Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saving Fish From Drowning

A Pious man once explained to his followers:
It is evil to take lives and noble to save them. Each day I pledge to save a hundred lives. I drop my net into the lake and scoop out a hundred fishes. I place the fishes on the Bank where they flop flop and twirl. 'Don't be scared', I tell those fishes. 'I am saving you from drowning'. Soon enough the fishes grow calm and lie still. Yet, sad to say, I am always too late. The fish expire. And because it is evil to waste anything, I take those dead fishes to the market and I sell them for a good price. With the money I receive, I buy more nets so I can save more fishes.
-Anonymous


Awhile ago, I visited a network event mostly filled with people who where thinking about starting up a business. The entrepreneurs among us there were in the minority and we were given the opportunity to make a brief pitch on our products and services.
The next day I was approached by one of the seasoned entrepreneurs who had been present at the event. She called me she said, regarding a great proposition concerning her new services/product. I spoke out my assumption that her proposition was about the possibilities of exploring a joint venture.
'Oh no', she laughed; there was no question of partnership, she was of the opinion that I was in dire need of her services and was here to avert disaster and save me from my impending business demise.
At first I was taken aback by what I was hearing. Being a somewhat seasoned, albeit street-wise business woman( I have been buying and selling since I was 16 years old)I wondered what I had possibly miss-communicated the day before in my presentation to give her the impression that I was a perfect candidate for her holy crusade.
Still, I politely thanked her and carefully explained that I had no use for her services.
To my utter surprise and misplaced embarrassment, she spent the next 15 minutes in an impassioned declaration of her glorified services and how they would save me. This good and selfless person wanted so badly to rescue my business and save me, a fish in the water, from drowning. She instinctively possessed the talent of knowing that I needed help and that her services were the life-buoy thrown out to me in the business sea to save me forever and ever, Amen.

In the course of my life I have had multiple such experiences. I have been beleaguered by guardian angels of all sorts who without even getting to know me, possessed an amazing 6Th sense that enabled them to determine that I needed saving for my own good.
In business every now and then, I have encountered these smart business persons whose style of approach was noise and broadcasting and the distribution of free hypochondria. This as opposed to genuine personal interest, respect, permission marketing, listening and engagement on an equal level.

Ecademy's Penny Power once likened networking to moving to a new town. If you are new and want to meet new people, you could go to the pub where the locals hangout. The logical thing to do would be to take a seat at the bar and try to quietly orient yourself in your new surroundings by first observing. Then you proceed to buying yourself a drink and perhaps a drink for the person sitting beside you. Their acceptance of your "gift" is usually the permission granted to enter their personal space and engage them in conversation. It is only after you are satisfactorily familiar with one another that your steer towards exploring the possibilities of joint ventures to create mutual benefits.
Yes it is always mutual because we both gain something, financial, material or otherwise. It always has to be mutual because this is what upholds honour.

Not many newcomers barge into a bar, hone down on you and insist that they are the answer to your prayers before the thought of praying ever crossed your mind. Such types, when they do arise, often end up being firmly "escorted" out of the premises.

I wonder if all those business people with their false philanthropy are aware that forcing your services on others by way of broadcasting and labeling them with your own invented business malaise is another word for spamming?
Are they aware of the fact that they are insulting one's intelligence by this and that claiming to be the saviour and solution to one's non-existing problems is downright tasteless, pathetic, short-sighted not to mention rude?

I believe that I shall include a new service to my existing business services; a service aimed at teaching business Samaritans the basic principles and the social rules of the game.

I believe I shall call this service
Saving self-appointed messiahs from business suicide. ;-)

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