Big Deals May Be Disappointing
By Dr Paul E Adams | August 31, 2005
It is a risky plan to venture your emotions and the life of your business betting on a lucky break landing at your doorstep and crystallizing into reality. It rarely happens. Yes, there are the lucky few who fall into it so to speak, such as Bill Gates when IBM handed him the foundation of Microsoft with its software business as IBM viewed its mission to be in hardware not software. And what writer does not dream of the success of the richest woman in Britain - Ms. Rawlings who landed fame and fortune from Harry Potter.
However, for the rest of us, it is wise to stay on a steady course that will bring some degree of success and financial comfort. We may hope for the big break, the rewards of lady luck and a fast ride to the top, but when we focus undo attention to a set of false expectations it is easy to get careless with our resources and place our business at risk.
Most of us have seen the hyped-up salesperson strutting about believing the once in a life time customer is just about sewed up. Only to feel the pangs of disappointment. Wise entrepreneurs who have been down a rocky path before hitting solid pavement have learned from their bleak days and a stretch of disappointment that most dream deals never happen and success comes from surprising sources. They have learned that the big sale or the buyout is a reality when the order is in hand or the check is in the bank. Until then it is all talk and dreaming.
Fledgling business owners, who want to believe that fantasy will become reality if they believe it is so are positioning themselves to take a fall. Such feelings of disappointment can change to feelings of discouragement, self-pity, and failure. Think of this way, chasing the rainbow can be distracting and sabotage your efforts at building your business.
Your best insurance against the dangers of falling for unreal dreams is your level of expectations. Yes, the so-called big deal may come along and you are tempted to succumb to its possibilities. View it as a bonus when it happens, but remember, most do not. If you have worked out a series of realistic goals for your business - goals within the realm of possibility for your recourses and market - keeping disappointment under check will not be a problem for you.
I have seen too many sales people not doing well who have convinced themselves that the big deal they are working on is their salvation, and so all their efforts are focused on the dream and I need not tell you the outcome. The deflated balloon creates a caldron of disappointment and self-pity. A sense of failure is brought on by counting on a dream to replace hard work and effort.
Walter S. after 10 years of building his handbag business selling to the major department stores was approached by a major competitor to consider a buyout. Walter was ecstatic. At last, the chance for pot of gold.
The negotiations dragged on for months. The suitor kept demanding more information such as customer lists and new product designs. Whatever they wanted Walter provided. He was on a high; all Walter could think about was the riches from the sale and his imagined lifestyle of the rich and famous. Then at the last minute, the deal was off. However, the damage was done as Walter had neglected his business thinking only of the pending sale. And foolishly, he had provided confidential sales and marketing information to his competitior.
Walter had unleashed the battle for the survival of his business. His suitor became a tough competitor looking to grab his customers and product design. It was a struggle and took Walter almost five years to recover his financial stability.
Dealing with his disappointment almost cost him his business and his marriage. He fell into depression, he lost his motivation, and he had little stamina to fight the battle of recovery. Walter's expectations of selling his business and pocketing a bundle made his business seem pale in comparison. What had once been emotionally rewarding was now duty and dull. When daylight appeared, Walter vowed he never again would allow the glamour of the 'big deal' to capture his attention. If such a blessing were to happen – wonderful, but such a possibility would be viewed with suspicion. And rightly so.
Here is a simple suggestion. Count you present blessings, and be leery, so very leery of counting on the one basket providing all the eggs.