Archive for May, 2009

“quote of the day”
May 31, 2009

“Perseverance is the hard work you do when you are finished with all the hard work you’re already tired of doing”
– newt gingrich

its all about the books
May 31, 2009

My business is experiencing “holy shit” kind of growth. Sales in may were double our prior high month and we already have more business then that ready to go out the door in june. We might double sales 3 months in a row, an astounding 800% growth rate in 4 months time.

The problem in all this has been in keeping the books straight as we go from mediocre growth to insane growth. I always thought that this would be a good problem to have and could be easily dealt with when the time came. Uh, no. I’m burning up the phone lines trying to find an accountant who can help with some things for which my partners and I are woefully unqualified.

I’ll get it solved and things will be great, but once again I am learning that the cornerstone of success is not ust money, but an understanding of what’s going on with the money. If I could do it all over again, I’d have planned for this months ago. But if you haven’t been through this or aren’t there yet, take one of my earlier rules to heart: find someone trustworthy who is good with the books. Utilize their services and keep them engaged with what’s going on. You’ll be glad you did when things turn out the way you hoped all along.

the beauty of basketball
May 26, 2009

The most important aspect of basketball is not scoring. It is not dribbling or yao ming or jerry crawford. Its rebounding. I’ll take bets all day that the team with the rebounding advantage will win the game. Sure, it sometimes happens that the team with the most rebounds loses but on a long enough timeline, the team that wins the glass wins the game.

You see, a rebound is a second chance. It is redemption. It is recovery. It is a chance to make right what was wrong. Every shot put up is meant to go in but only about 50% of them do. That means that about half of all shots are missed and can be rebounded. And the team that controls these well-intentioned misses, these mistakes, will control the game and win.

Business is no different. If you’re lucky you’ll only miss half the time. More likely you’ll miss a lot more often then that. But what will help you survive and prosper is not the shot you hit on your first go but how you handle the “rebounds”, the second chances, the misses that put the ball right in to your hands for another shot.

Control the boards, win the game.

a lesson never learned
May 26, 2009

I received an email a month ago from an old friend and former business partner. In it, he lamented the fact that our falling out in business had affected our friendship to the point we don’t speak anymore. I was glad to hear fromhim, or so I thought, until the last few sentences of his note. He wrote, “I sure did learn my lesson…I’m not sure what the lesson was but I learned it.”. I wanted to puke on myself. We’d been through a lot together. We’d lost lots of money. We’d lost lots of time. Our partnership came to a close when it became clear that he was incapable of doing what was needed to succeed not only in our business but in his own life. But for all we had gone through. It never occurred to me that the struggles we went through would end up as trivialities in his quest to succeed. The difference between he and I is I have learned a lot. I learn more every day. I work hard, I fail, I get up and take the lessons learned and move on. He,on the other hand, is still obliviois to what lessons were there for the taking.

Business is about failing quickly. Its about learning from what didn’t work and refining it until it does work. And of you’re too obtuse or too stubborn or too proud or too stupid to learn from your failures then I can’t help you. But if that’s how you get by, I wish you good luck and hope that all the dreams you’ll never fulfill somehow keep you warm at night.

Lessons. Reality. Etc.
May 15, 2009

I was listening to an interview with Mike Franceese (sp) today and he said some interesting things about business.  Mike is a former “made” man in the mob.  His father was an underboss and Mike himself had a long and crazy-profitable run in the mob before getting out and going legit.  He’s written some books about business and tried to make a legit run.  (He detailed in the interview how he keeps from getting in trouble with his former associates as well, which is interesting stuff but for another time). 

Anyway, one of the points he made was that Donald Trump inherited 400 Million Dollars before he was a successful businessman.  He said, “8 out of 10 people, if you gave them $400 million bucks, they could probably make a mint.”  With that much money, you get lots of opportunities in front of you and lots of people are just dying for a chance to take a slice of your cash so they can work their asses off making you more money.

But the more important point he made was that some people have the mental muscle to get knocked down, dust themselves off, and keep going.  Some people don’t have it and that’s fine.  But for those who do, failure is a part of life and their success is mostly defined by how willing and resiliently they get up from each failure. 

Franceese said that, No, there is no secret formula for success.  It takes hard work, luck, desire, support, the right people, the right place, the right time, the right market, and a zillion other things.  But the most important of these things is the mental, physical, and emotional capacity to follow through on your belief that whatever your idea is, it will work as long as you make it work.