When you start something from scratch, the greatest gift you can give yourself is perspective. The difficult part of perspective is the balance between an almost sociopathic zeal in the belief of what you are creating balanced with the ability to step back, listen to criticism, and refine or discard the manifold opinions coming at you. The world is filled with “doubting Thomases” ready to raze your dreams.
How do you deal with this?
First, a few quick anecdotes.
When my co-founder and I began meeting with bankers in 2015, we were faced with a very simple and recidivist attitude: “What could two guys, with absolutely no banking experience at all, know about the way loans are done in America?” This took a very thick skin (inherited from my grandfather) to stomach, day in and day out, as we tried to explain our platform. And, to some extent, they were correct. But, as we continued to refine our system, our confidence grew and when these same statements came up we started to agree with them. “I know, right, that’s the whole point. We have no banking experience at all.”
Heads would retract as if smelling some fetid odor stuffed under their collective noses.
None! We are borrowers with a ton of borrowing experience; just myself alone did fourteen loans in ten years. No joke. Fourteen times I went to a bank, did the same thing, and fourteen times I got the loan I wanted, but, perhaps, not the best rate and terms available. I realized it is a system that is old and broken so I found a friend, and we built an easier way to obtain loans in America.
I know someone with my financial characteristics could get a loan; that was not the issue. The issue was obtaining the best possible rate for the loan I was about to take. If I hadn’t gone down the road with two banks, how would I play one off the other to obtain the best rates? And banks try to preclude that from happening by charging application fees. Is anyone crazy enough to pay two or three ($500 – $1000) application fees to save a .5% point on their mortgage?
If you do the math, everyone should have… until we built Magilla.
Second anecdote: Fast forward to a year later. The platform is a year more advanced, my co-founder and I are a year savvier. We are still meeting with bankers. This time, a top ten bank in the nation. They listen to our pitch and are smiling. The bankers see our vision hook, line, and sinker. They are actually smiling as we tell them about each part of the system. Then, one of the erudite bankers turns to me and says, “Mr. Meyer, you, obviously, have many years of banking under your belt.”
My co-founder looked over at me, and we burst out laughing.
If you hadn’t lived our lives for the previous year, you would not have thought it so funny. We explained the previous anecdote to these bankers, and we all had a good laugh. As the bankers left our office they said, “I am so glad I am retiring in a few years so I don’t have to worry about you two.”
And, in a nutshell, that is how dramatically the opinions of us shifted in one year’s time: “What could you two know about banking” to “You two obviously have a ton of banking experience.”
The belief in what you are doing no matter what the obstacles in front of you is what drives greatness. When it is you against the world and you know the world is wrong, is where greatness lies.
Every word of this blog is true.
This post originally appeared on The Whole Magilla and was written by Chris Meyer, co-founder of MagillaLoans.com.