I am an entrepreneur who owns 50 small loan stores in five states. I also teach empowerment seminars — and I am a big believer in the law of attraction. Thoughts are powerful. Whether positive or negative, they can impact your business and make or break your company.
I started my company about 18 years ago with approximately $100,000. Around the same time, I befriended a competitor. He raised $4 million prior to opening his doors. With that money, he was able to obtain all the best “A” locations for his stores. He could afford the best advertising and pay the highest wages. I, on the other hand, could only afford “C” and “D” locations. I couldn’t afford the highest wages or the best advertising.
It’s in the belief system
We started our companies at the same time in the same city. However, there was a big difference in our belief systems — I believed that all my employees were honest and trustworthy and were the best people to ultimately make the loan decisions. My competitor required his employees to call him before making any loans, while my policy was to call a supervisor before turning down a loan.
Store personnel made all the loan decisions and made the collection calls if necessary. I believed that I had good customers with solid intentions to repay their loans. I grew quickly and prosperously and led a happy life.
My competitor’s beliefs were quite the opposite. Whenever we went out to dinner, he complained that his employees were dumb and untrustworthy. He complained that our customers were all out to steal from him. He was disdainful of our industry and he did not enjoy his life.
At that time, I ran a rate of 6 percent loss on bad debt, and my collections rates were among the best in my industry. My competitor ran a rate of more than 20 percent bad debt. Do some people not pay? Sure! But they are the exception in my business — not the rule.
I started with one store. He started with four. After a few years, I prospered and expanded to 10 stores. He had four. After five years, I had 20 stores. He had four. After 10 years, I was north of 50 stores. He had closed up shop and was out of business. His investors suffered complete loss of their capital.
After allowing my cash to self-fund growth for the first few years, I had actually raised some capital. My investors cashed out doubling and tripling their money in the midst of the 2008 downturn when market returns were dismal.
A matter of trust
My competitor had all of the advantages — his business should have surpassed me by hundreds of stores. The only difference between us was our belief systems. After all, we were in the same city catering to the same customers with the opportunity to hire the same employees.
I gave a business talk recently and was asked if I’d always been trusting or if it was something I had to learn. The reality is, I trust my employees to handle large sums of cash, and I have rarely had that trust broken. Many competitors of my size experience annual employee thefts far exceeding the total amount of money that has been taken from me in my 18 years of business.
I believe strongly in the law of attraction in business. I train my employees on the power of positive intentions and setting good expectations for their business and life.
Trust is powerful. If you don’t naturally possess it, work to develop it. It will pay off.
Charles Horton is a self-made millionaire by the age of 30, the CEO and founder of FastBucks®. He oversees more than 50 retail financial outlets across the country. His company has been recognized twice by Inc. 500/5000 as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in American. Establishing a second business in 2014, SecureVital is his latest venture, focused in cybersecurity. He also has another unique passion, teaching people to move beyond fears and obstacles through firewalking, as one of only nine Certified Master Firewalk Instructors in the world. His first book, Ignite the Secret: 19 Lessons for Business and Life, is intended to be a reference for those wanting to change the course of their lives and realize their dreams. For more information on Charles Horton, visit www.CharlesHorton.com. For information on Charles Horton’s Firewalking Institute of Research and Eduction (F.I.R.E.), visit www.firewalking.com