What Have We Learned Dorothy?

December 27, 2009

Note: I actually wrote this on December 20th, but with the holiday rush, neglected to publish it …  Whoops!

“Get ready for a year-end rally”

“The market is poised to move lower”

“The market has no direction.”

“Now is a lousy time to expand.”

“I know I can make this business grow … I just need to do it”

Even in these difficult times, though we may be short on capital, there never seems to be shortage of opinions about what you should (or should not) do.  Take for instance one of my clients in Hawaii who decided he wanted to expand his business.  We’ll call him Jerry.  Jerry did his homework.  It was back in 2007, I sort of forced him to prepare a plan that he could present to the bank to obtain the capital he needed to grow.

Though he didn’t like it, Jerry did exactly as I asked.  Admittedly, the plan was optimistic. The bank took a look at it.  The first answer was “We need more info.”  The second answer was “No.”  And no matter how we asked or what we showed, the answer was still “No.”

Now this is not an indictment of the Bank.  This particular Bank is known for being conservative in their lending decisions … and, truth be told, even I had my doubts about whether Jerry should be expanding at that particular time.  The good thing is, Jerry never did have a doubt; or if he did, he never let on.  In spite of the No’s he was hearing from all around him, he decided to add a store on Maui.  Shortly thereafter, when he learned a large “competitor” was folding their tent in Honolulu he added yet another store.  His sales skyrocketed and, in no time at all, his profits did too. 

There will always be naysayers and doubters; and when you’re down … expect them to bring reinforcements!  But know this.  Jerry knew with every fiber of his being that he was right.  He knew his business, his customers, and his unique niche in the marketplace.  Jerry believed in himself.  When the time came to place his bet, Jerry was “all in” and his wager paid off handsomely.

 A friend of mine (whose name is not Dorothy) muses aloud to herself as she learns life’s lessons … “OK now what have you learned Dorothy?”  … referring to the Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  That question is particularly apropos here.  So … what have we learned Dorothy?  We’ve learned that we need to bet on ourselves and have the courage of our convictions.  It may be the best bet of all!

Mike Stockwell writes this blog for his clients, friends and frankly, for his own entertainment.  Mike is the founder of The Pacific Group – Business Advisory Services and works with owners and executives small and mid-size businesses in California and Hawaii, helping them to bring balance back to their lives and take their business to the next level.  Find out more about Mike and his business at: www.TPG-BAS.com and contact him at Mike@TPG-BAS.com


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