(Excerpted from Yes, Sometimes It Is About the Money)
Four years after my best friend Pat and I graduated from college, we were still looking for the right opportunity. Pat would go to business expos and look at different franchising options, and get nothing but depressed. We couldn’t afford to start anything. It cost millions of dollars just to get the logo rights from places like McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendy’s. It was still hundreds of thousands of dollars for places like Dairy Queen, TCBY Yogurt, and Pennzoil Oil Change garages.
– We looked at starting a sporting goods store… too expensive.
– We looked at opening a driving range… couldn’t find the right location.
– We looked at buying a golf course… couldn’t afford the first hole.
We looked at miniature golf courses with batting cages and a concession stand. We had the perfect location: right off I-94 and Hwy 83 in Delafield, Wisconsin. Thousands of people would drive by and see our operation. It was perfect! I was already spending the fortune we were going to make. I could see the bright lights. I could hear the music playing. I could see the lines of people waiting to get in. I could smell the fresh popped popcorn, hotdogs, and cheese brats on the grill. (Hey, I’m from Wisconsin. You have to have cheese and brats.} This was it. This is what we have been looking for the past 14 years.
There was one major problem. The land we needed for this project was priced at 3.4 million dollars. We were only $3,398,000 dollars short!
The land was in a perfect location. I know that because today, Best Buy is there. Panera Bread, Verizon, Kohl’s, Five Guys, Cost Cutters, Sentry Food Store, and about 15 other businesses share the land of my dreams! I still get depressed just driving by.
We tried to get financing, but no one—I mean no one—believed in our dream. Banks, our friends, our parents… they just did not see what we saw in this opportunity. We decided to move on and keep looking. We knew we could be successful if given a chance. All we needed was a chance. Our drive, our work ethic and our will to win was not the issue. We just needed a break.
That break was on its way…
A few months went by and I got a phone call from Pat. It was 10:30 pm on a Sunday night and he asked me what I was doing. I said, “I’m going to bed. Why? What do you want?” He said, “Just wait. I’m coming over.” And he hung up on me. I turned to Colleen and said, “If it’s important enough for Pat to call me at 10:30 at night, it must be important enough for me to listen to what he has to say.”
Pat came over to my house, threw a piece of paper on my living room table, and said, “Tell me why this won’t work.”
I looked at it for a few minutes and said, “Because it’s one of those multilevel deals, that’s why it won’t work.” He just looked at me and smiled. He said, “How would you like to get paid every time someone made a long distance phone call?
My first reaction was disbelief. I did not know of any company willing to pay others for getting long distance customers. Besides, everyone I knew already had long distance and probably with AT&T, the founder of the industry, the monsters of the talk waves. How could we possibly compete with them?
Pat and I stared at this bad photocopy of the compensation plan for two hours, trying to figure out how it worked and how the company could pay out all this money.
After two hours, Colleen come out of our bedroom. She stared at us and said, “I’ve been listening to you guys for two hours. For four hundred bucks, what if it works?” She turned around and went back to bed, shutting the door behind her.
Pat and I stared at the closed door. We did not have an answer for Colleen. The reason is, we were trying to find reasons why it won’t work instead of reason why it will! That’s the negative world we live in. Most people will do what Pat and I did: find reasons why the business won’t work, instead of reasons that it will.
The craziest part of this whole night is that we had been looking for an opportunity like this since we were 12 years old. We were now 26. Fourteen years of looking and we didn’t even see it. Colleen did.
We looked at each other and said, “Let’s go!” We decided this just might work. So what if it didn’t? I only had to invest about $400 bucks. It was $400 dollars I did not have, but I needed to take the shot.
What if. What if. What if. I kept hearing Colleen saying that. It was a decision that changed our lives, our children’s lives, and our future grandchildren’s lives for generations to come.
STEVE SCHULZ has been working in network marketing for over 26 years. When he was first introduced to the profession, he was a full-time school teacher looking to increase his income. After working his business 3 to 5 hours per week for a year, his wife Colleen left her teaching position and 18 months later Steve left his. He built an organization of more than a 170,000 representatives and has earned more than $20 million. Today Steve is President of Field Operations for an established international network marketing company. He is also the author of the book Yes, Sometimes It Is About the Money.