let’s jump into some hot water

I’ve heard it said it keeps us clean!

Years ago, I got to pitch a software solution to a business owner. I nervously and excitedly put together a mini-presentation, set up an appointment, and went over my value proposition. No go. Even though I would do things differently today, I lost the sale before I ever made my pitch for two reasons:

1. I didn’t know we were competing against FREE.

2. We had fundamentally different perspectives on business.

What I’ve learned since then…

Every business owner falls into one of two camps:

1. Function & Profit, or

2. Experience & Expression.

Some business owners prioritize #1: Cold, hard, objective facts. Black and white answers. Basic math to make decisions. Sniff out the money and go make it. Find the opportunities, and get as much cash out of it as you can. If you can pay someone $6/hr from a foreign country to avoid a $2k/mo software subscription, do it. Many of these will start a business or close a deal just by sneezing. And while everything can be taken to an extreme… But I have ZERO problem with people who are inclined that way.

Other business owners prioritize #2. They’re OK with ambiguity and uncertainties. They’re comfortable with unanswered questions. They’re in business because they view it as an artistic creation. Cash is the scorecard, but it’s not the game. What’s the game? The game is creating an exceptional product and an unbelievable culture. It’s giving customers an incredible experience.

Business is not just about the /function/ of getting things done. It’s about the /experience/ and /expression/ of what gets done. These folks often have a much slower start in business. They have to fight to know what to charge, and to keep themselves from going bankrupt. They’ve fought against their instincts to get rolling. In fact, they’ve got to LEARN many of the behaviors and patterns that come naturally for person #1.

BUT, once they’ve got their start, I’m convinced they have a superior advantage. They viscerally know what their employees want. They know what their customers crave. They instinctively move towards the future that’s being created. They can’t always explain why they do what they do. They can’t always explain how they do what they do. But they do it. And it works.

For years, I tried to be Type #1. For years, I tried to win over Type #1. And then… Years later I realized… The business owner I mentioned? He’s Type #1. Any price tag, compared to $0, was a no-go. And myself? I’m Type #2. Different perspectives. Mixing like oil and water. Now… When I work with clients, I absolutely dig into things like:

– ROI,

– effort & reward,

– probability of success

because these are the ways that I can best serve my clients… and I’m driven by seeing them succeed… But I also dig into more than just numbers. Whether I’m looking at:

– a business process,

– a software solution,

– a marketing campaign,

– a job description,

– a strategic plan,

– an individual in a specific role,

– an entire department,

I instinctively ask the question: “Given these two options, which one will give us the results we need, while also allowing us to build the elegant, beautiful business that we’re looking to create?”

If that’s NOT you… and you’re a Type #1 business owner… Embrace it. Find your tribe. Find those businesses that fit your M.O.

I genuinely want you to succeed… No chance I want you to burden yourself with trying to fit yourself into my mold. And if you find yourself enjoying my posts… considering what it would be like working with me… chances are you fall smack dab into Type #2.

And if we haven’t yet, I hope we sometime have the joy of working together. And for sure, if we haven’t met or talked lately, I hope that we can be friends.

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