Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bill Bartmann Says, If It’s Such A Good Opportunity, Why Are You Offering It To Me?

Five ways to tell legitimate deals from stinkers
By Bill Bartmann

I was a street gang member and slaughterhouse worker who later made more than a billion dollars. Along the way I’ve been bankrupt several times, built seven businesses and been pitched countless deals.

What opportunity made me a billion bucks? It was the debt-collection business. Talk about an area with a bad reputation. Yet my company took a different path, and earned the praise of Working Woman Magazine for being one of the “Top 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers”. We broke the mold, redefined an industry, and made lots of money at the same time.

Reflecting on my successes and scars, here are five principles for how you can identify truly good opportunities of your own and quickly dump the rest:
It should be just good enough to be true.

When someone pitches you on an opportunity and there’s only good news for as far as your eye can see—that’s bad news. Engineers have a saying: “You can have any two of the following—fast, cheap, or good—but not all three.” That’s as true with bakeries as it is with bridges.

Strive to work with partners who recognize that everything has tradeoffs and who are up-front about them. It’s often still possible to profit, as long as you see the negatives and act accordingly.

Barriers are your friend.
When an opportunity seems to say: “Welcome—Come On In!”—that’s no real opportunity.
Look for conventional-wisdom barriers. Often that “wisdom” is not wise at all. Ken Olson founded Digital Equipment Corp and said in 1977: “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Other so-called experts agreed.
Try to find powerful statements which everyone seems to accept but which are not based on any factual reason why something cannot work. In my case, the reputation of debt collectors was somewhere below politicians and scam artists. That big “Keep Out” sign meant less competition and more profit.

Talk to actual users.
If the new opportunity is a product, use it yourself. See if you’re impressed as a consumer. If it relates to oil rigs, talk with a drilling crew. You simply must get input from actual users in order to determine how great this opportunity may realistically be.

I had been poor for so much of my life that I knew exactly what the typical bill collector was like. I treated customers with dignity and respect. They reciprocated by paying my bill before they paid others.

Question their motives.
I know—your mother told you all about the Golden Rule. I’m not your mother.
Remember the title of this article—why are they offering the deal to you? Let’s put aside the baloney answers you’ll hear like “Because I want to give back.” That’s nice. Now why are you really showing me the deal? Other responses:
“I already have eight deals like this and I see more good ones than I can finance.” That may be legitimate, as long as the person can back it up with proof.

“We’ve had overwhelming requests by people to participate in this new opportunity, so we finally caved in.” Usually hogwash. Translated it means: “We don’t want to risk our own money on this new venture, so we’re looking to use your dough to prove our concept.”

“It’s not part of our core business so we’re selling it off.” That can be a very good reason, if they can back it up with proof. It could mean the company has decided to stick to its knitting.

Look for the time horizon.
Business opportunities have a half-life, just like uranium. Blogs and video sites are currently “in”. If your business relies on popular trends, it pays to watch for signs of user fatigue and what may be next.

When I was buying defaulted loans in the ‘90s, I knew the opportunity would not last forever. Sure enough, it was profitable for a few years and then dwindled.
The government bailout changed all that. I now see an even bigger opportunity for buying defaulted loans and making an absolute fortune from them. Still, the biggest window is only for another couple of years until the next major election. Politicians will want this “toxic asset” problem solved before voters go to the polls.

Just as I am looking at a two-year opportunity, you should know what the horizon is for your business.


Bill Bartmann is the author of Bailout Riches: How Everyday Investors Can Make a Fortune Buying Bad Loans for Pennies on the Dollar. It recently became an Amazon #1 world-wide best-seller. Bill has been in every major newspaper and is frequently interviewed on television.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bill Bartmann Ammassed a Huge Fortune; Bill Bartmann Lost a Billion Dollars; Bartmann Bounced Back!

I’m no loser Baby, It’s time for somebody to pay me! Motivational Circuit Welcomes Bill Bartmann who shows you how to “milk your losses” and earn money by learning from your failures.

