The Millionaire Next Door

Hallmark of The Millionaire Next Door: A Supportive Spouse

In Networking with the Affluent I emphasized that helping others should be part of your business plan.  Good deeds are often rewarded many times over.  People see you at your best when you contribute your time and money.  The following letter from Mr. J.F. demonstrates both his marketing genius and the fact that he is a supportive spouse.  His wife is a dematologist whose business has been hit hard by the recession.  Most of her patients are women who make aesthetic purchases.  But Mr. J.F. writes that his wife “won’t be participating in this recession [any longer].”

The local fancy-pants country club had its end of the season golf tournament last April, and this is one of the few times that the ladies get prime tee times. During the practice round, there were contests with prizes from local merchants, and a silent auction for charity. I teamed up with the local breast cancer charity – and their spokeswoman warned me that they had received under $500 in the prior year from this country club event – hardly worth their time.

I set up a closest-to-the-pin contest on a par 3 with simple rules: pay $100 to the breast cancer foundation win a transferrable certificate good for free Botox at my wife’s office (worth about $500), and photographs of the sun damage under their skin. And if all the foursome make the $100 donation, then only one golfer needs to beat me in order for them all to win the free Botox. The very worst they could do was to get a $100 tax-deduction for the donation. I did not take one penny of the money; all checks were made out to the charity. Oh, and I was wearing a neck brace and had my left arm in a sling!

 The first foursome was skeptical, but they all made donations and watched me shank my tee-shot. They all won Botox certificates, and immediately whipped out their cell phones and Blackberries to tell their friends in the other foursomes. I lost every single challenge, even though some of my shots were rather close. The breast cancer charity raised $4,400 that afternoon. Thirty-one women ended up redeeming their certificates in the next four months; and 27 of them came back for additional treatments. Many have since referred friends and associates, too! The women loved the treatment they received in my wife’s office – no upselling or tactics to make them feel like a target. (Did I mention that the Botox rep gave us the Botox for free? It only cost us our time). The charity was happy and the ladies were happy and my wife’s office was very happy with the results.

Surface in the middle of the convoy? Check. Support a charity to attract loyal female customers? Check. Give your customers something to tweet about? Check.

1 thought on “Hallmark of The Millionaire Next Door: A Supportive Spouse”

  1. This is a great case study showcasing the effect a spouse has on one’s career and success. I have seen both positive and negative examples many times of this through my interactions with executives.

    One practical application of this concept is recommended in Dave Ramsey’s new book “EntreLeadership”. As part of their hiring process, they always have an executive vice president take the candidate AND their spouse out to dinner to vet out candidates with crazy spouses and to gauge how they interact with each other to better understand the candidate before any hiring decisions are made.

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