People are not as bad as you think
I will tell you this story partly in response to an article about greed I read here this morning. When I was a teenager my goal was to have my own auto repair garage and to break away from my family. I went into partnership with a guy who had a garage with a good name but he was not financially savvy and therefore was going broke. When it came time for me to buy him out I had trouble finding the money because I was broke, I had no credit and I had burned the family bridge.
Someone suggested I turn to my customers for money, which I have to admit seemed like a dumb idea. The situation became desperate and I wrote a pitch letter asking for people to loan me whatever they could so I could raise the 55 thousand I needed. At the time I was 18 years old with no money or future prospects of inheritance or other safety nets. I sent the letter to a select group of 12 people who I thought were my best clients. The result was 11 people loaned me money and it took me three days to raise the 55 grand.
It still brings tears to my eyes all these years later to think about this crossroad in my life where people gave without hesitation and started me on the life that I wanted. I never forget this lesson that I got my start on the grace of others.
Image Credit » http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tamme-Lauri_tamm_suvep%C3%A4eval.jpg