By in Personal

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.

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suffolkjason wrote on September 4, 2014, 9:04 AM

That's an amazing story. 11 out of 12 was just a great strike right. Have you still got the names and addresses of those 11 people? :)

Scorpie wrote on September 4, 2014, 9:11 AM

Six have died, two moved away, and three are still customers. That was in the early 80's

melody23 wrote on September 4, 2014, 9:19 AM

Wow that is amazing, there are some really nice people out there

suffolkjason wrote on September 4, 2014, 9:28 AM

Thirty plus years is a long time. You must treasure those three.

MegL wrote on September 4, 2014, 9:33 AM

Fantastic. Those people must have been very pleased with the work you did on their vehicles! What goes around, comes around.

Ellis wrote on September 4, 2014, 6:52 PM

And I bet that did wonders for your confidence as well..

nbaquero wrote on September 4, 2014, 7:19 PM

Scorpie What an inspiring story, especially considering how young you were at the time, all those customers did not hesitate to support you and your business. Thanks for sharing!

Scorpie wrote on September 4, 2014, 7:49 PM

Yea, they get drop everything service.

Feisty56 wrote on September 4, 2014, 8:41 PM

What a heartwarming story! Those people saw something in you that you probably had not yet seen in yourself. Thanks for sharing this.

BarbRad wrote on September 5, 2014, 12:30 PM

You didn't mention if you ever paid these investors back. I hope you did, since they had such faith in you. It's a great story that shows all those with money aren't just out for themselves, and that many of them use their money to invest in making others successful. Resourcefulness does a lot more good than playing the victim. You had no wealth of your own, but now you are productive and creating wealth.

Scorpie wrote on September 5, 2014, 12:33 PM

Yes, everyone was paid back in four years plus 10 percent interest, some a tad earlier.

paigea wrote on September 5, 2014, 1:16 PM

That is an amazing story. You must have clearly been good at your job and a trustworthy person to have those people believe in you.

Scorpie wrote on September 5, 2014, 1:19 PM

I felt I was very lucky at the time and I do place a priority on excellence in the workplace. Back then for myself and now for my employees.

aolo wrote on September 5, 2014, 2:54 PM

thats an amazing story and its very true that some people are indeed good at heart...

Scorpie wrote on September 5, 2014, 9:21 PM

Yes, everyone got paid.

BarbRad wrote on September 6, 2014, 1:54 AM


Scorpie wrote on September 6, 2014, 7:34 AM

It was the early eighties, a different world ago.

Maggie wrote on September 6, 2014, 9:34 AM

They must be good people. And I believe that there are still many kind people in this world! God bless them.

Gems wrote on September 8, 2014, 8:47 PM

They are wonderful people to have trusted you for just that letter.

SandraLynn wrote on September 10, 2014, 11:36 AM

God bless 'em. I believe in the goodness of people. They're out there.

Scorpie wrote on September 10, 2014, 3:08 PM

...and the Easter Bunny too. Those eggs have to come from somewhere.

sonu wrote on September 11, 2014, 12:35 AM

Wow. A briiliiant inspiring story you got there.

SandraLynn wrote on September 11, 2014, 5:57 AM

Picture it, Sicily, 1942...

Oh wait, wrong sitcom.

ANYway. You reminded me. For years we tortured my kid with cute letters from the Easter Bunny and an autographed pic from Santa; tiny teeth brushing tips from the tooth fairy.

Until one day, we told her we'd lied.


And now I'm living in PRE-TEEN HELL.

emoticon :straight-face:

This too shall pass.

Scorpie wrote on September 11, 2014, 8:35 AM

That's what I said to my kidney stone.