Growing up in Omaha, I had the mightiest of the mighty for business models. For a state that just adopted “Nebraska, It’s Not For Everyone”, we sure have some success stories in the world of business. You all probably know who Warren Buffet is. He is the mightiest of the mighty in the world of economics and business. He and his children went to the same high school my husband and granddaughter went to. He’s a normal guy, living in a normal neighborhood, in a normal house, and is one of the richest men in the world.
The man reads all the time. Who can’t admire and want to model that. He spends most of his time learning and less of his time doing.
Many of you have never heard of Rose Blumkin, my hero. In Omaha, she’s lovingly known as Mrs. B. She came to Omaha from Russia when she was in her 20’s. She started a little furniture store downtown in 1937 by borrowing $500 from her brother and some money she made selling used clothing. Her store is worth a billion dollars today. Guess who bought it after she passed away? Mr. Buffett did.
The last time I saw Mrs B., she was in her scooter flying around her furniture store and asked ME what she could help me with. She was in her 80’s and she was still working and this millionaire helped me choose a mattress (more on mattresses next week)! It’s the best mattress I ever owned, and guaranteed, it was the best price I could have gotten. SHE taught me how to get the best price for something. It’s a short sentence…. “What’s your best price?” You can believe that if I got it from her, it’s the cheapest I could get it because the numbers were all in her head of what her competitors were charging and she didn’t miss a sale.
Unlike Mr. Buffett, she wasn’t educated, she didn’t read books all day, but she did know how to run an honest business. It wasn’t so much about money as it was about her love for business and being the best.
This is what she said “Sell cheap, tell the truth, don’t cheat nobody.” That was her motto – and as my mentor, this is what I learned from her. We don’t have to cheat, we don’t have to overcharge, and we should always, always, tell the truth.”
Hard work is your best quality. It’s what you should teach your kids and it’s what you need to be able to do as a successful entrepreneur.
Having a business isn’t always easy. Some times are tough. We had a tough time with the banking crisis in 2008. That was tough. You shuffle things and you keep going.
Mrs. B sold furniture in her own home to pay bills. She also had to do some fancy footwork to keep getting her furniture from manufactures and stay competitive.
You do what you have to do and it’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.
I believe it’s a shame that selling at reasonable and fair prices in a competitive market seems to be frowned upon in online business. Online entrepreneurs are encouraged to charge as much as they can to place their products as the most desirable in the market place.
The thing is, you can have a good product (not reliant on your time), that is priced fairly and you can be honest, the customer can be happy, and your business grows.
Maybe someday Warren will buy you out!
“Even if you don’t have money, if you try, then you could have it.”
“It’s better to have them hate you than feel sorry for you.”
“Sell cheap and tell the truth, don’t cheat nobody, and don’t take no kickbacks.”
“When you start making some dollars they start paying attention.”Rose Blumkin
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