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Thursday, September 29, 2011

What do you want?

I know I sometimes sound like someone's memaw or, alternatively, an especially cranky Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, with my insistence on being true to yourself in order to live your most exhilarating and successful life...but just humor me one more time. I'm in the midst of creating a new business project, and to do so, I need investors. In order to get  those investors to actually seriously consider giving me cash, instead of snorting merrily over my proposal, I have to craft my proposal to appeal to them. I have to make it worth their while.
I have to know exactly what I need the money for, and how it will help my business and then I have to make my ideas relevant to the investors.  They have the money, I have the ideas, but if I can't make my ideal appealing/worthwhile/interesting/relevant etc...well, I don't know, maybe one of the damn cats will consider working in a local bodega? (They won't.)
I'm harping on this today because a lot of people say they want X, for example...but they tie themselves into knots chasing Y or Z. And then, when they are repeatedly unsuccessful, instead of considering why perhaps things didn't work out...they put the blame on everything and everyone but themselves.
I, for example, went to law school, since it was far easier to quit my job, uproot my life, take on huge amounts of debt, and embark on three years of being miserably bored by civ pro and the rule against perpetuities (*shudder*), than to just grow a pair and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. So maybe you can guess that when law school didn't make me a shiny, happy person, I blamed everyone but myself...? How much fun was I to be with? So much fun! (Now, I promise you: I may harp on personal responsibility, but I do over cocktails and showing a lot of cleavage.)
I frequently have introductory consulting sessions with prospective clients, and almost immediately I can tell which clients I will be able to help, and which I will not. The clients who are more interested in figuring out what they don't know, and using said knowledge to accomplish their goals? Those are the clients I take on.
The clients who are convinced they know everything there is to know, and if they haven't gotten a job or sold their new product, well its the market's fault...suddenly I'm extremely busy. I have this thing, you know, this thing and um I gotta go. (And the clients who'd rather waste my time flirting, and spend their money on astral chart readings? You're fired!)
Maybe I'm just saying that people are complicated and frequently we don't know what we want. And that's okay, that's part of being alive...but the more honest you are with yourself about why you are doing anything, and what you hope to get out of it...the better your chances of being successful.

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