If you’ve got it, you get it

“Once you’ve got a few dollars, they multiply like mice.” – quote from an old movie, source forgotten.

This seems to be true, but why? Some possible reasons:

Passive returns. Investments such as real estate can produce about seven percent a year, which compounds. This is good, although not as great as the 10 percent of the stock market over the past 50 years, or the 13 percent of the S&P 500 since the global financial crisis, or 20 percent that Warren Buffett has managed over his career.

Law of increasing returns. The incremental cost of replicating a high value but cheap-to-make product such as a software program or book is small.

Learning. The more we do something, the better and more efficient we can become at it. This learning also spreads to adjoining areas that have similarities to the initial process. The iPod was a step along the way to the iPhone.

Network effect. The greater the number of people who are using a new type of product, the more successful it becomes, because this growth improves the infrastructure and reinforces the standard. Electric vehicles are enjoying this kick-along.

Social proof. As your profile rises, the word spreads, and so your reputation grows. Amazon built a name for low cost and reliability of supply.

Jigsaw effect. The closer we get to finishing a project or mastering a complex skill, the simpler the job becomes. Resources become focused on the remaining pieces of the puzzle. As well, the nearly-done product is easier to see.

Life can seem unfair until we get a few mice. There’s not much to each of the little tikes, but they do reproduce.

Use it to persuade a stranger

The phone is a great but forgotten business tool. It lets you chat informally with people and communicate warmth, while picking up the nuances of their speech.

The more I replace phone talk with email or text, the less cooperation I find. Despite the use of emojis, written words are coolly transactional and don’t convey the human touch.

You can’t sell as successfully by email as in person or by phone. Even when using the phone for that purpose, it’s best not to leave a voicemail asking for a return call. What works is to say, “sorry I missed you, will try again”.

Anything that shifts the onus onto the other person is likely to reduce your chance of success.

Text and email are wonderful for associates, friends and family. But when trying to persuade or convince a stranger, nothing beats the human face or voice.