ITPositive – lessons from my 7 years in this business
ITPositive was the second business I ever started, instead of attending regular University courses. Towards the end of my seven years history with it, the context became difficult to handle. But to this day it remains one of the achievements that shaped me. It taught me lots, it increased my tolerance for risk, it pushed my limits. Let me share three lessons drawn from that era.
Most brands or business people that appear to be fascinating or intimidating are probably only so at a distance
The people that are genuinely impressive likely had a difficult childhood or something else in their life that you would probably pity them for. Or they are more athletes than business people.
At the time we started working for some big brand names and we were shocked of the opportunity. It’s the “small village boy visiting the big city” syndrome. But then you get to look under the hood. I became fascinated about the complex play that a lot of the participants were putting on, all the while actually doing little of what we called quality work. But then again, work means different things for different people.
The point is: it is likely that you, at your best, will always be as impressive as most of the hot-shots out there. There are people who surely have amassed more money than you will ever will. However that is never an objective measure of human quality. Trust in yourself, always, no matter who sits in front of you.
He who controls the buyer, controls the context
I wish your career will put you in a position to negotiate partnerships, deals, shares of pie, etc. Negotiation is a very interesting and possibly rewarding type of human interaction. A lot of the time, intentionally or not, negotiation is made up to be about something else entirely than what really matters.
Let’s say you and I were to partner up in a service business. You get 500% of whatever shares you like, because you’re a great negotiator. I get to control the customers of this company. Who do you expect will run the show?
Whenever you feel that a negotiation went to smoothly in your favour, remember to ask yourself if you were negotiating over the right pie.
Success kills business just as easily as failure, but produces more mess
Hard times have a tendency to bring certain people together. There’s no time/energy to address our grievances when we’re in pain. A common enemy can strengthen bonds that would otherwise fail. There’s truth in this line of thought. However, improper processing of relational differences never fades away under the carpet. It builds. And waits. For success.
Sadly enough people change very fast when they feel threatened. Together can change to everyone-for-herself quite fast. Success often fosters the thought process of “I don’t need him, I can do it by myself, look at everything I achieved”. Most of the time all you have to do for bad things to happen is … nothing.
I’ve seen way to many scenarios where abundance worsened partnerships. Whether it’s ego coming out to shine. Perhaps sometimes it’s actually boredom and the need for some relational fireworks. Could be version of power-plays. Whatever it is, men start behaving like boys (sorry, I have not had the experience of women in this scenario yet). Feelings rise well above reason. And the risk of falling from up high rises. It’s very, very sad to watch.
Whatever stage you reach in business, whatever its about, never forget that your core competency must be relating to humans. Your craft comes second.
So, what do you think about it!?