Last time I walked you through a meeting where my mentor and business hero “Phil” had basically just tossed “the baby out with the bathwater” in reference to someone who wanted to do business with him. Now Phil did go on to explain a little more about his history with Andrew, but je also taught me something else that I think we ALL should step back and take a look at, as Entrepreneurs we are trained to say ‘yes’ to everything. A smart businessman, one who values his time and his relationships and all the things that are supposed to make owning a business worth while, is one who examines his ‘opportunity costs’ for a particular situation and THEN makes a decision what he’s going to do with it.
Take Jim for instance, Jim was a very intelligent, fast thinking and faster talking IT guy who really wanted to make a difference in the company that he worked for, since it was family owned, his family, he had a vested interest. But for some reason “things” seemed to always happen, and for the life of me, as an outsider, I couldn’t see what the cause was or why they seemed to be happening to him. So one day while on a trip he turned to me and said, “You know if I could just find someone to do “X” I’ll bet we could make a whole lot of money doing X+10.”
Now what the X’s are isn’t really the point (as you will see in time), but I too wanted to find someone to perform “X” for me too. So here I thought I had a kindred spirit, one with whom a great deal of business could be done and a lot of good could really happen, then I learned the Lesson Phil tried to teach me. See in most business deals where you come to me and want to work together I will assign you several tasks and as soon as you accomplish those tasks I will understand YOUR seriousness to commitment and will gauge my next move from there. Somehow, Jim got past my shields; he slipped under my radar, probably with the great big smile and that booming voice.
Be that as it may, his company was in the middle of taking over another city so he would be “swamped” for a few weeks, but call in September for a meeting and let’s get going. So second week of the month I gave him a call setup a lunch appointment and offered to drop by his office and pick him up (mistake #1), I walk in and the place looks like downtown Beirut, phones ringing everywhere, faxes flying off the printers, alarms sounding, “hey you mind if we meet here, I’ll close my office door.” Since it was obvious he was in the midst of it, I agreed to sit (mistake#2). Two hours later, I was still sitting, finally my pager went off, reminding me of another appointment so I excused myself, telling him I would call back to reschedule (mistake#3).
So far I have highlighted MY mistakes, and a free Bozo button to the first reader who tells me WHY they were mistakes and how they could have been handled better. Next time I’ll start with that, and then tell you the ENTIRE lesson that I should have learned from Phil a few months earlier.
DO you KNOW a “Jim”? Are YOU a “Jim” What would you do if “Jim” wanted to do business with you SO BAD and you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that what you had to offer could positively CHANGE HIS LIFE?
Let me know below…
Until then, remember: any excuse will do…