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Buy Your Dream Car

EVERY kid has a dream. Mine was to own a Porsche 911 one day. Richie (my good friend in high school) and I spent countless hours in Algebra drawing 911s in our notebooks. Richies drawing were always much better than mine. And that is not all he was better at.

About thirty years later Richie was a seasoned motoring journalist who would get called up by all the big car companies. He would get invited to test drive the latest models in exotic locations. He spent his days traveling to places like Monte Carlo, California and the Australian outback to test drive Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsches, Bentleys and other more mainstream cars. Occasionally, over a beer I would get to hear from him what was wrong with the latest Aston Martin.

Meanwhile I had spent those thirty years making a living the more traditional way. Not only were all those cars a distant fantasy, I knew that the cost of one of the wheels on a car like that was more than what I had paid for any of my cars.

I quietly made a wow to one day experience being behind the wheel of my dream car. The dream came true when I visited a good friend in Germany and he knew how I loved Porsches. So he took me to Avis and we drove off in a 911, down the autobahn and around the Rhine.

This was such an experience I decided to write about it so I could share that with Richie. I sent him the link to the blog, but did not even get a courtesy response saying he was happy to hear from me.

Little did I realise, the dream car itch had been far from scratched. In fact, I had only aggravated the itch. So I decided a couple of years later to dabble in nice cars that had been depreciated enough for me to afford them but not so much that they would be a burden. I started cautiously. First a used Jag. Richie did not even let out a healthy yawn when he heard about that car. Then it was a pretty powerful Lexus sports car. That got a small nod from Richie although I was not sure if he was actually dozing off or approving of the purchase.

The thing with Richie was he could abuse those dream cars as much as he liked and then return it to the dealer and they would kiss his hand as he handed over the keys. I, on the other hand, had to kiss the dealers hand to get it at a price that did not require refinancing the humble home.

After a few years of owning a couple awesome vehicles I decided it was time to get more than a yawn or a nod from Richie. It was time for the dream car. The benchmark.

After applying the steps in this manual I got myself a $211,000 Porsche 911. Of course I did not pay anything close to that. I got it for less than one-third that price in the prestige pre-owned car market. The car was almost as good as new, with very low mileage. I was happy as Larry, but little did I realize that the best was yet to come.

Here is what happened.

I have been running my own software business for the past 10 years and we have done ok for a small outfit. We never did any marketing and all the work we got was the result of word of mouth. We learned that by doing good work, you get more good work to do from existing clients and their network as word of mouth spreads.

This is where it gets interesting. After buying the Porsche, I decided to keep it quiet. I did not want clients to think I was charging too much and also wanted to avoid all the head shakes and murmurs of mid-life crisis. Unfortunately the only way to keep a purchase like this quiet is by keeping it hidden in the garage and never letting it out. That was not going to happen given I found myself spending more time in the car than at home.

My response to the mid-life crisis comments was prepared. I told people it was my third mid-life crisis and by far it was the best one. My wifes response was better - she would tell people that at least I still had the same wife.

My neighbor commented on how I appeared to have a smile on my face every time I got home. I agreed and suggested that may be everyone should buy a Porsche to make the world a happier place. He laughed out loud and suggested Porsche run an advertising campaign with the slogan buy a Porsche and create world peace!

This little purchase was resulting in numerous conversations. Old clients started sending me text messages telling me they heard about the car. They asked me if business was really that good in such a crappy economy. They suggested we catch up for a coffee. They wanted to know what I was up to. I was glad to catch up.

Before I knew it I found myself in front of a very senior executive in a global 100 company pitching for business. Two days later we had a six figure contract signed. Within months, one conversation led to another and the Porsche was contributing to a million dollar revenue stream!

This was my first real lesson in marketing. Create some intrigue and get people talking in a manner that will result in inquiries. Convert those inquiries and you have a marketing campaign that works.

Had I known this dream car purchase would have generated such a return, I might have bought it 10 years ago. Better late than never. The best thing about the whole experience is that the car did not cost any more than what a lot of people spend on a far less impressive car, like a brand new basic German family sedan. I got the car at the price dealers pay for a car like this when someone trades it in. Whats more there were no hassles or haggling with the dealer. It was unbelievable easy actually.

Because I have a business, the car is actually a business expense. And it is an expense that has actually contributed to business revenue. Incredible. It turned out to be the best silliest business decision I have ever made!

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