Friday, 23 November 2012

The Italian Stallion on Entreprenership

What does Rocky know about entrepreneurship? Maybe lots, maybe nothing, but there are 3 scenes that every new entrepreneur should pay attention to:

Reporter, "Do other fighters pound raw meat?" - Rocky, "No, I think I invented it."

Rocky didn't have a lot of  resources when he started up. No big training team with loads of equipment to train for every situation. Instead he and his trainer made due with what was available. He chased chickens to improve his agility and reflexes. He punched up sides of beef hanging in a freezer. Glamorous, no. Effective, oh yeah.
As a new entrepreneur you may not have the resources to do everything in the way established businesses do. Because of that you will need to learn how to take care of things in creative ways. But don't worry, in the end that will make you stronger. You will find ways to solve problems in tough situations. You will build your business agility and reflexes out of necessity. Make due with what you have, train hard and get strong. In the end, your mind will be creative and you will know your business inside out and backwards. Then there will be no challenge that you can't handle.

"Cut me Mick!"

 Bloody and swollen, Rocky would do anything to go the distance. Afraid the ref would call the fight he wanted to get the swelling down. Against the advice of those in his corner, he wanted to be cut to allow the swelling to subside so that he could keep fighting. So he yells at his trainer, "Cut me Mick!"
While you build your new business, there will likely be times where you feel like you have been bashed around like a boxer in a ring. Your friends may be telling you to throw in the towel. They believe in you but are scared for you. Don't give in to their fear. If you truly believe in yourself and what you are trying to accomplish, you need to do what is necessary to keep going. It is your life and you need to do what you believe you need to do. Never quit. Never give up. Push to the end. If you get knocked around, lick your wounds, stand up and get right back in there.


Rocky screamed her name when the fight was over. His physical pain and exhaustion needed one thing at that moment, her. She was his world and he knew she would be there.
Know who is really in your corner. Know who it is that will always be there for you. Know who it is that will cheer you on even when they are scared for you, even when everyone else is telling you to give up. Know who it is that really understands why it is you do what you do. Know who it is and don't be afraid to call out for them. They will be there for you when you need them. In the end, treat them with all of the respect and love that you can. They deserve it.

Rocky may not have been an entrepreneur, but he had heart. He put his heart to boxing. If you are starting a business, put your heart to it like he did, you can't fail. If may be a long hard fight but you will succeed if you continue to fight.

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Time/Skill/Money Pie

Once in a while, you get handed a tool that sticks with you and becomes a part of your life from that moment on. For me, the Time/Skill/Money Pie is one of them. It is something I use personally and I also pass on to clients to help with their decision making processes.

The concept of the Time/Skill/Money Pie was something I was taught years ago by a preacher who was once an insurance salesman. (He had a very unique skill set.) Basically, the idea was that no matter the task at hand, you will have to determine the amount of time, skill and money you will use to complete it. If you have lots of one, you may not need as much of the other two. If you are lacking in one, you will have to make up for it in the other two.

The pie looks like this ...

To show how it works, lets take the example of fixing your toilet. Here are three most basic possible pies.

The simplest way to get it fixed is to pay a plumber to come and fix it. (Figure 1) If you have the money to pay the plumber, you don't need much time and you don't need any skill, just enough common sense to let the plumber do his job.

If you already have the skill to fix the toilet (figure 2) then you don't need to hire the plumber. That means you don't need much money (maybe just to buy some parts) but you will have to use some of your time to do the job. 

The third scenario here is not having any skill and not wanting to pay a plumber (figure 3). That means you had better free up some time. You are going to need to learn about how to fix the toilet and then do it yourself, making a couple mistakes along the way but eventually getting it done right. (The silver lining in this is that you develop a new skill through investing that time. The next time your toilet breaks, you will have the skill to fix it! Your pie will look different again won't it? More like figure 2.)

Once you get used to using it, you will find that pies from different decisions overlap. For example. I can use either time or money to fix my toilet as I don't have any plumbing skills. I also want to go watch my kids in their soccer games. Solution? Use money to pay a plumber (pie 1, where money displaces time) so I can free up time to watch my kids game (pie 3, where time is plentiful). 

The great thing about this is that it can simplify many decisions. From family life to your business and everything in between. Look at the task at hand. Decide which of the 3 sections you have available, decide which you want to use and which you want to preserve and then move forward.

Let them eat pie.