3 entrepreneurial skills I learned from the thief who stole my iPhone last week

YEP. It happened to me.

The other day I was hanging out with my kids at COSI. We had a blast watching some train movie—Rocky Mountain Express . The theater was dark and my daughter was a little squirrely. My iPhone must have fallen out on the floor.

When the movie was over we grabbed our coats and headed for the exits. About 5 minutes later I checked my pockets—NOTHING. I quickly realized the iPhone must be back in the theater on the floor. A few kind ushers helped me look for 10 minutes. We probably looked funny armed with our flashlights. But after searching extensively, still—NOTHING.

Of course I went through the suggested protocol. I gave them my name, the description of the iPhone, and the required paperwork. As can be expected I didn’t hear anything back.

I moved on, used my overdue upgrade, and updated the new iPhone with all my settings and contacts. (I also made sure I wasn’t ticked or upset. There’s nothing good that comes from bitterness.)

Then to my surprise, the thief contacted me a few days later. 

You might be thinking, “How did I know it was the thief?”

Call it a hunch. The fact he blocked his number when he called me might have tipped me off. Regardless, I was impressed with his skills. I’ll share those details in a moment.

But upon further reflection—and in an attempt to “redeem” the situation—I walked away with 3 takeaways. Remember, I love coaching people toward finding their WHY (purpose) and then creating a WAY (path) to achieve it.

The alumni from my coaching cohorts would do well to apply the 3 skills the thief used to score his prize. These same 3 skills helped me move from my day job to dream job successfully. (And in case you’re wondering—NO, my dream job isn’t stealing iPhones.) 😀

Without further ado…

The 3 entrepreneurial skills I learned from the thief who stole my iPhone last week (Tweet This or Share on Facebook)

1. The Thief Made Quick Decisions

Many people WAIT and then they WAIT some more—even when what they want is right in front of them. Staring them in the face.

I’ve learned that successful people make quicker decisions and rarely go back on them. Unsuccessful people delay in making decisions and often go back on them.

2. The Thief Followed Up and Didn’t Give Up

Once the iPhone went missing I hopped on my laptop and quickly tried to locate it. Because the thief was smart I could’t see it. However,  I was able to erase the iPhone and make it completely useless to anyone who found it. (Thank you Find My iPhone App—and it’s even free.) I posted a message on the phone to call me if someone found it.

The “obsolete” iPhone didn’t stop the thief. He followed up kindly with a phone call, asking me to unlock it for him. 

3. The Thief Made a Powerful Case By Telling an Amazing Story

In his own words—supposedly—he was just the middle man. (Why the need to block the number? Hmm….). Evidently, a poor friend of his bought the iPhone for her daughter. It was her birthday and although they didn’t have any money it was all she ever wanted. (Activation fees? Again, hmmm….). I thought the story was quite amazing.

The thief continued to text me and plead that I unlock it. Then when I didn’t return the texts, the tone changed to mean. One friendly text back by me about the Columbus Police Department made communication cease instantly. 

In the end, I learned some great lessons. But most importantly, I hope my little escapade helps you as you consider your own entrepreneurial pursuits in the future. Remember:

>>>Make quicker decisions. 

>>>Follow up and don’t give up.

>>>Make a powerful case by telling an amazing story.

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QUESTION: What’s one other skill essential for entrepreneurs?

(Please comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you know someone who needs to read this, please encourage them by sharing this post)

  • Get over discouragement quickly. I believe that is an essential skill for entrepreneurs. I found you through the wonderful Tribewriters community. Thanks for your work and for the helpful and humorous post. Grace and peace.

    • Thanks for reaching out Michael. I do like that character trait too. Great idea. (Get over discouragement quickly.)

  • Tracy Worley

    Kary, thank you for sharing a day-to-day story that happens more often than we would like to think. Encouragement in looking for the positive outcomes even amidst people who are not following basic code of morals/ethics. I am seeing this persons “seed of hope” turned, toiled, and on it’s way to a sprout to the light.

    • Thanks Tracy. I try to stay positive. It’s tough sometimes though.