Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Bad Jobs about the Economy
Another person plopped their ass down across from my desk yesterday and said, " Ralph, I think the economy is turning downward again". I looked up, put one of my two phones down, took my eyes of the computer from my emails, facebook, blog and user group pages, paused, shook my head, said : "Jesus Tom, you're friggin brilliant! Surely you can monetize that stuff?"
Ok, anyone referencing the US economy as a form of temperature taking, all encompassing indicator of conditional output is really chapping my ass lately, and I must have showed it. Because the conversation soon moved from why this guy can't get a job and/or get his business off the ground to the possibility of simply bootstrapping his way instead of going the conventional route. Conventional, in my opinion, is starting off our conversation with the "state of the economy" bullshit. Just sayin.
I don't want to hear it!
I told him that if his business is centered on what traditional resources are not available, then quit wasting his time. And better yet, I told him to chuck the entire thing and go out and find a way to raise his hand to shovel the next pile of shit. I told him to get off his ass and go volunteer to shovel for less and/or for nothing if he needs to, in order to get in the game, as an apprentice if need be. Just as importantly, I told him to find a way to be passionate about it. I said go and find something that nobody else wants to do and eagerly present your enthusiasm to make it happen. Do it better, so uncommonly better and with more ownership, that everyone takes notice, including those younger than you (you can set an example). And then do it again and again and again. Yes, this is the Johnny on the Spot Concept. Seemed to have worked for Johnny shoveling shit. Flipping hamburgers and Hot dogs, some say, has worked for me.
Forget for now the "tweaked just right" business plan, the round table discussions over coffee, the angel investor connections of blue blood culture, the business funds, the networking for optimal leverage stuff around a table of "people who say they might know or want to invest". Quit wasting time. The time is now, embark! The journey will unfold, grab a shovel for Gawds Sake!-- and get to work.
Please, it is really, really boring stuff sitting and watching others struggle to make their way off the diving board. I hate having to tell people this, but I have to do it all the time, and it comes in many forms. Are you one of those folks?--standing in a dark suit with a brief case in hand on the end of the diving board, a red tie on, paisley suspenders, shoes shined just right, all the traditional tools, the PowerPoint, the graphs, ready to dive in...and what you are really thinking about is whether there is water in the pool or not.
I hate telling people why I cannot be partners with them or hire them, or why I won't buy or invest in their business, or why I choose to resign my business with them, or why, after a ton of due diligence on a project, I walk away. Or why, when an opportunity arises and I have the wherewithal to embark and others don't, I alienate people. It is funny how this works. There's a necessary bad energy that comes from the above and it sucks, but that is the game. Relationships falter as a result, a bi-product. Hugs.
Anyway, it sucks being me, huh? Let me tell you something. I raised my hand once. And started the journey like I was talkin about up top? And the story is still presenting itself like a movie with a big ass real, unfolding daily like a garden of forking paths. There are so many adjustments taking place every day, week, month that I can hardly keep up. My plate is full and I am standing in line at 50 buffets, because I embarked. Am I tired? Hell yes! Should I feel sorry for myself, should others be empathetic of my situation, a web tangled with opportunity and tested relationships? Hell no. It is better this way, word.
I got a call the other day from a new partner. We are in the process of doing something great, changing the world with our new business and yes, it is indeed a journey that unfolds itself each day. Yes, we raised our hands when others didn't, swept in, made it happen by connecting the dots and now we are off on a journey. The basic principals are there; find something that somebody else doesn't want to do and provide incredible value. Yes, it helps if passion epicenters the desire to move forward. It most definitely helps the trip up the mountain. Who knows where this one will go or what we can see when summiting?
These people with their glasses half empty, their "global condition of things" attitude. I mean really, why would we let headlines in the media, or newsgroups talking about the state of things influence the energy that we put forth in our business or our willingness to change, embark, or to compete at all? The media can't take action upon the condition of things. They simply embellish and spew the daily Red Sea broadcast. Businesses have individual ability to embrace their own condition. And changes need to be made in order to offset what rolls around.
There are no excuses for missing out on something or for things not happening as a result of not taking action, just and after-the-fact personal inventory of why the plunge wasn't made.
Tom was referencing the fact that things are not going to change, that there will be no more money available in the conventional regard, freed up bank money, financing. Consumers will continue to purchase less, buying habits won't be going back to the way things were. Back when we as a nation were credit addicts, leveraged up to our tongues in order to maintain glutenous lifestyles. I can take a golf ball and hit from my front porch a credit addict. In my town the odds are in my favor.
Bottom line, it is a different game and it ain't gonna change, if you worked for a business in the old game, change has likely already surfaced. In order to compete as an employee or a business owner you have to be aggressive and often unconventional in your thought process.
Put yourself out there, create a buzz, generate audience, meet new people, markets and tribes. Share your ideas, get people excited, reveal an ongoing optimism, dangle your coveted intellectual property in the face of your competitors but know how much is too much. You have to set yourself apart. Flaunt your brand, your personal brand. You have to go to the ceiling with your ideas, dreams, visions and move towards those ideas with passion and determination. So when the time is right, and you have your briefcase full of conceptual endeavor at the table, you have the full attention of anyone needing some shit shoveled. Raise your hand! ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.