Some lines as the old saying goes, “should never be crossed.” However, that doesn’t mean all lines. There are lines indeed that not only should be crossed, you should try to cross them as soon as you know exactly what lines you’re dealing with.
Two lines of thought which are held very near and dear to the heart of the successful entrepreneur are..
What can this person/company do for me?
What can I do for this person/company?
Some will argue you must solely focus on the latter rather than the former. I feel this is utter nonsense and misses the mark of both prudence as well as vision towards the horizon.
Not every situation you’ll run into will be ideal. Nor, will every client. However, that doesn’t mean two near mortal enemies in a competitive business which down to their core distrusts, or dislikes the other, can’t come to some common ground. If, the benefits for both sides can be articulated between the two.
It takes a keen sense of both daring as well as forward vision (and a whole lot of plain guts at times) to be the first to out-stretch an idea. (in lieu of a hand)
Just look at the rivalry that took place in the early 1990’s between the Postal Service (USPS®) and FedEx®. So embattled and bitter were these competitors that the USPS refused to allow FedEx drop boxes on (and allegedly even bordering) their properties. The dislike was so venomous between the two, if a violation of the smallest order could be called against the other, it was near sure to be acted upon. The mere mention of one to the other was looked upon as if you just insulted someones mother.
Then in early 2001 or so, someone decided it was time and approached the other with a business deal. (I don’t know which side but whom ever it was deserved a medal!) The result? FedEx would transport on their fleet the USPS overnight mail increasing the efficiency for the postal service while at the same time making a profit for themselves.
If one had been hard-lined and never moved their thought processes between, “what can I do for them” and “what can they do for me” a more than decade old relationship worth BILLIONS of dollars in both revenue and efficiency would never have been realized.
There are more important lines that should never be crossed, i.e., dignity, honor, ethics, etc. Fortunately what you’ll find with most other lines in business; the lines set down by most aren’t really lines in concrete.
They’re in sand.
© 2013 Mark St.Cyr