Undercover Billionaire

by Kurt
41 replies
I saw the firs episode of a TV show where a billionaire goes undercover and has a goal of creating a million dollar business within 90 days.

I missed the first 20 minutes of the show, but I think this is what he starts with:
A pickup truck
A cell phone
$100 in his pocket
Cant contact anyone he knows or tell anyone who he really is

He struggled early. First he took his truck and looked for discarded industrial size tires he was hoping to sell, but no luck. He advertised for work online and got a temp 6 hour job at a tee shirt print shop and made $60 and got a job cleaning a house for $80.

It was St. Patrick's day, so he took the money he had left after getting a motel room for the night (he slept in his truck most nights so far) and went to a retail store and bought a bunch of St Patty trinkets on clearance, since it was St Patty's Day.

He also called the guy that owned the tee shirt shop he worked for and did a JV with him. The billionaire guy stressed the need for networking and wanted the shop owner because he knew the local area.

I think the billionaire made $400+ dollars selling his stuff. He bought St Patty mylar balloons for something like 75 cents, took them to the St Patty celebration, parade, nearby bars and sold them for $5 each. He had other stuff too that he sold. The print shop owner even sold the tee off his back.

What would you do under the same circumstances?
#billionaire #undercover
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    First, I think I'd check to see if there was a vehicle pawn option available. Not sure I'd do it, but I'd want to know if it was an option and for how much. Having some cash flow plus still being able to use the truck could be huge.

    Next, I'd check to see what type of equipment I could rent with only cash. Not sure if it's possible. I'd look for anything I could rent to perform a low-skill service like a pressure cleaner. I'd then place ads on Craigslist for these services and when I booked an appointment, I'd quickly research any tips about it online and then go rent the needed equipment.

    A big problem is when you're starting with nothing, your margins for error are ZERO. If you rent the pressure washer and the job cancels or you don't get paid, it would be devastating.

    The billionaire went "all in" and spent all his money buying the St Patty stuff. He knew it was a big risk but felt it was a good one. But what if a cop shut him down for not having some needed local license or it rained and everyone stayed home?

    I've never built a million dollar business so I can't give good advice on that part...but I do believe I could get on my feet pretty quickly. I'm putting the pickup to work.
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    • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
      I have never been in this situation, but if I needed the cash that fast. I would call the local scrap yards and find out what the price of metal is. Than use Craigslist Free section to see who is getting rid of old Appliances or have metal to be picked up. Fill the bed of the pick up truck he has and drive to the scrap yard to collect the cash.

      Looking at the area he is in their seems to be a lot of metal available. Never tried what he is doing but I wonder if he get into the Demo business. He could use some of the people he met at the Soup Kitchen to demo those old business that gone out. Than a builder can come and re-develop those old properties.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Interesting Kurt. What a great exercise for expanding your prosperity consciousness.
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  • Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

    I saw the firs episode of a TV show where a billionaire goes undercover and has a goal of creating a million dollar business within 90 days.

    I missed the first 20 minutes of the show, but I think this is what he starts with:
    A pickup truck
    A cell phone
    $100 in his pocket
    Cant contact anyone he knows or tell anyone who he really is

    He struggled early. First he took his truck and looked for discarded industrial size tires he was hoping to sell, but no luck. He advertised for work online and got a temp 6 hour job at a tee shirt print shop and made $60 and got a job cleaning a house for $80.

    It was St. Patrick's day, so he took the money he had left after getting a motel room for the night (he slept in his truck most nights so far) and went to a retail store and bought a bunch of St Patty trinkets on clearance, since it was St Patty's Day.

    He also called the guy that owned the tee shirt shop he worked for and did a JV with him. The billionaire guy stressed the need for networking and wanted the shop owner because he knew the local area.

    I think the billionaire made $400+ dollars selling his stuff. He bought St Patty mylar balloons for something like 75 cents, took them to the St Patty celebration, parade, nearby bars and sold them for $5 each. He had other stuff too that he sold. The print shop owner even sold the tee off his back.

    What would you do under the same circumstances?
    I've been asked a few times what to do if you have nothing. Well, a few times, early in life I've had nothing...looking for change between the cushions to buy gas...that sort of broke.

    I generally would go buy a liquidation of something cheap, so I could sell it door to door for quick cash. I remember once buying NO SOLICITING signs for a buck apiece, and sold them for $10 each, door to door.

    I used to buy used office furniture, used motel furniture, air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, and sell them in classified ads. I did his while running another successful business, but it could have been my only source of income.

    When I was a teenager, I bought seeds, candy bars, and a few other things and sold them door to door. I did it for school a few times, and then realized I could just do it for myself.

    As an experiment once, I bought used vacuum cleaners (the brand I was selling in the home at the time), for $10 each from other vacuum cleaner salespeople...repaired them myself, and sold them for $1,000 each by appointments in people's homes. For a month, I only sold used machines, just to see if I could do it.

    If today I was put in a city with $100, a phone, a car and nothing else, I'd buy and sell low end liquidations and re-invest everything except for food and a hotel.

    Could I have a million dollars in 90 days? No. But I could have a nice apartment and $10,000-$20,000 in the bank. Of that, I am sure.

    I don't believe in fate, or luck, ....but there have been days (decades ago) when I needed $500 before the end of the day...and I always got it through selling something. No idea why it's always worked for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I've been asked a few times what to do if you have nothing. Well, a few times, early in life I've had nothing...looking for change between the cushions to buy gas...that sort of broke.

      I generally would go buy a liquidation of something cheap, so I could sell it door to door for quick cash. I remember once buying NO SOLICITING signs for a buck apiece, and sold them for $10 each, door to door.

      I used to buy used office furniture, used motel furniture, air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, and sell them in classified ads. I did his while running another successful business, but it could have been my only source of income.

      When I was a teenager, I bought seeds, candy bars, and a few other things and sold them door to door. I did it for school a few times, and then realized I could just do it for myself.

      As an experiment once, I bought used vacuum cleaners (the brand I was selling in the home at the time), for $10 each from other vacuum cleaner salespeople...repaired them myself, and sold them for $1,000 each by appointments in people's homes. For a month, I only sold used machines, just to see if I could do it.

      If today I was put in a city with $100, a phone, a car and nothing else, I'd buy and sell low end liquidations and re-invest everything except for food and a hotel.

      Could I have a million dollars in 90 days? No. But I could have a nice apartment and $10,000-$20,000 in the bank. Of that, I am sure.

