Fear to invest in his business idea almost led Zimmerman’s family to starvation
SETH ZIMMERMAN WAS WORKING NIGHTS AS A NURSE TO SUPPORT HIS WIFE AND THEIR THREE KIDS, BUT HE WAS CONTINUALLY FALLING BEHIND ON HIS MORTGAGE.
For years the wife fed the family on watery chicken bouillon soup that had no chicken, noodles, or vegetables in it and in the winters the kids would gather around the stove to keep warm because there was no money for heating.
When Zimmerman ever did manage a little extra money an unexpected expense would come up and devour it, be that a surgery to repair a torn ACL or the hood of their black station wagon bursting into flames.
THE POINT IS ZIMMERMAN HAD A JOB TO PAY BILLS BUT NO WAY TO GROW WEALTH, SO HE AND HIS FAMILY CONTINUALLY SUFFERED
The worst part was Zimmerman always had a way out, but always blamed other people. There were multiple times that businesses nearly landed in his lap; he had the idea, the people, the resources--but one thing always kept Zimmerman back from acting on his initiative and digging his way with his own hands out of the rat race. And that was fear.
THE POINT: ZIMMERMAN CONTINUALLY THREW AWAY OPPORTUNITIES BY REFUSING TO INVEST IN HIS BUSINESS IDEA
The thing is, Zimmerman was getting very good at running the property. He did not speak Spanish but he spoke enough to order the maintenance around and he invested a lot of time in reading and learning about plants and maintenance and everything needed to optimally run the beautiful, exquisitely-landscaped 40 acre estate that he found himself in charge of.
He was left jobless and with 2 alternatives; return to his nursing job or create a maintenance business with the crew he was already running, the clients they had gotten to know over the past 3 years, and much of the equipment to get the job done.
AS WITH ANY BUSINESS VENTURE THERE WERE RISKS AS WELL AS SEVERAL FACTORS LEANING IN THE BUSINESS’S FAVOR.
The risks facing Zimmerman’s startup business included 1: He would need to invest money to purchase a maintenance trailer to bring the supplies around from house to house. 2: Much of the equipment, the mowers, the blowers, the rakes, the pruners, would all have to be purchased from scratch, because they were the property of the estate.
Zimmerman was afraid of starting a business and relying on his own income as opposed to relying on a paycheck. He was afraid he would invest what little money the family had in the business and it would fail, that he would lose the house, that he would lose his car, that his wife would divorce him, that his family would starve…
THE POINT: IF YOU REFUSE TO INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS IDEA AND TAKE A RISK NOTHING WILL HAPPEN
Zimmerman’s story because it points out the vicious cycle of failure that the middle class finds itself in. The number one factor preventing success is the fear of investing in their business ideas, because fear leads to procrastination and procrastination leaves them in their dead-end jobs, and their dead-end jobs lead them into increasing debt.
On the other hand, if you’ll stay with me to the end of Part II of Zimmerman’s Story, you’ll find out how he does eventually escape the rat race.