Welcome back to Season 2 of the Pawn Leaders Podcast. Today we have Greg Engstrom, who has been in the pawn business since 1986. He is the president of the Indiana pawnbrokers association and recently put on the incredible Midwest pond conference that I attended and spoke at. He was also on the board of the NPA for 11 years, the winner of Pawn Broker of the year in 2016. He is also a pilot, a scuba diver, and a mountain climber.
[03:04] Prior to opening a pawn shop, Greg operated a jewelry business
[03:50] Greg got his license in ’85, but didn’t open the store because he and his business partner were not ready
[04:55] They later opened a bigger store, with more parking, in 1989, and continued to grow, until he chose to only operate 3 stores
[10:29] Greg got ordered to stay in a hospital because he was close to having a heart attack and doctors were able to catch it before it happened
[10:55] Things that were once important, aren’t important anymore. This helped them to scale down the amount of stress and number of stores and now life is fantastic!
[15:05] What advice would you give young pawnbrokers to not have all the stress? “There’s a lot of underlying stress and I think that’s what a lot of us as pawnbrokers and any business people need to watch, because that’s the killer. And along with the underlying stress, is guilt”
[15:49] The cleanup of the underlying stress is what a lot of us skip
[18:53] Most pawnbrokers do an amazing job at becoming familiar with their current customers
[22:55] What does it take for a pawnbroker to be successful and what mistakes are they making that they need to fix? We need to serve these people that have nowhere else to turn.
[29:24] It’s important to start networking with politicians from early so they become familiar with you
[39:14] “The one thing a pawnbroker can’t change is, you loan money to people who need it”
Visit the Midwest Pawn Convention next year May in Louisville.