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What to do with my Enemies??….

 

 

 

Yesterday, a friend posed an interesting question…..

If you are deceived or betrayed by someone who is out to take your business, and they are falsifying information about you or your character, what do you do with that?

 

Now on the one hand, if your business practices are solid and ethical and you know that you stand firmly in the right, then you ultimately have nothing to worry about; But a clever man can string together pieces of untruth and with some creative spin and a great sales pitch, it is possible that he could have even the most loyal of your clients, questioning the validity of the accusation. We all know that at times, perception can very much be reality, so a well sold lie could create enough perception to suggest that you have done or said something that, you in fact have not.

So what’s a man (or woman) to do with that information? Of course, I think that it is safe to say, that our first instinct is to pay the offending party a personal visit and get right to the woodshed ass-whipping that is undoubtably called for….. but if we are truly good studies of proper business etiquette, then we most certainly have to keep our belts on for the time being.

You could always take a deep breath and gather yourself accepting that, for the short-term, you have been bested by a worthy advisary and the truth will indeed come out sooner than later. This is a sound theory; the big problem is however, the potential “stolen” client, may be quite valuable and even one day of things being askew could cost you dearly.

I guess it really comes down to what that particular business is worth and to what lengths is an individual  willing to go, to protect it. Different personalities will suggest different ideas regarding the levels that one might go to, but at the end of the day, you can really only do what your business character dictates; Meaning, if you are the fiery type that forced your way into the business and rule it accordingly with an iron fist, then nobody is going to be surprised when you drag your enemies into the street and beat them to death with their own shoes…… Likewise, if you have built your business on strong character, patience and poise, then you simply just have to keep your calm and let the B.S. come out in the wash.

From what I gather, my friend who was faced with this situation, made the best decision that he could; He chose the latter and he didn’t lose a thing. (maybe a few sleepless nights of course)

Given the same situation, I can say honestly that I am not certain how I would have dealt with the problem. It is one thing to sit in front of this computer and think rationally about responses to business crisis, but it’s a completely different animal when you are actually in that scenario….. Passion has a way of silencing rationale….. Being that I am very passionate about most everything that I do, especially my business, I am not so certain that I wouldn’t have broken off a switch and went callin’.

 

R.B.

 

 

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Posted by on April 5, 2011 in Just my opinion..

 

“Direction?”

  

 This is a particular time in my life, where the path less traveled is my only choice. I sometimes find it interesting, that in my quest to find my “direction”, there is but one road that I can take….

Take this blog for instance;

The title suggests that it is truly all about my business day, but unless the reader takes a few moments to read my bio or any of the other posts, they quickly realize that the blog has a bit of an identity crisis…. Truth is, I don’t really know exactly what I am trying to accomplish with this site, or which direction I should take it; But I have to keep moving forward; So if we are being literal, my direction is set.

Understand that this isn’t only pertaining to my blog, it is my daily reality, in regards to my career as well.

I manage business; I do my best to predict and forecast; I use the information in front of me to make a choice that I feel will bring me a strong profit, sustainable over a long period of time; I win big; I lose big; I must question every little detail…..

…. and so on, and so on. Some days I admire those who clock in and their tasks for the day are set. If you accomplish a,b and c, you have succeeded in doing your job well, for that day. However, I am sure that there is a monotonous irritation, in not having a challenge at every turn… I most certainly have those challenges and most days, I spend far more time side-stepping obstacles, than I do actually finishing tasks.

This is where the pondering of direction takes center stage!!!!… You see, there isn’t a playbook for guys like me; no caps, no ceiling. I could realistically make a few calculated business moves that will send my career into a different stratosphere in a VERY short amount of time…. Or…… I could be sitting in the exact same position a year from now. There are so many options in front of me every day that I step out into the world…. so many choices and the are not necessarily about right or wrong,,, they’re just choices. Some will lead to lucrative deals that secure financial stability and an open door to the top and some will leave me beating my head against a hopefully not-so-hard wall ( I prefer drywall, it doesn’t sting like the brick does).

This week, I think I will turn to the great Sun Tzu….. In The Art Of War, Chapter 7 is on the topic of maneuvering; Verse 19 suggests you “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt”

I like that!…

My direction (at least for this week) is set; I will move forward steadily and quietly; patiently planning and ready to strike like a thunderbolt!

