No one — and I mean nobody — enjoys fart humor more than my kids. Just ask their teachers.
Early in my career, a terribly successful entrepreneur and mentor taught me an invaluable lesson:
Everyone — and I mean everybody — poops.
The banker you’re meeting with, the investors shooting holes in your business plan, and yes, the girl of your dreams that seems so unobtainable ... they all go number two.
It was 1990-something and I had to screw my courage up and fly to New York to meet with a big shot at Dow Jones. This guy controlled a piece of software I needed. It didn’t humor him I was from west of the Hudson and was wearing cowboy boots. Short story: I earned exclusivity to that piece of software (which was valued at $2 million) for $70,000. Giddy’up.
One of the things that got me on the plane to NYC was knowing this guy wasn’t any better (or worse) than me. Sure, he was an Ivy Leaguer and made more in a week than I’d earn in a year, but we were the same. It took me a few more years to learn this ancient truth has a b-side … and it isn’t half as melodic.
In business and in life, the things we love can and will go to shit.
While some treasures are recoverable, like the tiny toy my kid ingested and, thank God, successfully “passed”, some golden nuggets are never coming back.
When this happens, even you, the most optimistic, tenacious bootstrapper on the block, must learn to accept it and move on.
But you probably won’t. Not at first.
“I can salvage this thing!”, you tell yourself.
“All I need is an expensive peace offering.”
“I’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse!”
The next thing you know, you’re that proverbial guy that stunk up the office lavatory after a long night of saki and bad sushi.
As in life, so it is in business: you cannot cover a deal gone bad with Lysol, candles or the incense your roommate uses to mask his use of Golden Goat.
Take it from an old pro … it’s time you learn to walk away with some dignity ... and make it snappy.
The next time you wake up and realize the amazing thing you had in your possession is sunk for good, dismount and walk away. Clean yourself up. Get a good night’s rest. And for goodness sake, stop talking about it.
The sun will come up and there’s a cup of coffee with your name on it somewhere. Gulp it down and open yourself up to new possibilities.