These days you can find Bill Bartmann speaking at day long motivational seminars such as Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Nevada. He has much to share. Bill Bartmann has been well-known in the financial world, and business schools have studied his then-pioneering approaches to raising money. Bill Bartmann's physical presence can be intimidating: He has a compact body, a rough voice, and an almost feral energy. His hands are those of someone who spent his adolescent years brawling. Bill Bartmann wears a tight-fitting shirt and dark suit.

This is Bill Bartmann’s preamble "The secret of success is elegantly simple, like the law of gravity. This is how the world works: You need to be willing to take risks. You don't because you are afraid of failure; you are worried about what people will think. And that's because of low self-esteem. To succeed, you have to raise your self-esteem. He believes that its advice can change lives. Bill explains that this was a major factor of his success that he can offer for why he became a billionaire and some listening to him possibly haven't even come close.

Bill Bartmann 58, made (and lost) his fortune in the debt collection business. His rise and fall brought him to national attention. He has seen both sides of self-esteem. Bill shares, “I’ve lived it”. Bill Bartmann knows about going from poverty, and being a million dollars in debt or being ready for welfare to being one the wealthiest person in America. From being a high-school dropout to going through a significant, some say remarkable, transformation. Like being named a National Entrepreneur of the Year twice, Bill Bartman learned how to change first hand. He has seized opportunities and is among survivors of all kinds who have changed their lives. Bill Bartmann is committed to inspire and train, employees, former executives, sports coaches, entrepreneurs or anyone else wanting to change. To help them find the inspiration and motivation that leads you to action. Motivation, in all its guises is the cornerstone for taking action and making changes. Bill Bartmann thinks he has a big idea that is going to transform his life and yours. A slice of the American Fantasy and dream as it were a peculiarly American belief in reinvention. Bill Bartmann is one of those who have overcome adversity. Bill wants to be one of those who can unlock the big ideas, the supposed secrets of achievement for you. Motivation can be an animating force for everything you want to do. Redemption is big,” In his quest to be a motivational speaker, Bartmann carries around a laminated card in his pocket. On it is typed the following goal: Touch 10 million people in five years. "It's a giant, crazy, ludicrous number," he says. "Can I touch enough people. He is not like Dale Carnegie telling you How to Win Friends & Influence People, or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, or even how to be Looking Out for #1. He is about having you see "Failure Is Not Final", but you have to understand the value of being authentic. You have to respect that." Bill feels the one thing everyone needs is self-confidence." Everyone has setbacks but you can prosper in any circumstances, but you have to admit you've failed and stop covering up. You don’t have to be like the guy who chopped off his arm to save his life (Aaron Ralston), but honestly, start thinking “Yes you can” and get out of the Hype you tell yourself. Get yourself motivated to taking action in what you learned from the failure. Life is a traveling carnival, and you have to ask yourself, Why am I an authority? Because it is my life. You don’t know where you’re next Big Idea can come from, what career path will lead to success and fortune. What still unproven action will capture your imagination and lead to that long coveted success

In business, it is the adversity of your own making, learning from failure that has you make personal changes you need to. By anyone's estimation, Bill Bartmann's life has been one of head-swelling highs and depressing lows. Bartmann made his first fortune running a company that manufactured oil pipes. In 1985 the collapse of crude prices left him without any customers and a million dollars in debt. He had started Commercial Financial Services Inc., a year later. Bartmann and his wife, Kathy, who together owned 80% of CFS, made Forbes' list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. In 1997 Forbes magazine estimated the couple to be worth about $1.1 billion. The Tulsa community soon became familiar with his unique swagger. Bill Bartmann traveled with a security detail, didn't join the country club as was expected, and worked in an office with a statue of Don Quixote. He did not fit on conventional lists. In fact his wife Kathy once said, "I don't care if I'm on any lists, if anyone knows me,’’ but Bill and Kathy were getting rich.

A few skeptics wondered at the company's rapid growth; but, in 1994 by many accounts, its revenues had doubled every year! CFS had become the world's largest holder of bad consumer debt; unlike its competitors it owned the debt outright and was trying to collect on some $14.5 billion. He was among the biggest employers in the Tulsa business community. In the summer of 1998, CFS was reckoned to be worth $3 billion.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. proposed taking the company public.

