The great Hockey star Wayne Gretzky once famously said, “I never scored on a shot I didn’t take” and of course nothing has ever been truer. The greatest hitters in baseball fail over 60% of the time. Golfers who do not go for it, do not take a stab at that impossible shot are never champions and yes in business people who are not willing to try new things will never succeed.
You’ve got to take a risk
If you own a company and are not willing to get out of your comfort zone you will fail. If you are always willing to stand still you will fail and yes if you always do the same thing over and over again and expect different results then, come on we all know this one, say it with me…you are a perfect example of insanity.
So many times when I work with a company and I suggest they try something new they will either cower in fear or quickly point out that they tried something similar once and it didn’t work so that is that and they will never try it again.
I am amazed and yes frustrated when people bang the table and tell me that they will and I quote, “lose their shirt” if they try to match their competitors’ prices when often they have no good or real idea of what their own costs are to begin with.
I am out and out amused when I try to get a company to offer some kind of financial discount to get a new company to try their product and they refuse to do it because they are afraid that thousands and thousands of people are going to take advantage of that particular incentive. Look, I have sent out enough sales offers to know that they can relax and rest assured this is not going to happen. Hell, I am pretty sure that someone could offer boards for free and the response would still be the normal ten percent tops that these sales offers bring in.
Here is an absolutely true real life substantiated example of people being afraid to try anything new. There is a government program called TAA or Trade Adjustment Assistance to let you know what it is about read this directly from their web site
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA), a federal program, provides financial assistance to manufacturers affected by import competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this cost sharing federal assistance program pays for half the cost of consultants or industry-specific experts for projects that improve a manufacturer’s competitiveness.
This program is completely authentic. I have worked under this program numerous times with numerous companies all over the country. This organization will give any manufacturing company that has been affected by import competition (and which U.S. PCB company has not?!!) up to $75,000 in matching funds to any company that applies. The funds can be used for a number of things from producing a new and improved web site, to help with your sales and marketing effort, to improving technology and yes even helping your company get your AS9100 or 31032 or any other qualification that will help your company be more competitive. And yes this money is free, absolutely free. So if you buy and pay for $150,000 of services to improve your company, TAA will pay for half of it. Like I said earlier I know because I have been directly involved in TAA contracts many times over the years.
And here is something pretty cool, this organization is ready and willing to help with this money. They have even been out trying to find companies to take advantage of this program! Honestly.
Sound too good to be true? Well I beg your pardon, because it is true. Don’t believe me? Then just click over to http://www.taacenters.org/ and find out for yourself.
I’m harping on this because this is one program that works. Whenever someone cries foul about offshore competition…whenever anyone complains that the government is doing nothing to help their company out, I always bring up TAA and suggest they go to the web site find the contact information for their local office and give them call. One of my clients did exactly this and was fully approved in one single day.
But, back to people who won’t take risks, I have obviously told hundreds of companies about this TAA opportunity and only about ten percent even want to bother to look into it. The other ninety percent delight in telling me the fifty reasons why it will not work for them and man, they are so anxious to blurt these reasons out that they don’t even let me finish explain the program before they start listing them.
My friend Bob Tarzwell and I used to have a running joke that with many company owners you could put a check for ten thousand dollars in front of them and rather than picking it up and saying thanks they’d come up with fifty reason why they should not pick that check up. So one day after I had tried to talk and owner, an owner of a company that was in very deep water by the way, about TAA funds and how his company was practically the poster child for this program he promptly told be the fifty reason why it would not work. He refused to even consider it.
That night I called Bob and told him that our running joke wasn’t about a ten thousand dollar check any more…it was about a seventy five thousand dollar check…and I had just seen it happen.
So once again I urge you, get out of your comfort zone, and try something new because if you try enough new things something will work. And as far as TAA is concerned get right overt to their website http://www.taacenters.org/ and get them to work helping you. It’s only common sense.