When the Debt Collectors Go Out of Business

When the Debt Collectors Go Out of Business

Hey, I’ve got a debt I need your help collecting. The guy hasn’t paid for over a year and has no intention of paying...

Oh, haven’t you heard? I don’t do that anymore. There’s no market for it.

What do you mean? It seems like everyone owes everyone money these days.

Yeah, they do. And no one has money. So the debt collectors are going out of business. There are daily queues and queues of people at the local magistrate breaking down and crying because they’re desperate. And there’s not enough money to go around to cover debts.

Debt collectors in Zimbabwe are struggling because everyone owes everyone. And very few people pay anyone.

I called one of the top debt collectors in the nation the other day about a deal that we needed help with. And she said, “Oh haven't you heard? There are very few debt collections."

How do you do business in a nation that has no money? It’s more illiquid here than it’s ever been. Hard to believe that even when we had hyperinflation, things weren’t this tight.

What does that mean to the local economy? Lots of stagnancy. Lots of waiting, hoping, leaving.

If you have no vision, nothing will keep you here. There’s a famous book that says something like without vision, people die. You cannot survive the current circumstances here unless you have a vision.

We haven’t had a day without power cuts in years. I actually can’t remember the day. The entire city of Harare is running out of water. The CEO of one of the largest construction firms in the nation said, "People are not giving it the attention that it deserves. It's bad!"

Basically, if you don’t have a bulletproof business model, a solid culture, and do great work, then you will go out of business. There’s no way to survive the climate.

So let me ask you this, why do something without vision? And why invest for the longterm if you don’t see the purpose?

That’s why it’s so powerful to do business with integrity. Partner with people of character. And deliver a solid product with excellent service.

Without these basic tenets of ethical business, the climate is hopeless.

But don’t lose hope. Next year will be better.

(photo via s. depolo)