Four months later, credit agencies received an anonymous one-page letter accusing CFS of shady dealings. Bartmann was indicted on 57 federal counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering related to an alleged scheme to make the company's collection rate appear higher than it was. After an 89-day trial in 2003, Bill Bartmann was proven 100% innocent and acquitted of all Charges. His partner, Jay L. Jones, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and served 3 1/2 years of a five-year prison term). Jones, a 20% business partner, had formed Dimat without Bill Bartmann's knowledge to purchase and resell bad loans on the side. Jones had convinced Bill to buy his stock at a much reduced rate. But there's one thing all parties seem able to agree on: Bartmann came away from the mess nearly broke. Mike Zarrilli, his former contact at Chase said, “Whatever Bill was doing, it doesn't appear he was doing it to put short-term cash in his pocket." It doesn’t appear that any lack of integrity was shown by Bill Bartmann’s. He suffered along with all the other employees. Bill was facing bankruptcy, Bartmann, 58, had made (and lost) his fortune in the debt collection business. It took Bartmann until 2006 to contend with various civil suits. He and Kathy had to give up 19 acres of their 20-acre estate.
He had to come up with his own affirmation of sorts, and motivate himself to come up with his next Big Idea, his own answer and take action! The wild arcs of his life offered valuable lessons! He looked at his early life and noticed his credibility, as someone who can prosper in any circumstances. In general, he says "I think I am the message, the answer. The one thing everyone needs: self-confidence." A 2001 New Yorker profile described him as having "an uncanny gift for making those who work for him feel that they share in his powers." Bill Bartmann became interested in motivating others. Bill would become a successful motivational speaker. He would inspire others to admit their failures, learn from them, and use them. Bartmann would do what others had done. Bill Bartmann would join the tradition of teaching success with such honored inspirational notable players as; Benjamin Franklin, Robert J. Ringer, Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, Stephen R. Covey, and Zig Ziglar Jonathan Black, Donald Trump, George Foreman.
Motivation, in all its guises, could make a difference for people. Bill could offer seminars, workshops, executive coaching, personal coaching consulting, and year long mentor programs that would help people move beyond their failures. One of the disclaimers he has been know to start his seminar with is:
"I'm awkward about this. I haven't set you up for the kill," he says. "I don't want to be a snake-oil salesman. I'm in the motivational, self-help industry. It's an industry that ranks right there with car salesmen. I don't know if I'm any better, any different, but I do know a few things....
Bill Bartmann wants to join you on the road to success. He’s been known to say, if I touch enough people, I'll be a financial success." Bill has been a self made billionaire and is about creating financial success for himself and others. Bill Bartmann has been reported saying, “I've moved from success to significance." If I touch enough people, I'll be a financial success."

Bartmann has also made a decision that all profits from his mentoring program, for which he now charges $797 a month, and his appearances at Get Motivated! Tours (where he is one of dozens alongside George Foreman and Zig Ziglar) and Learning Annex Real Estate and Wealth Expos (where he is one of dozens alongside Donald Trump and Tony Robbins) will go into a foundation called Bill's Brigade. The foundation's aim is to gather 70,000 high school kids in the Texas Stadium in Dallas for a self-esteem revival meeting.

In March, Bartmann found himself in Hollywood, where the idea of him hosting a "Dr. Failure" talk show somehow, wondrously, came up. Bartmann was ready to tell his whole story. "I talk about CFS first.... There is no more compelling story. Kathy said I should quit acting like I'm ashamed. It makes everyone else's problems seem smaller. It gives them permission to tell me about their problems." He came up with a new goal, a new pitch: "To do for failure what Betty Ford did for alcoholism and Susan Komen did for breast cancer."

This article was written by Marcus Maupin, who describes Bill Bartmann as the ultimate underdog/survivor/achiever, overcoming personal circumstances and tragedy to rise to the top enterprise in America. If you want to know how to overcome and come out on top—He’s your man. Bill has left a legacy of stellar accomplishments and overcoming the failures life brings you. Bill’s testimonials and accomplishments reads like a “Who’s Who” list, ranging from Mother Terressa and Bill Crosby to Zig Zieglar.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bill Bartmann Discusses Buying a Franchise

Bill Bartmann asks, Is Franchising Right for You?