      I don't believe in fate, or luck, ....but there have been days (decades ago) when I needed $500 before the end of the day...and I always got it through selling something. No idea why it's always worked for me.
      I believe in luck, especially in the short term. Random things happen to random people.

      Our plans are somewhat similar. I am trying to get capital/cashflow, which is what the billionaire guy also did in order to buy things. With the equipment thing, it's possible to scale a business if I see one of them start to work, but the main thing is to get some cash ASAP. I too have bought things and sold them door to door but it's not something I could do for very long.


      I think the biggest difference between his focus and ours is that he really stressed networking. Our plans are all about us.


      This has been my biggest weakness in my online ventures and I have a feeling it will be what makes him successful, if he does succeed in building a million dollar business and why we probably can't/won't.



      I'd also make a priority of getting a bank account so I could have a Paypal account and a point of sale way to take credit cards that I can use as cash quickly. A mailing or physical address may be required. It will take a few weeks but this should be started right away.

      Can he sell plasma or blood and for how much? How much is cardboard and a sharpie and some tape to create signs for his pickup advertising for work/services?

      BTW Claude...if you have cushions to look under for gas money, you're not really poor.
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      • Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        I think the biggest difference between his focus and ours is that he really stressed networking. Our plans are all about us.

        This has been my biggest weakness in my online ventures and I have a feeling it will be what makes him successful, if he does succeed in building a million dollar business and why we probably can't/won't.
        I agree. Networking is something I never did (except formal referral programs) until maybe 10 years ago. It's just not how my brain works.

        Although, you may find this interesting. When I was about 23 years old, I was selling Kirby vacuum cleaners for a small commission. I found out what the distributor was paying for them, and decided to strike out on my own.

        I found a manufacturer for a different vacuum cleaner that was looking for distributors in Ohio.

        I called the owner and made an appointment to see him. He told me to qualify, i needed an office, financing set up already, money for inventory, and a team of salespeople ready to go. When I met him, I told him I had everything needed...except financing, an office, money for inventory, or a sales team.

        For reasons I'll never understand he gave me four vacuums on credit, helped me set up local financing, and sent me out on my own. I would be making 5 times as much on each sale as I did at the previous company.
        I knocked on doors and sold three the first day, and went back to the company. He gave me four more vacuums (literally on my word alone). By the end of the second week, I had paid him back in full, had my own inventory, and was off to the races. In my best week that year, I made enough to pay cash for a new car. I had found my calling.



        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        BTW Claude...if you have cushions to look under for gas money, you're not really poor.
        I never said they were my cushions.

        Today, if I were to plan out a month of just getting started, I'd find a retail store that has a customer list, but a lazy owner, and increase their sales for half the new profits.

        My advantage at this ripe old age, is that I kind of know how to do that already. It may not be what I'd advise someone else to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

    I saw the firs episode of a TV show where a billionaire goes undercover and has a goal of creating a million dollar business within 90 days.

    I missed the first 20 minutes of the show, but I think this is what he starts with
    I can fill you in on some of the first 20 minutes, I posted about it in the TV thread in off topic section the other day. He slept in the truck the first night. He started off purchasing Ramen Noodles and a few other cheap items to survive ! He spent time looking up the cost of living in Erie Pa where he is trying to build the Business.
    He took yellow rubber balls to a dog park to see if people would consider purchasing them in the future. After meeting with the owner of a tire company.

    Seeing so many newbies struggle here. They should really tune in to see what he goes through, to be successful. The show is worth following just based on his tips. Like Buy low sell high and several others he shared and will share along the way. Plus his work ethic.

    If he is a success his company gets $1 million from The Discovery Channel based on their evaluation. If it is not a Million Dollar company he pays the company 1 Million to the business. The Trailer for the show explains it in more detail. Easy to find online,
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

      I can fill you in on some of the first 20 minutes, I posted about it in the TV thread in off topic section the other day. He slept in the truck the first night. He started off purchasing Ramen Noodles and a few other cheap items to survive ! He spent time looking up the cost of living in Erie Pa where he is trying to build the Business.
      He took yellow rubber balls to a dog park to see if people would consider purchasing them in the future. After meeting with the owner of a tire company.

      Seeing so many newbies struggle here. They should really tune in to see what he goes through, to be successful. The show is worth following just based on his tips. Like Buy low sell high and several others he shared and will share along the way. Plus his work ethic.

      If he is a success his company gets $1 million from The Discovery Channel based on their evaluation. If it is not a Million Dollar company he pays the company 1 Million to the business. The Trailer for the show explains it in more detail. Easy to find online,
      Actually, I posted about it on that thread too...just above your post.

      I tuned it on during the dog balls thing. It seemed like an OK idea, but it didn't work.

      I like the show a lot so far. He seems like a really nice, honest guy without an ego and respects people, unlike some other "rich guy" shows. And he seems to have sensible business ideas...and like you say a strong work ethic. I hope it stays that way and they don't create fake drama.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    well its not $1,000,000 but I am on my way to creating $100,000 PROFIT - PART TIME here:https://www.warriorforum.com/warrior...days-ebay.html

    I haven't updated the thread in a bit but I am past 1/2 way to the $100,000 set later in the thread. and in case you don't want to read it, I made $6000 the first month starting with only $40.00

    You know what.. in that thread my son and I started a store. we later kinda split, and he now has his own store with a wholesale side ( he makes custom mugs - as well as selling mugs and stuff on ebay ) HIS business, is the start of a $1,000,000 business. may not make that the first year ( he is 10 ) but it WILL get there.
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    I've always loved window washing as a quick and easy business that can be started for very little. A bucket, some Dawn dishwashing liquid, a wand, squeegee or two, couple of rags, and you're off. You can get commercial or residential work. You might need an extension pole at some places.

    I've started car washes at offices using very little as far as supplies go. Another cheap and easy business to start.

    I like what Kurt said about the difference being that this guy is networking while doing all of this. Too many of us, myself included, have our eyes set on survival during those periods, not networking toward higher goals. We're just technicians in those moments building our own jobs, not building real businesses that are scalable or reaching out to bigger things. Many don't know that those bigger opportunities exist or how to get them.

    After a back injury I'm literally starting my business life over as of the last few weeks. Back at square one but with some knowledge, experience, and a network build on doing a totally different type of work. I know what I want to do and I'm working on paths to get there. I may post about it at some point but I'm experimenting right now.

    I saw the commercials for this show. Haven't watched yet but I plan on it. It's cool to see a thread here about it.
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  • Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

    I saw the firs episode of a TV show where a billionaire goes undercover and has a goal of creating a million dollar business within 90 days.

