READING TIME 90 SECONDS

On March 16th, 2008 Jussi Karppinen closed his office door in downtown Helsinki, sat down at his desk and Googled “borrow money.” On the other side of the door his staff of twenty-five realtors plodded about their business convinced any day soon would be their last.

“My company was suffering from the financial crisis.” Jussi explained. “For three weeks following the collapse of Lehman Brothers nobody bought any real estate in Finland. Our company was young and I had been financing it myself with the help of two friends. During that period I considered packing it in three times. We were 300 000 euros in debt and my mother’s house was guarantee for the bank loan. We are in sales and that means people have to change homes and money has to change hands. To get salespeople selling you have to keep them in good spirits.”

“When all the other companies were cutting costs to secure cash I decided to spend money on good spirits. I took a 10,000 euro “payday loan” because I could not get money from anywhere else. I’d decided we’d keep going right to the end so I spent the whole amount on a party for the agents to get them into good spirits.”

“We started right away to make sales because agents believed in the company and they had fun. We made the company sales record in November, two months after the crisis started. We made a profit every month after that because we realized the meaning of good spirits and fun in sales business. Today we have 100 realtors and are one of the biggest companies in our industry.”

Resources are the tools of the risk-taker’s trade: both inner and outer resources. Your inner resources are your strengths, your resourcefulness and your intuition. Outer resources are mostly people, places and things. Jussi used his intuition to think on his feet. He risked whatever money he could rustle up from his secondary outside resources and used it to boost the morale of his principal outside resources – his staff.

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