“Tell me about the last bad deal you didn’t make,” I asked. My friend looked back at me blankly. “Well”, I said, “you’ve just spent the last 15 minutes telling me about a few bad ones you did make. What about the ones you didn’t make?” That’s pretty much when he decided we’d chatted enough about business and the conversation turned back to golf.
Awhile back, Seth Godin, whom I admire, wrote a piece on making bad deals. His article was more directed at the deals made between individuals as they start new ventures, but I’ve taken some of what he had to say to heart as I look at any business deal.
Not all deals are worth doing. One has to know the point at which NOT making a deal is a better option and overcoming the very human desire to make something happen, to get something, to WIN! But in so doing, you LOSE. Get rid of those deals – set them free! Very much like the Buddha I am, I know. But the Buddha’s teaching is not so much of divesting one’s material possessions, but of not being overly crazy with our desires. Sometimes the desire for a deal outweighs its true value. The ones where the value of what you’re offering is disproportionately less than what you’re receiving are the ones I mean. The ones where someone will take your product (grudgingly, it seems) and almost want you to pay them or demand you give up any chance of making back your investment in supporting them, the client.
So what’s the last bad deal you didn’t do?