So Much to Say Not Enough Time in the Day

As an update, this has been put on hold for reasons that I can’t go into right now, but this is still a valid idea and could be a cool project.

While I need some refining and other help along the way this is the current thing I am working on. “Let’s Build a Business”, this should be pretty fun. If you watch this video please remember I can’t be horrible forever đŸ˜‰ I also encourage feedback.

  • What did I do wrong?
  • What advice do you give?
  • What business knowledge do you have that you don’t mind sharing?

Think business development live and interactive… I will run streaming. I will use Twitter, Facebook, this blog, etc

I will have guests and “real” cam action. So please check it out đŸ™‚

I will use any feedback for future episodes, I planned on 1 episode a week, so if something changes I will update you. Other than that this should be a fun way to test some things out and see where we can take things. I really love to experiment, I think building things in a continuous development cycle is the right way to do “tech”. And above all that I don’t know what I am doing so, this is something we can do together đŸ™‚

Love it, then please subscribe to my channel, like the vid, and leave a comment.

Hate it, then do the same as if you loved it đŸ˜‰

Let’s Build a Business

“When you fail, and you will…” – Leadership NB Prompt #9

Pick a moment when you’ve led, when the project didn’t work, when there was failure. Tell us what happened and why it’s personal… and why it’s not.

I’m taken back to an incident that happened when I was working for my grandfather, we were planning on taking the flange world on (oil field meter tubes and pipe flanges). I learned how to program a CNC machine, taught myself how to run the thing, and figured a lot of things out along the way.

My grandfather had a great idea of a new way to assemble the meter tube and flange, a more efficient and effective way that literally could have changed the way oil companies operated by making their measurement capabilities more precise.

We worked out so much of the plans for how this would move forward, how we would be able to bootstrap this business into existence and how it would grow and change over time. I started researching the industry and competition. And the time had finally arrived where we were going to place a huge order, and start on our path to bigger and better things…

I get everything ready, I’ve talked with 10 different suppliers from around the world and have narrowed it down to 1 forge out of Romania. We knew enough at the time to avoid India and China because so many companies had problems in the past they would downright reject the metal before it was out of the box. So here I am crossing my ts and dotting my is, checking everything over and over, and I finally fax my order off. And we wait…

6 weeks later crate after crate full of thousands of pounds of metal arrives and we open the first one, “Hey! This isn’t right!!!” my granddad exclaimed.

We had just paid around $30,000 for junk.

On our order I had missed a letter code, I had it wrong from the start. It was something I just didn’t know. None of the forges I had quoted from looked at our spec drawings to see we had the wrong order code. We had just paid around $30,000 for junk. And to make matters worse East European metal and forgings had recently been put on the suspect list of poor quality. So we could have sold this incorrect order and been fine if it was from somewhere else.

I led that, but the wrong direction. I should have sought some outside help but never even thought about it as a possibility. It was so personal because I felt like I had messed up, and I had made the mistake that was going to not allow us to grow the way we had hoped. But I learned enough from that experience and our business had grown enough in just me learning to run and program the CNC machine that it actually wasn’t a bad experience.

Success vs Failure; Do you know what it means to fail better? – Leadership NB Prompt #8

Identify ten popular items that at least one person you know can’t stand.

  1. Beatles (Car & I’m sure the band too)
  2. Onions
  3. McDonald’s
  4. iPhone
  5. Android Phone
  6. Mac Computers
  7. Windows Computers
  8. iTunes Radio
  9. Podcasts
  10. Coffee

When someone criticizes a true success (Avatar, Star Wars, the iPhone, pizza) that doesn’t automatically mean the thing is bad. It means the person criticizing it is keeping score of something different, has a different worldview, wants different things!

The purpose of this exercise is to help you understand that even GREAT stuff isn’t universally liked. Create a list of popular things that some people don’t like to help you stop looking for universal approval and instead, realize that leadership is about being important to some people, not liked by all people.

They’re some missing components here. When I watching the video I was thinking about what an important message it is that failure happens. How vital it is to understand that what may appear as a failure to you can be a success to someone else.

Did you ever consider that?

Plenty of people try again and again, and sometimes they fail, but when they fail at the right things, I don’t see it as a failure. I’d rather fail at trying to get a charity off of the ground that is looking to help a group of people who need it. However, I’d rather not start a business that is looking to overcharge or overwork the same group by dismissing them as unsophisticated or unimportant. On that same note, if it was a business that provided a fair wage to those people or charged a fair price, you’ll find me again. For some that might seem obvious, but I know plenty that can not draw the distinction here. They pine for the doing something meaningful and demonize profits at all turns.

Let’s take a moment to look at the difference. Most of the things I have tried that have not worked out didn’t have a strong component of profit built-in or some alternate source of funding. Often, these failures boil down to a couple of different factors, a strong willingness to avoid the important questions or such a strong desire to not be an “evil” (read profitable) company. If you don’t make enough money to pay the bills, keep your employees happy and healthy, or whether a few storms. Then you do not make enough money.

I’ve gone a little far off of topic here and am almost out of time. What I want to get at here is that people who can take that experience and learn from it have turned a failure into an opportunity.  Those that charge on and scream damn the lack of profit, work harder, work longer, the customer is always right. Have the wrong kind of failure for success and they will eventually pay the price.

25 Action Points: Taking Responsibility Now

While authority may be was given, responsibility is taken; and that is a very important concept to remember.

I feel a little bit like listing things I have already done or am doing is like cheating, but I do it anyway because 25 is a surprising lot.

I have been asked to make a list of 25 ways I could take responsibility (without authority). –if you cared more about changing things more than credit, authority or blame?

  1. Start writing and creating the systems that will live beyond me
  2. Automate some of our more complex processes
  3. Look into the possibility of making an app
  4. Explore the uses of machine learning and how it will positively impact our users
  5. Start calling people and asking them what kinds of things they need and want; in relation to what we are building
  6. Start a twitter account and post teasers
  7. Start a Facebook and post teasers
  8. Start a blog and expand on some of the more difficult tasks we have faced
  9. Automate testing
  10. Try to break things so they can be fixed better
  11. Give others authority when they need it
  12. Take care of some of the “setup” tasks that are easy and quick allowing our talented people to focus on the hard problems
  13. Come up with better ways to notify people of what is going on and keep them informed

Wow, I’m stuck, most of what I am thinking of seems like fluff. The instructions say I should read others posts and add to mine. That is what I will do here.

  1. Get together with co-workers to see what they think is important
  2. Relay important information up-the-chain including opinion on how to improve or react
  3. Improve on problems by example
  4. Allow others to take ownership (responsibility) and offer help
  5. Do things that need to get done but no one else is willing to do
  6. Talk to the others involved ni my project about where things are going or could go
  7. Understanding the real problem
  8. Give the right credit
  9. Thanking everyone

I am surprised how hard this seems, but I guess when I think of some answers I just think “not good enough” “not grand enough”, but possibly that misses the point.

  1. Take care of my garbage
  2. clean my desk
  3. Sweep the floors
  4. Congratulate others involved

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