I Have a Business Deal for You

Jim Lee larger version
Jim Lee

On a couple of occasions, I have mentioned my brother. Here goes another brother story.

He was a unique person—a highly decorated soldier in the Vietnam War, a bartender, a forklift operator, a pool hustler, and a champion dart thrower. He had no checkbook or credit cards and did not have any debt. Go figure.

We rarely talked about money or business, so it was a show stopper when he called me one day and stated, “Brother, I have a business deal for you.” Can’t wait to hear this, I thought, “What’s the deal?” Well, my brother proposed, “You loan me money, and I pay you back. That is the deal.” Before I could respond, he added, “I was in the hospital and owe them $750. I don’t have it.”

- Sponsors -

Financial experts tell us that when we loan money to family, you should not expect to get repaid, so just write it off as a gift, which is what I did. I “loaned” him the $750, and not another word was said about it for over a year until we saw each other at a family reunion. He called me aside, reached into his pocket, and peeled off $750 dollars cash money. “That was a good business deal, Bro. Thanks very much.”

I had no expectation that I would be paid back, but he did. Now what do they call that? A person of his word, a person of character, a person of exceptional fortitude. I don’t have the exceptional money-management skills of my brother. I have borrowed money, and I owe money. I imagine most of you fall in my category and have said to others “loan me, and I’ll pay you back.”

Loan me, and I will pay you back happens with friends on a regular basis. Ever happen with you? I have loaned money to friends, and generally if the amount is relatively low, I get paid back. Seems like when the amount is significant, the repayment never happens. So at some point, you just forget that you will ever see your money, but you remember why the friendship goes sour. Now what do they call that? A lack of character or fortitude, or just plain disrespect.

Loan me, and I will pay you back happens in business every day. In a sense, when you shop at a store and use your credit card, you are making the statement that you will pay off the card and thus pay back the company. Here at the magazine, we have many companies who “borrow” marketing and advertising services from us and promise to repay. That is how businesses do business with each other-you provide a service or product and pay an invoice. On rare occasions, for whatever reasons, you don’t get paid. Sound hard to believe? Yes, but it happens. Now what do they call that? People inside the company who lack character or fortitude or just do not honor their promise to pay. When that happens here, we write off the debt and stop doing business with them. Wouldn’t you?

Loan me, and I will pay you back—character, fortitude, and respect. That is what we borrow from when we say, “I have a business deal for you.”

The Loss Prevention Foundation recently announced that they “have a business deal for you.” And it’s a loan you do not have to pay back.

After a very successful fund-raising golf tournament at the NRF PROTECT conference in June that raised over $35,000 to fund certification scholarships, the foundation is taking applications from loss prevention associates who want to get their certifications to enhance their careers. (You can go to the foundation website to apply.)

As a tribute to a very special person and member of the foundation board of directors, the scholarships are named the Bob MacLea Scholarships. Anybody who wants to continue their loss prevention education—whether you are just starting out in LP or have some years of experience-can apply for this “loan.”

Those who receive a Bob MacLea Scholarship don’t have to pay back the money that scholarship represents. However, by learning more about the practice of loss prevention and giving back to your company and our industry as a better LP professional, you will most certainly pay back the “loan” with interest. What a special deal in the name of such a special person.

Loan me, and I will pay you back—character, fortitude, and respect.

Jim Lee Signature Image


Stay Updated

Get critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.