Early Dismissal

It’s snowing lightly here this morning. We’re a couple of miles from the local schools but I can hear the minds of every child putting out vibes for early dismissal. That’s a fine thing when you’re sitting in a classroom but it’s a very dangerous thing in business. Let me explain with a something that’s going on in my business.

I was speaking with a business partner a couple of weeks ago and in the course of conversation he asked me a question that was a complete nonsequitur. He asked if I knew anyone who wanted to buy a large quantity of something (yes, it’s totally legal). He is not in the business of brokering purchases of this stuff and neither am I. After I stopped laughing I asked him to send me more information. Rather than dismissing the idea of brokering a deal in a field that’s unfamiliar, I spent a few minutes running through my contact list and thinking about his question. I sent out a few emails to folks I knew who might know a buyer.

Strangely enough, a little while later I received a response from someone who had a buyer. This was not a person who has anything to do with what is being bought and sold but in his network he had a friend who is in that business. While we’re still putting the deal together, it’s looking good and could be a nice piece of business for everyone involved.

All of this happened because I am an advocate for never dismissing any idea out of hand. How many opportunities can you think of in your business that went by the wayside because someone with less vision than you dismissed them too early?  I’m not naive enough to believe that every good idea is fully formed when it first emerges from its cognitive womb, but I do think that in almost every bad idea is the germ of something that might be worth pursuing.  The problem comes when we dismiss them on the basis of the obvious bad thinking and ignore their potential.

Early dismissal is something that should appeal only to school kids.  It can be fatal when it’s practiced on a regular basis by business folks.  Think about that and let me know if you agree.

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