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Is your business ready to boil?

Sometimes the edge between success and floundering is quite small.

At 211 degrees F, water doesn’t boil at sea level. At 212 degrees F, it does. It’s that way in business as well.

By now, you’ve heard the story about the Nobel Peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus, a former economics professor in Bangladesh. He provided microloans to entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Doesnt sound like that big of a deal….UNTIL you know the details.

photo credit: dsasso

In 1974, he was visiting a small native village and after talking to one of the villagers, discovered they made and sold bamboo stools for a living. Problem was, they had to borrow in order to buy their daily supply of bamboo.

The loan amount? About US$0.25. Yep, a quarter. Unfortunately, almost none of them had a quarter. With their small daily profit and tiny loan amounts, no bank would consider a loan to them.

Instead, they had to borrow from the US equivalent of “loan sharks”, who charged extremely high interest, resulting in debts the village businesspeople were unable to pay off.

With the debt the villagers were carrying, they were stuck in financial quicksand. Unable to make progress, and unable to borrow from normal sources in order to help themselves out of their situation.

Yunus started asking around and found that the total debt for the entire village was $27.

$27. Now *that’s* a slight edge.

Everyone reading this likely has $27 in their wallet or purse and thinks little of it. To these villagers, it may as well have been $27000 or 27 million – because they didn’t have it.

As you might have guessed, Yunus paid off their debt out of his pocket, enabling the entrepreneurs to turn their situation positive, generate a profit and pay him back.

That small act created microcredit…which was the basis of his Nobel Prize.

Little things do make a difference, and that’s the whole principle behind the slight edge.

What’s the little thing keeping your business from boiling?