I’ve updated my white papers on FP&A and Budgeting. These updates are on the miscellaneous page of my website
(www.dougneeper.com). The FP&A paper answers the question of what is FP&A. The Budget paper gives examples
of questions that should be asked / answered and an example of the timeline followed in a typical budget process.
I’ve updated my white papers on FP&A and Budgeting. These updates are on the miscellaneous page of my website
DFN: With the potential exception of late 2008 to early 2010, business don’t fail / don’t launch due to a lack of capital. They fail for other reasons, its like a car going from SF to LA, 90 miles an hour, runs out of gas, 10 miles shy of King City and never makes it to LA. It didn’t fail to reach its target due to money, it failed because it ran out of gas. This article puts into perspective the intangibles, the lack of which, are often to key to a businesses failure.
July 30, 2012
Nine Things More Important Than Capital
by Jim Rohn
When starting any enterprise or business, whether it is full-time or part-time, we all know the value of having plenty of capital (money). But I bet we both know or at least have heard of people who started with no capital who went on to make fortunes. How? You may ask.
Well, I believe there are actually some things that are more valuable than capital that can lead to your entrepreneurial success. Let me give you the list.
Time is more valuable than capital. The time you set aside not to be wasted, not to be given away. Time you set aside to be invested in an enterprise that brings value to the marketplace with the hope of making a profit. Now we have capital time.
How valuable is time? Time properly invested is worth a fortune. Time wasted can be devastation. Time invested can perform miracles, so you invest your time.
I have a friend, Lydia, whose first major investment in her new enterprise was desperation. She said, “My kids are hungry, I’ve gotta make this work. If this doesn’t work, what will I do?” So she invested $1 in her enterprise selling a product she believed in. The $1 was to buy a few flyers so she could make a sale at retail, collect the money and then buy the product wholesale to deliver back to the customer.
My friend Bill Bailey went to Chicago as a teenager after he got out of high school. And the first job he got was as a night janitor. Someone said, “Bill, why would you settle for night janitor?” He said, “Malnutrition.” You work at whatever you can possibly get when you get hungry. You go to work somewhere—night janitor, it doesn’t matter where it is. Years later now, Bill is a recipient of the Horatio Alger award, rich and powerful and one of the great examples of lifestyle that I know. But, his first job—night janitor. Desperation can be a powerful incentive. When you say, “I must.”
Determination says I will. First Lydia said, “I must find a customer.” Desperation. Second, she said, “I will find someone before this first day is over.” Sure enough, she found someone. She said, “If it works once, it will work again.” But then the next person said, “No.” Now what must you invest?
Courage is more valuable than capital. If you’ve only got $1 and a lot of courage, I’m telling you, you’ve got a good future ahead of you. Courage in spite of the circumstances. Humans can do the most incredible things no matter what happens. Haven’t we heard the stories? There are some recent ones from Kosovo that are some of the most classic, unbelievable stories of being in the depths of hell and finally making it out. It’s humans. You can’t sell humans short. Courage in spite of, not because of, but in spite of. Now once Lydia has made 3 or 4 sales and gotten going, here’s what now takes over.
“Wow! If I can sell 3, I can sell 33. If I can sell 33, I can sell 103.” Wow. Lydia is now dazzled by her own dreams of the future.
Now she begins to believe she’s got a good product. This is probably a good company. And she then starts to believe in herself. Lydia, single mother, 2 kids, no job. “My gosh, I’m going to pull it off!” Her self-esteem starts to soar. These are investments that are unmatched. Money can’t touch it. What if you had a million dollars and no faith? You’d be poor. You wouldn’t be rich. Now here is the next one, the reason why she’s a millionaire today.
Putting your brains to work. Probably up until now, you’ve put about 1/10 of your brainpower to work. What if you employed the other 9/10? You can’t believe what can happen. Humans can come up with the most intriguing things to do. Ingenuity. What’s ingenuity worth? A fortune. It is more valuable than money. All you need is a $1 and plenty of ingenuity. Figuring out a way to make it work, make it work, make it work.
8. Heart and Soul
What is a substitute for heart and soul? It’s not money. Money can’t buy heart and soul. Heart and soul is more valuable than a million dollars. A million dollars without heart and soul, you have no life. You are ineffective. But, heart and soul is like the unseen magic that moves people, moves people to buy, moves people to make decisions, moves people to act, moves people to respond.
You’ve just got to spruce up and sharpen up your own personality. You’ve got plenty of personality. Just get it developed to where it is effective every day, effective no matter who you talk to, whether it is a child or whether it is a business person, whether it is a rich person or a poor person. A unique personality that is at home anywhere. One of my mentors, Bill Bailey, taught me, “You’ve got to learn to be just as comfortable, Mr. Rohn, whether it is in a little shack in Kentucky having a beer and watching the fights with Winfred, my old friend or in a Georgian mansion in Washington, DC as the Senator’s guest.” Move with ease whether it is with the rich or whether it is with the poor. And it makes no difference to you who is rich or who is poor. A chance to have a unique relationship with whomever. The kind of personality that ‘s comfortable. The kind of personality that’s not bent out of shape.
