Or, to put it another way, outsource or die! Either way, the message is still the same: starting or running a business is tough, trying to stay focused on what it was you wanted to create, sell, service or make is core.
Everything else is fluff! Admittedly, important fluff – but fluff none the less.
A couple of years ago I was in Canada starting up a retail gift card company for a major Canadian retailer. The concept was sound, the partners were solid, the customer was signed, awesome!
Then it started to go a bit wonky, then it went really Pete Tong!
One of my biggest suppliers was sliding into administration and I worked with their board, their stakeholders and investors to try and rescue the company because I thought it was important for my company.
Big mistake : I should have moved on and fast. Instead I tried to salvage something that didn’t want to be saved and in doing so sank my own ship. Whole exercise as one of my buddies pointed out at the time was basically a real live fire MBA exercise: I lost some cash (quite a bit), I lost some sleep (also, quite a bit) but I gained valuable experience.
This is what I learned and how I now practise what I preach:
With so much bad news flying around about austerity, security and economy it’s easy to join in with moaning about things we really can’t change or influence. Ignore this ‘white noise’ and instead focus on your business and move forward with purpose. There are very few billion dollar contracts from China floating around but there are millions of small business leaders and we can get the economy back off the ground!