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Last Update: Tuesday July 27, 2021

Key Idea: Put Your Own Skin in the Game

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid... Redford risked his income from doing this movie to buy land to launch his new business, Sundance.     After watching this video and reading the Q&A (case study guide), you can go to the homepage  for this episode or click on the key question  for other insightful answers.

Key Question:


Robert Redford took money he had made from one project and applied it to an entirely new idea.

Q:  Why is your own money the best money?

When you put your own hard-earned money into a new idea, you are unfettered. You don't have to explain to a banker or investor. You can kick the idea around on your own time table and succeed or fail. On top of that, when you invest the only money you have, you are motivated by the human drive to survive. We have met hundreds of business owners who risked all of their cash on an idea that they could only hope would work.

Robert Redford was not a rich man when he purchased the land in Provo Canyon. He was at the beginning of what has turned out to be an extraordinary acting and directing career so we all have to turn back the clock to fully appreciate the risk he took.

In addition to the personal motivation we get out of using our own money, we also demonstrate to future bankers and investors that we truly believe in the idea. This makes for perfect story telling if you need to raise additional funds.

Think about it

Could you grow your current business by making a fresh investment?

Clip from: Sundance Catalog

Meet Harry Rosenthal (above) and Brent Beck

Provo Canyon and Salt Lake City, Utah: In this episode of the show, we go into a pristine part of the Rocky Mountains, a place Robert Redford loved and wanted to preserve. To sustain that dream and help pay for it all, he turned to Brent Beck and Harry Rosenthal to implement an idea he had for a catalog business. Brent knew the products. Harry knew direct mail. But, unlike most of us, these three had a fast start for this business -- they were leveraging the Robert Redford brand.

Business is not easy for any of us. When Redford applied for his initial loan from a bank, he was rejected just like the rest of us.  He turned to investors, bought the land  to preserve it from housing developers, and began thinking of how to turn it into a business. That was in the late '60's.

Even celebrities were once "less than famous" and had to crawl, scrap,  risk... take a flying leap, just like the rest of us.

Go to all the key ideas and video of this episode...

Sundance Catalog

Jessica Basin, Sr. Marketing Manager, Robert Redford, founder

3865 West 2400 South
Salt Lake City (and Provo), UT 84120

Visit our web site:

Office: 801-975-5238

Business Classification:
Catalog, direct mail

Year Founded: 1989

Put Your Own Skin in the Game

HATTIE: (In the Studio) Hi, I'm Hattie Bryant. In 1989 Robert Redford wanted to generate dollars to fund projects for artists and for causes dear to him. He had an idea that he could sell the same items found in his Sundance retail shop via a catalog. And he was smart enough to know what he didn't know. Redford recruited a man with just the right experience who was able to not only able to launch the business, he was able to build a strong foundation the company still enjoys today.

(Voiceover) Sundance is a place -- 6,000 acres of land and a lodge. Sundance is a film festival and Sundance is a catalog. Robert Redford bought this area in the Provo Canyon to protect it and then to provide a place for artists to develop their craft. The money to take the leap to came from his role in the file, "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid." Then he writes, "I couldn't get a loan from the bank." He found investors and now what started in 1969 is a premiere place to visit. A venue for film makers and a catalog company.

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