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Seven Deadly Sins

Before you go and assume that you know the cardinal sins of the note (or cash flow) business; think again. The business lessons I offer in my articles and newsletter are not the regurgitated, canned, lessons that you will find in every business book or blog you read.  No, these are different lessons, really important ones. I run a very busy note business as well as a national speaking career and a tournament bass fishing profession and have little time to waste. So when I write, you better believe it’s going to be real lessons which, if followed, will absolutely change the trajectory of your note business forever. I’m not going to offer advice like, offer a firm handshake, dress well, and don’t arrive late. Those are important, kind of. Honestly, I’ve violated all three of those rules a time or two, and have thrived in my business anyway. The seven deadly sins I’m about to share with you are the ones that will really nail you if you violate them in our small niche business. These babies are lethal. They can put you out of business. Here are the seven deadly sins of the note business. Violate them at your own risk.

Pride: In the note business, stick to pitching your own value proposition and steer away from talking about the competition. If you absolutely feel the need to mention your competitor, then stick to raw facts and figures. There should be no adjectives used when talking about the competition, unless they are good ones. “We buy 100 notes year and they buy 20,” is a perfectly acceptable comparison if you must make one at all. “We buy 100 notes year while they buy a measly 20,” is crossing the line. Scrap the adjectives all together when it comes to talking about the competitor.  As a consumer, I am always turned off when a business craps on the competition. I run for the hills, or sometimes run right into the arms of the competitor.

Wrath: Every note holder that contacts you is a potential note seller or has the ability to refer you a potential note seller, even people who recently decided to sell their note through someone else. When you lose a deal, do not freak out. Do not give the lost note holder a piece of your mind. Do not send a nasty email or leave a messy voicemail. Get over the loss and move on. A lost note holder might decide to sell another note to you in the future or might refer someone to you down the road if their relationship goes sour with their current note buyer. Don’t muck up future potential business by being a hothead.

Gluttony: Just because your note holders love you, doesn’t mean they will put up with BS. I quit my dentist last year for this very reason. I had been going to the same dentist for 25 years. I would refer him business whenever I could. I kept his brochures in my drawer to give to people. I had a $120 balance on my account for something that my insurance didn’t cover. Apparently he sent two invoices which I didn’t pay. This is not unusual for me because I throw out all my mail if I think it’s advertising. I then got a call from a collection agency saying my dentist was going to report the $120 balance to my credit bureau if I didn’t pay immediately. I explained to the collection agency that this was the first I had even heard of the balance. I explained that if there was a bill mailed to me, I wasn’t expecting it, and must have thrown it out thinking it was advertising propaganda or, better yet, a thank you note for all the business I had given him over the years!  Anyway, your loyal note holders deserve a higher level of service than a note holder you don’t have yet. Don’t piss off the people who already believe in you.

Greed: Are you in business to serve note holders or to serve yourself? All I have to say is that note holders can sniff out a greedy note buyer in a heartbeat. I built my note business in the 90s by focusing 100% on providing an awesome experience for my note holders. I didn’t play bait and switch, I didn’t double-dip commissions and I didn’t take exorbitant fees. I charged fairly and made my entire business about the note holder. This wasn’t true for every note professional and lending institution in the 90s which is why there has had to be massive reforms in the mortgage world which then directly affected the note business. Sad! Don’t focus on money, focus on serving others, and you will never starve.

Lust: One of the greatest sins in the note business is the lust for power. When you lust for power, you have an intense desire to always be right. When you lust for power, you must always take credit. When you lust for power then your control will always outweigh the needs of the note holder. You cannot build your business on these terms. Remain humble. Give up some control. Admit that you are not always right. Only then will you see your note business grow.

Envy: When you have an intense focus on what someone else has, you lose sight of opportunities that are right in front of you. Last year, I dissolved a relationship with a small company that I had used for 16 years. Of course, they were upset that I had left. For six months they intensely focused on trying to figure out ways to get me to come back. While they were focusing on me I was focusing on the massive ocean of opportunities all throughout the industry. The truth is, they were so focused on getting my business back that they didn’t even see the bigger picture of the real opportunities in the industry.

Sloth: Don’t be lazy, sloppy, or careless when you are working in your business. Follow through on your promises. If you say that you will call back by 5 o’clock, do it by 4. In the note business, luck favors the note professionals who makes promises and goes above and beyond to keep them.

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 on a note visit and

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