I just got home from work when I hear a knock at my door. Thinking it was one of the neighborhood kids, I opened it with a big smile.
The smile disappeared when I found an older man looking a little angry. This free-loader stretched out his righteous hand full of papers and said,
“I’m so and so from the FTC, and we are opening up an investigation against you and you have a $150,000 fine. Here are your papers. Sign here!”
This was a little dishearting, but also kind of amusing.
I had been out of the financial markets for over 18 months. I lost everything in the crash of 2008. I went from a net worth of 6 Million to a negative net worth of 3 million.
I assumed the case was something to do with investments I had done earlier.
Here’s the problem:
The Government is all-powerful. No matter what you do, they will win. I have seen some people try to take them on and they end up wasting years of their life, and all of the resources, with the hope of winning.
Hope is powerful, and yet dangerous.
The Government has unlimited funds, unlimited time, and the decision-makers are in their pockets.
You can’t win.
It’s a bit like David and Goliath. There is no way I am winning without divine intervention.
Long story short…
There was a particular guy in on this investment, who filed a complaint which somehow pulled my name into the mix.
The FTC was coming after me because of an investment that had gone south. They wanted a fall guy; it was me.
I didn’t know this sketchy fella, but later on, he would prove to be the dishonest one. He had taken peoples money when he shouldn’t have.
But that didn’t matter. The FTC wanted to show a win.
So, I did the next best thing.
I became a dead dog. A lesson I learned from Dale Carnegie years earlier.
I rolled over and let them have their way. I groveled, begged, and swallowed every ounce of pride I had.
To be honest, I didn’t have much pride at that time.
“No One Ever Kicks a Dead Dog.”
The Lawyer at the FTC just had to show a win, and I just wanted to move on.
She needed to make her bosses happy. It wasn’t about the money; they have plenty of that.
It was about the win.
I wasn’t going to fight, so I gave them their win, and I moved on.
They had me sign some paper that didn’t admit or deny anything, and it was over. They got the win.
What could have been years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees, turned into a couple of phone calls and some faxed papers.
The lesson is this…
Find out what your customers want and give it to them.
It’s that simple.
If you get them what they want, it could save you a lot of time, money, and energy.
I watch too many marketing agencies continue to waste time and money on things their customers do not need. Like expensive website designs, SEO results, empty promises, wasted PPC budgets, and bogus marketing campaigns.
It’s not complicated; my customers want more business.
All right, enough free soup for the soul.