Friday

The Entrepreneur in the Middle of Nowhere

Almost every year I would get a card or a call from a pastor whose church was located about as far away from my office as you could get and still be in my territory. In fact, it was just a few miles from Yuma, AZ. I had traveled to that community before to take photos of an existing client out there, and I was all set to go visit this guy's church until I spent a little time with him on the phone and discovered some interesting things about his operation.

Yes, he had a religious nonprofit church out there, but as it turned out the corporation that owned the church also owned a truck stop, a motel, some office buildings, and various other things around that tiny town. Given that the insurance company had no experience or desire to insure those kinds of risks I cancelled my trip out there and told the guy I couldn't help him. That didn't stop him from not only sending in marketing mailers from the company every year, but calling the main office and complaining that I wouldn't help him. The home office would call my boss demanding an explanation, my boss would talk to me, I would explain the situation...again, and the round-robin would head back to the the desert entrepreneur.

This probably happened five times in nine years. I was getting pretty sick of the guy, and pretty sick of the company's inability to take him off the mailing list. I'm sure my replacement is still getting calls from the guy and the company is still demanding why we won't insure him. Neither were very bright sometimes.

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