My father is a chicken farmer and while working with him in one of the chicken houses on a hot, humid, Mississippi Summer day he shared with me a story as I was entering my 3rd year of College in the fall to me entering my 3rd year in college and to this that tto this day it resanates with me more than ever before. It was a story about the man that sold HOT DOGs. The story goes like this;
Once there was a man who had a stand on one of the busy streets down town and he sold hot dogs. He sold good hot dogs and folks bought from him on a consistent basis. He put signs up advertising his hot dogs, he placed ads in the newspaper, and he told everyone in his community how good his hot dogs were. And he sold a lot of hot dogs!
So he increased his inventory. He bought more buns, more hot dogs, more wrappers, and more condiments. He built a new stand and made it larger, added signs advertising his good hot dogs, and he kept his sales area neat and clean. He made sure his hot dogs were always hot and that his customers always walked away with a smile. And his sales continued to increase!
He was so successful that he was able to send his son to Harvard University. After graduating with a Masters Degree in business, the son returned home to join his father in business. At the end of his first day on the job, the son said: “Dad, I know you’re not educated in Economics and you have not had the opportunity to read and study the latest journals on business and economic forecasts. But the overall economy is in terrible shape. The huge federal deficit, the trade deficit, oil prices, and the unemployment rates are undoubtedly going to plunge this nation into a horrible recession. I think you should consider these things for future planning.”
The man scratched his head and thought: “Well, my son has the finest university education from the most acclaimed business college in the country. He must know what he is talking about.”
So the man reduced his inventory by half. He stopped advertising in the newspapers and took down his signs to save money. He quit telling everyone in his community about how good his hot dogs were and he even went back to using the old cart from years ago. And his hot dog sales went down the tubes almost overnight!
“Son”, the man said to his Harvard-educated offspring, “You sure were right. Damndest recession I’ve ever seen.”
The moral of the story was my father wanted me to know two things.
#1. Remember who you are and where you came from, practice common sense, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, and never think you are any better than the common man/woman who might earn less than you but works just as hard as you.
#2. Having a College Education, (I was the first child to graduate with a 4 Year College Degree and my father also did not have a 4 year college degree) does not automatically make you smarter or brighter as he stated, “There are a many walking encyclopedias born everyday in this world that turn out to be living failures in their daily life!”
This story once again resonated with me during the worse housing debacle since the Great Depression back in 2008. This was the year that I learned a new mortgage trade helping homeowners achieve homeownership by utilizing a Renovation Mortgage better known as FHA203k to accomplish their Homeownership Dream. I told this story repeatedly to myself and many Real Estate Agents that would listen. Six years later I am still selling Renovation Mortgages and selling more now than I ever had before. I am creating economic development as many contractor and vendors are utilized creating more jobs and I have larger staff to help me streamline our operations. So I ask you what are you selling? What ever this might be I ask you to be passionate about what you do and never let someone tell you, NO! The story above is unanimous and if you would like to use it and share it with others please do as its has been a welcome of inspiration for me during the housing debacle and still today.