March 11, 2009 – Full transcription of call
 

All right, so let’s get started here on the 11th of March 2009.  Good morning, everybody.  Welcome to those of you who tried to listen to Breakfast with Bob this morning and found that I was not there for the first few minutes.  It was Daylight Savings time on Sunday and this is Wednesday, and I have all my watches; I like watches.  So I had put on a watch when I went to bed last night that had the old time on it.  So, let’s get started.

 

Today’s conversation, we’re going to talk about a circle.  I want you to think a circle, and I want you to cut your circle into three quadrants; like three slices of a big pie.  And in this big pie that we’re looking at with these three big slices, we’re trying to determine what we really need to know in order for us to be incredibly successful.

 

So, the first one is obviously: “What to think?” And another way to describe that would be “Attitudes.” 

·        What attitudes do you need to have in order for you to really have a huge amount of success in your life? 

·        In other words, what do you think? 

·        And when it comes to attitudes, it’s more important than that.  It’s almost how you think? 

That’s one of the major quadrants of the way we do our thinking process.

 

And in the second quadrant…these are not quadrants.  Actually, the second triangle. (quadrant would be four) The second slice of our three-slice pie would be:

·        “What would we need to know?” 

So, write “Knowledge” in there.

·        What do we need to know?

And then, the third one is:

  • “What do we need to do?”  

And in that one , I want you to write “Skills.”

 

So, there are certain attitudes and there are certain pieces of information and knowledge we need to know and there are certain skills we need to have in order to be successful in all the areas of our life.  If you want to be good at something, you’ve got to be willing to do those three kinds of things. 

  • What are your attitudes? 
  • What knowledge do you need to have and what are the skills you need to possess?

 

So…attitudes.  When we look out over this world we are in right now, we find that the world is turning upside down compared to the way we used to think about it when…I’ve been thinking about this all week long with sharing with you.  I wanted to figure out what is a metaphor that I could use to describe a world that’s really changing on us pretty rapidly.  Why is it changing?  I mean, what’s happening that causes these kinds of massive changes to take place?

 

If you’ve read The World is Flat, you find that there are all kinds of things that have taken place when it comes to the Internet.  We’ve got the Wall that fell down in 1989, the Berlin Wall, and we find that that Berlin Wall caused a lot of other walls to fall down.  The same thing happened in India when India was very socialistic and then, in 1990-1991, India radically changed its political environment and became much more capitalistic.  And, of course, in 1978, the Chinese did the same thing.

 

So, now you have approximately three, well, let’s see, over almost three billion people in the last 20 years who have really been unleashed and they become entrepreneurial and they have decided that they want to take care of their own future.  They want to create their own stuff and they want to market their own things.  There has been a lot of freedom unleashed and so the attitude they have is,

“I am in charge of my own life.  I’m going to do what I need to do to take care of my life and I’ve got my own dreams and…”

 

And so when you unleash that and then you take and add the Internet on top of that, all of these three billion brand new entrepreneurs being unleashed on the world with the Internet now coming overlaying that, they now have access to the entire world.  There are more people online in China than there are here in the United States.  And we used to think of China as being this backward nation.  When I went to China, I thought,

“Hey, look.  I’m going to go look and see some rice patties and some water buffalo.”

 

Really.  When I went to China with my wife last year on my 60th birthday, I thought:

“Let’s go look at some rice patties and water buffalo.”

And when I ride into Shanghai, I saw a city that was so far ahead of any city I’ve ever seen anywhere, any city in the world, and I’ve traveled a lot of cities.  It made New York look like nothing.  It was skyscrapers in Shanghai; there were 2,000 of them.  It was unbelievable.  And then the growth that’s taken place in that city and that country has been staggering.

 

And so when you take the attitude of freedom and personal responsibility and overlay that with the freedom to be able to access anything and anywhere in the world, anybody and anywhere through the Internet. 

And when you take all the information and the knowledge, it’s been just completely accessible by anybody now on their cell phones.  They have all these unbelievable ways of uploading things and downloading things and, wow, and the world has gotten much, much faster.  And the rules are kind of changing on us.  We used to play a different game.

