Today Could Be Your Lucky Day!

There is no doubt in my mind that we all have things in our lives that we would rather not own up to. For the sake of this article, I’m going to share one of mine: I am on the Publishers Clearing House (PCH) list.  Yep, that’s right. Every morning I open my email to at least two if not three emails beckoning me to stray from my assigned duties to go enter some online sweepstakes.

Your lucky day!

I’m not sure what it is that I find so compelling about PCH.  Maybe it’s the fact that I can order a book about the 100 uses of vinegar or that at any time the PCH Prize Patrol can pull into my drive-way to deliver a bouquet of balloons, flowers and a check for $1,000,000, saying "Today is your lucky day!"

Whatever is, as a business person, I find their business model amazing.

PCH is a fulfillment business. They offer over 7000+ products all through stand or electronic mail.  The size of this operation requires thousands of people and vendors to be successful. Their business model is so simple yet they are generating over $750 million in sales per year*.

What I find really amazing about this whole thing is that it started in a garage with a man, his wife, his daughter and an idea. In 1953, Harold and LuEster Mertz and their daughter Joyce started mailing discounted magazine offers to people. Just addressing envelopes that included a mail order form for magazines. A simple idea that ended up launching a business that has become one of the world’s most respected direct marketing firms.

This is not an uncommon story in the U.S. – simple ideas turn big. As a country that was founded on a simple idea, it is not surprising that the entrepreneur spirit has been cultivated since the beginning.  The country’s first multi-millionaire was John J. Astor in the late 1700s, when the country was still very young.

Astor had a simple idea and started his first business as a fur trader. Simple! His business grew and expanded as our country’s reach expanded.  As times changed and the fur trade changed, he added new products. When the industry reached a point of decline, Astor had another simple idea. Astor lived in the state of New York. Based on what he saw happening around him, the thought came to him that it might be a good idea to start buying property. So he did. Astor ended up buying the land that, in a very short period of time, would become the City of New York. Enough said.

Every generation of Americans has had challenges, and yet every generation has had entrepreneurs and dreamers who took simple ideas and created their own success stories, many of which have shaped the world we live in today.

As business people, I believe that sometimes we feel we need to come up with a startling new idea or product, that it has to be complicated and never seen before.  Some of us also believe that we’re too old to start something new. Yet history proves that none of these beliefs are true.

While Microsoft, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, Spanx and Starbucks are all simple ideas started by younger people, there are just as many success stories of companies started by people over 50, such as PCH, Coca Cola and McDonalds. The good thing is that success is not limited to a certain demographic, but it does tend to circulate within people with a certain mind frame.

As solopreneurs, we obviously had an idea, one that called us to go into business for ourselves. The drive to do this is also the same drive we need to get our product or service out there into the hands of our clients. No matter where we are in the growth process of our business, we always traverse the unknown in moving to the next level of success. We are always testing established and new ideas to see what will and won’t produce the results we are looking for.

The wonderful part about understanding the success of John Astor, the Mertz’ or anyone else is knowing that a simple idea can make it. That you don’t always have to a rocket scientist to reach the stars. That if you believe in your idea and keep moving one foot in front of another, then you too might one day be able to walk up to someone’s front door with a million dollar check in your hand and say, “Today is your lucky day!”

To your success!

Photo via Dreamstime.

Linda Minnick

Linda Minnick is a specialist in transformational thinking. She is a coach, PSYCH-K® facilitator, author and speaker. Recognizing that a major part of success is in your head, Linda helps her clients get very clear on what it is they really want to create and provides them with support and tools to change the beliefs that are stopping them from getting there.

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