R.B.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2011 in the goods...

 

Forecasting in 2011…. Really?!?

Tonight, as I am in the middle of working on some of tomorrow’s business, I just had to take a creative break and throw in my two cents on business forecasting right now…

You’re either crazy…. a genius…. extremely lucky….. or the villain!

I currently have an account that requires a contract, in which, I have to do my very best to lock in a price for the remainder of this year; Big win or professional suicide??? The thing is, I took over this business in the middle of 2010 and it was utter chaos. The work and speculation that I am having to put in right now, should have been done a long time before this business hit my desk, but there was a complete amateur involved in the beginning….. I am fixing his mistakes.

Now as of today, it looks like we might come out to the good, however, this account involves steel speculation…. gas price increases….steel market gets crazy!! Some days, analysts will say that things are going to stabilize in May; Some days, the doom and gloom reports that dominate CNN and Fox News, will say that gas is still expected to spike throughout the summer. So, if the worst happens and our market begins to tip, I could be in a losing situation quickly.

who’s holding the crystal ball??????

Well, it sure as hell isn’t me but I will tell you this; I will not be defeated on this endeavor! That’s what we do, as intelligent human beings; we find a way to put a square peg in a round hole and we prosper…

Win, lose or draw, I am going to put my best foot forward with the information that I have available to me and by god if doesn’t work, I will still sell it as the best deal that’s ever been made!!… That is my charge and I am up for the task.

Yes, I am a little scared and my nerves tend to get a bit fried….

But that’s why they make cold beer!

Good Luck to us all.

R.B.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in the goods...

 

Stuck like Chuck!

It is 4:39 in the a.m. and I am wide awake, ready to start my day. This happens from time to time; I wasn’t planning on getting up for another hour or so but my body decided that it wanted to start its Friday early…

They say that you are the most creative first thing in the morning, and as a person who used to spend a lot of time writing music, I have always been a firm believer in this…. It’s always worked for me. So this morning, I walked into the living room and turned on the television looking for something to start my day off right…. I found the news…. an inappropriate medium for inspiring good will and cheer on a Friday morning!!!

I am going to keep this post short and sweet; but based on spending the first few minutes of my day watching how “wonderful” the world is right now, I have a few thoughts….

Are we ever going to get ahead?!?!?!?!?

I mean really, I am just an average guy who is working hard at building a career and a family. I am never going to be the super sophisticated, highly technical, business analyst for some mega-corporate entity; I will study and educate myself; I will use this forum to discuss principles and experiences that pertain to me and I will discuss those things in a simple to understand, you and me having a conversation, manner.

But some days….. you can’t help but take a second to attempt wrapping your mind around the state of things, right now, and just say to yourself…”What the Hell???”

We start pulling ourselves out of a very long two years, economically, and just when you are starting to see a positive flow in your bank account, GAS PRICES are once again sky-rocketing!!!…. Raw goods and materials are having price increases every other day…. In just a few short weeks, I go from a position of confidence on the year’s business, to complete panic on the scenarios that could unfold if the current trends continue. And for what????

I know what I am told through the media and I know what I read…… but seriously, have you ever just stopped to really ask why?

Sometimes, I just can’t help feeling that we are “Stuck like Chuck”…… we work harder, manage our money better, do our best to create prosperity within our little corner of the world…. and then??…. NO AND THEN!!!… Prices will rise, the dollar will fall, the markets will do whatever the speculators want them to do, Big Corporations will continue to profit billions, Congress will fight with each other, a middle-eastern country will have some major issue that affects oil prices, someone will come on CNN to tell us just when it will be ok……… and you will have those moments……. standing in line at a grocery store or at the gas pump….. having to make a mind-boggling decision, on whether you really can get what you need for the day…. or will you just get what you need to scrape by?

Just a thought!…….

R.B.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Just my opinion..

 

Workin’ on the cheap!!!… it happens.

I don’t really think that it matters what business you are associated with, there are going to be those times when you put in a full day’s work, pretty much for free…. I mean, you might be able to look at your paycheck and verify that you worked for 9 hours on Wednesday the 9th, but the actual dollar figure versus the effort spent on that day is just not going to jive!!!

