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Old October 31, 2000, 08:23 AM
Dien Rice
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Default The "Karma" of Contacts.... here are two stories.... :)

A friend of mine told me this story he saw on a TV documentary.... Tell me what you think.... :)

A well known shipping tycoon -- till his death in 1975 -- was Aristotle Onassis. You probably know of Aristotle Onassis as the husband of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the widow of President John F. Kennedy....

Aristotle Onassis was asked what he would do if suddenly he lost all his money.

Here's how he answered.... He said:

"I'd get a job, and work till I had saved up $300. Then I'd go buy myself an expensive suit, and go to where the rich people hang out...."

The point of this story was the importance of CONTACTS! That's what he'd do when he reached "where the rich people hang out".... He'd start to make business contacts.

(Of course, $300 was worth a lot more in the 1970s when he probably said this than it is now.... An "expensive suit" now would cost more than that....)

Now, I KNOW that not everyone agrees with this conclusion.... Some will, and some won't.... But to continue....

It's possible to run a business, purely based on contacts!

When I read this, I was stunned.... I had no idea it was possible. Here's how.

I'll let Joe Cossman tell the story.... He says....

When I came out of the U.S. Army after World War II, I looked for a job like thousands of other GI's. I was fortunate to land a job with an export firm in my hometown for $35 a week. They put me in charge of two countries, Venezuela and Argentina, and I corresponded with the company's agents in these two countries. The company I worked for sold railroad equipment. I would write a letter to the agent in Venezuela, introduce myself and in a couple of weeks he would send me an inquiry asking for a quote on my maybe 60 miles of railroad track, 3 million railroad ties, maybe 10 million spikes, possibly 10 locomotives, 20 passenger cars, or 200 freight cars. This was a direct-mail inquiry and I never saw the agent. When I received this inquiry, I would make a phone call to the company who made the locomotives, a phone call to the steel company, a phone call to the company that made railroad ties, etc.

The company I worked for owned nothing but contacts, and when I got the prices in my office I would add an 18-percent profit margin, send my quotation to the foreign agent, and in many cases a letter of credit would come back for four, five, or six million dollars. This, to me, was inconceivable at the time. Here I was corresponding with a man 2,000 miles away and I never even saw him! Our only contact was a letter, a postage stamp, and an envelope. In it's most simple form, that is direct mail.

I copied this system to earn my first big success with the laundry soap and continued to use it....

(From Making It, by E. Joseph Cossman and William A. Cohen, p. 207-8.)

The point here is that here is a business based on nothing but contacts! So, certainly for some businesses, contacts are vital -- since that's all there is!

What do you think?

Food for thought on this Halloween morning.... :)

Dien Rice

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