    I missed the first 20 minutes of the show, but I think this is what he starts with:
    A pickup truck
    A cell phone
    $100 in his pocket
    Cant contact anyone he knows or tell anyone who he really is

    He struggled early. First he took his truck and looked for discarded industrial size tires he was hoping to sell, but no luck. He advertised for work online and got a temp 6 hour job at a tee shirt print shop and made $60 and got a job cleaning a house for $80.

    It was St. Patrick's day, so he took the money he had left after getting a motel room for the night (he slept in his truck most nights so far) and went to a retail store and bought a bunch of St Patty trinkets on clearance, since it was St Patty's Day.

    He also called the guy that owned the tee shirt shop he worked for and did a JV with him. The billionaire guy stressed the need for networking and wanted the shop owner because he knew the local area.

    I think the billionaire made $400+ dollars selling his stuff. He bought St Patty mylar balloons for something like 75 cents, took them to the St Patty celebration, parade, nearby bars and sold them for $5 each. He had other stuff too that he sold. The print shop owner even sold the tee off his back.

    What would you do under the same circumstances?
    Damn, Kurt!

    I watched the first episode online, and now I'm hooked. This guy isn't sophisticated, brilliant, or even handsome. But he's showing what determination and work ethic will do.

    I can't wait to see the next episode. I'm setting my recorder to catch it all.

    Here's a link if someone wants to watch the first episode...

    https://go.discovery.com/tv-shows/un...ion-dollar-bet
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Interesting thread.This comment about networking were intriguing as it also goes against my temparament. I can't help but think "What does he know that I don't know?".

    I googled some and found this:

    https://www.nickiswift.com/161411/gl...r-billionaire/

    With this particular quote (spoiler warning? I haven't watched the show yet).

    . In an interview with Go Erie, the billionaire admitted he originally wanted to jump into the world of craft beer, calling the brewing community a "close-knit group." However, after spending some time with local brewers, Stearns realized he had to ditch that idea. It turns out running a brewery is a really difficult labor of love, and there's apparently no get-rich-quick scheme. "These guys are artists. They really are. They know what they're doing and it's a lot more difficult than I imagined," he told Go Erie. "I ... realized that was hard and to try to build that kind of business in 90 days, it wasn't gonna happen."
    So he at least is using it to "drytest" his ideas. I wonder what else is going to come through?

    It's been 3 or 4 years since I've watched a Western TV show. I hardly believe I'm about to break this winning streak.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      Interesting thread.This comment about networking were intriguing as it also goes against my temparament. I can't help but think "What does he know that I don't know?".

      I googled some and found this:

      https://www.nickiswift.com/161411/gl...r-billionaire/

      With this particular quote (spoiler warning? I haven't watched the show yet).



      So he at least is using it to "drytest" his ideas. I wonder what else is going to come through?

      It's been 3 or 4 years since I've watched a Western TV show. I hardly believe I'm about to break this winning streak.

      Classic ad hominem fallacy..."It's a Western TV show therefore there is nothing I can learn from it".
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        Classic ad hominem fallacy..."It's a Western TV show therefore there is nothing I can learn from it".

        Nah. That's not what I meant. It was more in a lighthearted "Western TV sucks but you made a case for one and only show, so I plan to watch it".

        But sure, I'll play ball

        One of the big issues I have with Western TV is that it is edutainment with a big focus on the "tainment" part.

        At the very minimum, there's gonna be a lot of padding (dramatic music, swearing, bad jokes, etc).At worse, things are dumbed down as factual reporting doesn't sell ratings.

        The other point is bias and honesty. Most directors aren't above editing footage to tell "the right amount of truth" or mislead outright. In case of reality TV,The show is often produced as part of a personal branding effort. Nothing wrong with this but it's hardly an unbiased source.

        Even assuming the editing is done in full honesty, one still has to cut somewhere.

        The pitch for Dragon Den (Canadian shark den) is for example much longer then what is shown on TV.

        Can one learn something from Western TV? Sure but there are usually much better venues.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    When I was in my very early twenties, out of work and with no idea of a career, I found the concept of "agency" fruitful.

    Some of the things I did... got a block party type of free permit by a downtown municipal shopping area for every weekend throughout one summer. Rented out the street spaces to arts and crafts vendors by going to other arts and crafts shows with flyers. Until the local merchants banded together and had the town stop giving out permits for that. The next year the local merchants association held their first annual street festival in the same spot.

    Put a free classified ad in a local music scene paper saying I was looking for bands to book. Placed another free ad saying I had bands available for booking, looking for gigs. So what would happen is I'd get calls on both and match a band to a gig and get a slice of the pay. Until I found out you actually need a license to do that.

    Basically, you put two parties together and get a cut. No inventory needed, very little if any cash outlay, pretty quick turnaround. And apparently, no questions asked!
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  • Profile picture of the author StevenTylerPjs
    What a great show! Thanks for posting the link Claude. I just watched the 2nd episode. I had no idea you could buy cars off of dealerships like that.
    So far the guy has failed at selling the dog balls, was able to sell some St Paddy gear at the parade on the streets, and then pulled off the tire and car stuff.

    He's out there just grinding it out. It's not unrealistic, at least not so far. I hope it stays that way. I'm looking forward to keeping up with the show each week. I think anybody who likes this forum, especially the offline section, would think this show is great.
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    • Profile picture of the author umc
      I did balk at the prices he paid for those cars that he flipped. I've bought a lot of used cars and drive cheapies and I've never stumbled on deals like those. I can't imagine why they'd sell them that cheap. Virtually anyone would have paid more.

      I like the show, that just felt a little too convenient.

      I enjoy seeing how he builds a network, though I can't remember if it said how he got meetings with these business owners. He was chatting with them and I can't remember if it showed how he got their time and attention.

      I love the networking aspect though. He's going for scale pretty hard, getting a team.
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      • Originally Posted by umc View Post

        I enjoy seeing how he builds a network, though I can't remember if it said how he got meetings with these business owners. He was chatting with them and I can't remember if it showed how he got their time and attention.

        I love the networking aspect though. He's going for scale pretty hard, getting a team.
        It's the networking, building relationships with business owners that is the secret to massive business building. And this show demonstrates that you don't have to already have "connections". You can build them as you grow. From scratch.