Franchising is another great path to business ownership, offering a great new opportunity somewhere in the middle of a new business start-up and the purchase of an existing business. Here are the advantages and disadvantages you could experience when buying a franchise.

Advantages of Buying a Franchise according to Bill Bartmann

The business is already formed - the planning is done
Reduced risk - the concept has been tested and proven
Turn-Key Operation – the franchisor helps you find and choose a location, hire employees, market yourself, etc…
Standardized Operating Procedures – Training programs in place for all employees from entry level to upper management
Collective Buying Power – 90% of your supplies, inventory, uniforms, etc…are purchased through your franchisor who is buying in bulk and passing savings on to you
Research and Development – the franchisor decides when to introduce new product lines or offer promotional discounts while you focus on operating the business
Supervision and Consulting – The franchisor provides training and supervision while you’re getting established.

The franchisor wants you to succeed; he gets paid royalties based on your success. A good franchisee will provide the training and support you need to ensure you will show succeed and generate a good profit.

Bill Bartmann points out Disadvantages of Franchising

Loss of Control – You must do everything exactly as you’re told to do it. You are not authorized to change policies and procedures; you cannot decide when to introduce new products or offer promotional discounts. The franchisor makes all the rules and you must follow them; the franchisor is to you as a boss is to an employee.

Binding Contract – You’re all-in! Franchisees do not operate independently; they all do the same thing, the same way. This consistency is most beneficial to the customers as they know what to expect no matter what location of the franchise they visit, no matter what state, county or city. They know that whatever they order will be the same size, prepared the same way, and packaged the same way.

Franchise Problems become Your Problems: If one franchisee in your particular franchise has a problem, for instance, a lawsuit that becomes nationally known. For example, ABC Chicken, in one location, is sued when a lot of people are sick with food poisoning. The news quickly travels across the US and you find your revenues slipping. No one wants to risk going to ABC Chicken; they don’t even consider that this is likely an isolated occurrence.

Cost Associated – The initial franchise fee, which is the cost of your rights to sell their product, can be anywhere from a few thousand to over $1 Million, depending on the franchise. This fee may not cover other start-up costs, operating capital, the upcoming payroll, beginning inventory and more. You also might be required to purchase or lease a certain location; one that is a prime location in your area; therefore, being sold at a high cost. You may be independently responsible to buy signs, fixtures, etc… as well.

When franchises are operating well, everyone does well. When there are problems, all the franchisees can suffer. Though a lot of the risk potential is reduced, there are still possible risks to consider when deciding to buy a franchise.

Bill Bartmann covers the paths to business ownership and the advantages and disadvantages to each. His online course, Billionaire Business Systems, has guided many entrepreneurs to great success in their business ventures.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bill Bartmann Business Tips: How to Write a Sales Letter

Bill Bartmann, business coach, says a good sales letter is essential for any business that relies primarily on sales. You are relying on being able to bring people to your way of thinking so they will be willing to use your product, service or in some other way hire you. This means you need a sales letter to send out to your prospective clients.

But do you know what to really have in a sales letter? A sales letter has to be as good of a representation of you as you are; therefore, you need to be sure it's written correctly to make someone read it and give you a chance, instead of just tossing it aside.

Grab and Hold the Reader’s Attention

Bill Bartmann's tip #1 to sales letters is that you want make sure that you can grab the attention of those who are reading it. Start by giving them a good reason to read on. For example, if your sales letter is to promote financial advising services, you may want to open with a simple phrase that lets the reader know why they need your service, such as 'One in three people are losing money on their retirement investments and won't have the money to support themselves in their golden years. But we can help…"

This type of thing helps people realize immediately that they may be one of the people your product can help.

Focus on the Main Points

Bill Bartmann's tip #2 to sales letters is to stick to the points. Make all the important sales points you need to without rambling. Consider using bullet points to talk about features of a product. For example, if you are selling specialty pillows, you may want to make a list of reasons people would like to purchase them such as:

Why are our pillows better than the others on the market?


Hypo Allergenic
More Supportive
Created especially for those with neck ailments

Let them know why this is what they want and need, hitting all of your sales points in rapid succession.

