I recently saw a sign for a pawn shop that has been in business since 1941. That is a long time for any establishment these days, but I was especially struck by how the world has changed for that line of work.

Think about how this market has changed since 1941.  Craigslist, eBay and a host of other sites offer options to sell goods, but only the pawn broker treats the transaction as a loan.  It is probably what has allowed it to survive for 75 years.

At their core, pawn shops are a loan business — giving cash while holding personal property as the collateral.  I wonder how many people come to reclaim/repurchase their items — or how many even intend to.  Is it just a service to sell items or do people really see it as a short term loan?

Think about how your business or organization will adapt to survive far into the future.  You can’t even imagine the changes, but you can keep your core in mind.  There will always be someone that needs to put his treasure in hock for a short period.  Will there always be someone who needs what you provide?

— beth triplett

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