I’m not much for intros and such and prefer to dive straight to the point of whatever it is I’m yapping about, however I understand for most people a short story usually helps one better understand a topic/issue/whatever (Case method?). 3 years ago I set my eyes on a girl that didn’t like me, a car that was way too expensive in relation to my income, and on peeking into the world of private equity. At the time I was working for a non profit making chump change, might of been in the worst shape of my life, and didn’t attend a ‘proper’ university or focus on a field of study that could allow one entry into the world of PE, yet now that girl is my girlfriend, I sold my dream bmw earlier this year, and still try to contribute as much time as a I can to a Search Fund run by my mentor Paul Thomson.
I wouldn’t consider myself charming, uber intelligent, or slick….I just seem to be immune to the word ‘No’. It took a year of ‘No’s to get my girlfriend to see me in a new light, It took a month of ‘No’s for the previous car owner to finally give in to my absurd offer (half cash, half loan from a complete stranger..all at half the current value of the car), and it took at least 100 ‘No’s from small Private Equity firms before I even landed a phone interview. The point has been made, tenacity can take a you a long way.
The reason for the post is to remind myself that ‘No’ could mean ‘Not yet’. Traditionally I’ve applied this thinking primarily to sales , but today I wanted to apply it to ideas. Getting ideas across in corporation can be mission impossible given the bureaucracy that goes hand in hand with large firms. I’ve encountered many meetings where viable, possible profit making ideas/ventures/products are brought up and instantly dismissed, this usually leads to the ‘idea generator’ feeling down/unappreciated/embarrassed etc. What it should do is make them re -examine their argument/idea/product and focus on a way to present it to upper management in terms that they value, resources required, time horizons, and costs. Most managers at corporations tend to focus on core initiatives, especially during recessionary times, and shy away from risky new ventures. I’m no MBA but I think a batch of fresh ideas are always worth a look , so to any junior dudes out there shooting out ideas left and right remember no could mean not yet.