 

So, what if one morning you got up and you went outside, got in your car and on the way to your freeway.  You are at your car, it was easy to get on the freeway, so you just jump right on the freeway there and you found out that you used to speed a little bit in the old world; you know, the speed limit is 65 and you used to go 75.

 

You locked in your automatic pilot at 74 so you hoped the police wouldn’t catch you.  From time to time, you would go 80 and, if you’re really in a rush, you might go 90 and, I don’t know how many of you on this call have ever gone 100.  I think I’ve gone 100 a couple of times in my life, maybe 110 once.  I don’t know how fast is the fastest you’ve ever gone, put the peddle to the metal.

 

But, this day, you get on the freeway and everybody is going 175 miles an hour and you used to be a little nervous when you went 100 that once.  The old car was rattling just a little bit and you were just wondering,

“Well, is this thing gonna fall apart?  Is it like a rocket ship that’s going to, you know, the wheel’s going to fall off this thing?”

And now you find that everybody around you is going at a speed that just shocks you.  Cars are zipping by you all as fast as…and they just seem to be pretty used to it.  You know the speeds at which things are going now.  It just shocks you.

 

Imagine this probably would be like if our ancestors in their covered wagons were to ever step onto the freeways now, they would be amazed.  All right, and then you get off the freeway.  You’re pretty nervous when you finally get off the freeway and you come up to the first intersection and you find out that you tried to go through the light. 

The light is green and you try to go through the light and see people are honking at you and there are cars coming through the red light the opposite direction.  Everybody is stopped at this green light that you used to go through and they were all stopped and you are looking at them.

 

Well, what’s going on here?  The other traffic the other way is going through the red light so fast it just takes your breath away.  And, as soon as the green light turns red, everybody in your lane starts driving through the intersection as if that’s just what you do now.  It’s almost like all of the signs are wrong; at least the way you’ve known them before.

 

And people are going through red lights and people are stopping at green lights and when it says turn right, they are all turning left.  When the turn signal says turn left, they are all turning right and all the signs and everything you’ve come used to is all radically changing and it’s kind of a scary world.

 

Everything we used to think was going to be our retirement, we put our money into it.  It’s going to be the most consistently wonderful thing.  We put it into a SNP 500 account.  We buy all the 500 stocks, the greatest stocks in the world, just assuming that we just put our money in there and leave it in there for 15 or 10 years and you are going to be able to retire.  And you are going to be able to earn what?  The SNP 500 is down about 10% per year since the year 1950 and now, all of a sudden, now, in the year 2000, it just went wacky.

 

Real estate.  We’ve expected it to just consistently increase in value and this is where you put your money isn’t it?  This is where everybody has put their money for the last umpteen hundred years.  Then, over the last 50 years, it has increased in value 5, 6, 8, 10% per year and, all of a sudden, whoa.  This thing that we’ve expected to be our savior, our real estate, it just dropped like a rock.

 

You’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s just staggering.  You made all these plans and figured out ways to pay that mortgage off and hang onto it until it’s done, and you find out that your values are just all over the map.  I know people in two of the states, in Florida and California.  I know somebody personally who bought a house for $450,000 and now can’t sell it for $250,000.

 

Real estate has lost half its value.  I know someone else bought a house in California, someone very close to me, and bought the house for $600,000 and not can’t sell it for $300,000.  What’s going on?  Cause we’ve never seen anything like this.  Not only has the world sped up, but the rules have just all shifted; they’re changed radically.

 

Where do you put your money?  Do you put it in the stock market?  Do you put it in bonds?  Do you put it in a savings account where you get less than 1%?  Inflation is higher than that.  Your money is just eroding right under your feet.  Where do you put your money?  Do you put it in real estate?  Do you put it in…where?  You put it into a small business.

 

Well, we all know that small businesses have a high rate of failure and now, at the time when three billion entrepreneurs are jumping onto the world, and they have access to all our customers, with them just Googling in China or in Russia or in India. 

