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It's All About The Money

The bucks start here.

His mission is to make the whole time-consuming, intimidating, distasteful process of applying for a mortgage a relic of the past. Traditionalists may scoff at 35-year-old Daniel Geduldig's homebased business in tiny Dillsburg, Pennsylvania; his rapid-fire quips; his offbeat advertising; and his practice of completing mortgage applications by phone in the evening, rather than meeting with clients in person during the business day. But he's the one laughing all the way to the bank.

In just five years, using unconventional methods, Geduldig, owner of Dan the Mortgage Man Inc., has turned a $5,000 investment into a $17 million business, named one of the fastest-growing companies in central Pennsylvania by virtue of its skyrocketing sales. "Half the people who see my ads roll their eyes and wouldn't have anything to do with me," Geduldig says. "But my clients would vote for me for president."

Despite his slightly loopy image, which is carefully cultivated, Dan the Mortgage Man knows exactly what he's doing. His wacky marketing techniques--like newspaper ads featuring his face on a bottle of mouthwash accompanied by the slogan "Kills the incompetence that causes bad service"--attract younger clients who might otherwise feel uncomfortable doing the whole uptight mortgage thing.

It's this kind of unconventional thinking that has young entrepreneurs in the traditionally staid financial services industry developing a growing and loyal following, catering to the clients more established financial advisors don't want to be bothered with: Gen Xers like themselves.

Pamela Rohland ( would love to know more about earning money and less about spending it.

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This article was originally published in the September 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: It's All About The Money.

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