Day 35: The Day I Learned three lessons

Today, I had a meeting with a gentleman who has been very successful, especially in the field of sales and advertising. It is here that he’s made his fortune and continues to expand. I was very fortunate to get some time with him and I learned a great deal as I sat in front of him. I told him of the main idea I had thought of and he politely listened. Once I was done talking, he began. Bit by bit, and very kindly might I add, he dismantled my idea and revealed it for all the cracks and flaws which it contained. After this humbling experience he talked about his few successes and many failures but he made a point to tell me two things in particular, the first being that the world will only pay a man as much as he’s worth and the second was to always plan things with the number ‘3’ in mind.

The first one I appreciated and took to meaning that it is very rare where a man is paid more than he is worth, thus, the Alex Tew’s of the world (of The Million Dollar Homapage fame) are an anomaly that rarely appear and are even less likely to succeed. He reiterated that a man who comes into that kind of money with little or no financial maturity, is more likely to lose it all as a result of not being wise enough to manage it, least that’s what I interpreted him to be saying (I was slightly nervous and trying to calm my breathing each time I moved to speak).

He elaborated upon the second point that no matter how well I plan for a worst case scenario, I’ll always need to take that figure, budget or timeline and extend it by three. Thus, if I were to have a well-planned 80-Day business proposal to generate a million dollars, the reality of the situation would be that it would probably takeĀ  up to 240 days to complete. He reiterated that a large reason behind this was because so few others were likely to be as excited as I was in the project and thus, delays were the nature of the beast. He also cited examples of Facebook still not breaking even and Amazon only doing so well because it was trading at what people perceive it to be worth in the future and not what it’s currently worth.

I left that meeting wiser. Somewhat somber but certainly a lot more sober, no longer numbed by the fluffy perceptions of magic ideas that could make me a lot of money very quickly if I simply wish, wish, wish. I began inwardly kicking myself as I thought, “Way to drop the ball Josh! If you ever meet someone like him again, make it a meeting to remember, not one he’d sooner forget!” Fortunately, I wasn’t too far from another home and proceeded to drive there to quickly move from the awkwardness of that wanting experience.

Once I’d arrived at my close family friend’s home, I told him what had happened and wisely, he listened then slowly brought things back to now for me. We discussed my current job prospects and he set out to give me a lesson in generating leads in order to “keep the wolves outside.” (an inference to paying bills) He quizzed me on my sales prospects through my animation company and made clever suggestions about where I could get leads in order to ensure that I’m taking care of business once my current contract finishes up in a month.

It was a welcome distraction from my earlier meeting that also revealed a possible diamond I had left in the rough. The diamond I’m refering to was an idea I had thought of in September last year and had spent some time working on prior to creating the 80-Day challenge. I’d relegated it to the back shelf because it didn’t have enough vavoom and wow-factor as far as I was concerned. As we continued talking about it, I began kicking myself for overlooking how simplistically stable it was. It certainly had potential, at the very least! My friend proceeded to suggest how I could remove 80% of the stress from the process and still be able to make a profit and like that, I was excited again. Still wiser for the experience but eager to test the site live just to see who bites. You can check out a brief blurb about the second idea I have on my Thinkubator Page though I should have it partially up this weekend.

Birthday parties, babies and bright sunny days being what they are, please don’t hold it against me for taking the oportunity to enjoy it all as much as possible. Just keeping the main thing the main thing after all!

  • http://www.adventurousmom.com Makenzie Kelly

    Josh,

    I have been pondering writing this post for a while. After I read your post, and then thought about all the things I wanted to say, I figured that others could benefit from my thoughts too!

    http://www.adventurousmom.com/2010/01/my-opinion-of-other-peoples-opinions/

    Check it out!! ~Makenzie
    .-= Makenzie Kelly´s last blog ..Who Cares What They Say? Toxic Opinions =-.

    • Josh

      Thanks Makenzie, a great read (especially in light of Day 35’s events). Having the maturity to listen to people without impetuously interjecting is a flaw I’m slowly exorcising.

      I certainly see the value in possessing the qualities of listening, discerning then deciding in contrast to not listening, failing to take as much as I can from the experience and ultimately stunting my own personal and professional growth. This is a lesson I learned only a few years ago and is one I wish never to repeat.

      I think there’s a saying that goes “A fool says a lot with little meaning while a wise man will mean a lot while saying very little.” I completely winged that but you get the tangent I was aiming for!