

From Sandra, a restaurant owner:

“Dear Gary and Merri, yes I did it! Without you and your wonderful writing class I would not have been able to see my potential!! I THANK YOU BOTH! You told me to write about what I know and I did. Thank you for all the encouragement. Starting today, we are taking orders and I wanted you to be the first to know! So here goes…..I have some exciting news to share! I have just written my first book and very much appreciate your help. This book would make a great gift for any bride-to-be or even the parents of the bride (especially if they’re paying the bill)! Please check it out. I genuinely appreciate you helping me spread the word! Thank you!! Sandra”

From Jerusha, an anthropologist:

“Hello Gary and Merri. I am the first in the class to publish! I published a calendar on!

“I posted the lulu site on the forum because it looks like a good place to start for people. It is a lot of fun and very easy to do. Jerusha”

From Todd, a wedding photographer:

“Thanks, Gary and Merri name recognition is beginning. Here is my new photoletter that your program helped me develop. I’m getting more clear about my own marketing now, so I may be able to better advantage of it. I am planning now to send out an email once a week showcasing new photos and creating awareness for my products and services. By mid July, I will place my first greeting card order (with a printing company Merri recommended in Cotacachi). So, I will soon have an inexpensive product to offer along with the more expensive prints that I sell. So far, I’ve got 60 opt-on subscribers to my email list, and I am telling everyone I know about it, so it’s starting to grow nicely. My first goal is to have 1000 readers. I’ll see how quickly I can accomplish it. Take care, Todd”

This is also why we have been sending readers with a free course on how to develop an internet business written by Michelle Toole. Michelle is special because she has developed her internet only business after accepting our earlier invitation to attend a course.

Michelle also started her small business with no experience at all. She has built her business entirely by herself. She is fresh with all the latest techniques, attitudes, worries and concerns required to help you start as an absolute beginner.

Michelle recently wrote: “Hi Guys, I have been working my tail off applying the stuff that I learned from your seminar. Amazing how much meat I keep pulling out of those conferences! I want you to be the first ones to know that I just finished my first e-book: “A Practical Guide to Social Security Disability Benefits”. I am very excited!

“You have no idea how much I have learned and continue to learn from both of you and how my life has changed since I met you. Having learned from you the basic premise of diversification, how to follow your passion and tap into your personal knowledge base, I seem to have one opportunity after another present itself and I am making the best of it. The really exciting thing is that this has allowed me to build a foundation which I continue to use to launch my new endeavors. The possibilities are endless!

“Here’s an Update : “I get on average 368 – 522 visits per day! And I rank in the top 2 pages of Google search for tons of keywords below are just a few:

holistic living tips 1 and 2 out of 1,620,000

definition healthy spirit 1 and 2 out of 1,840,000

emotional healthy living 1 out of 2,060,000

Benefits of Healthy Living 6 and 7 out of 2,420,000

holistic wealth 3 out of 1,810,000

definition of healthy 7 out of 2,910,000

healthy holistic living 2 and 3 out of 1,980,000

holistic living Google 14 out of 2,300,000

holistic health tips 10 out of 1,960,000

“ Gary you are right the internet is the Great Equalizer! See what I have published,

My best to you as always, Michelle”

Merri and I make millions from our small business and hope t help you do so as well.

Tomorrow’s message contains Michelle’s next lesson.

Until then may all your business be good.


Gary Scott

P.S. May I share two final examples of how big, your little self publishing business can become from our workshop?

Ed Sabo a long time friend, who had just retired from a 30 year career in the oil industry joined our program. His passion was to learn more about health and looking at the deep, more spiritual aspects of life since he had ended a financially successful career. He has gone on to publishing the leading healthy living magazine in Houston where he lives.

Not only does he publish 20,000 copies of a 48-64 page magazine on healthy living every month, he has been able to meet and work with leading health and spiritual leaders like Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dwyer and even the Dali Llama. What a thrill.

Mark McMahon, another successful self publisher wrote :

“MY HEAD IS STILL SPINNING from all of the valuable input I received. Out in the boonies, three hours from the airport in Charlotte , North Carolina it was not your typical setting for a business seminar.

“It was presented by a fascinating guy with an interesting career history. Gary Scott and his wife Merri split their time between their idyllic farm in North Carolina and their property in the mountains of Ecuador . I first heard about Gary through my interest in Ecuador .

“By his own admission, Gary is often ‘a bit ahead of the curve’ which is part of what makes his material interesting. You sense the authenticity of what he is saying but it has not caught on in the mainstream media or pop-culture.

“The input is that is already affecting my life was not just from the instructor, but from other participants. The small group, less than twenty, seemed to be intimately bonded as soon as the seminar started. People from all walks of life and all parts of the country gained insights from the information that was geared to create a ‘life’ of your choosing more so than just a successful business. A very simple but powerful concept. Why do we want the money in the first place?

“The lifestyle aspect of the course was taught by example. We, as a group, were temporarily inserted directly into the lifestyle led by Gary and Merri. No better way to learn than by doing.

“The course content suited my needs very nicely. It addressed issues pertinent to FilmTrips and my marketing company, MJ New life has been injected into several FilmTrips projects that had been languishing on a back burner for quite some time. Gary talks about being open to ‘connect the dots’ and take advantage of distortions or discrepancies between economies and countries. I am in a very good position to do that. Telephone and Internet technology has certainly arrived to help make it happen. I will keep you posted!”

Mark then gave us a nice link at his website. Merri and I could not be prouder of what Mark has accomplished. He is a popular speaker…and is speaking at in International Living seminar in Panama as I finish this note to you. He is currently launching his self published book, “Driving to the End of the World” and even this early in his writing career, he is being compared to celebrated writers such as Paul Theroux and Jimmy Buffet. “Praise for the book, even before publication, has been astounding” said Mark Victor Hanson, co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul Series”.

In the course you learn how to use the “Business Evolutionary Process.” Start with a small idea. Let the idea build enthusiasm. Let the enthusiasm lead you to an education. Let the education create action. The action will bring a financial profit or loss…plus always…deeper ideas…so you can start with small business survival and grow.

This is what Ed, and Mark and the others who have accepted Merri’s and my invitation have done and are doing now….as are we. A never ending process for all.

Merri and I can help you in a number of ways.

#1: We offer an emailed course on how to develop your own self publishing business

#2: An email course on how to create your own international business

#3: We will conduct a course in North Carolina (October 3-5) on how to invest and create your own international business

#4: We will repeat (November 7-9) this course in Ecuador on how to invest and create your own international business