The Deal

I am not embarrassed to say that my new venture has produced exactly $0 to date, and I am actually pretty proud of that!  I do not need to check myself into a mental institution, but you have to think it twice though….

As an executive working for other companies, I was always patient when making a deal.  Deals take time and usually change from beginning to end. Not by design, but because a lot of things change that you can’t control.  Competition, weather, a bad business relationship, whatever.  As I stated a few weeks ago, when you are working for a company, your responsibility is to get the company the best deal possible always.  This is where the executive makes a difference, either you fight for everything and leave nothing on the table, or you give away everything and get a lousy deal, or somewhere in the middle.  The usual technique is the first one and that is how you get the reputation of being a jerk.  I had that for many years.

It was until I realized that many vendors can actually help you more if you are not such a jerk, and you do not have to leave much on the table as well, this way your commitment to you employer is untouched.  It is about working together and for a cliched win-win.  The results are better relationships, more help when actually is needed and certainly more respect when it comes to coming to the table again.

So the deal making process does not change in effect when you are an entrepreneur. The slight and minimal exception is that when you wait for a deal, and take your time and play the mind games (which we all think we are very smart at playing) you are still getting a paycheck.  Not bad, huh.  When you are an entrepreneur, you are not, so what do you do, you hurry up the deal and settle for everything they offer (and you are glad they did)  That is the worst thing you can do for your company and for yourself.  Strategically speaking, it means you did not plan and foresee rejection as well as you thought, and that probably you are not financially ready to start your own business.  If you settle for anything that comes along, your business changes and so will your enjoyment of it.

I will not settle for anything, I will negotiate what I need, and if do not like it, I will not make a deal. I would rather leave a bad deal on the table than lose respect for myself or get myself into an unwanted situation.  I might run out of money and savings, but you can’t compromise your value and your future because you did not plan well or can’t take a strong and definitive NO. It’s on you if you do! So think about it well, before you decide and take the jump into the business owner abyss, and mostly remember that it takes discipline and confidence to close the deal.

Keep calm and stay humble, talk to you next week.