When you stop pointing fingers,
Lying to yourself and others,
When you give yourself to the hungry
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will ride through darkness
And your gloom will rise as the noonday sun,
And you'll continually find the desires of your heart in
Scorched and dry places and strength in your bones,
And finally become like a watered garden,
Like a spring whose waters never fail.
He put this in his wallet. Hokey? Maybe. But he was ready.
Mike cashed in some air miles for a trip to Costa Rica. He wanted
to help the people of this friendly country. Providing jobs seemed
the substantive way to help them. He wondered whether there was
something manufactured here he could sell in the United States. He
went into a leather shop, a little hole in the wall. Workers were
bent over workbenches making leather goods - luggage and duffel
bags. Could they make bags for him to sell in the United States?
They could. Could they use vegetable-only dyes? They could. Were
forests cut down for grazing land for the cows? They weren't? Mike
took some samples and came back to the Bay Area.
Mike went around to banks, showing these well-crafted bags and his
business plan, hoping to receive a loan for a small importing
business. He always showed them his Success Formula. He wanted them
to understand he wasn't just going to be a bag salesman. He was
that bricklayer who was helping to build a cathedral.
He got a loan, bought some bags, and began cold-calling on Silicon
Valley software companies, trying to get them to buy his bags as
giveaways. A year into it, he met a banker in Oakland who made it
her business to help disadvantaged communities. She suggested Mike
buy a small warehouse building in West Oakland, where unemployment
was 50 percent, and use that as his domestic warehouse. This would
qualify him for special community-development loans she could
offer. "I can't buy a building! I'm selling bags out of my car!" he
said. But she loaned him the money and then went to Costa Rica with
him. Impressed, she urged him to buy the factory there and move it
to a tax-free zone near the San José airport. That seemed way out
of his league, but she coached him through the process and loaned
him the money.