They just Google the same things we Google.  They are trying to find a customer like the yellow pages.  If a customer is looking for something, they will look for something over the entire world until they find it at the best price, fastest delivery, the best product.

 

The three billion new entrepreneurs are out there just fighting for our money and fighting for our business.  The business that used to belong to us is now belonging to anybody who can get it.  And instantaneously they can find it.  Things that the world has said in terms of the book that you all heard about called The World is Flat, well, the world is flat and it’s fast and it’s instantaneous and, whoa, what do you do?

 

O.k. now, having set that up, let’s talk about the attitudes I’m supposed to have in a world like this.  What knowledge do I need in a world like this?  What kind of skills do I need in a world like this?  There’s only one place to put your money. 

If you want a place to invest your money that is always going to generate a great return no matter what, you are going to invest it in that thing that you know best, that you are most passionate about, where your contribution to the world is going to be the most.  You are going to invest it in some kind of entrepreneurial enterprise that you direct.

 

The first attitude you need to have is that you are in charge.  That no matter what is going on, no matter how the signals are changing, and no matter how the world is speeding up, that you can handle it.  That is your attitude:

“I can handle it.”

Not only I can handle it, but I have to.  I have to figure out how to adapt myself to these new conditions.  If you are not willing to adapt yourself, then you will be like a dinosaur.

 

The dinosaur just won’t make it and that is not optional for you.  You are going to make it.  Not only are you going to make it, you are going to thrive in this environment.  You are going to be wealthier, richer, more successful in this environment than any other environment.  You say:

“Well, I’ve got to put food on the table and have to do enough to keep the doors open and have to keep bringing money in the door somehow.”

 

Well, yes, what about jobs?  Six hundred thousand people lost their job last month, 500,000 the month before, 500,000 the month before, 500,000 the month before…what are you going to do?  So, if I can say, the world is really going through some volatility.  We have never seen this before.  So, how do you take advantage of that?

 

Well, that’s another attitude.  How can I take advantage of that?  In other words, how can I profit from this instead of being terrified by this?  You know, as an entrepreneur, when somebody tells you you can’t do something, part of you eventually goes:

“Watch me.”

And, if you are an entrepreneur, especially if our are on this call, you know what we are talking about when we talk about the entrepreneurial spirit.  That entrepreneurial spirit is a can-do spirit.

 

At first, you might get disoriented by the new changes.  It’s like we were playing Monopoly for so long and now, all of a sudden, we are playing a totally different game.  The rules have changed; the same pieces, but they move in different directions. 

The king moves six spaces instead of one.  The queen used to go anywhere and now she can only go two spaces.  The knights and the pawns and all the … boy, the rules just seem like they are changing.  Seems like it, but, as an entrepreneur, the rules are going to stay very much the same.  In fact, they are going to be very fundamental.

 

It looks like the rules are changing in jobs and job security.  The real estate values and the stock market and entrepreneurship and this competition we’ve had with all these people, the rules are pretty much the same.  As an entrepreneur, you decide,

“I’m going to take advantage of the opportunities that are around me.”

What’s an opportunity?  An opportunity is, fundamental to all entrepreneurship is buy low, sell high.  Duh.  Well, boy, what do I buy low and what if I can’t sell high?  What if nobody is buying them?  What am I going to do?

Well, yesterday, we were in Mark Victor Hansen’s office, and he always has somebody there that takes my breath away.  This gentleman is the literary agent that sold the book to the publishers that are now publishing a book that sold over 200 million books and that is the Dummy series. 

I’m sitting in the room yesterday with the author of the largest-selling series of books in history, which is Mark Victor Hansen, and the agent for the series of books that sold more books in history and these two guys are in the same room.  It’s amazing.  The Dummy books have sold more books than the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, but no single author has ever had their name on more books in a traditional sense. 

