In order to keep Rob Chin’s privacy, this is not him.
For many years I offered business advice to homeless people I saw in the street. One man was Rob Chin.
He had a passion for standing on the corner cleaning peoples windshields as they stopped at the red light at a main intersection to make a left turn. He made enough money to eat a few times a day and buy a pack of cigarettes once a week. He had many run ins with the police and ended up in jail a few times for this seemingly good deed. He always did his job with a smile.
I might not be the best influence at times, but I gave Rob some advice on how to turn his venture into a cash cow, maybe even enough to get himself off the streets. But I told him it was going to take some guts and some careful planning along with his amazing attitude. I was not about to help him fund his venture, but His investment was going to cost him about two dollars.
We went to the local corner store and bought a bottle of cooking oil and some rags. We went to his normal spot and he began to wash the windows of the cars with the cooking oil. People were furious. Yelled at him. He smiled and waved and told them he was going to do a great job on their windows. The cooking oil made a mess. Needless to say, He earned no tips that day.
Two days passed and more pissed off people came through. Then it happened. He no longer had to clean windows. People would drive up to the light and have money sticking out for him NOT to clean their windows. But this time they were willing to pay bigger bucks to him. Six months later, Rob bought his own car wash in Denver Colorado.
The first thing Rob Chin did after opening his car wash. Go to that same corner for three weeks offering FREE car washes to everyone who drove by, because, hey, they WERE his investors.
*Note: Legalities aside, Determination and thinking outside the box will lead you in one of two places: either Jail or Success. Entrepreneurs have learned that it’s always a gamble and you might as well go for it.
I have learned that People are interesting, they will reward you no matter if you do good or bad to them. Surprisingly enough they will be willing to reward you more if something effects them more emotionally. Sadly, It’s kind of how extortion works. Although we don’t want to do any harm to the people around us, the lesson is that marketers for many years have used these fear tactics to influence your buying decisions. Oh no, you better buy it before it sells out. Limited time only. Next week the price will double. Fear. Fear sells big.
This could also be compared to the Pavlov’s Dog experiment, once he got them trained, they did as they were told.