Last night I went out and I met a man who was very enthusiastic about a new project he wanted to work on. He looked so happy and excited and I was praying the entire time that he didn’t ask me what I thought.
Because he had obvious problems with his plan. Obvious to me, that is.
Unfortunately, the powers that be didn’t give a damn about my prayers because he asked me what I thought. For a second I thought about lying but opted to go with honesty and I told him the truth: the way he explained his plans he had unrealistic goals that could not be accomplished. Let me be very clear: I told him he couldn’t do it the way he was talking about doing it.
Then I waited it for it…the ego kicking in. Me, having the audacity to tell him that he couldn’t do something. Yeah yeah, blah blah.
This time I was pleasantly surprised.
Him: Hmmm…you brought up some points I was unaware of. How would you suggest I proceed? Do you think I should just stop or with a new plan I can be reasonably successful?
Me: Huh? (my friends were dumb-founded as well)
Him: I’m going to have to research more. What if you are right? It’s to my benefit to have a better plan. I have nothing to lose having a more solid plan.
Me: (I was thinking, “Ok, where are the cameras?” and I started scanning the room for them while he spoke.
Him: I want to do this and I expect it will be hard work. Two heads are better than one and you have more business experience than I do. I’m sure, if you are willing of course, we could come up with a better plan than I had.
This man went from being a guy I wouldn’t look twice at to being the sexiest man on the planet at that moment. Not because he said “I’m da bomb” or anything like that. He thinks smart. He basically said the risk of me being right was too great to ignore, so why not plan for it?
Twenty minutes talking back and forth he was smiling like a Cheshire cat because he found a couple of other things he didn’t mention and had not thought of and made note to better plan for those things. The conversation started with a weak plan, turned into “you can’t do it that way” but ended up with a more solid business approach.
I know he wasn’t trying to gain my respect but he got it. I love to see someone enthusiastic about what they are doing but I also love to see people acknowledge new ideas – at least have an open mind about them (I learn from people daily because no one knows everything). He admitted that, due to his lack of business knowledge, he would have tanked because he was missing some very clear issues. The truth, that is what the way it should be. Many people decide they want to start a commercial venture (ie: make money from it) but have zero business experience. And expect that to work. Unfortunately with the barrier to entry being low on the internet, there are tons of internet businesses that fail each year. How many people have these skills – the ones needed to thrive and sustain a business?
- The ability to budget.
- The ability to complete projects on time.
- The ability to plan projects efficiently.
- The ability to read financial statements.
Negotiate. Control. Monetize. Communicate. Co-ordinate. Interact. Advise. Prioritize. Organize. Manage. Lead. Inspire.
AND have the skills needed to make, create or implement the product or service he or she is interested in?
Most don’t, and they don’t have the money to get the people they need. The venture fails.
When I express my thoughts I express them with facts. I’m not the person to disagree and state a weak-ass argument with an opinion like, “Because I think you should”. I’m going to tell you point by point why I pick one approach over the other. Pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses.
The gentleman last night opened his mind and accepted the negative criticism for what it was, and turned negatives into positives. If you are a person that doesn’t do that naturally, on the real, perhaps your attention would be served anywhere else than trying to be an entrepreneur.