And lastly, let’s not forget charisma and sophistication. Charisma with a touch of humility. This entire list is more valuable than money. With one dollar and the list I just gave you, the world is yours. It belongs to you, whatever piece of it you desire whatever development you wish for your life. I’ve given you the secret. Capital. The kind of capital that is more valuable than money and that can secure your future and fortune. Remember that you lack not the resources.
DFN: Very powerful story about the allure of lying on your resume. Bottom line, if you’re meant to get the job you will and you’ll be better off being who you are.
New post on Steve Blank
Lying on your resume
It’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the coverup.Richard Nixon and Watergate
Getting asked by reporter about where I went to school made me remember the day I had to choose whether to lie on my resume.
I Badly Want the Job
When I got my first job in Silicon Valley it was through serendipity (my part) and desperation (on the part of my first employer.) I really didn’t have much of a resume – four years in the Air Force, building a scram system for a nuclear reactor, a startup in Ann Arbor Michigan but not much else.
It was at my second startup in Silicon Valley that my life and career took an interesting turn. A recruiter found me, now in product marketing and wanted to introduce me to a hot startup making something called a workstation. “This is a technology-driven company and your background sounds great. Why don’t you send me a resume and I’ll pass it on.” A few days later I got a call back from the recruiter. “Steve, you left off your education. Where did you go to school?”
“I never finished college,” I said.
There was a long silence on the other end of the phone. “Steve, the VP of Sales and Marketing previously ran their engineering department. He was a professor of computer science at Harvard and his last job was running the Advanced Systems Division at Xerox PARC. Most of the sales force were previously design engineers. I can’t present a candidate without a college degree. Why don’t you make something up.”
I still remember the exact instant of the conversation. In that moment I realized I had a choice. But I had no idea how profound, important and lasting it would be. It would have been really easy to lie, and what the heck the recruiter was telling me to do so. And he was telling me that, “no one checks education anyway.” (This is long before the days of the net.)
My Updated Resume
I told him I’d think about it. And I did for a long while. After a few days I sent him my updated resume and he passed it on to Convergent Technologies. Soon after I was called into an interview with the company. I can barely recall the other people I met, (my potential boss the VP of Marketing, interviews with various engineers, etc.) but I’ll never forget the interview with Ben Wegbreit, the VP of Sales and Marketing.
Ben held up my resume and said, “You know you’re here interviewing because I’ve never seen a resume like this. You don’t have any college listed and there’s no education section. You put “Mensa” here,” – pointing to the part where education normally goes. “Why?” I looked back at him and said, “I thought Mensa might get your attention.”
Ben just stared at me for an uncomfortable amount of time. Then he abruptly said, “Tell me what you did in your previous companies.” I thought this was going to be a story-telling interview like the others. But instead the minute I said, “my first startup used CATV coax to implement a local-area network for process control systems (which 35 years ago pre-Ethernet and TCP/IP was pretty cutting edge.) Ben said, “why don’t you go to the whiteboard and draw the system diagram for me.” Do what? Draw it?? I dug deep and spent 30 minutes diagramming trying remember headend’s, upstream and downstream frequencies, amplifiers, etc. With Ben peppering me with questions I could barely keep up. And there was a bunch of empty spaces where I couldn’t remember some of the detail. When I was done explaining it I headed for the chair, but Ben stopped me.
“As long as you’re a the whiteboard, why don’t we go through the other two companies you were at.” I couldn’t believe it, I was already mentally exhausted but we spent another half hour with me drawing diagrams and Ben asking questions. First talking about what I had taught at ESL – (as carefully as I could.) Finally, we talked about Zilog microprocessors, making me draw the architecture (easy because I had taught it) and some sample system designs (harder.)
Finally I got to sit down. Ben looked at me for a long while not saying a word. Then he stood up and opened the door signaling me to leave, shook my hand and said, “Thanks for coming in.” WTF? That’s it?? Did I get the job or not?
That evening I got a call from the recruiter. “Ben loved you. In fact he had to convince the VP of Marketing who didn’t want to hire you. Congratulations.”
Three and a half years later Convergent was now a public company and I was a Vice President of Marketing working for Ben. Ben ended up as my mentor at Convergent (and for the rest of my career), my peer at Ardent and my partner and co-founder at Epiphany. I would never use Mensa again on my resume and my education section would always be empty.
But every time I read about an executive who got caught in a resume scandal I remember the moment I had to choose.
You will be faced with ethical dilemmas your entire career
Taking the wrong path is most often the easiest choice
These choices will seem like trivial and inconsequential shortcuts – at the time Some of them will have lasting consequences
It’s not the lie that will catch up with you, it’s the coverup Choose wisely
steveblank | July 30, 2012 at 6:00 am | Categories: Convergent Technologies, E.piphany, ESL, Family/Career/Culture, Zilog | URL: http://wp.me/prGQZ-35h