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Chapter 17 Building up a successful business


In business you fail in some things and succeed in others. You are often failing and succeeding at the same time, -failing to make one part of your business successful and succeeding in making another part increase and pay. The failures are due to the ideas held; the successes, to the ideals. If you idealize the entire process of your business you will not only avoid failures and partial failures, but will think of possibilities never thought of before, the very ones that will lead you to succeed. To illustrate, I shall use a simple case, - one of the simplest that ever came to me, yet one of the most interesting, and one, the success of which, gave me as much joy as the success of many so-called big affairs. In this instance there was a woman in the case, and it's her story I shall tell.

The Woman: A widow with four children; she then lived in a suburb of Chicago; her husband had died three months before; she was left as proprietor of a small grocery and delicatessen store.

The Conditions: As the husband had been ill three months before his death, savings had been used in doctor bills, hospital bills and funeral expenses. Though the store was a little affair, it had had a good business in this section of the wealthy suburb so long as it had been the only store there. But, about the time of the husband's death, one of those large companies that establish branch stores all over a great city built a white-tiled, plate-glass, two-story building on the corner opposite her little shop. It cut down the business of the little store so much that the woman was unable even to make a living for herself and her children.

The Problem: I confess when she first told me the entire story that it seemed impossible for her to compete with the new store with all its service, its supplies, and its million-dollar parent company back of it.

The First Step: The first thought was: God is not only All Supply, but He is also All Process and Means; the second, Since God is All Process and Means, He knows and has all ideas necessary to make this store a success; and the third, Since God's ideas are ideal, we can get in touch with them as soon as we idealize our own.

How We Went About It: We idealized (1) those to whom she could sell, (2) the business itself, and

(3) the woman. Visualizing the people of the community was a simple matter. All were medium well-to-do; most families had two or more maids; they entertained often at their homes -dinner parties and evening affairs. But what could this woman sell to them which the other store could not supply?

Idealizing the Business: The woman told me the greatest profit was made in handling bakery goods. The big bakeries of the city delivered goods each morning and took back what was left unsold of the day before. In this line there was no waste, and no loss. Moreover, the profit on the amount invested was made daily. If the woman invested ten dollars in canned goods, it might be a month before all were sold; if she made a ten percent profit she made but ten percent on ten dollars in a month. But with bakery goods, if she invested ten dollars in the morning and sold the goods during the day at ten percent profit, she made ten percent on ten dollars in one day. Evidently in this case bakery goods was to be the leader; but how could this little woman make her bakery goods lead over the goods of the other store, when both of them could buy from the same bakeries; and the other store had more money than she, and hence could buy better and more extensive supplies than she could?

Idealizing the Woman: All the time she talked, I had a feeling of conflicting ideas in my mind about her. These remained indefinite until it flashed upon me that, although her name was Mrs. Hansen (Scandinavian), she spoke with a Scotch accent.

The New Thought: Scotch -Scotland -Scotch tarts -those delicious uncovered fruit pies -two-and-a-half and three inches deep -and as big as a dinner plate -Scotch tarts, which only Scotch and English women know how to make. "Are you Scotch?" I asked. " Yes," she replied, evidently surprised. "Can you make Scotch tarts?” "Yes; at least I used to." "Then go down in my kitchen and make one; order anything you think necessary, but make the best one you know how to make." That night I tasted a tart equal to any I had ever eaten; and the next morning she started the pie industry. I sent a note out to a few acquaintances, telling them the old pagan gods on Mount Olympus would still be contentedly happy, even if nectar were taken from them, providing they could get real Scotch tarts; also that I had found a Scotch woman who could make just such tarts, and that these delicious desserts could be secured in Chicago; and I also added that they'd be wise to send their maids early in the morning with an order to Mrs. Hansen.

The Success: The first day she made a dozen pies and sold every one of them. At a good price, too -for these were no dollar pies -these pies were pies -apple tart three inches deep -with gooseberry sauce -to be served with whipped cream -they were worth much as pies, but much more as distinctive desserts not procurable elsewhere. Of course the pie business grew and grew. Moreover, as families bought their tarts from Mrs. Hansen, their maids also ordered other things at the same time. The idealized leader became the actual leader of group after group of other goods sold from the shelves of her store.

Idealizing the Process -God working in every step -led us to get the New Idea -the new thought of making Scotch tarts. Common sense? Yes. Only common sense? No. It was idealized Common Sense. God is all Process, and His Ideas are your ideas -unlimited -as soon as you Idealize your own thought processes so as to be in touch with His.


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