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The Compatible Narrative and the Wizard's Wand

Boris Matijas, Archipiélago

The Compatible Narrative and the Wizard's Wand

“We simply need to get it, in order to stay alive”, said the commercial director to the founder of an important Spain-based family business. He was trying to explain to the founder the necessity of getting a new vehicle for the distribution of frozen cakes in order to sell them to the restaurants all along the coast. The reason for this was that during the summer season, the stock was loaded onto a truck, only for half of it to melt under the burning Spanish sun. The business now required drastic measures in order for them to stay in business.

The commercial director had a new delivery refrigerator truck in mind, but he knew that the recently founded company’s financial situation was very precarious and that there was simply no money in the budget.

“We need it; we get it”, the founder answered in his confident manner.

But the commercial director wondered, “Sure, but how are we going to do it?”

“With this”, said the founder with his a dandy smile, waved his black pencil in front of the directors eyes. He continued, “It’s true we can't afford it, but I have this, and with this I can sign anything”. 

A few days later in miraculous fashion, the founder persuaded the bank to grant them a loan and the company bought the refrigerator truck that began what is today a $200 million enterprise establishing more than 300 stores.

When the commercial director told me the story, it struck me that what made the founder different from others was not just his faith and the passion to pursue his dreams; it was the ability to make it happen despite the fact that others had deemed it impossible. There is something magical about turning dreams into reality. That’s why I decided to put the anecdote into a book I was asked to write about the origin of family businesses, adding a short phrase at the end that read:

“What in most people’s eyes was a simple pencil, in his hands turned into a magic wand.”

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