I want to talk to you about the most fundamental rule in business that exists.
That rule is to always work within your three-foot space.
Check this out. Let’s say I talk to a guy whose company I’m looking to invest in. He’s made about, say, $60,000 in sales of his new product. It’s a physical product that he’s sold on the Internet, but it also can be sold through the Home Shopping Network and QVC, through the web, and even in electronics stores.
Of course, we talk for a while, and he’s really excited to bring me on board as an investor.
I vet him and his company out before I commit to anything. He’s a solid dude.
See, I remember when I started panicking the first time I went rock climbing. One of the best pieces of advice that my guide, Rick, ever gave me was, “Hey Bedros, don’t look way up there where you’re headed, and don’t bother looking down at me.”
“Just work in your three-foot space. All you need to do is figure out how you can go higher in your next three feet of space.”
“That’s all you have to do. Don’t look for the next big hold that’s going to be way up there because right now, all you see are a limited number of footholds. But as you get up there and that area becomes your three-foot space, you’ll see that there’s little nooks and crannies that you could hold on to.”
That rule applies for business, I believe, more than rock climbing. Here’s why.
Our friend here whose company I will invest in, we work out our deal and agree for me to take equity and invest money into his company.
Thing is, he drags his feet. A lot.
Of course, procrastination and fear set in. I know what’s running through his mind.
“Am I good enough? Am I going to screw Bedros over accidentally by losing his money? Will I not follow through on my end? Will my product be inferior to his standards? Will my product not be delivered on time? Am I going to miss out on an opportunity to work with Bedros by screwing this thing up?”
What he doesn’t realize is this act of procrastination and over-thinking is likely to cause us to not work together, because I’m slowly starting to have doubts in him.
Now, the reality is that he’s a brand new entrepreneur, he came up with a really good idea, it’s in the process of getting patented, and it’s going to do fine.
But by having a lot of these negative self-talks, what he does is create a distraction for themselves, rather than signing that agreement and making me an equity partner.
He might say, “Well, you know, I’m a California company right now. Let me talk to my attorney and see if I should become a Delaware company, because we can save on taxes, and since we’re going to create a new corporation together.”
“Listen,” is what I told him. “I run an eight-figure business. I have an international franchise, software, and coaching programs. I make millions of dollars every year.”
“I’m a California company. If there were true, massive benefits for being a Delaware company, wouldn’t I be one? Right?”
The reality is, he uses these things as distractions to procrastinate. Then, suddenly, he starts looking forward into the future.
He’ll say, “Look, I know you know all these other people in different industries and on television like Home Shopping Network. What if you could get us to appear on these networks?”
I say, “Look, I’ll try. I know these people and I’m pretty well-connected. I’ll do my best, but I can’t promise you that.”
“What I can do is give you a hundred percent of my effort and my team’s resources to help sell more of your product.”
The bottom line here is that, when you are in business, you have to stay within your three-foot space.
His three-foot space is to sign that agreement and then take his marching orders from me after depositing my check in the bank account. That way, we can use it to grow this business based on the marching orders I give him and the resources that I connect him to.
Instead, he’s looking way too far into the future. He’s already pondering whom else we can be connected to, where else we can sell, etc.
I have to tell him, “Listen man, you’ve only sold $60,000 worth of your product off a test launch that you did. Then, you ran out of money.”
“It’s a great product. Who cares if you are a Delaware company or a California company? How about this? We go into business, we make millions, and then we figure out whether we should be a Delaware company or a California company?”
You can’t look too far ahead of yourself. Because guess what will happen? If I drive in my car and I look way too far ahead of me, guess what happens? I’m going to rear end the car right in front of me that I missed.
If I start looking behind me in my rearview mirror, and I wonder what’s going on behind me, I’m still distracting myself. You can’t look backwards and drive forwards at the same time, or I’ll crash into the car in front of me.
When I drive, I have to work in my 75-100 yard space, right? I only scan left and right. That’s the only space that matters to me right now.
In business, the only thing that matters for our friend right now is to take my check, sign that agreement, and create a new California corporation, or convert the corporation that we currently have into the type of business that we need to get the ball rolling.
No more procrastination.
That’s the lesson here for you. Whether it’s life, business, or relationships, if you want to keep moving forward, you have to operate in the three-foot space.
You have to be present right where you are. If you concentrate on what could have been, on what was, on the reasons that caused you to end up poor and broke, then you will crash again.
Be present in all things.
Everything seems to work itself out that way.
Committed to your success,