Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Never QUITE the Same When You're Chatting with Someone Actually IN Your Shoes

So I had an awesome meeting with a friend of mine Sam Araki yesterday. It was definitely an interesting talk since both of our companies are in the forex industry and it's always different when you're chatting about someone truly passionate about their business.

As an entrepreneur, do you ever get the feeling that people working in the corporates or even your contractors/employees don't know the amount of stress you're going through on a daily basis? No one's to blame for this! Just like I mentioned in a previous post on Ruthless Management, as owners, we just have different priorities as employees. The priority list is totally different since owners sink, time, money and everything else they have into the business.

We also chatted about training people into jobs and making management decisions too late into the game. There's been times when we think we could help a person "develop" a skill set that we know is just non-existent for that person; don't get me wrong, I'm a strong believer that everybody has an awesome skill that they can contribute - whether it be the fastest shelf-stocker in North America or whatever - it's still a skill that an employer can use. When we find out that a person does not have the skill set to match the job description, we often struggle to keep them, train them and have our fingers-crossed that they would improve. I've learned the hard way that this is cruel for both parties, since I'm keeping them from moving onto a job that actually suits them and they would hate me for not letting go of them sooner (well they would "dislike" me despite the timing of my decision to let them go...)

Which is why if you find that a person isn't fitting into one "job", then figure out what their strengths are. Stop expecting people to be like yourself. I've fallen into that trap. I'm a numbers person who measures EVERYTHING in the business, and I can't expect the same business-oriented bean counting quality from my programmers, marketers, salespeople, etc. THEY WERE HIRED TO DO THINGS THAT I DON'T DO! So what good does it actually do when everybody I hire is a clone of me? Ask Julien, he would probably run away if there were more than one of me in the business :)

Tons of ideas just sprung up out of our conversation and this is how ideas are generated people - instead of you sitting at home and staring at 4 walls (or maybe you have more?)

I'm glad that I've progressed to a position where Sam and I could share ideas and help each other out...compared the initial time we met, where I was the one mostly asking for advice.

As a follow up to my post yesterday, this is what I would classify as good "networking". You maintain a long-term business relationship and help each other out as you are each building your businesses. I think many books have been written recently about how small businesses should create their own network and that's the only way they can compete? I'm not saying the theory is valid, but in my personal opinion it's the way that I work, and so far so good!

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