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Dealing with Doubters

“I don’t think that your business is going to work”

“Your chances of success are very slim”

“I had an Uncle that tried to do that and failed”

Anytime you start your own business (especially one like our note business that no one has ever heard of) or take any risks for that matter, you’ll inevitably meet people who will doubt you. These people often mean well, but their negative comments can be a devastating blow to your self-esteem and your entrepreneurial spirit if you are not careful.

What makes things even worse is in some cases, the people who cast the most doubt on your business ideas are your family, friends and people who you care about. Some may not outwardly express their skepticism but secretly believe that your business won’t stand a chance.

When I started my note business in 1991, I had many people who doubted that my idea would ever succeed. Even today, I can only count a few people who supported my business from the very beginning. Now that my business has been thriving for so long, I can document for you how I dealt with the doubters and the skeptics. I put them into three categories.

The Gun Slingers – Your idea is never going to work so don’t even bother wasting your time.

I call these people the gunslingers because they are always the first ones to shoot down your ideas. Gun slingers are complete pessimists and can suck away all of your excitement with a single derogatory comment.

You’ll often find gun slingers sitting by the water cooler, in the breakroom or milling around bitching and complaining about some aspect of their life whether it is their work or their family. Even if you have a brilliant idea, they’ll inevitably find something negative to say to bring you down.

Every note business needs enthusiasm in order to thrive. So when you encounter a gun slinger, don’t even bother telling them about your idea. In fact, avoid talking to gun slingers altogether. Find someone positive to talk to and confide in them instead.

When it comes to starting your own note business, the best people to talk to are other entrepreneurs and highly motivated individuals especially if they are in the note business AND especially in the early stages of your business. Speaking with positive and supportive people can further fuel your excitement towards your business.

Gun slingers don’t have the guts to try anything on their own so they always to try to bring other people down to cover up their laziness and lack of confidence. Keep a mental tally of who the gunslingers are so that you can later drop a few tidbits about how successful your note business has become. I know it’s childish and petty but it can be very satisfying.

The Factoids – Did you know that 90% of startup businesses fail? Do you have any idea how competitive a financial business is? Do you have any idea how many competitors there are already? Do you know how small of a percentage you have of being successful?

The factoids are the ones that constantly remind you of how slim your chances are of being successful. They’ll quote industry wide statistics and failure ratios which can make your note business idea seem silly and ridiculous.

When dealing with the factoids, you have to keep in mind that those facts and figures have absolutely nothing to do with you. Do those statistics specifically reference your name? NO!

All of those people who have failed in the past are just a bunch of numbers, a statistic. They do not represent you and what you bring to the table. You need to constantly remind yourself that you possess unique characteristics that can’t be quantified by anyone.

When I first started my note business, I was one of 206 attendees at a five day boot camp that was taught almost every week of the year for years across the nation. If I went by statistics alone, I would never have had the courage to even begin because statistically, my chances of success would have been one in a hundred thousand.

The factoids can only quote statistics about the average person. But you are definitely not just average!

The Mockers – So how is your ‘little’ note business doing? What was it that you do again?

Once you have launched your note business, you’ll inevitably meet people who I term as the mockers. They’ll ask you questions about your business expecting to hear negative things about your profits. These people may not be doing it on purpose, but they secretly want to see you fail.

When I first launched my business, I had a few people who would routinely ask how business was and when I was going to stick to “real job” with a “regular paycheck”. In the beginning, I didn’t really mind and I would tell them that I hadn’t made much money yet and that it would take some time for my business to take off.

After several months had passed though, these questions started becoming annoying since I had not closed even one transaction yet. Pretty soon, some of these questions started coming across as mocking.

Acquaintance: So how’s your little note business coming along?

Me: My “little” note business is ok. Things are slow but progressing.

Acquaintance: Made enough to quit your job yet? What thingys do you sell again? It must be tough.

Me: We purchase individually held performing first position seller financed notes across the nation and no I am not making much money yet jackass.

Acquaintance: I’m sorry?

Me: I said, “I am not making much money yet. Is that what you asked?”

Acquaintance: Oh, that’s too bad.

The mockers can get annoying after a while, but it is all the more satisfying when business does start to pick up. Try and take their comments as a challenge to fuel your enthusiasm.

Hold Your Head High – The most important thing when dealing with the doubters is to take everything they say with a grain of salt. There are too many variables for anyone to accurately predict the success or failure probability of your note business.

Now that I have gone through it already, I can wholeheartedly say that being successful depends more on your ingenuity, hard work and implementation methodology than the idea itself. So forget what the others are saying. Be creative and you can make anything happen. Remember success demands action, keep on marketing, it’s going to work!  TWITA! (That’s What I’m Talkin’ About!)

Jeff Armstrong of Armstrong Capital, your favorite Master Buyer, has been in the cash flow industry since 1991.  Specializing in the private mortgage note niche and seller financed notes he can be reached at 818-865-2322 or by email at For beginning to advance training opportunities, resources, to learn more or to obtain a quote visit and

1 thought on “Dealing with Doubters”

  1. Thank you for this! I REALLY needed to read this as I have doubters left and right. I just lost a potential deal to a competitor so it does get tough. But I will continue to hold my head high, market and push forward!! TWITA

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