        Not using that idea is the main thing that kept me from building a truly large business. Always a loner. Always thinking about the next deal. Sure I made money. But there was always a cap on where I could go financially. A big fish in a small pond. Always the small pond.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          It's the networking, building relationships with business owners that is the secret to massive business building. And this show demonstrates that you don't have to already have "connections". You can build them as you grow. From scratch.

          Not using that idea is the main thing that kept me from building a truly large business. Always a loner. Always thinking about the next deal. Sure I made money. But there was always a cap on where I could go financially. A big fish in a small pond. Always the small pond.
          I agree, especially with the networking. But I do believe some of that is talent and not skill. Glen is likable and a people person and probably likes being around people...

          There's a few other elements involved. One is the "red paper clip" story where you acquire something and flip or sell it for a net gain, then reinvest and keep trading up a level or two.

          I think what happens is many of us find a level we're comfortable with and stop trading up, whereas Glen keeps trading up and up and up until he can buy yachts, with the help of being great with networking and leveraging the skills and assets of other people.

          I'm happy if I can afford extra cheese and pepperoni...
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          • Profile picture of the author umc
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post


            I think what happens is many of us find a level we're comfortable with and stop trading up, whereas Glen keeps trading up and up and up until he can buy yachts, with the help of being great with networking and leveraging the skills and assets of other people.

            I'm happy if I can afford extra cheese and pepperoni...
            I've also heard that referred to as the "upper limit challenge". We're programmed to be comfortable, not to get that "tall poppy syndrome" and stand out from the crowd. So we think we only deserve x and that's the highest we aim. Been there, done that, broke through it some.

            Like Claude I've always been a loner. I know a ton of people, just never worked with any of them and did my own thing. I've hired and managed 20-30 people and honestly loved it, but that was for someone else's company. For my own businesses that's never been an option.
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        • Profile picture of the author socialentry
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          It's the networking, building relationships with business owners that is the secret to massive business building. And this show demonstrates that you don't have to already have "connections". You can build them as you grow. From scratch.

          Not using that idea is the main thing that kept me from building a truly large business. Always a loner. Always thinking about the next deal. Sure I made money. But there was always a cap on where I could go financially. A big fish in a small pond. Always the small pond.

          I'm wondering a lot about this. In what ways did a lack of networking limit you?

          These are possible benefits of networking I could come up with:

          1-You enter an extremely close-knit industry where everyone knows everyone else(e.g. actuarial industry)

          2-The government is hopelessly corrupt and you need to know who is honest and who isn't

          3-You need knowhow that is not publicly available (e.g. access to reseller prices) or at least hard to find
          4-Have a quick overall view of a given industry without having to do in-depth research
          5-You need to build a multidiciplinary tech team.

          But at the core:if you have a working business mode,
          what would prevent you from just hiring more people and treat everything on a transactional basis?Surely in this age of the internet, the need for networking is much less?


          EDIT: How large is a "large business"?
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            Surely, in the age of internet, if someone I know tells me X provider is good, I am more likely to purchase from X provider than if I found X provider on my own, on the internet.

            I say I am more likely because I have selected an internet-found provider and then someone I knew suggested another, and I went with the other even though their internet presence had not registered or had registered and I passed them up.

            Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

            I'm wondering a lot about this. In what ways did a lack of networking limit you?

            These are possible benefits of networking I could come up with:

            1-You enter an extremely close-knit industry where everyone knows everyone else(e.g. actuarial industry)

            2-The government is hopelessly corrupt and you need to know who is honest and who isn't

            3-You need knowhow that is not publicly available (e.g. access to reseller prices) or at least hard to find
            4-Have a quick overall view of a given industry without having to do in-depth research
            5-You need to build a multidiciplinary tech team.

            But at the core:if you have a working business mode,
            what would prevent you from just hiring more people and treat everything on a transactional basis?Surely in this age of the internet, the need for networking is much less?
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            • Profile picture of the author socialentry
              Originally Posted by DABK View Post

              Surely, in the age of internet, if someone I know tells me X provider is good, I am more likely to purchase from X provider than if I found X provider on my own, on the internet.

              I say I am more likely because I have selected an internet-found provider and then someone I knew suggested another, and I went with the other even though their internet presence had not registered or had registered and I passed them up.
              I've always been puzzled by this behavior.

              Upon hearing a friendly recommendation, the first thing that would come to my mind:

              What caused the recommendation? Is my friend an actual expert on the subject matter or is it simple because he was chummy with the salesperson?

              Does he have a stake however small in me buying the service?
              And so many others.

              Sure. It depends on the service and all other things being equal, it's better to ask a friend, but things very very rarely are as such.

              It could easily lead to a situation where the blind are following the blind.

              Most successful cons are pulled because of trust without due diligence.
              (e.g. see Henry Kissinger et al. lending their reputation to Theranos and sitting on its board, also Bernie Madoff pyramid, ponzi scheme etc).

              In any case, is that all there is to it? Networking through friends seems to be the default method of selling most people resort to.

              It might be that the truth is more nuanced. Although he stresses networking, I suspect (him being in the mortgage business), that he became a billionaire not through networking but because of interest rates at historical lows for nearly a decade.
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              • Profile picture of the author DABK
                You are right. But people like to feel they belong, that they are normal and they do not think they have biases but understand other people biases.


                Think about how much yelp reviews matter. People, including me, have been swayed by reviews.


                Think of this one too: if you must buy something, you must have some criteria for selecting a provider. You simply do not always have the time to do a thorough, first hand anything, you must cut corners. Sometimes, even if you have the time, you do not have the knowledge to judge.


                But you can see if a friend or relative is happy with the provider they chose. And you'll think, if they're happy, I might end up happy.


                If you have more than one relative / friend recommending, then you become sure.


                And the power of the referral goes up if the friend or relative has a job you respect: priest / doctor /... and a mechanic if you need car repairs... your dentist brother's recommending a dental surgeon carries a lot of power, etc.



                Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

                I've always been puzzled by this behavior.

                Upon hearing a friendly recommendation, the first thing that would come to my mind:

                What caused the recommendation? Is my friend an actual expert on the subject matter or is it simple because he was chummy with the salesperson?

                Does he have a stake however small in me buying the service?
                And so many others.

                Sure. It depends on the service and all other things being equal, it's better to ask a friend, but things very very rarely are as such.

                It could easily lead to a situation where the blind are following the blind.

                Most successful cons are pulled because of trust without due diligence.
                (e.g. see Henry Kissinger et al. lending their reputation to Theranos and sitting on its board, also Bernie Madoff pyramid, ponzi scheme etc).

                In any case, is that all there is to it? Networking through friends seems to be the default method of selling most people resort to.

