Extraordinary companies are fearless. Ordinary companies are fearful. One attacks the future. The other defends the past. One is comfortable with challenge and the unknown. The other is comfortable with only the known and what once worked. One leads. The other follows. One takes risks. The other does not.
Back in the 1980′s my largest client was Butcher/Forde, the political fund raising agency in Newport Beach, CA. They were the power behind Howard Jarvis and his California Proposition 13, the property tax abatement proposition that had big national publicity. They mailed millions of direct marketing petitions to California property owners requesting their signature on an official petition to the legislature to reduce California property taxes.
One night on my drive home, I started to think about how Butcher/Forde could apply the same type of petition marketing on a national basis. Two days later I called Bill Butcher, told him I had an idea I wanted to present to him. Early the following morning I was in his office.
Now, Bill was the type of person who would listen very intently. His eyes would pierce through a stare, that if you didn’t know him, he could be intimidating to say the least. I made my presentation. When I was finished, he asked if I had 10 to 15 minutes. I didn’t realize it, but he went right to talk to his partner, Arnold Forde.
Ten minutes later he returned to his office and said both he and Arnold had agreed to commit $200,000 each to my idea and wanted to start right away. Within 40 minutes the direct marketing political charity Save Social Security and Medicare was born. Within eighteen months their donations had reached over $2 million.Now, talk about boldness!