The memory is vague but along the way somewhere I recall my father telling me something that my grandfather Wolfgang had said about work. My grandfather was a very intelligent man with a lot of life experience. It's not an exact quote, but the gist of it was:
'Work is a gift from God. To work is a basic human right and a human need. There is never a shortage of work to be done.'
For some reason those principles registered with me. It makes sense. Sure, sometimes there is a shortage of paying jobs, but there is always work that needs doing regardless of the time of year or the economic climate. This concept is liberating because it frees me to go out and create value, do something. A person needs not wait for an invitation, an opportunity, a phone call, etc. You can just simply get to work.
If you run your own painting business, there is little point waiting around for the phone to ring. You have the right to work, you don't have to wait for someone else to give you the opportunity. You can create your own.
This coincides with what I've noticed over the years. Its way easier to find work when you are busy working. So if its slow, try to find a way to keep busy. Find a way to add value to other people. Here are just a few ideas...
'Action is the foundational key to success.'
- Pablo Picasso
'In the end the question can only be answered by action.'
- Stephen Pressfield, The War of Art
That quote by Picasso has been my guiding business principle for over a decade. It seems overly simple at first glance. It's true that it doesn't contain all the elements of success - action doesn't guarantee success. But inaction guarantees failure. Knowledge only benefits us when we put it into action...
As an entrepreneur, you will enter into negotiations on a regular basis with suppliers, employees, prospects or clients.
There are times people just need you to go the extra mile in order to keep a project moving forward toward the goal.
It's OK to trust your gut and make someone happy, making an investment in goodwill.
Other times, people may be out to squeeze the profit out of you, or pressure you to meet unreasonable expectations.
Their demands are a way of gaining control of the transaction and taking your power away. This is a critical stage in a business relationship. Will you blink first?
There is a lot of information available out there on negotiating. But one simple, easy to remember principle that I picked up along the way has served me well over the years...