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Jim Higgins, ProForma Branding Excellence

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Archives for March 2012

The Price Of Impatience

The Price Of Impatience

Last week the world got a lesson on how “patience prevails” – if they were watching.

In Indian Wells, California, at the BNP Parabis Open, a kid from North Carolina, who, at 6’9″ could just as easily be a winner on the basketball court as the tennis court flexed not only his athletic muscles but his patience muscles and won big time.

John Isner upset the world’s number one player, Novak Djokovic (who had a perfect grand slam record last year!) and advanced to the finals in a top championship,launching himself into the top 10 for the first time.

While John beating Novak was exciting, I thought the real interesting story was in the match he had before, the one between him and Gil Simon. Gil Simon is not a seeded player but he is one of the most frustrating for many of top tennis players in the game today. Gil’s strategy? Return every ball, don’t go for flashy winners, and keep his opponents having to play the next ball in the rally.

In essence, he wears his opponents down. He’s got an infinite amount of patience.

The opponent Gil faced right before John Isner was the up and coming young American superstar, Ryan Harrison. Ryan is immensely talented and equally fiery and temperamental. Ryan was so close to beating Gil but lost the match because he lost patience. He wanted to ‘finish each point already’, and Gil forced him into errors that cost him the match.

John Isner, on the other hand, is no stranger to patience. He is already famous for his 11 hour, 3-day marathon tie breaker with Mahut at Wimbledon – which he won. How many people could have withstood even an hour tie-breaker, much less a 3-day one?

So at Indian Wells, John out-patienced Gil Simon, won that match and went on to beat Novak Djokovic, catapulting him into his first finals match at a major tournament.

Do you have the patience to wait out lack of success, or your opponents? How many of us have the patience to keep reaching out to that ideal prospect, hearing no, no,no until we finally hear that yes?

“Patience is a virtue”. We’ve heard it since childhood but take a look at what we actually expect now: instantaneous replies by email, buy with one click, and expecting immediate results in business or we deem that effort a failure.

Where has your lack of patience cost you a big price? Where could you add in a dose of patience and win – in your business, with your kids, with your job, with your clients?

I’m taking a lesson from John Isner’s playbook. I don’t have to be 6’9″ to get that the payoff is available for those who build the patience muscle.

Would You Sink Or Swim In The Tank?

Would You Sink Or Swim In The Tank?

One pitch, one message, one opportunity to fund your dream business.

Have you been watching Shark Tank?

What a great show. Rich guys and gal “Sharks” entice entrepreneurs with their deep pockets into pitching them with their products and business opportunities.

Here’s what’s amazing: If you watch the show regularly, you’ll notice that the Sharks want to know three things: How much are you asking for, what % of equity are you willing to give them for their dough, and how much have you sold in the last year.

They want to know what you think the value of your company is, and then they figure out if you’re reasonable or off the wall with what you think your business is worth.They decide whether they want to partner with you and help you become a super-success.

I’m amazed by how unprepared some of the entrepre-pitchers are, but also how indecisive they often are. Frequently, the Sharks are the best deal they’ve ever gotten and yet they think about it so long they lose the deal.

The best part is when they bring back former entrepre-pitchers to show you what’s become of the business in the last year. Barbara Corcoran gave Kim of Daisy Cakes $50,000 for 25% equity in the company. In 2010 she sold 2,000 cakes and at the close of 2011, she sold 18,000 cakes!

Shark Tank is on Friday nights at 8 PM on ABC.