Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Year of Paid Education

It has been said merges fail on culture much more often than on concept.
Tomorrow will be exactly one year since my business partner and I decided to merge with another company with a very similar vision, one that demonstrated great care for people.

They had great people... we had great people
They had a clear vision... we had a clear vision
They treated their team with respect & care... we treated ours with respect & care
They had clear difference makers within their target market... as did we.

Yet for all the aligning principles, for how much sense it made on paper, for how much it made 'common sense' great people would come together to find a common purpose...

We were right... and the amount of extra work, unforeseen resignations, tough decisions, fires to put out... they have all been nothing short of overwhelming.

We are now positioned to release a great, multi-faceted and comprehensive service offering unique to our industry come Jan 4th... however not without great sacrifice and many tough lessons.

Imagine if we were wrong.

The point of today's entry is not to promote our new business, nor is to write a "how-to" in merging similar businesses (I don't profess to have that advice).

Today I am sharing how much work it is if you do your due diligence, put your personal and family finances at risk, sacrifice time away from family and friends, and force yourself to grow as a leader (even in a case where the two merging businesses had a combined 45 years of expertise). It is an enormous amount of work if you have a great vision, a great plan, great skill, and great opportunity.

People have quit, people have been laid off, budgets have been cut, and changes made to the plan JUST TO GET TO THE START LINE.

But that's what it takes to be successful. Just wanting something doesn't make it so. Saying you want to make more in no way, shape, or form, entitles you to it.
Earning it is the only way that's possible, through hard, smart work, applied over time.

You can either view me as the scrooge delivering this message, or realize the longer you fight this reality, the harder it will be to get where you want to be when you do start swimming upstream.

Life isn't fair, and it's only getting more competitive... but having said that we can all get busy sharpening our axes, or continue hitting trees with a dull blade wondering why we're falling further and further behind.

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