In my industry, we are in the VALUE-ADDED business. There is a hell of a lot of competition out there and each and every business that plays in our market has to do any and everything to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. This is precisely where V-A comes into play; you can have a top-notch marketing campaign, a monster online presence, a fluid e-commerce site and the BEST price…. but purchasers/buyers are getting very savvy my friend…. “what else ya got?!?”….

If you are in the business that I am in, it is a must, that you have the ability to sit down face to face, and bring something fresh to the table. All of those other things are great, but when you really break it down, it doesn’t promise the customer that you have the skills for the long haul! You may have a bang-up call center, but if John-Q calls and needs help with a serious production flaw that needs to be fixed right now, I doubt that mr. or miss. so-and-so are going to roll up the sleeves and head over.

Today, I had a day that will not show up on my personal bottom line; it wasn’t even my account, but it was a major part of my collegues value-added proposal and it just had to be done. Now don’t get me wrong, providing these services definitely puts a feather in my cap, as I have quite a few people monitoring my growth and productivity this year; in a roundabout way, there is potential for me to reap financial reward for days like this but for today, I was a service, free of charge!

Truth is, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I feel a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I helped a company become more efficient today. If you can’t own that feeling and adopt it as a type of business process, then I promise you the other guy will….. eventually……… and eventually, he will get that business!

So, work on the cheap from time to time…… I promise that it will pay in full.

R.B.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2011 in the goods...

 

A School-Yard Tussel….

When I was younger (age 8 or so) I was forced to wrap my mind around a simple principle that would be a defining characteristc for the rest of my life; If you get punched in the mouth, you MUST stand your ground and punch back… There’s really no grey area here. When you’re a kid, you are looking for acceptance; you are seeking out your place in the world and your own unique voice. When “Johnny” gets in your face and demands your lunch money or wants your girlfriend to be his girlfriend, it is time for you to make your stand. You may win, you may lose, but rest assured, if you do not fight back it will most certainly set a precedence for how you handle conflict throughout your life.

This was my reality yesterday as I sat in an office with two of my customers. We had a big year in 2010 but there were a lot of mis-steps and things did not go smoothly. In February, we began the process of negotiating this years contract and of course the failures of last year took center stage. In the last four weeks there has been a great deal of dispute and the idea of putting a price tag on lost profitability, has brought us to an impasse…. Here’s the catch…. we are both right. Money has been invested and lost on both sides when you find yourself in a situation where everyone is protecting their bottom line to the death, you also find yourself transported back in time; we are all back on the playground! A line has been drawn in the dirt and both parties are bracing for the first punch….

What do you do?

On the one hand, there isn’t a one of us in the room that’s wants to lose money or the potential to grow this years business; On the other hand, we both feel that the other party has an outstanding financial obligation and that is not open for negotiation!!!

Often times, in regards to my accounts, I find myself in a position where I know that I must make the concessions because that is in the best interest of the business…. Not this time!…. At approximately 9:42 a.m. the first punch was thrown and just as if “Johnny” had stolen my girl, I swung back and I hit hard!!! I didn’t have a choice; if I were to turn and run in this situation, sure, I could have surely saved the business for this year…. but I would be dead in the water next year!

If business is not sustainable, it’s not good business to have. If I do not take a stand and wager “right now” versus “sustainable”, then I will surely fail…… We fought hard and both sides took a good old-fashioned beating. In the end, we found resolve; as of 4 p.m. yesterday afternoon, we had reached a settlement and we move on to the business for the year.

nobody won….. and nobody lost….. a good fight was had and we both walked away maintaining integrity and gaining mutual respect.

For me that’s what it’s all about; if you feel that you have to back down to save a deal, ask yourself if you really can afford the long-term effects of that action… If you don’t stand up to “Johnny”, he will always view you as a target and you will pay for it, for a long time to come.

R.B.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in the goods...

 

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Working on a Saturday…

It used to be, that I detested the thought of working on the weekend…. Now it is so much a normal part of my existence,  I feel odd if I am not in work-mode on a Saturday night.

Tonight I am updating my internet settings on my notebook, so I am a touch more streamlined and organized. If you have not already discovered the wonders of Internet Explorer 9, it is fascinating! (at least to me) ….

Well I am keeping this post short and sweet, but let me just say this; I am learning more and more by the day, that if you are not constantly persuing your own personal progress, you are never going to get there….. Wherever THERE is.

 

R.B.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Uncategorized