This is about pure elation, the kind of exhilarated high you only get when you win the big race, land the big fish, or get a hole in one.
For a business owner, it’s that coup, that dropped-in-your-lap sweet deal that looks so effortless, but may have taken years of planning and experience to pull off. Or maybe it’s the gold ring, honestly earned, after years of gnawing off Cracker Jack box tops or getting your nose bloodied going toe to toe time and again in the boxing match of business.
It doesn’t happen every day. You may wait years for it. But when it happens, wow! It’s a rush, a thrill that nothing beats. But it doesn’t happen by accident … no matter what your neighbors say. They don’t get it. They’re just jealous.
Consider these true tales.
Jim threw in a closed bid of $8,800 on a downtown building. He won, claimed title to property worth nearly $80,000, and then tapped out the equity to finance the expansion of his business. Sweet!
Mike, deeply in debt from a series of business setbacks and reduced to living out of his office and showering at the Y twice a week, landed a $150,000 contract with a 50% markup. He’s back from the brink. Woof!
Scott, after 25 years of working like a dog to build up his business, just bought a 48-foot yacht, and even has the free time to enjoy it. Hoo-haa!
Julie bought a rundown building for $18,000, invested nothing in renovations, and sold it three years later for $92,000. Yes!
These magnificent deals have three things in common.
First, they feel great.
Second, success breeds envy. There will always be someone out in the peanut gallery (the ones who would never think of taking a risk, but wait for someone else to put their food bowl in front of them three times a day) who will find fault with these business folks and those like them.
When you make that killer deal, don’t expect anyone to pat you on the back. They’re more likely to talk about you behind your back.
After Jim got his building for just over 10 cents on the dollar, a neighbor complained that he cheated, it wasn’t fair, he should have paid more, and so on, even though it was a public bid and anyone – including this neighbor — could have gotten that building for as little as $8,801! No one else did. Jim did. Good for him. (By the way, there were two other bids, both even lower than Jim’s.)
Third, their success has nothing to do with lucky breaks. It drives me nuts when people attribute to luck what is actually hard work, planning, and the ability to read the business landscape.
Take Captain Scott, the new yacht owner. He drove himself 60 and 70 hours a week for years, never sure the business would succeed, at times wondering how he would pay his bills. He is now a millionaire. Lucky? Nah. Smart? Maybe. Determined? Definitely.
Even Julie and her building deal – yes, she was in the right place at the right time. However, she had the guts to act, to cash in on a passing opportunity before it walked by, gone forever. Most folks trip over opportunities every day. They’re either too indifferent or too afraid to take advantage of them.
For most of us, success in business comes because we work hard, pay your dues, learn how the game is played, train ourselves to read a “lucky” break when it comes along, and are willing to take that reasonable leap of risk when the potential for gain outweighs the risk.
Don’t worry about what anyone else says. Work hard. Make money. Have fun. And enjoy those sweet deals. JRIngrisano
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