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The Breakthrough Discovery that Aligns Your Business to Your Unique Strengths
By JOE ABRAHAM
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Copyright © 2011Joe Abraham
All rights reserved.
Four Entrepreneurs Walk into a Bar ...
Thursday, 8:47 p.m. Westin DFW Hotel—Dallas, Texas
After a long day of glad-handing, power meetings, and vendor interviews at the Franchise Expo Show, Bob Morris strolls into the lobby bar area for his last meeting of the night. Earlier that day, he had met Sue Thomas, a CPA who was a featured presenter at the event. Bob was so impressed with Sue's presentation on 10 Strategies to Improve Your Bottom Line, he just had to meet Sue and see what it would take to hire her as his accountant and financial advisor. Bob had approached Sue immediately after her presentation and asked to schedule the meeting. Sue obliged and they decided that the hotel lobby bar area would be the ideal meeting place right after their already scheduled dinner meetings.
As Bob walked up to Sue, he noticed that she was already in conversation with two other people wearing attendee name badges. To Sue's left was Omar Kelly. According to Omar's name badge, he was representing Success Ventures Inc. To Sue's right was Ingrid Fuller, owner of Ginoma Life Sciences. As Bob neared the group, Sue was quick to recognize him and introduce him around. Since Bob and Sue's meeting wasn't scheduled to begin for another 15 minutes or so, the four new acquaintances—Bob, Sue, Ingrid, and Omar—kept the pleasantries going.
"So Bob, what do you do for a living?" Omar asked.
"I own Pizza Pete's," Bob replied.
"You mean you own a Pizza Pete's franchise?" Omar questioned. "I stopped at their booth earlier today and was very interested in them. It sounds like they are having a ton of growth."
"Actually, I own the entire Pizza Pete's franchise," said Bob. "My college buddy and I started the company 15 years ago and I bought him out about five years back. So now I'm the guy who gets to write and cash all the checks!" He said with a big grin on his face.
Omar was beside himself. He was standing next to a multimillionaire. As Omar was listening to Bob talk, he couldn't help notice Bob's $2,000 suit, alligator-skin shoes, and French cuff shirt barely exposing what looked like a Rolex Presidential. Omar's heart rate climbed just a notch or two. See, Omar was a huge fan of success. As a matter of fact, he had named his company Success Ventures Inc. for that very reason. His dream was to be a business mogul. He could see the future in his mind's eye as clear as the day itself. Success Ventures Inc. would someday be the holding company for various business interests generating huge sums of cash each month. It would provide him the lifestyle he had always dreamed of. One of the reasons Omar had attended the Franchise Expo Show in Dallas today was to find a ground-floor business opportunity he could sink his teeth into and parlay into his first big win. Needless to say, Omar was pretty fired up to be standing next to a guy like Bob—a guy who could give Omar an inside track to the next ground-floor opportunity within the Pizza Pete's franchise. Omar asked question after question about Bob's company, success, and lifestyle. He was in hog heaven.
Interestingly enough, Bob didn't seem to mind the questions at all. After all, he had worked his tail off to build Pizza Pete's into a $40-million franchise organization. He was about to turn the corner after some legal battles to open up enough territories to take the company to over $200 million in sales. Bob bragged on and on about his exploits while Omar's mental computer burned gigabyte after gigabyte of audio and video content into its memory.
As Sue heard Bob talk about his enterprise, she was getting excited as well. After all, the reason Sue went out and did speaking gigs like the one she had done earlier in the day was to establish herself as an expert in corporate finance. Her whole angle was to have CEOs like Bob see her speak in front of a large audience and then pursue her to hire her as a consultant or an advisor. She quietly listened to Bob and Omar banter back and forth waiting for the moment when Bob would turn to her and say, "Oh by the way Sue, I was so impressed with your presentation today, that I want you to come in and help Pizza Pete's during our next phase of growth." That would be music to Sue's ears.
About 15 minutes into the conversation, Bob noticed that Ingrid hadn't said a whole lot since the start. In his desire to engage Ingrid as part of the conversation, he said, "So Ingrid, what brought you to the Expo today?"
"Oh, I just came because Sue was speaking today. I usually don't attend seminars and expos like this," she said. "I'm just a science geek, and not that interested in actually running a business. My motivation is doing good for others."
"A science geek, what do you mean?" Bob asked. "And what is Ginoma Life Sciences all about?"
Ingrid went on to sheepishly explain how she had stumbled across a supplemental digestive enzyme while doing research on an ailment her daughter had at a very young age. The discovery of this supplemental enzyme is what saved her daughter's life. But it didn't stop there. Doctors from around the world began to contact Ingrid looking for information about the product that had helped her daughter so much.
Ingrid openly admitted to Bob, Sue, and Omar that she really had no intent to start a company like Ginoma Life Sciences. She was just doing something she loved and a business has blossomed up around her.
"You mean you didn't write a business plan and find investors first?" Omar asked in bewilderment.
"No." Ingrid replied. "Like I said, I really didn't want to be a businessperson. I'm just a mom. But thanks to people like Sue, who watch over the finances, and my husband Bill, who runs the business itself, the business just keeps growing. Personally, I don't get involved with how much our product costs or how to read the financial statements that Sue sends us every month."
"This is so unfair!" Omar thought to himself. After all, he had invested countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars researching business ventures, setting business goals, attending business seminars, and going through coaching. He had already invested in several ground-floor opportunities with varying results—mostly painful. And here was Ingrid, with no training or desire to even own a business—way ahead of the game on her first venture.
Sue was taking it all in. She was happy that Ingrid has given her such a glowing review. That had to score major points toward Bob hiring her. The less Sue had to say to "sell" herself, the better. She wanted to be the expert everyone came to. She didn't want to be the overly eager "used-car salesman" that Omar appeared to be. As much as she appreciated him being part of the conversation, she wished Omar would just go away. But then she saw how much Bob seemed to like Omar and she thought "well, if it keeps Bob happy for now, I'll just grin and bear the fact that Omar is here."
It was 9:24 p.m. now and Bob was just getting started. He painted a grand picture for Omar of where Pizza Pete's was going in the future and how Omar could be part of it. Every once in a while, he'd stop to give Ingrid a business tip. Every time Bob would turn to give her a tip, Ingrid would just shrug and say, "I could never do what you do. Thankfully, I'm fortunate enough to have a support team like my husband and Sue to handle those things for me."
Have you started to pick up on the differences within this foursome yet? My guess is that you have. But just to make sure, let's listen in to one last interaction amongst the group before Sue and Bob break away for their overdue meeting.
Excerpted from Entrepreneurial DNA by JOE ABRAHAM. Copyright © 2011 by Joe Abraham. Excerpted by permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc..
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