                It might be that the truth is more nuanced. Although he stresses networking, I suspect (him being in the mortgage business), that he became a billionaire not through networking but because of interest rates at historical lows for nearly a decade.
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          • Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

            I'm wondering a lot about this. In what ways did a lack of networking limit you?
            My "networking'" was just getting referrals. And when I was later networking at paid marketing events, I was just looking for clients. Selling.

            The limitation I had was that I was always just looking for sales. Sure, I made lots of sales...enough so that I got speaking gigs to explain how I did it. But these sales were one to one sales. Always me and the prospect. I was limited by how many qualified people I could comfortably see in a time frame.

            And even when I was speaking to large groups, and my sales multiplied, it was still just me and them. I was limited because essentially I was the product and messenger.

            The kind of networking that builds huge businesses is finding people that can add value to your business. It could be expertise they have, it could be contacts they have...it could be that they are joint venture partners.

            Think of a large successful company. They have the CEO...but they also have suppliers that want them to be successful, marketing people, advertising agencies, technicians, designers, and more...all working for a common purpose.
            Animal44, as much grief as I give him, has the best idea. Find businesses you can join with for your mutual profit.

            If you watch Shark Tank, you'll often see pitches where the owners really just need marketing help, a distribution channel, or a better supplier more than an infusion of funds. That's the kind of networking that build a large business.

            Originally Posted by socialentry View Post


            EDIT: How large is a "large business"?
            It's not so much how large the business is, it's whether it can survive your absence.

            I've had businesses with 20 or 30 employees. But I had to be there every day. It was unsustainable without me. Most direct sales businesses are like that.

            I was talking about a business you could build, and then not have to be there to supervise and do much of the work.

            For example, in my best years, I did about half a million in sales. But those sales were mostly done by me, even when I had reps. The structure of the business was very "Claude centric".

            But I've seen businesses do half a million a year in sales (not a very large business, really) that could operate without the owner. Those are the kind of businesses that can grow to many millions a year in sales or even profit.


            Originally Posted by umc View Post

            I did balk at the prices he paid for those cars that he flipped. I've bought a lot of used cars and drive cheapies and I've never stumbled on deals like those. I can't imagine why they'd sell them that cheap. Virtually anyone would have paid more.

            I like the show, that just felt a little too convenient.
            I saw the second episode (with the car flipping) last night.

            When he found the cars, it was at a dealer that had really already closed. The dealer's son was there to liquidate the two last cars on the lot. He even said "My Dad just wants me to get rid of them".

            It wasn't his lot. He wasn't a salesman. They weren't his cars. The guy was a highly motivated seller that had no idea what he was doing.

            I've never bought cars that way, but I've bought lots of vacuum cleaners that way. A retailer is going to close their store, and I go in and make an offer for about 20% of their actual cost of goods. We usually end up at 25% of their cost (and mine).

            I used to advertise that I would pay cash for various items I knew I could quickly resell for a good profit. About 75% of the callers would balk at my offer, but 25% would accept.

            Finding motivated sellers (who just want out of the business) is how you make these deals. Most car dealers would have said "No".



            Originally Posted by umc View Post

            I enjoy seeing how he builds a network, though I can't remember if it said how he got meetings with these business owners. He was chatting with them and I can't remember if it showed how he got their time and attention.
            He just called them, and told them he wanted to talk to them about building a business in the area. Most business owners are willing to help with advice and contacts.
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    • Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

      What a great show! Thanks for posting the link Claude. I just watched the 2nd episode. I had no idea you could buy cars off of dealerships like that.
      So far the guy has failed at selling the dog balls, was able to sell some St Paddy gear at the parade on the streets, and then pulled off the tire and car stuff.

      He's out there just grinding it out. It's not unrealistic, at least not so far. I hope it stays that way. I'm looking forward to keeping up with the show each week. I think anybody who likes this forum, especially the offline section, would think this show is great.
      I used to have two sales reps from Russia. When they first came to the country, they did things like this guy did. One bought and sold cars he bought at auctions, did minor repairs, detailed them, and sold each of them for a few thousand dollars profit.

      The other one had a full time job moving furniture, when I met him...but he made a small fortune importing goods to Russia to waiting buyers. I remember he went to a soap rendering plant (I went with him. The smell was awful) and made a deal for a container (large shipping container) of soap for tens of thousands of dollars in profit. He also imported frozen chickens (to Russia and other countries), new cars....I suspect much of this was under the table, because he also worked full time for me as a rep. And a great one too.

      Years ago, I found a finance company that would approve anyone for an installment loan, and pay 80% of the amount financed. Meaning, The customers financed something bought at retail, and the dealer would get 80% of the amount financed...no matter how bad the buyer's credit was. In home sales distributors usually had about 25% of their finance applications (for customers) turned down.

      I made the rounds to as many in home sales distributors as I could, and offered them 40% of the amount financed on all their declined credit applications. It was still profitable to them (and they didn't have to refund the down payment or pick up what was sold), and I'd just turn the credit application in to the new finance company...and collect 40% of the sale for my trouble. I lived well for a couple of years selling my own stuff and financing other people's sales...until the finance company went out of business.
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  • Profile picture of the author cearionmarie
    Everyone has his/her own circumstances and is totally different from others. But I think where you are meant to be will always be where you will be heading. No matter your conditions as long as you have the right mindset, you should be able to recover.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    I was curious enough to google a bit more and found this:
    https://www.mpamag.com/news/how-one-...nch-18500.aspx


    So in summary:
    -His company was devoid of toxic assets when the Great Recession hit.

    -This allowed him to de facto buy out his competitors' employees for pennies when they all went bankrupt


    Other news is that the company baring his name filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy recently citing raising interest rates as the culprit.




    How do you networking factoring into all this?



    It seems to me effort + right place right time more so then networking at least in this case.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

      So in summary:
      -His company was devoid of toxic assets when the Great Recession hit.

      -This allowed him to de facto buy out his competitors' employees for pennies when they all went bankrupt

      Other news is that the company baring his name filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy recently citing raising interest rates as the culprit.

      How do you networking factoring into all this?

      It seems to me effort + right place right time more so then networking at least in this case.
      If you follow Gary Vaynerchuck at all you would know this EXACT strategy is his long term personal strategy. Once the economy plummets, he is going to by a "Brand" for pennies and at the same time buy advertising talent at pennies

      But where is the networking? The office had closed... IE no receptionist to answer the phone, meaning he had the guys personal phone number - THAT is networking
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Networking... I think its arguably one of the most critic elements to success.