Bill Bartmann Keeps it Simple

While you may be proud of your business and want to be able to explain all the intricate workings of it to your customers so they can be just as proud, they really don't need to read all of that and they won't. Remember the KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid). While you may be excited about your business and all its details, that may not be as exciting to them, and you don't want to lose them by bogging them down in information they don't need.

Read and Re-read

Before you send a sales letter out, be sure to read and reread it to assure it says what you want it to. More sales letters go out with typos and mistakes that could have been averted if you had just read it over a few times before sending it.

Bill Bartmann is a nationally acclaimed business coach and founder of the Billionaire Business System, a series of books and seminars that teach you what you need to know running a business. Bill Bartmann has provided real business guidance to thousands of entrepreneurs to help them succeed in business, even during tough economic times.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bill Bartmann Business Tips: How to Build a Strong Advisory Board

Every business should have an advisory board. A strong advisory board brings experience and advice to your company without the cost of high business consulting fees. You need a group of people who know about things you don’t; people who possess the skills and attributes that your business requires to be successful.

So, how do you find these knowledgeable people? Remember, it’s not just about who you know, but who your friends know. Widen the circle; don’t just think of the 100 people you know, but the 100 people each of them knows as well. Let’s say you are not great with numbers and you don’t personally know a CPA; chances are likely one of your friends knows one.

The first thing you should do is make up about a dozen 3-ring binders that you will hand out to your advisory board. The binder will contain three sections:

Executive Summary: Provide a short description of your company; just the information that will be important to your Board of Advisors.

Statement of Purpose: The value of or the purpose your Board of Advisors will serve as they make a difference in your business; tell them why they will be valuable to you.

Sample Agenda: Show an example of an agenda for a 1-hour meeting

Members’ Bios: Of course, this section cannot be filled until the group is formed. Provide a short bio of each existing member and their contact information, so when you’re soliciting new members, they get to see who else is on this team.

Make a list of the special skills that you would need the members of your advisory board to possess, and then look for those people. Make an appointment to see “Mr. CPA.” Call his office; leave a message with the receptionist that you would like a 5 minute appointment with Mr. CPA. Be sure to stress that you promise to only take 5 minutes of his time.

When you go in to see “Mr. CPA, introduce yourself and hand him a binder, explaining, briefly what it contains. Then, say something like, “I want to surround myself with people like you, so I can take my business to a whole new level.” If you already have some members who are well known in the community, show him the section with the bios, “Perhaps you know so and so, who is also a business owner in our area.”

Then show the sample agenda, “Go ahead and contact some of the other members on the board. We meet monthly and meetings do not go over one hour. I don’t expect you to say yes now, so I will leave you this book and look forward to hearing from you. I promised to only take 5 minutes of your time, so I’ll leave you to think this over.”

Of course, you can stay and talk if he encourages it, but at this point you have accomplished something huge in just 5 minutes. You made a great impression by complimenting him, showing your respect, and keeping your promise to only take up 5 minutes of his time. This is a great display of your integrity.

The Monthly Meetings

A lot will be accomplished in these monthly meetings of only 1 hour each, so they should be held somewhere where everyone can easily make it on time and where everyone will be able to focus on the agenda and the objective. The meeting should not be in a noisy fast food place, in your warehouse, or in the office where phones are ringing.

Rent a small conference room at a hotel where there will be plenty of space, a conference table and comfortable, professional environment. Meetings will likely take place after work, from 6pm to 7pm, when many people are home eating dinner, so be sure to provide something light to show you care and that you appreciate them postponing their dinner to meet with you.

Provide additional pens, note pads and any other supplies you might need to help things go more smoothly. A flip chart with markers might be useful.

As you promised at the 5 minute meeting with Mr. CPA, be sure to hand out the agenda and start on time, so everyone can be home when they promised their family they would be. Keep to the agenda as much as possible and make sure the meeting does not go over one hour.

If you should end up in a debate or a lengthy conversation that causes you to spend too much time on a topic, then you will have to wrap things up, when the hour is up, and postpone the remaining items on the agenda for the next meeting. Do not ask if it is OK to run a little late; everyone will likely say “yes” but they will not be happy and they may not be as willing to continue being on your board of advisors if this becomes a habit.