I’m not talking about the Bible, but in terms of a traditional published book, Mark Victor Hansen has had his name on more books than any book in history.  So, right in the room, right next to me, are two gentlemen that have sold, together, combined, over 350 million books; just a staggering number.

 

 

I was kind of watching the fireworks go on as these guys are talking.  The gentleman that was the agent, he was also the agent for the gentleman who wrote The Power of Now…I’ll remember his name in a minute.  He’s been an agent for over 5,000 books.  One year he sold 299 books.  It was an interesting experience.  He said something that was just really wonderful. 

When an entrepreneur finally gets through the shock of the fact that the rules have changed and the world is fundamentally shifting right beneath our feet, at first the entrepreneur is a little disoriented, a little worried, a little concerned. 

They have been used to playing in a certain way and now things seem to be changing pretty rapidly.  Once they finally realize that the rules are changing and they realize the fundamental thing that an entrepreneur does; an entrepreneur loves to buy low, sell high and an entrepreneur loves to solve problems.

 

Those are the two essential attitudes of an entrepreneur; find me a problem that I can fix profitably and show me how I can buy the fundamentals cheap so that I can assemble them and make them more valuable and then sell those entities into the world to people who need it. 

So, at a time like this, are there more problems than there have ever been?  So, guess what?  Instead of being disoriented and worried and fearful and “oh my heavens, what’s going to happen here,” it’s like:

“Oh my gosh, there has never been a more problem-filled time…whoopee!”

 

When you get up in the morning, you should be thrilled.  Wow!  Look at the opportunity.  I cannot believe it!  That should be the attitude that you have when you wake up in the morning.  Frankly, myself, I’ve been a little nervous and a little disoriented and like:

“What are we gonna do?  I’ve got a business that markets real estate solutions and the real estate market is kind of, well, filled with the greatest amount of opportunities but people don’t seem to recognize it.”

 

So, yes, you get nervous and finally you go:

“Wait a second, this is the greatest opportunity of all time.”

Just at church this last week, I happen to know a banker that owns a bank and so, at church, my wife was in the other room practicing in a choir for a women’s choir.  I was out in the hallway getting ready to go home and I talked to the owner of this bank.

I said:

“How’s it going, Merrill, tell me what’s up.”

He says:

“Oh, Bob, it’s amazing.  The world is changing when it comes to banking.  Our bank, I think we’re gonna make it.  People are putting their deposits in our bank.  Our cost of capital for us to borrow money so that we can lend it out is just around 1%.  It’s just never been this way.  It’s amazing and the opportunity is huge. 

It’s still, who do we lend it to and how do we start generating a return on that investment?  We had to write down millions and millions and millions of dollars worth of bad loans last year and we had huge tax losses and we were a little nervous but if we can kind of stabilize things here for a little bit, it’s really the best time of all times for banks.”

I was shocked by what he said there.  We watch the news and we talk about Citibank is down to $1.00 a share, which is a stock that was at $55.00 just a few months ago and it’s lost like 90% of its value…more than that.  I was thinking one of the worst places you want to put money is into some kind of a bank stock.

And he said:

“Well, if you own the bank, you know, our cost of capital, talking about buying low and selling high, in other words borrowing low and lending high, our spreads are just the best spreads ever.  If we can just get this solidified here.”

 

And he said:

“And the assets that are being sold from these banks, these bad loans and things like that.”

He said,:

“I was in a meeting the other day and a gentleman was telling me that he had gone to an auction for some of these pieces of real estate and these loans, these fully secured loans, against good pieces of real estate, the real estate is there.

It’s the commercial buildings and apartment buildings and office buildings.  The loans are really attached to these buildings.  The buildings aren’t going anywhere, but the mortgages have all kind of gone bad.  This gentleman bought a huge block of assets of bad loans for 6 cents on the dollar.”

That means these mortgages used to, at one time, and maybe only a year ago, were valued at 100 cents on the dollar.  He spent $30 million; if you have $30 million, that’s nice.  And that $30 million represented just 6% of the assets that he was able to get.  I mean, he was able to buy over $300 million worth of loans for 6 cents on the dollar. 