    Networking as I see it falls into 2 categories. There is the one spoken about here "friends" or peer networking,and then there is what I call "networking at scale"

    As DABK mentions networking or referral by association is a method that can be used to instantly increase TRUST. As Socialentry points out in many cases its not the overall best advice, and there is an agenda. BUT There are simply things in life people share because it is that good. Im kinda sorta a health not ( that smokes lol ) but at any opportunity I will share PB2 with whomever I am talking to about adding protein to your diet. Its simply that good - and there is no agenda behind it.

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Not using that idea is the main thing that kept me from building a truly large business. Always a loner. Always thinking about the next deal.
    as much as Claude says this.. YES he was thinking about the next deal, but every single house he entered and displayed his fine crafted Vacuum I am sure to bet he asked if they knew others that would be interested. Introduction by association IS networking.

    So what separates above with "Networking at scale"? For ME.. networking at scale is eating breakfast at 10am on a Tuesday at Denny's. Not because the food is good, but to see and be seen. In the last 52 weeks I have missed 2. Or the local gas station every morning about 8am to get a cup of coffee.. the coffee is not that good, BUT between the City workers and the Lawyers and Doctors I say hi to every morning it has value.

    MY overall sales approach when time warrants is to just stop in and say hi..Im not selling, Im introducing myself... Often times not even mentioning what it is I do for a living. Its learning about them - its ALL about them, and very little to do with me. In turn I use my network - So and so asks me "hey where do you get X?" I will respond "oh this little store on Main street, So and so seems like a good guy, why not stop in and tell him I sent you." Social influence within a community setting is HUGE.

    So what happens when its not local? What happens when I drop into a city half way across the country with a desire to meet a person to make a pitch to? I do my best to make an appointment. "Hey, how many are in the office I will bring lunch - where do you guys like to eat?" hardly EVER speak to the "Decision Maker" prior to sitting down and having a quick bite.

    I then revert to Networking by association, and get the person I am speaking to, to refer others and hopefully that afternoon sit down with a group of 3 -4 or more others over an early dinner and close deals. - only to head to the airport and head home for the day.

    When you look at MLM and some of the tactics used... Standing in the mall and pitching to any and every one. Or always with a card and a pitch as you walk down the street. There are some lessons to be learned here... You think cold calling is bad.. YOU go stand in a mall and try to sell an "opportunity" - and to be straight up honest here, I have never done this - wouldn't want to - I have a network that extends beyond my parents and best friends LOL.

    I think a lot of that has to do with being a military brat and moving OFTEN. I was literally raised in an environment of change and adapting and it has served me well. new state new friends, new city, new friends, new Neighborhood, new friends, new school new friends. I have had a LOT of practice in my early years to win the hearts and minds of people QUICKLY - and I take it for granted, its who I am, but I do understand it is a skill - better yet an asset in my success.

    I also think having the ability to know who can do what for who is a skill in itself.. you can KNOW a lot of people, but until that something clicks that this one and that one doing this together might be a good thing - and setting things in motion - you go from having a "Contact list" to actually having a "network"
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      Networking... I think its arguably one of the most critic elements to success.

      So what separates above with "Networking at scale"? For ME.. networking at scale is eating breakfast at 10am on a Tuesday at Denny's. Not because the food is good, but to see and be seen. In the last 52 weeks I have missed 2. Or the local gas station every morning about 8am to get a cup of coffee.. the coffee is not that good, BUT between the City workers and the Lawyers and Doctors I say hi to every morning it has value.

      MY overall sales approach when time warrants is to just stop in and say hi..Im not selling, Im introducing myself... Often times not even mentioning what it is I do for a living. Its learning about them - its ALL about them, and very little to do with me. In turn I use my network - So and so asks me "hey where do you get X?" I will respond "oh this little store on Main street, So and so seems like a good guy, why not stop in and tell him I sent you." Social influence within a community setting is HUGE.


      ...
      I think a lot of that has to do with being a military brat and moving OFTEN. I was literally raised in an environment of change and adapting and it has served me well. new state new friends, new city, new friends, new Neighborhood, new friends, new school new friends. I have had a LOT of practice in my early years to win the hearts and minds of people QUICKLY - and I take it for granted, its who I am, but I do understand it is a skill - better yet an asset in my success.

      Is this networking done in a "Come what may" fashion?

      If so, would it translate well to a metropolitan area?

      how important is it to "blend in"? And is it better to go deep and narrow or wide and shallow?

      In small towns, I can see how economic power could be concentrated in just a few hands and so inevitably the doctors, lawyers, cops, city workers, would all hang out together but where I live it seems that various sectors of society all act as tribes that barely talk to each other.

      It may sound a bit naive, but would for example, making a commitment to regularly hang out on the local golf club be a good investment of time?

      So what happens when its not local? What happens when I drop into a city half way across the country with a desire to meet a person to make a pitch to? I do my best to make an appointment. "Hey, how many are in the office I will bring lunch - where do you guys like to eat?" hardly EVER speak to the "Decision Maker" prior to sitting down and having a quick bite.
      I then revert to Networking by association, and get the person I am speaking to, to refer others and hopefully that afternoon sit down with a group of 3 -4 or more others over an early dinner and close deals. - only to head to the airport and head home for the day.
      What do you do if you have nothing in common with the other party?

      In sales it was OK because both party understand there is a purpose to the conversation so I didn't have to be really creative.

      The big difficulty for me when doing open ended networking is that I share almost no interests with the average person. I grew up in a very traditional household with tiger parents so even my teenage years were different then most.

      If there is a common goal or a game or something, it's usually fine but I wouldn't know where to start in the situation above if I were say to sit with a bunch of mechanics at lunchbreak.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        Is this networking done in a "Come what may" fashion?
        Not sure I would say that... Its to a point calculated. If you read the main board at all.. well this board even, there is a lot of discussion about being where the buyers are. Learn where they hang out and be there. In the " Real World " it plays out very much the same - but literally in a physical sense.

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        If so, would it translate well to a metropolitan area?
        Yes, it does. Regardless of where you live be it a big city or small town USA, or some small village in Scotland, there is going to be a breakfast joint that once a week or a number of mornings a week the local influencers gather. The same actually holds true in the afternoon for drinks. generally a different crowd, but the same effect.

