Tag Archives: Logistics Company

You Can Lead A Horse To Water…….

I am in the business of helping people, whether it is as Director for a Logistics Company or as the Leader of a Networking group I founded, I help.  I have to admit, sometimes I help too much and end up just “doing” for someone instead of helping them do it themselves ( don’t tell my friends I said that ), this is because I have a genuinely deep affection for whoever it is that I am trying to help.    I have several friends who have “helped” me see that I am being more of a hindrance than a help in these cases.  That by helping to that extent, I am actually preventing them from growing and learning, who would have thought huh.

Everyone has heard the old saying…. “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink”.  Sometimes you can give someone all of the resources they need to be successful but they refuse to use any of them, so no matter how many resources they have at their disposal it is never enough.  They either expect you to do it for them or they expect it to work the way they want it to work otherwise they aren’t happy.

You have to recognize these types for who they are and walk away from them, and help those that actually help themselves.  Yes even if you have a deep affection for them, you need to draw the line somewhere and then stick to it.  I have a relative that I was trying to help.  He was in sales and very depressed because sales were down.  The logistics industry is a tuff market to sell in, it is a lot of networking and cold calls and hoping you are in the right place at the right time.  The sales cycle takes forever and the margins are very small.  I had just started in sales myself so I can understand him not wanting to take advice from a “rookie” but the things I was doing were having results.  I told him what I was doing and how I was doing it.  All he could tell me is that he tried “That” and it didn’t work.  Everything was negative, and I of course had no clue what I was talking about, after all He had been doing sales for over 20 years.  When he would do something I suggested and it didn’t work out precisely the way he thought it should it was my fault.  He is one of the many that think just because you belong to a Business Association or Chamber that companies should automatically give you all of their business.  When something would work, of course it was all his idea.  In the end, by giving too much help, he expected things to be done for him.

Everyone can use help now and then, you have to recognize when someone is actually asking for help and when they are asking for things to be done for them.  When people ask for help, they are looking for idea’s to try, and a different perspective. When people are asking for things to be done, they want to you give of your resources and convince your resources to support them.  I have learned to draw the line; unfortunately it is when I am past the point of wanting to help anymore.  For me there is nothing worse than giving my opinion, perspective and advice only to have someone tell me that I should only tell them nice things, or they list the reasons why I am wrong about everything and they are totally right about everything.

I will tell you there is no greater joy than helping someone start on the road to their goals, or help them achieve their goals.  Being an Entrepreneur is hard. When you start down this road, try and surround yourself with as many like minded individuals and those that possess the skills you need.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, don’t be afraid to change your way of thinking.  Technology is different, the sales cycle is different, and the manner in which people buy things are different.  Checks are becoming passé; everyone has a debit card or credit card, and carries very little cash.  I come from an industry that has been a traditional invoice and check industry.  I have clients now asking me if they can pay online with a credit card because they want to rack up points, that’s right even the large companies are asking to pay by credit card.

If you are brand new to all of this, then seek out some groups to join, obviously the Chicago Entrepreneurial Meet up group is the best place to meet like minded individuals,(shameless plug yes I know ) but if you aren’t anywhere near Chicago, then look for groups on Meet Up or thru LinkedIn.  If you can’t find any, then start one of your own.  If you are a veteran in the Entrepreneurial game reach out and help the newbie’s, don’t be afraid to learn something new.  Even someone who is not in your industry can have some valuable insight; if nothing else they can help you see something from a different prospective. New or seasoned Entrepreneur’s don’t reject ideas without really thinking them thru.  Remember something that didn’t work 5 or 10 or more years ago, may just work now.  It is a different economy, it is a different world.

I am very blessed to have several really great people in my circle of influence.  Each challenges me to step up my game every time we meet or talk.  They are there to bounce ideas off on, they are my collaborators, my mentors, my friends, they do not judge, they offer advice, alternatives and solutions. I don’t always agree with them, and that’s OK.  The end result of all of this support has been some pretty deep friendships, for that I will be eternally grateful.

OK now that I have led you to the water, it is up to you to drink………..