 

Is this person going to make a fortune?  Why are the banks dumping these loans?  Why are they getting rid of them and only taking 6 cents for it?  They literally had lent $300 million on these projects and somebody bought all of those assets.   

They had lent $300 million of their cash, money that came out of their bank and was lent to investors like you and me, and the investors had taken in over $350 million to put it into real estate, full values, and that includes the down payments they had to put into it.  So, who knows, maybe there’s $400 million worth of real estate assets with loans worth $350 million, etc., and they sold all those for $30 million, 6 cents on the dollar?

 

Do you know what this investor is going to hope?  He’s gonna hope that all these loans do go bad.  He wants to end up with all of that real estate and wait until things kind of get better.  How can you wait?  Well, he bought the mortgages, meaning he’s in the first mortgage position if all of those loans do go bad and they stop making the payments and the foreclosures actually happen, he ends up owning $400 million worth of real estate for $30 million.

 

Is that going to be a good investment?  Ooh, baby!  He doesn’t even care if there are any tenants in it at all.  It could be all vacant.  All he would have to do is obviously carry the taxes on it and he just proved that the value is dramatically less so he’d just wait until things got a little bit better and ooh!  In other words, the attitude of an entrepreneur at a time like this is:

“Let me find the deals.  There are more problems than there have ever been.  Let me put on my problem-solving gloves and we’re gonna go solve some problems.  I’m going to start looking for problems to solve and find opportunities like this.”

 

Because the rules have changed, the way we used to look for real estate deals has changed.  The way we used to look for opportunities has kind of shifted.  We have to just kind of learn what the new rules are and then start playing with those rules.  So, the attitude is:

“I’m an entrepreneur, I love problems.  I love them.  Bring them on.”

 

When I watch the television, instead of saying how bad things are, of course, over the last couple of days, the market has gone up.  It went up 350 points yesterday and my little green globe here in my office lets me know if the markets are up…oh, it’s only up $37 right now.  It’s kind of spiked up a little bit, now it’s kind of drifting down.  The market been cut in half over the last year.

 

So, the attitude I want to have is that opportunities are more prevalent today and, therefore, as an entrepreneur, this is the greatest time in the last maybe 75-80 years.  As an entrepreneur, it’s easier to raise money.  What this agent said yesterday is, money is worth twice as much today as it was just a year ago.  Cash is worth twice as much today as it was just a year ago.

 

What does he mean by that?  It means that that cash, like the 6 percent that I was talking about, is now buying assets at a much higher rate.  It’s turning into equity at a much higher rate than just a year ago.  Everything you buy today is cheaper.  Therefore, if everything you buy today is cheaper, the principal of buying low and selling high is even stronger.  And not only as the limited amount of cash goes farther and is worth twice as much, I can buy more assets with more flexible terms.  In other words, I don’t need to use my cash.

 

You know, back in the 1980′s, when we had our high interest rates, 16, 18, 20%, years 1980, 1981, 1982, that’s when “Nothing Down,” my book, came out.  One reason it was so hugely successful was because it came out at a time when nobody could sell their real estate.  Well, that is exactly what’s going on right now.  In other words, sellers were willing to take terms that they never took before.

In other words, now, because of the problems that we face out here, they are willing to take things that aren’t cash.  They’re willing to trade things.  They’re willing to take notes and paper and do whatever they can do to get out of the real estate.  You wouldn’t want to get into the real estate they are trying to get out of, unless you knew you could rent that property out for enough to get a positive cash flow.

So, if cash is more valuable, if it’s worth twice as much as it used to be a year ago, if opportunities are greater, then our attitude should be, as an entrepreneur:

“Bring it on!”

What is the knowledge that you need?  Three slices of the pie.  The knowledge that you need is that the world is changing and therefore, you’re going to just learn what the new rules are going to be about the real estate you bought.

Maybe the new rule is it isn’t going to increase in value.  So, if it is not going to increase in value, maybe it’s going to decrease in value.  Then you have to change to:

“I’ve gotta rent this thing out.”