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        how important is it to "blend in"? And is it better to go deep and narrow or wide and shallow?
        blending in... I think you might be surprised what the breakfast circle of influence looks like. Many communities the "Mayor" might show up, along with some old timers and some of the younger up and comings. It tends to be a wide variety of types so blending isn't so much needed. I have a habit of driving a big truck, and wear black khakis and a red t-shirt under a black work shirt ( dickeys short sleeve if you are wondering ) It is a bit of an image thing... I am a working man.. I work for my clients, and look the part.

        Question #2 deep and wide if possible. You need to be on the seedy side of town as much as you are on the doorstep of financial influencers. It all comes full circle one way or another.

        Think of it this way we are all connected within 7 levels of relation to any and everyone in the world. The seedy guy could cut the rich guys grass and somehow your name is brought up and both agree you are a good guy. The seedy guy will see you as a point of influence, and the rich guy will see you as down to earth - you win both ways.

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        In small towns, I can see how economic power could be concentrated in just a few hands and so inevitably the doctors, lawyers, cops, city workers, would all hang out together but where I live it seems that various sectors of society all act as tribes that barely talk to each other.
        I don't think its that cut and dry... most rich guys will use the same barber.. the barber by proxy becomes one of them. They will use the same handyman, or the same lawn care service, or the same pool service, or the same contractor to build their new home.

        And THEN lets discuss influencers spouses... Wives are gabby... Hair dressers are gabby, the cupcake shop person is gabby.

        There are without question many outlets and level of interaction between the top and bottom, and doing your best to reach out across multiple layers is a big deal.

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        It may sound a bit naive, but would for example, making a commitment to regularly hang out on the local golf club be a good investment of time?
        I will answer this by saying I am a member of my local CC. Membership is an investment, you can make it worth while or just spend money.. its on you. Church... its another one of those things. I would go so far to say a Catholic church if the intent in religion is for business gain. - just saying

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        What do you do if you have nothing in common with the other party?
        Talk about them - the conversation generally goes 2 ways.. the person I am talking to wants what I have, or I want what they have - I hear things like "like your truck" and I might say things like "Nice car - Im in the wrong business"

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        In sales it was OK because both party understand there is a purpose to the conversation so I didn't have to be really creative.
        Its A L L selling. I just have a different approach... talking to people is " qualifying " them. Are they buyers... or who might they know that would be

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        The big difficulty for me when doing open ended networking is that I share almost no interests with the average person. I grew up in a very traditional household with tiger parents so even my teenage years were different then most.
        And diversity becomes your biggest asset... "What do you think of X? I am asking because I grew up with Y, and I just dont understand." - Its about THEM, and it creates interest in YOU, and the back and forth happens naturally at that point

        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        If there is a common goal or a game or something, it's usually fine but I wouldn't know where to start in the situation above if I were say to sit with a bunch of mechanics at lunchbreak.
        A great example of someone to talk to... people with money drive nice cars. People that work on nice cars tend to have a passion for cars in general... some might even race cars or build cars or what have you. In my case, they are potential prospects for web development - to take their passion and put it on the web. ( usually at a discount ) Because these type are gateways to the upper levels.... they share with the guys that have the really nice cars - that ultimately they look down apon... " Poser " can afford the beast, but has no clue how to drive it.

        Circles of influence knows no boundaries. there is no such thing as inclusive or exclusive, until you try and categorize a single person.. but again you miss the greater point of contact that person may have.

        Networking as I do it living my every day life is equal across all demographics. rich, poor male, female Professional, trades. Its about increasing your Circle to decrease the needed touches to get to who you need to get to. My immediate community... Everyone is a step or 2 away VS 7.

        Take me away from here.. and 1 phone call setting up lunch puts me within the circle of reach of the person I am meeting. forget selling if you will, its about hearts and minds.
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      • Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        The big difficulty for me when doing open ended networking is that I share almost no interests with the average person. I grew up in a very traditional household with tiger parents so even my teenage years were different then most.
        Do what I do...I just memorized a few questions to get the ball rolling, like ..
        "What do you do for a living?"
        "What do you enjoy most about this?"
        Complement them on something. Make it a genuine compliment on something you really like.

        I'm truly not a social person. I say things that people interpret as being social.

        If you listened to ten instances of my "small talk" you would find that i just say the same things to everyone.

        When someone says something I'm not interested in, I say "I hear you" or "There you go". It sounds like I'm engaged with them, but I'm really not.

        You can do the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Did my eyes deceive me or didn't he sell the tires to that buyer while they were both on the same lot he got the tires from?

    If I left a car on the side of the road with a for sale sign on it, I'd find it a day later without tires and with a ticket in the windshield.

    As far as his networking success, it helps to have a camera crew following you saying they're taping it for a TV show. People tend to be more agreeable when the camera's on them and they're getting their fifteen minutes of fame.
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    • Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      Did my eyes deceive me or didn't he sell the tires to that buyer while they were both on the same lot he got the tires from?
      I noticed that too......but the tires are too big for him to move. And the buyer isn't going to go through all that trash.
      I used to advertise that I would pay cash for something...and advertise that it was for sale...in the same section of the newspaper....on the same day... And nobody ever mentioned it. Weird.


      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      As far as his networking success, it helps to have a camera crew following you saying they're taping it for a TV show. People tend to be more agreeable when the camera's on them and they're getting their fifteen minutes of fame.
      I think in most cases, that's true. I notice he held back the cameras when selling cars or buying them.

      Now that you brought it up, I wonder if I took a camera man with me to sell vacuum cleaners in people's homes...how much it would increase sales?


      By the way. This guy lived out of a truck for a week, when it was freezing every night, and got violently ill at the beginning of the second episode.

      Me? I would have quit at that point. He didn't. That's the thing that impressed me the most.
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      • Profile picture of the author misterme
        Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

        I would love to see a TV show about other successful people doing similar things, but go into poor neighborhoods and help them start businesses on a very low budget.
        Oh, watch "Marrying Millions," that's close enough.

        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Now that you brought it up, I wonder if I took a camera man with me to sell vacuum cleaners in people's homes...how much it would increase sales?
        A person knowingly being recorded tends to behave in the way they think is expected. But will they spend money because of it? I doubt it. My hunch is they'll instead come up with eloquent and graceful reasons not to buy if they're not buying, to look good on camera.

        I'm sure it's been done where at a sales appointment, the seller recorded video getting the buyer's permission after informing the buyer it's to train others on how to conduct sales appointments. If it increased sales I think we'd know about it by now.

        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        This guy lived out of a truck for a week, when it was freezing every night, and got violently ill at the beginning of the second episode.

