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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lessons from the Field II

Well they say there is nothing like experience, but in my mind there is nothing like repeating the same type of mistake that I have railed about in the past to create humility and focus. First, be realistic and don’t sell yourself a bill of goods. Remember that in the end you need to have something that can be sold and that you can make money selling. If there isn’t enough money then stop wishing.

We took on a product that was not the hotcake selling commodity that we thought it would be and took it on at a lower compensation than we should have, because we thought the volume would make up for it and let us pay our salespeople. That left us trying to renegotiate our arrangement in order to have our people compensated at a level that would keep them motivated and involved. Luckily for us that during the negotiations we came across another opportunity that was a much better match and had a payout that worked for us and our salespeople.

The previous negotiations and flawed structure offered valuable experience toward future success. Additionally, the success at recruiting and hiring across the country through various sites has given us a core of people and the knowledge of how to add to that core.
Humility is often a good thing, though I hope not to receive a steady helping of it. I fell for the excitement my partner had for the opportunity and the excitement of the people offering the product. Tempering my enthusiasm in evaluating an opportunity and then fanning the flames of that enthusiasm once it is determined to be a worthwhile endeavor is quite the accomplishment and completely necessary. This latest helping of humility has put me on a better more focused path to success, which already has me feeling less humble. Oh well…

What lessons do you get from this? 

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Thoughthebrowser said...

When a sailboat has no way (movement) it can't be steered. The boat just rocks from side to side.
When you have some way, you can steadily improve your position.
In an iceboat, we eventually get up to three times the speed of the wind.
Better to have started something you could then improve than spend your time figuring out why opportunities won't work. Good lesson!

Unknown said...


What is it they say: 'doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.'

When we 'project' what we think are customer needs, we do it from our own perspective. Thus a hotcake item can fail to excite the customer as expected.

Being agile is making course corrections quickly; being successful is convincing others the it's time.