Another new rule would be lease option.  You know, if you want to have your beautiful home, maybe buying a beautiful home isn’t the best option today.  Maybe a lease option is the best option. 

If I could find a seller who owns a piece of real estate who is having trouble making the mortgage payments, the mortgage payment is pretty much what a rent would be, maybe you could go to that owner and say,

“I want to lease option it.”

Maybe if you wanted to live in a beautiful home but couldn’t think you’d ever afford one, times are where anybody will lease you one right now.  You’ve got more options for lease options than we’ve ever had.  There are only 70-80 million homes in the country, so there are, let’s say, 10 million homes.  If you are renting anywhere right now, if you can afford just a little bit higher rent, and you would like to live in a much, much better opportunity and a much better house, this might be the time when you move into a better home with a lease option with extensions.

I was talking with a gentleman just yesterday who found a home that was selling for $900,000 and the builder had several projects and got kind of caught in this new shift in the marketplace.  He owns four or five big, brand new properties and what’s he trying to do?  He’s trying to dump them as fast as he can. 

You know, it’s $900,000, almost a million dollar property; it was brand new, just sitting there and this partner of mine moved into that home.  He locked in the price at $650,000, the mortgage is at $625,000, so the owner has $25,000 worth of equity still in it, with five years worth of extensions on the lease option with the mortgage being the amount that would be the rental price now so that the builder can get out.

He had some equity but that equity disappeared.  $350,000 worth of equity disappeared.  Now he’s down to $25,000, he’s willing to lease it out just to get rid of it.  Just to get it off his back so he doesn’t have it over-burden.  And now, my friend moves into a beautiful, brand new home.  Didn’t have to buy it, didn’t have to put a deposit down, didn’t do any of that. 

And, if things turn around, you know, what if things solidify in the next five years and then it’s worth $750,000-$800,000?  If it takes five years to finally recover that kind of value, then my friend is sitting on $150,000 worth of equity.  Now he can turn that equity and sell it five years from today, if things return and, wow!

So, the knowledge you need is just to say, “What other shifting things have taken place here?  How can I shift to new ways of doing the old game?  In other words, we’re stuck in a football game.  If the pass isn’t working any longer, you know, if they’ve got really good defenders and you just can’t seem to get a pass out, then you have to turn your running game on and you have to run it up the middle and find somebody who can do it. 

In other words, you have to change it to different kinds of plays.  It’s a different kind of team you’re fighting against so you have to figure out ways to get through that team.  That’s what sports is all about, isn’t it? 

 

Finally, what kind of skills do you need, the skills that are fundamental?  The basic fundamental skill is networking.  You have to learn how to network with people.  That’s a skill that will be the most important tool in your toolbox for the rest of your life.  We’ll be talking more about that skill over the next several weeks, but you have to learn how to get out there and to start to circulate amongst the people who are making things happen. 

You have to rub shoulders with people who are successful in this environment.  New players are going to be coming up.  New entrepreneurs, new investors.  Read the stories, read the magazines.  Go to the meetings, blog to groups, find out who’s winning at a time like this.  Watch what they are doing as they take advantage of these opportunities.  You are an entrepreneur.

 

So, okay, yep, our valuation on everything is declined.  Where is the new game?  Let me go play that.  Let me find out who’s playing it with me.  Let me network with those people.  When you network with somebody, what you are really trying to do is find out what their attitudes are, what their knowledge is and what their skills are.  Maybe the three things you really want to talk to when you talk to people.

“Hi.  When you think about the world, what are you thinking?  When you look what’s going on out there…”

This is if you’re talking to somebody at a cocktail party or something and you say:

“Hey, what do you think about what’s happening out there?”

And you’re looking for the kind of person who goes:

“Wow!  This is awesome.  This is incredible.  I love it.”

Instead of the person who goes:

“Oh, woe is me.  I’ve lost everything.  This is terrible.  This horrible.  This is rotten.  This is the worst time of all times.  What are we gonna do?”

