Dec 182010

There is a peculiar character associated with approaching the finish line.  Something goes wrong.

For those fresh entrepreneurs in the throes of company construction, here is a rule that I have always (almost always) found true. As you get very close to the completion of a deal, something will appear that seemingly derails it. It could be a change of heart on the part of those you are dealing with. Could be that your new friends try to change the deal already agreed to. It could be a legal obstacle (lawyers are explicitly trained and morally bound to discover problems – or invent them). Sometimes it is a combination of more than one of these or yet someother SNAFU. But you can bet that as you are leaving the wine store on the way to the closing party with the celebratory bottle of champaign in hand, your cell will ring with an unexpected disaster.

Don’t panic.

If the deal was sensible, it usually will be completed. But not if you over-react. Emotion must be kept in check even if you feel your face turn to scarlet and that subtle twitch in your trigger finger.  Now is the time for entrepreneurial intelligence – the same intelligence that let you smash every barrier and create your company. Don’t show emotion.  Show intelligence. You will get through this. Remember why this is a good deal for both sides. Look at the new barrier to completion and try to understand why the other side (or your team) have placed it there. Assume that someone thinks it is real and that it is important.  And then deal with it calmly even if it means giving a little – yes, even after you have negotiated every detail and given as much as you think you possibly can. Business is about success – not about ego.  Just swallow hard.

If it was a good deal, both sides will benefit; just leap over the small obstacle near the finish line.

Its easy when you expect one.  Expect one!

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