        Me? I would have quit at that point. He didn't. That's the thing that impressed me the most.
        He defaults one million dollars if he quits. Or, if they have an illness clause that lets him off the hook, maybe he didn't want to give up the TV show. Or maybe he really does want to help out those people. Especially the tattooed guy because he's so Erie.
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        • Originally Posted by misterme View Post

          Oh, watch "Marrying Millions," that's close enough.



          A person knowingly being recorded tends to behave in the way they think is expected. But will they spend money because of it? I doubt it. My hunch is they'll instead come up with eloquent and graceful reasons not to buy if they're not buying, to look good on camera.
          Agreed. When I was a speaker (and to the room, a celebrity) I would offer my pitch. Some would buy, some wouldn't. But if I talked to them after I spoke, if they weren't going to buy, they would always act very enthusiastic, and swear to God that they were going to buy.....as soon as......and they were always going to get the biggest package.....right after....

          I had to learn a new way to receive an objection to buying.


          On he other hand, sometimes customers come to the store after they have read one of my books, or watched a few of my Youtube videos. and they always buy. And part of that has to be the thought that they are talking to a celebrity (in the most minor sense of the word)



          Originally Posted by misterme View Post

          He defaults one million dollars if he quits. Or, if they have an illness clause that lets him off the hook, maybe he didn't want to give up the TV show. Or maybe he really does want to help out those people. Especially the tattooed guy because he's so Erie.
          I had forgotten about the million dollars forfeit. I suspect that he wouldn't quit anyway.

          I noticed how he sort of gathers people around him and takes them on his journey. These people become invested in him.

          I think he really cares about these people. He seems absolutely genuine.

          When he says (paraphrasing) "I can't pay you for three months. But this will be fun, and we'll create something great"......

          I can imagine some people following that man. And I can imagine that he feels strongly about rewarding their trust in him, and their efforts.

          About half way through the second episode, I said to my wife "I love this guy". I have no insights into what happens next, but I'd bet on him.


          Added later; I think most of the appeal of this show isn't the premise...it's this guy. You watch his struggle, and it becomes your struggle. I really am pulling for him to make this work.

          On the other had, this is obviously recorded,ad already all over with....so we have to assume that he made it work, and just came in under the wire. What a boring show it would be if everything he tried just worked out perfectly.
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          • Profile picture of the author Kurt
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


            Added later; I think most of the appeal of this show isn't the premise...it's this guy. You watch his struggle, and it becomes your struggle. I really am pulling for him to make this work.

            On the other had, this is obviously recorded,ad already all over with....so we have to assume that he made it work, and just came in under the wire. What a boring show it would be if everything he tried just worked out perfectly.
            I agree. I think a big part is he's likable, like I said before, and you root for him unlike other rich people. He also seems like he delegates well and lets people work without micromanaging them.


            Another part I like is he's building something from <almost> nothing. There's nothing wrong with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank making a $200,000 investment, but I find this a lot more interesting.
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            • Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

              Another part I like is he's building something from <almost> nothing. There's nothing wrong with Mark Cuban on Shark Tank making a $200,000 investment, but I find this a lot more interesting.
              Something I haven't seen in this series is bartering.

              When I moved into a new area (to open an office or store) I would buy most everything with barter.

              For example, I needed office furniture, so I would find an office that was closing, and offer to trade their furniture for something I had. In my case, usually a vacuum cleaner.

              I would buy used vacuums in bulk for $5 or $10 each..throw away half of them, ad spend a few dollars rebuilding the good ones. I might have half an hour of my time, and $30 total invested in a vacuum cleaner that looked like new, and would retail for $500 new.

              So I would offer my $500 vacuum cleaner for a room of office furniture. The trick was, you had to find someone who essentially just wanted to get rid of the furniture, or had a high mark up on what they sold.

              But after seeing 2 or 3 sellers, you would find someone who would agree to it.

              So a typical deal wold be getting $5,000 worth of furniture (or whatever it was) from someone who just needed to move it (maybe they were thinking of donating it), and offer them a $500 vacuum cleaner for it...which cost me $30.

              Yes, I did that once.

              I've bartered for advertising, printing, exercise equipment, cars, and more. The limitation is that you usually can't do it more than once with the same supplier.

              But liquidations of bigger ticket items can usually give you a supply of barter items.

              And yes, once I traded a vacuum cleaner for a home gym, or a gun...I now had something else to barter with.

              One of the ways I made so many sales over the decades was to be creative in my financing of my sales. I would sell a vacuum cleaner that had a $2,000 price tag, and if the couldn't pay with a credit card, cash, check, or have good credit...I'd often find something they had that I knew I could easily sell for over $2,000.

              Often I would offer to buy something from them, for several hundred dollars, so that they would feel like they were getting a greater value. When I was still making a good profit at the lower cost, and could often still sell what I bought from them.

              Even when buying my used vacuum cleaners (from in home vacuum cleaner salespeople), I would often offer them barter, to reduce my cost further.

              The only downside is that this takes a little time (if it's your only business) and you have to find motivated sellers, and eager buyers.

              But this Undercover Billionaire could probably speed up the process if he used barter in some instances.
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              • Profile picture of the author Kurt
                Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                Something I haven't seen in this series is bartering.

                When I moved into a new area (to open an office or store) I would buy most everything with barter.

                Kinda of like what I said about the "red paper clip" thing.

                At first, you have to worry about cash flow and how to get any cash ASAP, which is what he did. I think he's started to barter, but not with tangible items, but with his skills and the skills of others, which have intangible value.

                I actually have an old pickup with a shell on the back and think about stuff like this. LOL...I'd see if there were any flea markets, storage locker auctions or estate auctions I where I could hang out with a "For Hire" sign up on my pickup. I have a hitch and UHauls are cheap.

                In my youth when I needed some cash I'd go hang out at the DMV and get a couple of tickets with numbers on them and sell them to people just arriving at lunch time, saving them an hour or two waiting time. It has to be a busy DMV.

                I could make $20-40 pretty quickly, but it wasn't "sustainable" because security would eventually recognize me/anyone and chase you off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    One missing elements is he has confidence that comes from past experiences and successes. If it were me, I'd be very afraid that we didn't make any money due to me and everyone else did their jobs. He knows certain things will work and many of us don't.

    There's some questions I have and a few coincidences, like in real life I've seen the same "for sales" cars parked for months...but I still think this is my favorite business show I've seen. There's a lot to learn.

    I would love to see a TV show about other successful people doing similar things, but go into poor neighborhoods and help them start businesses on a very low budget.
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