When planning your next agenda, be sure to start with “old business” where you relate back to your advisors who provided ideas during the last meeting. Tell them that you have been thinking about their idea and when you plan to implement it. Or, if you’re not sure if you’re ready for this action at this time; let them know. They will be happy that you are showing them respect by listening to them and remembering what they had to say.

When soliciting for members to your advisory board, you have the opportunity to display your integrity by keeping your word. Once they are members of your advisory board, you will want to keep their respect by showing them your respect. Be thoughtful of their needs, appreciative of all their advice and thankful for their support.

Bill Bartmann is happy to be a member of several advisory boards, where he shares his experiences with other entrepreneurs to help make a difference in the world of business ownership. Bill Bartmann is the creator of the Billionaire Business Systems, an online business essentials course for entrepreneurs. His series of videos, books and seminars has helped many entrepreneurs succeed in business even during tough economic times.

Bill Bartmann’s Business Sense: Why you need an Advisory Board

Having a board of advisors provides you with professional insights; objective opinions and business experience that you need to run a successful business. A board of advisors is a great tool to transform your business and allow you to leverage your skills and attributes along with those of outside professionals.

An advisory board should consist of 6 – 10 serious business professionals who are not a part of your business. This group will meet monthly or quarterly to advise you on specific aspects of your business with the intent to prevent future problems and to avoid pitfalls.

An advisory board is a great tool for your business, allowing you to leverage your skills and attributes along with those of other professionals. They are not compensated with a salary; they are not held legally responsible for their advice. Do not confuse this term with board of directors, who are elected officials, paid a salary, and legally and morally bound to the best interest of your company. This is an entirely different type of group.

Why would people want to be a part of your advisory board and not be paid? Because people love to give advice; they love to feel needed; this is an ego boost as well as an opportunity to use their unique skills and attributes to make a difference when they contribute something to another business in their community. They have the opportunity to be part of a network of other uniquely skilled business owners; everyone in the group gets the benefit of surrounding themselves with this valuable collection of knowledge and skills.

Choose a well-rounded group of individuals to invite to your group. You don’t want “yes” men; but rather, people who will tell you their honest opinion while being supportive to the best interest of your business. This group of people will enhance the credibility of your business; their advice will be invaluable to preventing you from common mistakes made and pitfalls in business. Each member will have their own unique attributes to qualify them to advise you with problem solving and strategic planning.

Your group should meet monthly or quarterly, and meetings should last about 1 hour. Form a good group; see who fits; determine who you need. This is the opportunity to form a group of people who can compliment your weaknesses because they know what you don’t know. For example, you might need a CPA or an attorney; or someone who is great with technology or has marketing and sales skills. Anyone with more knowledge than you in any given area that is important to your business is a valuable person to have on your board of advisors.

A good advisory board will bring a whole new level of expertise to your organization, as business members from your community, who thoroughly understand the economics in your market area, are providing the insight, expertise and business experience you need to succeed. It is phenomenal how a Board of Advisors with their collective intelligence, focused on your business, will transform your business success to a whole new level.

Bill Bartmann is a self-made billionaire who has created the Billionaire Business System, a series of books and seminars that teach you what you need to know about succeeding in any area of business. Bill Bartmann has provided real business guidance to thousands of entrepreneurs to help them succeed in business.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bill Bartmann Discusses Pros and Cons of Buying a Business

Buying an existing business requires asking the right questions and knowing what you need to know about the business. There are advantages and disadvantages of buying an existing business versus starting a new business.

Advantages: When you buy an existing business, you get a proven track record, a business in existence, one with a history, a product or service that has already been tested and marketed, a trained staff of employees and policies and procedures that are already in place. Buying an existing business reduces the uncertainty of customer demand as a customer base has been established. Another time and money saver is the fact that furniture, fixtures and equipment is in pace; someone has already performed the tasks involved in establishing the business.

Buying an existing business over building a business from scratch has its advantages; you already have a marketing plan in place, policies and procedures have already been established. You get to enjoy the advantage of reduced start-up work and less risk of failure if there is no market demand for your product of services. Building a customer base is one of the largest challenges a newly established business faces.

