Success Exists!!

I had the pleasure of speaking with a very old time client this morning; one I have not spoken with in at least 5 years.

When I first met this client in the early 1990s, he was a mechanic at a gas station, barely earning a living, but supporting his family nevertheless. He wanted to buy a service station of his own – with gas pumps, service bays, and State inspection capabilities. He truly had very limited assets, but he had an unexhausted ability to work hard and strive for a better life.

I arranged for bank financing for 100% of the purchase price, plus working capital (yes, I know, times were different and we no longer live in Wonderland). My client, of course, had to personally guarantee and pledge his house as additional collateral, even thought here was minimal equity in the property, but he didn’t care since he knew he would be successful.

As he grew the business he bought a new home, which I provided the mortgage financing for. He implemented a retirement plan (which I sold and serviced for him) for his employees (yes, a gas station can have a retirement plan and it does serve to retain quality employees for the long term). He was, by any definition, a success. Unfortunately, after I sold my financial services firm we lost touch.

Through a series of coincidences, I heard from him today. His existing station is thriving. His children are getting older and they are successful too. His wife, who labored with him for years at the station, managing administrative matters, opened her own retail business and is also a financial success.

He called me because he wants to acquire two more service stations. An owner of these stations prematurely passed away and his widow wants to sell the business. My client tracked me down and wants my help in arranging the financing, negotiating the lease, etc.

This call made me happy on many levels. First, I’m delighted that my long time client continues to achieve success. Consumers still need gas for their cars and, as seen by declining car sales, people are still servicing their cars so they can retain them longer. So, even in this miserable economic environment, some businesses remain successful. I’m sure that the fact that he is a decent and honest person who provides great service and truthful information helps his business too.

The second reason I enjoyed the call was the fact that a client I had not talked with in years took the time to track me down. If it wasn’t for my efforts, he may have never been able to buy his existing station. I helped him become a self employed, successful business owner, buy a new house, and take care of his employees.

As most of my days have been spent helping those experiencing some form of financial difficulty, this call was a pleasant change and really put me in a great mood.

I hope your day is a good one too.

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