Doing Business With Enemies
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One of my favorite after work activity is freedomhall an impromptu and afrocentric entertainment event that features an eclectic collection of spoken word performances ranging from light comedy to poignant poetry. For the past 13 months the event has taken place at THE SPOT (not the real name) a hotel embellished with intricate architectural details of intense african beauty. A beauty that greatly complimented the freestyle spirit of the freedomhall movement creating an accidental but profitable business patnership.
The system was quite simple, freedomhall brought the acts and crowd while THE SPOT provided a roof and refreshments…a system that proved successful as THE SPOT was packed every freedom hall night. You barely could find enough air to breathe let alone seat. The only thing that did not seem to lack space was the cash register of THE SPOT which was continually chiming with motion. Unfortunately, all that ended a few months back.
Freedomhall still exists and THE SPOT exists also, but no longer as that magical tag team that made them so successful. The problem…a case of emotions and bureaucratic bureaucracy (my editor hates when I use adjectives like this). You see freedomhall started out as an open mic casual event, but over the months as its popularity grew, the organization evolved to a full business and here in lay the problem. No longer seeing themselves as a mere casual organization, freedomhall requested a cut of sales from THE SPOT to compensate for their work in bringing in the crowd. Logically this made sense, the crowd is what ensured the money flowed and without the crowd no money was to flow. But instead of focusing on profit, the focus was instead on THE SPOTS past tradition of never splitting sales. That coupled with a series of personal issues ensured that no resolution was reached. So rather than evolving both parties split ending what was once a financially profitable business partnership.
If there is anyone more adept at getting cut out of profitable business partnerships, it is none other than Steve Jobs. He got fired from APPLE the company he founded. He was let go largely because off his emotional run-ins with various members of upper management. But several years later, with APPLE stocks dwindling and the company on the brink of collapse, Steve Jobs was strategically brought back in. The reason is simply this…APPLE needed Steve Jobs to be profitable and everyone within APPLE knew this. So despite Steve Jobs emotional issues and against typical company culture, the people that voted him out voted him back in. They understood that without profit there will be no APPLE and they were thus willing to put aside all differences to ensure APPLES survival.
And that is the point of this article! The main purpose of your business is to make profit! It is not the only purpose, but it is extremely important in determining the growth and survival of any business. Thus it should be placed at the highest and utmost priority in the business day to day decisions. Unfortunately, this does not happen often. Too many entrepreneurs and managers are instead guilty of letting personal issues and bullshit bureaucracy get in the way of their profits. They are more willing to sacrifice money to maintain a position of pride or to prove an age old business model that worked decades ago still works. If you are to survive as a business, you have to let go of the emotions and focus instead on the financials. Because banks can’t deposit emotions or culture, they only deposit money…focus on what counts (or what can be counted).
Wishing You Extreme Success,
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