I was talking the other day to a business friend, Ben. He likened me to a Weeble (and I’m hoping it’s my resilience he was referring to!).
Ben and I were discussing just how resilient business owners have to be to cope with the daily pressures of running a business. I started thinking about the number of very large orders of our Essential Business Guide we have been asked to quote for over the past years.
When the first ten people, say, asked for quotes, we got caught up in the excitement. Just one of those very large orders could transform our business: PR to die for, a marketing budget as long as your arm, more staff, perhaps buy an office instead of renting. You know how it goes. You’ve been there.
Reality rushes in
Then the cold light of day would dawn, the person who asked us to quote would turn out not to be the decision maker after all, or they’d suddenly realise that they didn’t have the budget after all, or the budget had now been allocated elsewhere. Ho hum. You know how it is.
We’re now in the position that if the head of the DTI rang and said he (she?) wanted to buy 100,000 copies of our book, we’d say, ‘Yeah, yeah — we’ll believe it when we see the ink drying on the cheque’.
But that healthy cynicism — born of experience — doesn’t mean that just for a moment, a tiny moment, we don’t always allow ourselves that prickle of excitement at what might be. Could be. Each time the phone rings and someone says, ‘We’d like to buy a large number of your book. How much would you charge for…?’ And sometimes, often times, they have come off. There has been the order. And isn’t it great when that happens?
Sometimes, the planets align perfectly
I have heard stories from small business owners for whom that massive stroke of luck*, or the deal of a lifetime, has finally come off after years and years of trying. The ink has dried on the cheque. The buyout, the merger, the massive order — has gone ahead. And it always makes me grin when I come across a story like that. Because those of us who are doing it every day know how challenging it can be at times to ride the rollercoaster that is micro or small business. So when we hear of one of ‘our own’ who has done it. Doesn’t it just make your heart sing?
If you have had one of the moments, please email me. We’re always looking for inspirational case studies, so why not share your story?
(*See the What’s luck got to do with it? post about luck and business!)