Inspiration of the Week: Find a Way or Make a Way

He’s a Southern gentleman in his 70s and the father of a dear friend of mine.  John has no idea that he serves as a great inspiration to many … that’s how genuine he is.  To this humble, salt-of-the-earth man, he is just as happy to get up each day and fill it with as much as he can, until he does it all again tomorrow.  He won’t sit still for very long because “there is always something that needs to be done, so I get up and do it.”

I should preface the story by saying that John has a heart condition, but he never lets anything even remotely slow him down.  Having retired a year or so ago, he was determined to attain at least two personal goals:

  1. To not end up with a debilitating illness that rendered him helpless, and
  2. To find a way to make a little extra money to pay his bills, like so many other Americans in his shoes.

John has what I call moxie, or a determined spirit, and a common sense intellect that few possess today.  He comes from the good old days, when hard work and thinking things through produced income.  You would either find a way or make a way.  In fact, he said to me, “Julie, money can be made in lots of ways.  Even if I get paid $5 for something, that’s $5 I didn’t have before.  But you have to be willing to work for it.”

How does John make extra money?  John lives in a small town and listens to a local radio station that reads the classifieds over the airwaves.  You can buy and sell on this radio station.  So John started buying older appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and stoves.  He brings them home, cleans them up, and resells them that week or the next.   It’s the quickest turnaround I’ve ever seen for someone not in this industry!

John’s strategy is simple; he buys several appliances a week for $50 to $100 each.  He resells them on the same radio show, with no advertising costs, and delivers them within a 30 mile radius.  He doubles and sometimes triples his money within a few days, with no overhead.  Now that’s smart!

He knows that not all people can afford, or want to afford, a $2,000 stainless steel refrigerator.  “People have to watch their spending these days,” and he’s spot on.

For those wanting to make extra money, you may want to think along the same lines as my friend.  Find a need that people have that has not yet been filled, and fill it.  He delivers these appliances to some of his older clients who would have trouble getting them otherwise … smart guy with old-fashioned know-how!  What John is doing is spreading by word of mouth in his community; he does not want to get too big because he is a one-man operation and likes it that way.

We all need to take a life lesson from him.  He’s retired, has a heart condition, and nothing has stopped him.  He’s put a good amount of money in his pocket using nothing but his brain and his brawn.  God bless you, John.  Keep it up because you are an inspiration to many!

©2013 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising.  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation.

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