Sunday, December 09, 2007

EVERY PEAK HAS TWO VALLEYS

Indicator #5 Are You Mountain Climbing, or Are You Trying To Get Somewhere?

If only every journey followed a flat terrain with very little obstacles, the life of an entrepreneur would have more success stories than it does today. The truth of the matter is that every journey and every venture contains challenges and obstacles that, believe or not, take us along a process to greatness. In greatness, I am referring to the unusual success stories of records labels and shoe companies starting out the trunk of a car, media conglomerates forming in a funk-infested dorm room, or a computer giant rising from the oil-stains of an unsuspecting garage.

It never fails in business, the “Big One” shows up in a late evening phone call, or from a series of fortunate events. There you are with your inadequate budget, limited cash-flow, starring at the project of your career. You are saying to yourself, “If I can pull this one off, I’ll be on my way”. So you mysteriously find the energy and creativity to do everything you can to make this project a success, and you make every detail a big deal, because this is the “Big One”.

In the end, you haven’t considered the impact this project will have on your overall strategic plan. Before you know it, you change your focus from a journeyman to a mountain climber – all because there is an assumed plateau up there with better paying clients and more meaningful projects. The truth of the matter is that every peak has two valleys, and every project has front-side and back-side cost associated with it. What will it cost you to get up there, and how much have you sacrificed coming down. There are no projects of a lifetime, only projects along the way.

If there is a considerable change in the way you do business to handle the big project, then your business model is not in line with your strategic plan, assuming your goal is to grow. The next “Big One” that comes your way, you should give it the same business you give your regular customers. If it’s not sufficient, you should consider your practices, and adjust accordingly. Either way, consistency is the key for efficiency and profits. You will never know the “Big One” until the journey is done.

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