NMP - December 2016 - 86
Business Plan? I Don't Need
No Stinking Plan! By Eric Weinstein
I hate myself.
I was having lunch with a
bunch of mortgage broker friends
and they asked me about my
"Business Plan" for 2017. I
stuttered like a virgin asked about
his sex life. OMG ... I don't have
a "Business Plan." Please take
me into the woods and shoot me.
Am I supposed to have a
"Business Plan?" It sounds like it
is something important I should
have, but I do not have a clue
where to start, what to write or
even who am I supposed to show
it to for it to be graded.
I am a loan officer working
from his home getting business
from referrals, my real estate
agents and past customers. Every
day, I wonder if this will be my
last loan, but every day, a new
loan seems to fall out of the sky
like manna from heaven. I have no
idea where they come from except
people I know or with which I have
done business. I do not advertise.
I am not a spammer, blogger,
Facebook fanatic or advertise
during the Super Bowl. I simply try
to do the best job I can do for my
borrowers and cross my fingers
they like me enough to tell their
friends. Pretty crappy business
plan, if I say so myself, but it
seems to be working.
To me, a business plan sounds
like those bogus New Year's
resolution people make. "I am
going to quit smoking." "I am going
to exercise more." Yeah, right ... I
quit smoking for 15 minutes, that's
how long that resolution lasted. It
is November and I am still putting
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"Am I supposed to have a 'Business Plan?'
It sounds like it is something important
I should have, but I do not have a clue
where to start, what to write or even
who am I supposed to show it to
for it to be graded."
off exercising. If I could change, I
would have changed by now. No
yellow sticky on my computer
screen is going to transform my
I really do not understand
people who do that. I do not need
a reminder to walk the dog, shave
or take out the trash. I just do it
when it needs to be done. I do not
think a personal missive saying to
"See more real estate agents" is
going to help me. I see real estate
agents as much as I can see
them. I drip on my past clients as
much as I drip on my past clients.
If I have a new idea to help my
business, I do it right then and
When I had my business, my
CPA wanted me to do a "budget."
That is the stupidest exercise
ever! If you budget so much
money for coffee in the office,
does that mean you stop buying
coffee when the budgeted money
runs out? Or better yet, buy more
coffee when you don't need it?
Why not just be careful what you
spend money on to begin with?
The same with my business at
home. If I need something, I buy
it. If I don't need it, I don't buy it.
Who needs a budget to tell me
I have a friend who bought a
"coach" for his business. The way I
understand it, this outsider calls him
and tells/reminds/nudges/nags him
to do the things he knows he
needs to do to be successful. If
I ever get that way, please
come to my home while I am
sleeping and suffocate me with
a pillow. You should NOT need
someone to remind you to be
successful. If you do, maybe
this was not the right career
choice. Being a mortgage
broker means being a selfstarter, "you eat what you kill,"
type. If that is not you, maybe
you need a salary job in a
cubicle with a mean boss.
Sure, I can always use more
business. I just don't see how
thinking up new ideas once a
year is the smartest way to go.
Why not think up good ideas all
year round? And, if you think
having a "budget" is a brilliant
plan, I submit to you the words
of German military strategist
Helmuth von Moltke who
sagely pointed out, "No battle
plan survives contact with the
enemy." The danger is that you
are more likely to spend based
on your arbitrary written budget
than what is actually required.
The same goes with your
precious "Business Plan."
So, my "Business Pan" for
this year is to stay EXACTLY
the way I am. Except, maybe, I
will start locking my doors at
night, just in case someone
takes my pillow advice literally.
Eric Weinstein worked in banking, on the commercial real
estate side until 1991, when he fell in love with residential
lending. In 1995, he started a small mortgage company in his
basement called Carteret Mortgage Corporation, which in
2003, grew to one of the largest mortgage broker companies
in the United States. Eric is semi-retired, doing mortgages by
referral only. He may be reached by phone at (703) 505-8692
or e-mail EWeinstein4U@gmail.com.