Disadvantages: There are possible pitfalls to buying an existing business. One of the biggest ones to consider is the risk of suffering from misrepresentation; it is not always in the best interest of the seller to tell you if something is going wrong. This information is very crucial to the purchaser. Remember that people who are selling a business are involved in one of the largest transactions they will be involved in during the course of their life.

When you buy an existing business, you are paying a price based on the value of the entire package, as shown on their financial statements. They could have obsolete inventory on their books that indicates a value of what it was worth back when they acquired it.

Though having a trained staff in place is listed as an advantage, it can also work against you. What is attitude of the existing employees? How do they feel about suddenly being under the direction of a new boss? How will they feel about changes you may want to make, especially if specific businesses practices are outdated? Will employees continue to be as productive when you take over? If not, then your revenues can decrease significantly.

Whether you choose to buy an existing business or create a new business, remember to do the necessary research and to educate yourself. Remember, this will be one of the largest financial transactions that you will be involved in; consider hiring a professional, a CPA, attorney or business consultant to analyze the business and the transaction. This could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Bill Bartmann has started 7 businesses in 7 industries. Through his business experiences he has learned a lot; Bill Bartmann shares everything he knows about business ownership and success with his online course, Billionaire Business Systems.

Bill Bartmann Business Tips: What Business Should Your Be In?

Are you happy with the business you are in? Do you feel that you are making a difference? Do you enjoy what you are doing? If not, then you are probably not doing what you should be doing. There is a specific reason most people go into business for themselves; and, surprisingly, it is the reason most businesses fail.

You get to pick the business you want; however, do not go into a business because you think you can make a lot of money. If you get into business for the sole purpose to make a lot of money, you are sure to fail.

Do not make the mistake of choosing something just because you look around you and see others succeeding. Pick something you’re good at; something you have enough knowledge and skills to be effective in, something you have a passion for.

Those who succeed in certain business industries have the skills, aptitude, and attributes required to be suitable for their industry; they have a desire to make a difference in a specific area of business.

Your business should be something you enjoy; not just work, creating stress and anxiety. You have your own unique talents, skills and things you’re good at. Those who succeed in business have the knowledge and skills to be qualified for the industry they choose to go into.

Ask yourself:

What are you good at?
What do you know?
What do like to do?
Do you have a passion about changing how things are done in a specific industry?
How can you make money doing what you like and what you are good at?

Do you have a “new niche” market idea or will you choose something you’ve already seen done? There are no set rules; there are thousands of businesses available; all are making money; some more than others. Look at the types of businesses that exist in your area. Realize that 99.9% of entrepreneurs will start something someone else has already done at least once.

Consider your options, educate yourself, brush up on your skills and update yourself on the mechanics of the industry you choose to go into when you start your own business. Know your passion as you focus on the purpose served by the products and services you are offering. Look at the consumer demand and consider the competition in providing the supply to your market area. Go into business for the right reasons and do what you know is right and the money will follow.

Bill Bartmann made a fortune in the debt collections business, but he did not base his choice of business to go into on how much money he would make. Bill Bartmann had a passion to make a change in the industry; his desire was to alter the intimidating techniques used in debt collecting. Through his experiences over 40 years of his business successes and failures, Bill Bartmann has learned from life’s greatest lessons.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bill Bartmann Overcomes Failure to Succeed: Bill Bartmann Bounces Back


Bill Bartmann is worth hundreds of millions of dollars—and most people have never heard of him. It is quite possible that this entrepreneur started off with less and has overcome more than any other person to appear on the Forbes 400 list. After the roller coaster of events that have defined his career, Bartmann started the Billionaire Business School. His seminars and workshops aim to show people that they, too, can follow in his footsteps, regardless of how much money they have or any obstacles that may stand in the way.

Bartmann was one of eight children, born to a father who never earned more than $6,000 a year as a janitor and a mother who cleaned houses in an attempt to make ends meet. Lining up each month to receive government food handouts was a common family trip. They moved often in his first 14 years, and several of the houses were condemned as unfit for human habitation.

