Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Helping the Helpless

I have been in the business field for most of my adult life, less 6 years in the Marine Corps. As a result, I have developed a wide range of business experience. As a result, I tend to get a large number of people who come to me for advice on thier businesses.

Although I have never charged for this advice, I put alot of effort into helping these guys out. Recently, I did some advising to a family business that I have done work with in the past. These guys had gotten themselves into a mess and they needed to make some tough decisions to get out of it.

I evaluated the deal and came up with what I thought was a pretty good route for them to move past the problems. I even pulled in some of my resources to help them refinance their business. The recommendations I made were agreed to by all the parties and it looked like a solution was in the works. Then...kablamm! They went a completely different route.

By different route, I mean they did nothing. They faced and continue to face total extinction, but they don't seem to worry about it at all. They have not moved on any of my advice and are in the process of actually working backwards.

The moral of this little story, and the only part that matters in our conversation is this: it is not the idea that matters, it is the execution. You can think things through, but if you don't act then you are going nowhere fast.

As a result, I have defined this as helping the helpless. They don't really want any help.

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