Lindsay’s In Business: PART 58: Knocking on 1,000 Doors

 

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I’ve worked it out. It’s not difficult. And you don’t need to get panicked about it.

If you believe in your product and you are absolutely committed to getting it off the ground then prepare to knock on 1,000 doors don’t expect anything that makes sense.

Some doors will be gold-plated and encrusted with rubies and emeralds. A porter will open the door and ask you to wait on a chair with a velvet seat. And there you will wait, for months on end, in the politest possible way.

Some doors will be plain and unassuming but inside, there may be several more promising doors to open – you just have to figure out when and how to open them.

There are other doors with signs on them saying, “Yes we are very interested in seeing you but we are currently busy. Can you come back in January?”

And there are lots of other doors that open up and the people behind them invite you in for coffee. They listen to why you want to go further with sincerity and respect, ask to be kept informed and show you out again afterwards.

It costs quite a lot of time and money to get to some doors – and sometimes there’s no answer at all.

Last week, I even had a very friendly door open wide to me the other day. The smiling person on the other side said, “come back at 8.00 tomorrow and I’ll give you 200 doors if you pay me when they open. I’m here to help!”  Gratefully, I agreed and at 8.00 the next day I returned, but she didn’t answer. Confused, I knocked harder on the door. Eventually she opened it, angrily.  “I’m busy now, can’t you understand?!” she said and slammed the door in my face.

I don’t care that 2 years have passed and I’m still knocking on all of these doors. It’s almost as if those two years have been spent in ‘set up’ mode, developing the product and positioning, refining the pitch and finding the doors I’m currently in the process of opening. Half the time, when I talk to the people behind the doors, I learn something anyway.

And then something exciting happens like this.  Yesterday, a new door opened that is quite small but they’re building an extension and it could lead to a lot of other doors.  The door goes into a 10-man consultancy that have started doing peer reviews for expensive oil and gas projects. They can review the risks, the technology, the processes, the finances and all other angles – but they don’t have a way to review the people side of the business.

My good friend who works there ‘gets’ Mirror Mirror and sees that the data-gathering and reporting part is, in fact, a people ‘audit’ that would fit right into their review process.  That door is still open for me and there’s a whole new city of doors next to it that I didn’t see before.

I now have 5 management consultancy doors open with people inside who are hoping to get me in further. I have 10 organization doors open with people inside hoping to get me in further.  I’ll just have to keep knocking on new doors and try to understand the time-wasters (even though I’d really like to tell them where to freaking-well go!)

Mirror Mirror– improving team effectiveness through behavioural and cognitive alignment.

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