10 Lessons from the "Red Paperclip Guy"

10 Lessons from the "Red Paperclip Guy"

10 Lessons from the "Red Paperclip Guy"
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Have you ever felt like you couldn’t do something that you wanted to do because you lacked the resources? 

If so, you are about to learn 10 vital lessons about resourcefulness from the “Red Paperclip Guy.” 

But first, let’s talk about how he got this odd nickname.

This is a guy who had a red paperclip which he traded for a fish-shaped pen in July 2005. He then traded the pen for a hand-sculpted doorknob, which he traded for a fully fuelled Coleman camp stove. 

In September 2005, he traded the stove for a Honda generator, which he traded for an “instant party” (commitment to fill an empty keg). He then traded the “instant party” to a comedian for a snowmobile. 

He then traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip to British Columbia, and he traded the trip for a cube van. In February 2006, he traded the cube van for a recording contract in Tokyo. 

He traded the recording contract to Jody Gnant for a year’s rent in Arizona, which he traded for an afternoon with Alice Cooper, which he traded for a KISS motorized snow globe. He then traded this to Corbin Bernsen for a role in Donna on Demand, and he traded that role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan. 

He did all of this in a year.

Ten Things You Can Learn from This Story 

1. Don’t Despise Small Beginnings 

No matter how small and insignificant something may seem at first, never underestimate the fact that it could grow into something much greater ... and fast. Think about how this guy started out with one red paperclip and ended up with a house — by making a series of well-crafted trades. 

Most likely, you have a lot more resources than a simple paperclip to help you do what you want to do. 

2. Persistence Pays 

While reading the list of exchanges which led to the house, it might be easy to assume that this was pretty simple. It wasn’t. 

Remember that this is a process which took a year and sent “the red paperclip guy” to several locations. He probably also heard the word “no thanks” hundreds of times ... but he didn’t give up until he met his objective. 

3. You Don’t Need Money to Acquire Stuff 

No matter what you want in life or how expensive it seems, this story proves that you don’t always have to have money to get what you want. Think about it: Exchanging materials or services established the American economy in the first place.

In fact, it wasn’t until a few hundred years ago that the US started using paper money. So remember this, and the story of the red paperclip guy ... and that you don’t always need money to get what you want. 

4. Creativity Pays 

Look at the list of exchanges this man made to acquire this two-story summer home, and you’ll realise what a significant role creativity had to have played. Creativity is probably your most valuable asset for getting anything you want: more money, the perfect partner, a better body, a better career, etc. 

5. Ask and You Shall Receive 

Again, look at the list of exchanges and you’ll realise that in some of them the red paperclip guy got a MUCH better deal than the other person. These are all deals that he would not have gotten if he had thought: “Ah, that’s not an even trade ... they’ll never go for that.” 

If there’s something that you want, you’ll never get it if you don’t ask for it. But if you just get into the habit of asking for what you want, it might amaze you at how easily people say yes. 

6. Value Is Relative 

This is probably one of the most vital lessons you can learn about success: Value is relative. Who decided that a red paperclip was worth a pen ... or that a KISS snow globe was worth a part in a TV show? 

7. Resourcefulness Is More Important Than Resources 

Again, considering the series of exchanges which led up to getting the house, obviously the red paperclip guy was a resourceful person. It was this resourcefulness that made up for a tremendous lack of material resources. 

8. One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure 

Again, value is relative. If you have something that you don’t want, don’t just assume that no one else wants it either. 

What you have that you don’t value could end up being the tool you use to get what you really want ... without really giving anything up. 

9. It Doesn’t Take 30 Years to Own a House 

Most people try to realise the dream of homeownership by taking out a 30-year mortgage. This guy did it in a year. 

This should also prove that when time is lacking, creativity can do more than make up for it. 

10. You Can Make Your Own Luck 

Is this guy just lucky or is this the result of strategic persistence and creativity? Surely, luck can cause isolated incidents to occur, but not a strategic series of trades which led from a dinky red paperclip to a house in a year. 

If this man “made his own luck” this way. You can too if you put these ten lessons to work for you and do the same. 

For more great tips on how to build success from the ground up, get a free personalised numerology report now.

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