Another day closer but at the same time, it seemed like I was getting pulled back further despite the headway I’d made.
It was 4.30pm and I came up to the office of my Mentor(who we’ll refer to as Mr. M), business idea in one hand, pen and pad in the other, eager to show him the progress I’d made in the idea we’d talked about beforehand. He ushered me in and proceeded to run his finger down the 1st page of the revised model. He then set about reading over each part of it carefully, asking briefly to clarify one or two things, before looking back to walk his mind through the entire process.
Once done, he raised his head and proceeded to quiz me on how, with this new model, I intended to resolve certain things that automatically struck him. Once I’d answered them as best I could, he opened up his internet browser and proceeded to walk through the process I had outlined in my summary. He talked aloud as he played the role of my prospective customer, mentioning what was going through his head as he did each step. Several times he ended up hitting a brick wall in the process, would pause (at which time, I would quickly scribe what had happened), back up a few steps and proceed to continue on. This happened at least another six times before he stopped to look at me and ask me how I’d take care of these bumps in the process.
Now, just as an aside, I’d come into the meeting fully expecting to have the flaws in my plan revealed. I’d even written done four major problems that I intended to bring up. These problems, though, were largely aesthetic and paled in comparison to the fundamental questions that were raised when Mr. M had role played what my prospective customer did to lead him to buy.
As he did so, I was kicking myself for not doing the same thing beforehand but quickly put that at the back of my mind as we outlined the challenges in my model and as he also profiled who my customer was, what were his motivations for considering my service and further more, what were the benefits to him. This exposed yet more hidden flaws in the model and I continued to kick myself at the back of my mind while I furiously continued to keep up with the conversation while taking notes.
As the meeting continued, it was evident that my model had an element of risk in it that was inevitable if things went down the wrong way. I’d attempted to remove myself from the process as much as possible though it seemed that that alone wouldn’t protect me and ensure that what I was intending to do, wouldn’t be gone as quickly as it arrived. He continued to talk about the idea and how it had merit and had come a long way from what I originally started off with. However, he stressed the point that if I couldn’t address the issues that my customer might have with buying my product or resolve any possible fallout from other players in the market, my business would be short-lived.
We discussed possible solutions and also, fundamental steps that needed to be taken before I considered jumping in the deep end with this project. After I mentioned that I’d intended to make it live today, he highlighted the value in taking care of every possible problem I was aware of now rather than later because later always, invariably, led to the discovery of more problems harder to solve than the first. With this in mind, I began fighting the lion at the back of mind that just wanted to jump out, site launched, and enjoy the challenges that were to follow. This feeling of recklessness quickly dissipated once he began crunching my numbers and reason soon resurfaced with a salmon in hand to introduce face to gill.
Sober and clear on what my next steps were, I thanked him for his time (which was initially scheduled to be 20mins but finished at over 70mins) and he said that it wasn’t a problem, again, remarking positively on the progress I’d made. I left the meeting on a high despite being told to reign in my horses (for the interim at least).
Looking back on it now, I’m so blessed to have the chance to talk with great men and women who have a wealth of experience in business, marketing and earning millions doing what they love. After all, I could simply work a 40 hour week, watching Youtube till I clock out, come home to sit on the couch, enjoying my salt n vinegar chips while I watch a movie and contemplate waking up in the morning to repeat the process all over again. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do it, I’m just noting the change in myself as a result. I’ve gone from wanting to do things, to doing things. I’ve gone from wanting to talk to successful people to talking to them. From dreaming, to planning and guessing to seeking out the answer. All of which, has been capable not solely by my own means but with the assistance and support of those who’ve positively encouraged and continue to back me.
Life is exciting and despite the setbacks, the small successes are too much of a motivator to deter me from achieving financial success now and in the future. Especially with so many backing me, which is again, another huge blessing.
To Day 50, may we be better selves to solve the problems it brings and enjoy the opportunities it offers!
To our success.