Thursday, July 17, 2008
The problem is "laughing all the way to the bank"
For the longest time I knew I wanted a business of my own. Over the years I had hundreds if not thousands of ideas. And they were good really; so good in fact that other people used them (because they thought of them too in other places and other times, and not because they stole them from me) and seemed that they made lots of money or at least money with them.
My problem has never been lack of initiative, capability or opportunity. My problem mainly has been being able to make money... as simple as that. I haven't been good at all at making money.
Take my first cousin. I only have two first cousins on my mom's side of the family. My uncle, my mom's younger brother was married for ten years but had no kids and then divorced and remarried the most wonderful woman and had two lovely kids. They are all grown up now, in fact my little cousin is about to be married. But I was 15 years old when she was born. Anyway, the point is she is great at making money. That's what she does best. Since she's a teenager she sells stuff, makes stuff and sells it, buys stuff and sells it, get in on family business and earns her commission cut. She wins valuable prices at singing contests for example. She is just great at making money. But that's not me though.
So this year I decided, or lets really call it what it is: Destiny pushed me to the edge and I had to jump at starting my own business whether I wanted it or not. So I put my best foot forward and put on a courageous face and the most positive attitude I'd ever have in my entire life. And as usual, everything is turning out peachy: my office facilities are simple but beautiful, the staff I hired is smart and eager; potential clients are pouring in and so are business possibilities. But the fact is, I am not making any money at all. Everything is investment and even though we are all busy busy busy I stop for a sec and I clearly see that I am not making nor now, nor tomorrow, nor next week any money.
Why is it so difficult for me to close a deal. I can sell very well, mainly because I really believe in what I do, what I offer and the value it adds to my clients. And yes I do have clients. But is the "ok now for this and that and here and there, that'll be $xxx(xxx hopefully)".
I want to live up to that famous phrase or quote: "laughing all the way to the bank." And no I don't want to become a millionaire. I just want to have an "amazing company", one of the top workplaces, a corporation that shares and helps others grow and prosper. I would love to laugh then: when off to the bank with money that will be put to the best use.
In writing this one advice in my head surfaces and that is to have the attitude of solving the problem on small step at a time; having small and constant objectives like "tomorrow I'll sell at least one service", "this morning I will close one sale, just one sale, that's my focus: closing one." And relaying on that has just made me a lot more peaceful. Maybe this is what is referred to as transforming problems into challenges or action items instead of impediments.
I wanted to share about this just because the Internet and blogs are always filled with success stories about making money fast and it seems that the people who do make money fast do it easily as well; but I wonder whatever happened to the stories that our grandparents used to tell. There were no: "started in the garage with a PC and was bought a month later for a billion dollars" types of stories; but more like "we had to sell the refrigerator even and buy the day's food each and every day. But we finally sold a batch and by the end of the year we were able to buy a used refrigerator from uncle Carl".
I believe in success and in making it and I know my pretty little start up will cash a client's check sooner that later, but I also have to remember that stories of overcoming long periods of just hard work are as true today as were 50 years ago.