At 14, Bartmann left his family. He joined a street gang, got rejected by the Marines and joined a traveling carnival. This was followed by a string of low-wage jobs that included logging, laying sod and washing cars. Things were not looking good.

Then, the real bad luck started. When Bartmann was 17, he came home intoxicated one night and fell down a flight of stairs, paralyzing him from the waist down. Although the doctor said he would never walk again, Bartmann was determined to prove him wrong. Five months of hard work and determination later, he walked out of the hospital on his own two feet.

“Sometimes you need a negative motivator to build your self-esteem,” Bartmann says. He explains that if you have a positive self-image, you can separate specific failures from who you really are. “Any failure can be overcome if you don’t over-generalize it,” he says. “You have to see it as something that happened to you. It doesn’t determine your real value. The main cause of failure is the inability to deal with self-doubt.”

Bartmann emphasizes the idea that you have to work hard for something rather than just sit around and wish for it. Case in point: He took the high school graduation equivalency test, put himself through college and, in 1975, graduated from law school. After practicing law for five years, he started his first company, in real estate development, which gave him the experience he needed for his foray into oil and gas drilling.

Bartmann’s first big break came in the mid’80s when, at the request of a local bank in Muskogee, OK, he took over bankrupt Hawkeye Pipe Services, a pipe manufacturer for oil rigs. He told the bank the business was still viable, got funding for it, and under his leadership, the company had sales of $1 million a month. Then, in October 1985, with the OPEC oil cartel in disarray, prices fell dramatically. Bartmann was forced to close the company and left with $1 million in debt.

Soon after, creditors were hounding Bartmann at all hours, demanding payments and threatening lawsuits and re-possession of his car. He was committed to repaying the debt and, with help from his former chief operations officer, began scanning business opportunity ads. They noticed the FDIC was auctioning off delinquent loans. It sounded like throwing good money after bad, but they went to the auction anyway—sticking to back roads because they didn’t have the 40 cents for the Interstate toll.

While inspecting the 200 bad loans, it occurred to Bartmann there might be a way to collect the money. He was eager to veer as far away from the strategy of intimidation—an approach that had been applied to him in the past—as possible. “Meanness not only wasn’t fair, it wasn’t productive,” he says. He persuaded a bank to lend him and his partner $13,000 and ended up with a return of $64,000.

Soon after, Commercial Financial Services was born. Bartmann continued using the nice-guy approach to collect small credit card debts. CFS bought debt outright, giving customers flexibility in the amount they would need for settlement and how much time they could take to pay.

Bartmann was able to improve his cash flow with another innovation: bundling loans and securitizing them into bonds, which received A ratings from Standard & Poor’s index. In September 1998, he appeared on the cover of Inc. magazine with the headline, “The Billionaire Nobody Knows.” At the time, the privately held company was estimated to be worth anywhere from $3 billion to $5 billion, owned primarily by Bartmann and his wife, Kathy, and had 3,900 employees.

The following month, trouble hit. He learned that a business partner had embezzled millions of dollars, and as soon as the accusation of fraud was made, the bonds became liabilities. By July 1999, Bartmann declared bankruptcy. “When sharks smell blood in the water, it’s too late,” he says of the collapse.

The misfortune did not end there. In December 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft indicted him for fraud, even though his partner said Bartmann had no knowledge of the embezzlement. But it was the heyday of corporate mismanagement scandals, and the government didn’t want to be accused of overlooking any offenders. By the time he was cleared of all charges a year later, Bartmann had spent $4.5 million to defend himself and investigate what had happened at CFS.

“I’m not bitter because look at what I still have,” he says, referring to not only money in the bank, but also his wife, two daughters and two grand-kids—whom he brings up on stage at his presentations. “This is what success is really about,” he tells audiences at his Billionaire Business School seminars, which drew 280,000 attendees in 2007.

Bartmann says that most people simply do not have basic business management skills, which is why the failure rate of small companies is so high. His mission is to combat this problem, recently launching Billionaire U, which off ers online courses for just $100 a year. His website had a million hits last year, but he expects the new low price to attract 10 times that many this year.
As Bartmann puts it, “I’m not making as much money as I did with my last company, but I’m having a lot more fun.”