Life Hacks and the Mystical Power of Goats

Blog IconWB2My grandfather was a farmer. His knowledge seemed to be a little off and downright arcane sometimes. He watched the weather every night even after retiring (a great pastime of old men), because he knew it took 600 hours of cold to replenish the soil for a new year of planting. He also used to say that a horse’s best friend was a goat. Horses love goats apparently, and they would often put a goat in with a high strung race horse (as race horses often are) to calm them down. Clearly, this is something he saw happen once as a child and believed it a universal truth, or was some myth amongst farmers and I was sure that here in the modern day that they made a pill for that.HacksQuote

Fate led me to the truth one night playing online trivia at a sports restaurant and the question came up about “What animal is often put in with horses to calm them down?” My brain slightly melted in realizing yet again that I had been schooled by older, wiser men and had been too dumb to realize the truth. I told everyone that it was a goat and was promptly ignored. I got the full rack of points and everyone was left bewildered as to how I could guess such an obscure thing.

Life Hacks can be some of the most fun and distracting things to read. Mostly born of obscure knowledge, these weird twists let us know how to do anything supposedly. Also, many are only useful in trivia contests.

What we teach here at Sharing the Credit though is not oddities, but basic knowledge that the industry works very hard to keep from the businessman or woman for one simple reason: if you knew what they were doing, they’d make less.

Th's no contract. Trust me.

An example of this is the contract. The industry does everything to avoid the word contract, but it is an absolute reality. Most of the companies I know call it an application, because it can be turned down; but it is a contract. If you don’t want to sign a contract, you can’t take plastic at your business. Even the mobile payments have contracts, they’re called the terms of service and we have been trained not to read them by signing up for all of the things online like Facebook, Ebay, and Pinterest.

Each year we see numerous companies say that they do not have a contract, but when they call in to change their account, find out they are quite tightly locked in. What businesses and entrepreneurs have to understand is that MC/Visa will not allow a business to process credit card (that is take plastic as payment at their business) without a contract. This is because someone must be the responsible party.

Here’s a hack that will prove any case: When a salesperson says to you, “there is no contract,” look them squarely in the eyes and repeat this line: “Great. Don’t bring me any papers to sign, and don’t send me any emails with a link to click or a box to check.” You will see all the color drain from their face. Once the stammering and back-pedaling begin, remind them that there is no contract. If there is no contract, you should have no paper work to sign, and nothing to click online. Be careful, they make get nauseated right in front of you…