Wringing hands, worry.  Don’t hang around that kind of person.  That’s infectious.

 

You want to find somebody who has the right kind of attitudes.  You want to find out what they know.  What kind of things are you learning about this process and then what kind of skills do they have?

“So, hmm, you’re making money at that?  Great.  Good for you.  What are the skills you need in order to be really good at that?”

That’s what you are trying to find out as you network.  It’s the most important skill you have.  Finding the right kinds of winners.  Hanging around winners.  Being infected by winning attitudes is a positive infection.  A “winfection” is what I am saying.

 

And then, finally, what do you think God thinks of this whole process?  What’s going on there?  What kind of lessons are going to come out of this recent downturn in our economy? 

It’s going to drive people to be much more humble.  It’s going to force people to be more efficient, to be better at doing business, less sloppy.  It’s going to cause some people to be more spiritual.  They are going to realize that their life is dangling by a thread anyway and all this money just made them feel like they were invincible.  They are not invincible.  They are nothing compared to our higher power.

 

It drives us to our knees.  It causes us to think, to have attitudes of humility and gratitude for what we’ve had.  And these are certain attitudes we need to have as we move forward. 

If you move forward with that kind of attitude, an attitude that you can profit from these problems and that you can be humbled by your previous attitudes of pride and overbearing and greed maybe, and that you can look for people who need solutions to their problems, and become an enlightened entrepreneur.

 

Let’s go see if we can help people.  Last night, I went to an event, a speaker,(it was a pretty busy day yesterday) and talked to one of the top trainers in an industry.  He was a humble fellow.  He could be making a lot more money doing what he’s doing.  The audience was maybe 50 people…small audience.  He was brilliant.  He’s been out there doing his trainings for almost 25 years.  Humble gentleman.  People loved him because he was not only humble but he was funny, he was self-deprecating, kind, and he was generous.

 

He was telling me yesterday when I had a chance to interview with him he’d been all around the world teaching some of his skills in some parts of the country.  He’s been to Russia, he’s been to Afghanistan, he’s been all over the Far East, Australia, all over the world; he loves to travel.  One of these final meetings he had (this is my final story for today; we’ve gone over a little bit in time because I started late) Kazakhstan I think is where he was at.

 

He said:

“Here were people coming to hear me speak for 3 days.  For 3 days they came from all over this country.”

It was a poor country and there were a couple thousand of them in this skating rink in the middle of cold and the wind was howling about their heads.  They came to hear about freedom, about entrepreneurship, about how they could control their own destiny, about how they could earn some extra money, how they could be free.  Some of them had traveled for miles and days to be there and hear this expert talk about entrepreneurship and he had to be translated.  This was just a couple years ago.

 

They had come from far and wide to learn the principles that we take for granted.  They didn’t have access to the Internet and they just wanted to be their own boss.  Now the world had freed them so that now they could do it.  They sat there for three days in this ice rink, huddling together in groups of 20 so they could keep themselves warm. 

The thing that a true entrepreneur is willing to sacrifice in order to achieve the freedom in their life is amazing.  These are part of the 3 billion people who are being freed to experience what we have been experiencing for decades, if not a couple hundred years.

 

You as an entrepreneur, my challenge to you is to realize that the freedom you have to just be on this phone call for us to communicate with each other is amazing.  The access we have to the powerful stuff on the Internet is staggering.  The problems that we are all facing are enormous and yet, by the same token, they are opportunities where profits will be earned that we will brag about to our grandchildren.

So, take the attitudes and the knowledge and the skills of this new game and be determined to learn them and to apply them, to hang around the winners that will be profiting and learn how they are doing it and let’s make this world a better place. 

That’s what entrepreneurs do.  And enlightened entrepreneurs make the world a better place and then they share parts of their winnings with people who are less fortunate so that the world is enlightened as we become wealthier.

 

And that’s my message to you, my hope for you, my plan for you, my dream for you. 

Forgive me for being a little late today to share that with you.  Have a great day everybody.