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Build a profitable business- the baby steps part 31

Don´t do business with losers. This may sound really harsh. But ir is advice with the best of intentions and it will save you a lot of headache and money. Every now and then we get approached by people who have had a bad run. They´ve been unemployeed for a really long time, or maybe they lost their business. Some of them have been working on an invention, a website, or a vision for many years without any luck. Common denominators within this group of people is that they are looking for a big hit. Many of them have accumulated debt over a long period of time and need a big payday to get back on their feet again. Many of these individuals still see themselves as players. They figure they just got unlucky. They figure it was unfortunate circumstances, not their own choices, that led them into a rut. Unfortunately they are wrong in most cases. If you strike out and sit on the bench temporarily that´s no big deal. We all make mistakes. And most people learn from their mistakes, and grow as persons in the process. but that´s if you strike out ocassionally. We figure that if you have been sitting on that bench for a long period of time, that´s probably not a fluke. Chances are you have not been performing very well at whatever it is you do. You have been living a dream, and every time anybody has tried to tell you the truth you have not listened to them. As I write about this one particular person comes to mind.

We got approached by a software programmer who said he wanted to discuss some kind of joint venture. My partner had been a member of the same club as this individual so we gave him the benefit of the doubt and agreed to a meeting. He got a software alright, but we quickly learned that it was already out of date. What was worse, we knew the industry he was trying to target with this particular software and we didn´t really see the need for his program. We knew nobody would buy it. We knew nobody would lease it. It fact, we knew nobody would be willing to exchange any money for this software program whatsoever. We started out

Turns out this software coder had quit his job a couple of years ago and had been living of an inheritance ever since. Also, he had used a considerable amount of that inheritance to “invest” in his great idea. We were stunned. He had thrown away a fortune on something we could have told him wouldn´t work after listening to 5 minutes of hsi first pitch. And we had been working in that industry for decades, and knew it inside out. Even more astounding was the fact that we were the first ones he had approached about his idea. He hadn´t done any research on the industry he was about to enter. His software didn´t solve a need, or a problem. In fact his program did very little of practical use. And it definitively did nothing of value. He figured it was a neat program. Maybe it was- but only to him. But honestly, it had no justification in a capitalistic market system. We tried to set him straight. We told him he had to rethink his approach if he wanted to increase his chances of success. He didn´t want to hear it.

Instead he called a CEO of a major player in the industry we had introduced him to and booked a meeting. We had an existing business arrangement with this CEO. When the meeting was over we got a call from that very same CEO. Turns out our aquaintance software programmer had badmouthed us and tried to steal our contract by undercutting our price. Turns out he thought we were incompetent. Turns out he called the CEO an idiot too, when he got thrown out of the building. We were pissed off. We had really tried to help this guy. We figured he was a smart guy, a brilliant programmer, but with a limited business knowledge. Had he only concentrated his efforts in the right direction we truly believe he could have accomplished great things. But he didn´t. Instead he chose to go machiavelli on us. It failed. Miserably. Not only did he get thrown out of the building. He found all doors in the industry to be closed shut after that incident. Word spread. And once it was out he didn´t even need to bother.

That was over a decade ago. The programmer is still living of his inheritance. We heard he is applying for a job since most of his inheritance has been spent. We´ve meet him on several occassions after the incident. He tried to avoid having any contact with us. Until a year ago or so when he attended a seminar we held. He shook our hands and thanked us for an interesting seminar. We realized we liked him after all. he was a good guy. Even good guys can go bad from time to time. And that´s just the point we are trying to make here. Even the greatest of persons can do some really disgusting things when they are in dire straits. Because when you are in trouble you get desperate, and once you get desperate you start doing things you´d rather not do. It is the reptil brain that takes charge. You are simply trying to survive, to bring some food home to yourself andd your family. And you are prepared for things to get ugly in the process. We have seen this on numerous occassions over the years. We have seen aquantainces, friends and colleagues do some pretty uncool things in order to try to save their own skin. They figured they were in it deep, and if anybody was going down it better be someone else. Whenever this happens we have felt disgusted, angry, sad and desillusioned at the same time.

It took us more than a decade to learn how to play the game, whenever we got approached by a loser. We were polite and friendly but we were quick to turn down any business invitations. You should learn from out mistakes and follow our lead. People who have had a bad run are desperate. And when people are desperate they are more likely to do desperate acts. After all, what do they have to lose? It´s not like the situation could get any worse. And from a moral point of view many of these individuals have no problem with making some terrible calls. When confronted about it they often justify their actions by saying something along the liens of  ”but you are doing so well, it´s only fair I got some of that”. They somehow feel that the world owes them. In fact you owe them as well. If you are doing good, they feel it´s only fair if you give them part of what you have achieved. They figure its deeply unfair and egoistical of you not to let them have a piece of the pie. That you have sacrificed valuable time in order to help them get back on their feet is a detail that is completely lost on them. The world owes them, remember? They figure it´s a natural thing that you are helping them out. After all, they deserve it. They´ve had such a run of bad luck, it´s only fair that somebody helps them out.

We may sound a bit cynical and harsh but we have learned our lessons the hard way. We never do business with people who are under pressure, or that have been unemployed or in dire straits for a prolonged period of time. We will give them support and understanding as fellow human beings, but it is ultimately their own responsibility to clean up the messs they themselves have created. And if they tell us it´s not their fault we do not believe them. Are you telling me that circumstances can keep you down and out for several years without any chance on your behalf to fight back and reclaim what is rightfully yours? We do not believe in fate. We believe in tilting the probabilities in ones favour by hard work and an opportunistic mindset. Nobody decides what will become of your life but yourself. You are the master of your fate. You are the architect of your destiny. Anybody who tells you otherwise is probably just making excuses for their own personal failures.

Desperate men and money are an explosive combination that has a tendency to blow up in your face. They are always looking for the quick buck. They are always dreaming of the easy killing. And they figure that all they need is one really good score and they could be back in no time. Problem is that the quick buck is an illusion. The easy killing very often proves to be anything but easy. We are all competing for the same money. Nobody is going to hand it over to you. No matter how much you might feel that you deserve it. Wealth and success can truly be elusive for those who must have it all at once. They are not prepared to put in the necessary hours of hard work and process. Instead they look for the windfall profit, the homerun that will prove to be a game-changer. Unfortunately they often look for others to provide that homerun for them.

We believe in kindness and lending a helping hand to your fellow man. But we do not let that get into the way of making rational decisions about business. And one rational decision we have made is never to do any bsuiness with individuals who are desperate. Period. It doesn´t matter how good of a deal we are offered or how much we pity them. We do not do business with them. We help them out, and give thema push in the right direction. But really, the rest is up to them. We worked inhumane hours to get where we are at today. If they want success they need not search for it far away. If they too are prepared to pay the price success can be theirs too. But we won´t jeopardize our business in order to help them out. We owe them nothing. We will give them encouragement, kindness and some friendly advice. But we offer no solutions. We offer no business companionships, employments or  joint ventures. We have discovered that putting your money on a desperate man always turns out to be a bad bet. And since we are bsuiness men we avoid bad bets like the plague.

Being successsful in business is difficult enough as it is. Why increase the level of difficulty even further?



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