When I declared this “Anything is Possible Week,” I guess I thought I might be setting the week up for something special. Maybe it’s the word “anything” that tripped me up. Put “anything” with “possible” and you start to think “different” and maybe even expect “exceptional.”
So far, I hate to say, “anything” has meant neither anything different or exceptional.
Nevertheless, I will say that Day Two shows improvement over Day One however. We actually got a thing or two accomplished. (Imagine that.) And I enjoyed driving around town. Plenty of time to think.
And that got me wondering…Do my clients think?
I deal with a lot of small business owners and…well…while I love them, I worry. (Boy, do I worry.) I have my theories explaining why I think many people get into business for themself, but they are not very flattering theories. (Unable to work with others, maybe? I won’t say.) Nevertheless, for a group of people you would expect to be smart planners and polished professionals, the best advice I have is don’t set expectations too high.
If fact I started writing about dealing with these clients and lost my enthusiasm for it almost from the moment the idea popped into my head I plodded on anyway and that only made things worse. If I was getting bored writing about it, I can imagine how painful it would be if — and that’s a big if – you read it.
So, I don’t know…A day doesn’t go by when I don’t scratch my head trying to sort it out. (The worrisome “what the fuck am I doing” moments.) These really aren’t Willy Loman experiences, but frustrating nonetheless.
When I look across the table in a meeting, often I see…well, I see nothing. Staying awake is the goal. Simple concepts like return on investment mean nothing. Figuring margins is impossible. Keeping a budget…forget about it. But the most frustrating thing I experience dealing with small business owners is the inability to make a decision.
I start looking for an out, unless something interesting is going on in the office. That doesn’t happen often, but it happens. Offices with animals offer the most promise for this when things fall apart. Making faces at cats and dogs when the business owner isn’t looking, for example, relieves a lot of impatient anxiety. The dogs and cats seem to like it, too. At least the dogs do. And so do I.
Plus it is amazing what you can learn from meeting a wide variety of people every day. It is amazing, too, to see how much social stamina you can build over time in those less-than-stimulating experiences, as in “I am going to stay for ten more minutes and not kill anyone.” It is like practicing holding your breath. Over time, endurance increases.
And like breaking the surface after holding your breath underwater, escaping a suffocating office can feel as exhilarating as a jail break, without the hassle of deputies chasing you, of course. When I eventually break away, I count my good fortune — “Thank god I don’t work there!”– and move on.
It’s a lot of fun, actually.
Every so often making a sale is a good idea, however, and today I turned a few clients toward the light and got signatures, long overdue signatures. In this way, I proved once again that every so often even a blind squirrel finds a nut and it really is true, anything is possible.
And, please, please, tolerate me…there are many very smart, polished and enjoyable business owners out there with whom I get to work with every day — and you know who you are, don’t you, superstar! — but if the world were all superstardom, being great would merely be being average. Isn’t that right? We strive for more than average, dear reader! I need the flops for context and it takes a special breed (me) to deal with them.
Such is Day Two.
- Featured Business Owner – Jamie Calvetti of Calvetti Meats (learnedatscore.wordpress.com)
- The Customer is Always Right (parishgov.wordpress.com)
- 7 Habits of a Highly Successful Small Business Owner (business2community.com)
- James S. Cassel: Thinking of selling your business? Better get started (miamiherald.com)
- Lean ‘Sales’ (thetrimpact.wordpress.com)
- Essential Tips for Being Your Own Wedding Planner (weddings.answers.com)